Myth: Autism is a mental health condition
Not true. Autism is actually a neurological difference – MRI scans show distinctions in the ways that autistic and non-autistic brains receive and process information.
However, many autistic people do develop mental health problems. Approximately 40% of autists have at least one anxiety disorder and the proportion of those who experience depression is higher amongst autistic people.
Mental health issues and anxiety are not inherent in autistic people and can often stem from a lack of understanding e.g. feeling pressure to fit into ‘normal’ life. Whilst autism is an intrinsic part of who a person is, depression for example, is no more a part of an autistic person’s personality than it would be for a non-autistic person.
Source: The Royal College of Psychiatrists