With social media and the constant circulation of information, many facts become askew, and disorders, including autism, become misunderstood.
The distinction between mental illness and autism can be confused, but a fine line sets the two apart.
In this blog, we will be answering the following questions:
- What is mental illness?
- What causes mental illness?
- Is autism a mental illness?
- What unique challenges do people with autism face?
- Can individuals with autism have other mental illnesses?
- What services are available for individuals with autism?
What is Mental Illness?
Mental illness is a health condition that covers a wide range of diagnoses, including depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It impacts emotions, cognitive processes, behavior, and even physical health.
Types of Mental Illnesses
- Anxiety disorders, including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and panic disorder
- Mood disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder
- Psychotic disorders, including Schizophrenia
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Eating disorders, including bulimia and anorexia
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
What Causes Mental Illness?
There’s no one cause of any mental illness, and there’s no sure way to avoid developing one. Unfortunately, some people are more prone to developing mental health problems than others. Thankfully, various medical and natural treatments are available to help people cope with and overcome mental illness.
In some cases, mental illness comes from inherited abnormalities in genes. Genetics can play a significant role in mental well-being, but it typically goes hand in hand with upbringing and environment.
As mentioned before, environmental factors can enhance inherited mental illness, but they can also trigger the development of a condition.
The most prevalent example of this is PTSD.
Traumatic experiences can have a lasting impact on the brain, especially during childhood. Negative experiences or trauma can develop anxiety disorders, depression, and even Schizophrenia.
Is Autism a Mental Illness?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is not categorized as a mental illness but rather as a neurological and developmental disorder.
ASD and mental illness differ in that mental illness can develop in childhood or adulthood, while ASD develops before birth.
What Unique Challenges do People with Autism Face?
Autism impacts how someone thinks, learns, and communicates. It’s essential to recognize that autism is a spectrum, and the challenges of each individual will vary.
People with ASD may face unique challenges because of the differences in how they may behave compared to neurotypical people.
These challenges can include the following:
- Poor social and communication skills
- Difficulty expressing emotions or recognizing others’ emotions
- Difficulty managing daily functioning and learning new skills
- Difficulty maintaining meaningful relationships with friends and family members
- Phobias, repetitive behaviors, and obsessive tendencies
- Excessive worry or anxiety
Can Individuals with Autism Have Other Mental Illnesses?
Yes, autism and mental illnesses can coincide. The autism research facility, Autistica, found that seven out of ten autistic people have a mental health disorder.
People with autism can develop mental illness through genetic or environmental factors, just like anyone else. Their unique challenges, upbringing, and experiences make them especially vulnerable to developing mental illness.
What Services are Available for Individuals with Autism?
There are many innovative and science-backed services offered for individuals with autism today. These services offer variety and individualization to better fit each client.
At Roman Empire Agency, we offer services ranging from independent living skills training to SSI and Medicare assistance. Our team of experts in the field will help you establish and meet your goals for independence and life-long learning.
Services offered at Roman Empire Agency:
- Adaptive Skills Training (AST)
- Independent Living Skills Training (ILS)
- Supported Living Services (SLS)
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
- Forensic Services
- SSI/ Medical/ Medicare Assistance
Live Independently and Freely With Roman Empire Agency
Roman Empire Agency is here to help individuals with developmental disabilities grow autonomy and skills to live life to the fullest.
We have locations in the Los Angeles county area and partnerships nationwide. You’ll find easy access to our team via telephone and contact form.