Depression can occur for a number of reasons, for instance from experiencing trauma or stressful events, having other mental or physical health conditions, alcohol, drugs, or from simply having a family history of depression. Personally, within the autistic population, I find that we are at far greater risk to mental illness; as ordinary day-to-day life can have additional challenges, from environmental factors to daily communication and interactions with others.
Furthermore, with differences in how we perceive and understand the world, we can be more at risk of being misunderstood and not able to relate to others as easily, which can all lead to feelings of separation and isolation to humanity. Consequently, we can end up feeling very alone, and often with a lack of an adequate support network, this can correlate highly with getting depressed. Alexithymia can also be a strong contributor to depression in autistic people, in that we struggle to identify, understand and manage our emotions, due to interoception difficulties.
If you are experiencing depression and are in employment, you may want to keep on working, as a routine and structure can be hugely beneficial, and the feelings of connecting with others and being productive can all be good for mental health more generally. This can help keep a sense of normality to one’s life, when all else seems to be falling apart.