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  • Asperger's Syndrome in Adults
  • Working To Come To Terms with Asperger's
  • Sex and Depression - The Real Story
  • The Loss of Joy: Anhedonia
  • All About Schizophrenia
  • Depression: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Asperger Syndrome is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (or Pervasive Developmental Disorder) characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors and interests. Those with Asperger Syndrome, or AS, may exhibit a lack of empathy for their peers, clumsiness, and atypical use of language, though none of these symptoms are required for a diagnosis.1

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The pain of coming to terms with having Asperger's is still very real for me right now. There is a tremendous sense of grief. Grief for all that I suffered through to try to be "normal" and grief for how short of "normal" I always have been. There is also great relief to know that I am not crazy and that not everything can be traced back to an abusive past in the sense that some of what I experience is not choice/emotional but neurons/physical. The greatest challenge I face right now is trying to figure out which is which. This is not easy.

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One of the most common side effects of a number of antidepressant medications is loss of sex drive. I could forgive our friends at fine companies such as Eli Lilly, Bristol Meyers Squibb, and Pfizer if dry mouth, irritability, disrupted sleep patterns, loss of appetite, sloth, and social phobia were the sole issues related to the medications I take on a daily basis. However, it is the sex thing I find most challenging.

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Anhedonia is the technical term for the inability to experience joy. When people are in the depths of depression, nothing touches them, not the most intensely pleasurable activities, not the most familiar comforts. They are emotionally frozen. In this state, people either have to get professional help or simply wait for weeks or months until the depression lifts by itself; nothing is going to make them feel better.

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Schizophrenia is a mental illness which affects one person in every hundred.

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Depression is perhaps the most common of all mental health problems, currently felt to affect one in every four adults to some degree. Depression is a problem with mood/feeling in which the mood is described as sad, feeling down in the dumps, being blue, or feeling low. While the depressed mood is present, evidence is also present which reflects the neurochemical or "brain chemistry" aspects of depression with the depressed individual experiencing poor concentration/attention, loss of energy, accelerated thought/worry, sleep/appetite disturbance, and other physical manifestations. When this diagnosis is present, the individual will exhibit at least five of the following symptoms during the depressive periods:

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What is acute stress disorder?

Acute stress disorder (ASD) is a psychiatric diagnosis that can be given to individuals in the first month following a traumatic event. The symptoms that define ASD overlap with those for PTSD, although there are a greater number of dissociative symptoms for ASD, such as not knowing where you are or feeling as if you are outside of your body.

How common is ASD?

Because ASD is a relatively new diagnosis, research on the disorder is in the early stages. Rates range from 6% to 33% depending on the type of trauma:

Motor vehicle accidents: Rates of ASD range from approximately 13% 1,2 to 21% 3.

Typhoon: A study of survivors of a typhoon yielded an ASD rate of 7% 4.

Industrial accident: One study found a rate of 6% in survivors of an industrial accident 5.

Violent assault: A rate of 19% was found in survivors of violent assault 6, and a rate of 13% was found among a mixed group consisting of survivors of assaults, burns, and industrial accidents 7. A recent study of victims of robbery and assault found that 25% met criteria for ASD 8, and a study of victims of a mass shooting found that 33% met criteria for ASD 9.

Who is at risk for ASD as a result of trauma?

A few studies have examined factors that place individuals at risk for developing ASD.

One study found that individuals who (1) had experienced other traumatic events, (2) had PTSD previously, and (3) had prior psychological problems were all more likely to develop ASD as the result of a new traumatic stressor 10.

A study of motor vehicle accident survivors found that those individuals (1) with depression symptoms, (2) who had previous mental heath treatment, and (3) who had been in other motor vehicle accidents were more likely to have more severe ASD 11.

A final study suggests that people who dissociate when confronted with traumatic stressors may be more likely to develop ASD12.

Parent Category: Disorders

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