Asperger Syndrome and Olanzapine


My son is 32 and had a psychotic episode and was sectioned for 9 weeks but discharged in October last year. He was put on Quetiapine but then changed to Olanzapine which did seem to work. He was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome 3 weeks ago and the psychiatrist advised us that people with Aspergers are a lot more sensitive to psychotic medication so not always a good idea for them to take it.

My son has been very depressed and anxious for the last 2 months to the point he is often sobbing and saying, if the rest of his life is going to be like this, he does not want to be here. The problem is he loves drawing, art and playing video games but is unable to put any thoughts together to do this. He had a great imagination and could create characters, write loads and draw people. Now he says there is nothing there, just blank thoughts and that is causing his depression because he thinks he will never be able to do this again.

I try and reassure him, as doe his wonderful CPN, but the longer it goes on the less he believes me. Tonight he had a massive breakdown and I can’t let him go on living like this so am looking into whether the Olanzapine could be causing this. I wondered if anyone on here had any experience of Apergers and Olanzapine and how it affected the person? We have discussed him coming off the medication with his CPN, and she agrees it is worth a try just to find out once and for all if it is causing my son a problem with his imagination, etc.

I fully appreciate that, if he does come off them, we need to do it properly and will do this. His mental health psychiatrist only seems interested in upping his medication, his Asperger psychiatrist thinks it should be reduced/none at all. We are seeing the mental health psychiatrist in 3 weeks, could not get in earlier, to discuss his meds but she is very formidable and I am worried she will not be interested in helping him come off them. After tonight I have decided not to wait for the appointment and take my son to see his GP on Thursday to discuss his medication. She knows my son well and is very understanding.

I am obviously slightly nervous about my son coming off the meds but we have identified the triggers and now have mental health support, which we did not have before. My other question is how will we stand if the GP says she will not let him come off them? I think my son can refuse to take the medication, but we really want their advice to do it safely.

I hope you do not think I am a bad mum for helping him to come off his meds but I know my son better than anyone and they are not helping him whether he is taking 10mg or 5mg. I don’t want them just to be upped as I would rather he received therapy as well because he has a lot of issues he needs to offload. I just can’t bear to see him so unhappy and feeling that he is worthless and has nothing to offer anyone.

Hi Tricia,

I cannot answer your question directly, only indirectly, (from an autism perspective but not an Olanzapine one.)

Brains affected by autism/Aspergers are neurologically different to neurotypical brains and are more sensitive to meds that act on the brain. The psychiatrist who recently diagnosed him, understands this. It may be that he just needs to be on a much lower dose and gradually reducing the dose may reveal this.

The other psychiatrist sounds ‘old school’ to me - the only tool in his toolbox is medication - his philosophy, if it doesn’t work increase the med dose or add another med.

The GP sounds fab, but might not feel able to challenge to original psychiatrist.

This document/campaign might be off assistance to you and the GP (who should know of it) NHS England » Stopping Over-Medication of People with a Learning Disability, Autism or Both

Perhaps the best way round it, is to ask the new psychiatrist to take over your son’s care and for him to be discharged by the old one.

Not being able to engage in his special interests is a definite sign of loss of wellbeing; is he having counselling to understand and make sense of his new diagnosis?


Thanks Melly1.

We had another episode tonight where he is so frightened, but is not sure what of, and is just sobbing and shaking. I am going to take him to the GP tomorrow as I feel he needs to know things are going to be looked into and that I am going to do all I can to make things better for him. He is on the waiting list to see a counsellor through the early intervention team and is seeing his Community Psychiatric Nurse tomorrow so I will ask her how far up the list he is. If there is still a way to go I am going to look into private counselling as he needs help now.

We are also waiting for a follow up appointment with his Asperger’s psychiatrist so I will speak to the nurse about this as well. We finally have a social worker coming round tomorrow for an assessment - Jay was discharged from hospital almost 4 months ago!. I am not sure he will be able to communicate with the social worker but the nurse will be there and I will make it quite clear what support Jay needs. However, my main priority is to get him back to be able to doing the things he loves and stop being frightened he has lost all his abilities.

I will also take a look at the link you provided.

Many thanks