Autism Spectrum Disorders and suicidality

Michele Raja, Antonella Azzoni, Alessandra Frustaci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper describes the suicidal ideation and behavior in a series of 26 adult psychiatric patients affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), the clinical features and the psychiatric comorbidity of patients presenting suicidal behavior, and the history of suicide or suicide attempt in their relatives. Two (7,7%) patients committed suicide. One (3.8%) patient attempted suicide twice, and one (3.8%) patient self-harmed by cutting his face and one finger of his hand with a razor. Eight (30.8%) patients presented suicidal ideation. Two (7.7%) patients had one relative who had attempted suicide, and two (7.7%) patients had one or more relatives who had committed suicide. Most patients with suicidal behavior or ideation presented psychotic symptoms. Although it is not clear whether the high suicidal risk is related with ASDs per se or with psychotic symptoms, a high index of suspicion is warranted in evaluating suicidal risk in patients affected by ASDs, whatever is their age, psychiatric comorbidity, and setting of visit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Pervasive developmental disorders
  • Psychotic signs
  • Schizophrenia
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Epidemiology


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