Having any type of psychological disorder can have a negative effect on self esteem. Asperger’s Disorder is far more vulnerable than other disorders. Most other disorders in children are not so easily seen by other people. As long as others do not know he has a disorder, the child can avoid embarrassment. Asperger’s Disorder, on the other hand, cannot be hidden. The overt social problems displayed by the Asperger’s Disorder child are frequently responded to with negative comments from others. Both the inability to hide the disorder and the negative feedback he receives contribute to feelings of low self-worth.
Further contributing to negative self esteem is that unlike other disorders, Asperger’s Disorder does not elicit sympathy. While a depressed child might be treated with more kindness and patience, and never told, “Stop being depressed,” the Asperger’s Disorder child engenders frustration and impatience. Being told repeatedly to stop talking, stop interrupting, or talk about something else for a change leads the Asperger’s Disorder child to feel as if he is always doing something wrong. This of course leads to lower self esteem.
Having Asperger’s Disorder is strongly associated with depression in adolescent and adult years.