Affective disorders in people with autism: A review of published cases

Janet E. Lainhart, Susan E. Folstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


The presentation of affective disorders in people with autism and autistic-like disorders is discussed based upon a review of 17 published cases. Half of the patients were female and almost all of the patients had IQs in the mentally retarded range. 35% of the patients had the onset of affective disorder in childhood. Of the cases mentioning family history, 50% had a family history of affective disorder or suicide. Changes in mood, self-attitude, and vital sense were rarely reported by the patients. A change in mood, attitude toward self and others, and vegetative changes were inferred based on the observations of others. Difficulties in diagnosing affective disorders in autistic people are presented and suggestions are made for diagnosis, treatment, and research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-601
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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