Do people even care? Autism and Suicide.

WARNING: If this is triggering or you, or someone that you know needs help, visit the resources listed at the end of this post.


As I sometimes have told some of my children and myself, if nothing else, we need to stick around to find out what happens in the end. We don’t know things won’t get better, no matter how it feels at the moment. The key is to make sure nobody feels so bad that their thinking cannot “override” their emotions. And, the more one accumulates bad experiences, the harder it gets. That’s why it’s important to accumulate positive ones, but it can be difficult when you’ve been beaten down or ignored too many times by too many people around the same time, especially those you’ve trusted the most.

I’m uploading this at a time when I am “OK.” This is done purposely, to counter the rather depressing nature of the article. If had enough experience with this to know that life is not static, and it’s not reasonable to expect all days to be good or even just OK. Nonetheless, I think people should know what my experience is like, and many others face similar circumstances, autistic or otherwise. At the root of many suicidal thoughts is the feeling of rejection, despair, and invalidation. While I’m not suicidal as I’m posting, it’s something I remain vigilant about, and I always will. My worry for myself and others is if too many things line up at the wrong time, and they just about have this year. And, they could at any time, if I let down on all the ways I have to distract myself in the worst moments. (Immersive computer gaming and sleep are good, by the way.) I’ll keep you posted, no pun intended.


For much of my life, I’ve wondered if people cared if I’m alive or would be that upset if I died. That’s a result of trauma both in childhood and adulthood, coupled with my failures to be accepted and understood by other people. Because of my children, primarily, and also my wife — because she tells me — I do believe there are some people who would be sad if I died. However, knowing it and feeling it can be very different. Furthermore, the fear of that changing is real, especially when the events of the past couple of years have been so traumatic.

Now, for possibly the first time in my life, I’ve wondered if there are people who actually want me to die. And, that’s more than a fleeting idea on a bad day. It’s a pervasive reality, backed with continued existential reminders of how hostile a person can be towards me, for reasons that seem completely backwards. I don’t understand how I can go from being an “amazing friend” to an “asshole” who is unworthy to be around without being taken seriously when trying to sort out whatever is going wrong during very difficult circumstances.

When I went to someone, a different person, the right person, in a time of great need, how could I have been treated with so much open hostility, anger, and dismissiveness? And, another I placed trust in failed me as well. That says nothing of the person who should be the least dismissive of all, though there appears to be some improvement, and that is helpful.

The fact that it has been more than one person who has done this, in various ways, makes me wonder what exactly is wrong with me, and if I’m that bad, why should I be alive? If all of my therapy, effort, time, and money to try to “fix” myself has not changed how people view me, it’s no wonder they want me to die.

Feeling guilty is my default, some combination of my autistic brain and years of abuse and misunderstandings. So, I accept that people don’t like me, but I’d find staying alive a little easier if they didn’t hate me so viciously. Additionally, I still like all of these people, and that makes it even worse because I’m unable to express it well enough or make myself a decent enough of a person to be around.

Sometimes, it seems that the more I like a person, the less they like me. How am I supposed to feel about that? Guilt seems to fit. I just want to get along with people, but they don’t want me around, and they don’t even tell me why. I guess that is their right, but I don’t understand why destroying my life has to be part of their so-called right. If I can’t even figure it out, that makes me an even worse person.

After losing my job, hardly any people contacted me, and most who did were not even currently or formerly associated with my workplace. Some people have been openly hostile! How should I view myself, especially since these people knew my struggles? They knew I was autistic and that my family was falling apart. I told people about my struggles. Yet, I am so despicable to them that they will do anything to keep me away, and the best hope for them would be if I died. Part of me feels like that’s warranted because I would rather not upset anyone again.

The tiny part of my brain that keeps me going keeps saying there is hope, there is a way. Some would say that’s my weakness, and it is. But, it’s who I am, the romantic idealist who wants to force himself through a world that won’t have him. So, I would rather not give up, at least not right now. However, it’s still a bad situation to be in, and that always is dangerous, especially since I get such little validation at home, except from my children, though they are now being discouraged from validating me.

I’ve always considered myself to be a forgiving person, even towards people who have caused me great harm, namely my parents. Therefore, it’s perplexing when people won’t forgive me for whatever I’ve done to hurt them, for not responding the right way, or not having enough insight to understand. I just want my friends back, but they’ve acted as if they would prefer that I did not exist. That’s not all in my head when I still remember what they’ve done and said to me and to others about me. But, there is no hope when they aren’t concerned about my fate, and I can imagine them being relieved, even happy, if they learned I had died. I literally have that picture enter into my thoughts occasionally. What did I do to upset someone so badly that they want me to die?

I’ve estimated my lifetime risk of suicide at about 10% or higher. To put it more positively, there’s up to a 90% chance I won’t die that way.


Autism YES YES
Bullying YES YES
Social Isolation YES YES
Previous Attempt ? NO
Mental Illness YES YES
Serious Illness YES ?
Legal Problems NO NO
Job Loss YES YES
Impulsive/Agressive NO NO
Substance Use NO NO
Childhood Trauma YES YES
Hopelessness YES SOME
Violence (to/from) ? NO
Family History NO NO
Loss of Relationships ? YES
High conflict relationships ? ?
Environmental Stigma YES YES
(Other Community Risks) NO NO
(Other Societal Risks) NO NO



Talking about wanting to die YES YES
Feeling great guilt or shame ? YES
Think a burden to others YES YES
Feeling empty, trapped, hopeless YES YES
Extremely sad, anxious, agitated YES YES
Unbearable emotional pain YES YES
Unbearable physical pain YES NO
Plan or research ways to die YES ?
Withdrawing from friends ? YES
Saying goodbye ? ?
Giving away important items ? ?
Making a will YES (YES)
Taking dangerous risks NO NO
Extreme mood swings YES YES
Eating more or less YES YES
Sleeping more or less YES YES
More drug or alcohol use NO NO



Effective coping skills ? YED
Reasons for living (family, etc.) YES YES
Support from partner ? (YES?)
Support from friends ? NO
Support from family ? YES?
Feeling connected to others NO NO


Autism-Specific Information on Suicide
Autism Resource for Warning Signs of Suicide

List of Suicide Hotlines by Country

Country Number Country Number Country Number
US 988 UK 0800 689 5652 Canada 1-833-456-4566
Australia 13 11 14 South Africa 0800 567 567 Ireland 116 123
New Zealand 0800 72 66 66 Singapore 6518002214444 Nigeria 0700-843-569-482
Suicide Hotlines in countries with the most native English speakers.

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2 responses to “Do people even care? Autism and Suicide.”

  1. […] WARNING: If this is triggering for you, or someone that you know needs help, stop reading immediately and find appropriate resources to help. Some of these are listed at the end of my post on autism and suicide. […]


  2. […] WARNING: If this is triggering or you, or someone that you know needs help, visit the resources listed at the end of this post. […]


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