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Why does my teenager with Asperger's suddenly seem so angry?

William Stillman
Health Education Specialist

Spikes in irritability may be a symptom of depression -- extremely common in kids of this age and older on the autism spectrum. A teenager is at a very vulnerable age, one for which he is becoming increasingly aware of his differences or he’s being made to feel different, odd, and excluded by his peers. He could well be feeling like an outsider or “Mr. Wrong,” someone not fitting in. Remember, kids at this age are increasingly sophisticated and concerned with how they come across, as well as for the image of those persons whom they choose to hang out with. They can also be viciously cruel -- do you know that he isn’t being physically bullied, psychologically intimidated or otherwise harassed? What is your school’s bullying policy and is it being diligently enforced in his protection? Is he also the victim of misunderstood and misinterpreted circumstances? It is a myth that people with Asperger’s syndrome are more prone to rage. If we rage, it’s because we say what we mean and mean what we say, and few people respond in kind by honoring their word and keeping their promises. This can be maddening, and may exacerbate symptoms of depression.

*Asperger syndrome, or Asperger's, is a term that is no longer used as a formal diagnosis. In current diagnostic criteria, the syndrome is included under the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.