*The Samaritans number is: 116 123 and their website is → Samaritans. Remember, you are NEVER wasting their time*

*If you are in immediate danger, don’t hesitate – call 999. They are there to help*

 

I was in two minds as to whether to even write this post on suicide, within the neurodivergent community. Many of us have imagined or tried to take our own lives, some of us know people who have succeeded. All of this makes it a very difficult post to write. But my intention here is to show the realities of what we face. And maybe one person will read this and realise they are not alone for having the thoughts that they have had. So, let’s roll with that…

  • According to Autistica, a UK charity, autistic adults are nine times more likely to die from suicide than non-autistics. This figure does NOT include autistic people with learning disabilities.
  • Average life expectancy for an autistic person is just 54 (based on a Swedish study of 27,000 autistic people). I am 54 as I type this, and it doesn’t surprise me.
  • Autistic children are twenty eight times more likely to have suicidal ideation than their non-autistic peers.
  • In the 142 days immediately before and after the first lockdown, one quarter of suicides were either autistics or ADHDers. That’s 25% of suicides and we are supposedly a tiny minority of the population.

Here is the link to the Autistica article ← if you can bear it. One of my autistic family members has tried to take their own life twice since the start of 2022, so this is difficult for me to write, but I also appreciate the importance of sharing it.

Much of this suicidal ideation revolves around the feeling of being isolated, not being understood, not fitting in, feeling that this can never change.

If you have thoughts like this please, please phone the Samaritans. I’ve phoned them on numerous occasions and they are kind and non-judgmental – you don’t need to be suicidal in order to want to talk to them (that’s a myth). They are sitting there 24 hours a day waiting to speak to people like us.

*The Samaritans number is: 116 123 and their website is → Samaritans. Remember, you are NEVER wasting their time.*

You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline in the UK on 0800 689 5652.