Undetected autism subthreshold spectrum as risk factor for suicidal gestures in adulthood: a case report

M.G. Carbone, M. Miniati, M. Simoncini, A. Maglio, C. Carmassi, L. Dell’Osso

Section of Psychiatry, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been recently highlighted as potentially related to a higher risk for suicide. ASD features are often under-recognized, especially in subjects with high level of functioning. We present the case of a 21-year-old man who attempted suicide jumping from the third floor of his home. The patient had been treated during the last 3 years for a Schizoaffective Disorder. Patient’s history showed the presence of signs and symptoms belonging to the realm of ASD. We hypothesize that the long-lasting presence of ASD features (instead of the schizoaffective symptomatology) was a clinically significant (but unrecognized) component that ultimately raised the suicide risk.

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