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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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Sadness

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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(NC)—Do you lack energy and vitality? Are you feeling grumpy and tired? Do you think these feelings are a natural result of aging? Think again.

Take this simple questionnaire to find out why you may not be feeling like your usual self. Called the ADAM Questionnaire (or Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male), this simple test can help you determine if you may have testosterone insufficiency.

Answer the following yes or no questions:

  1. Do you have a decrease in libido (sex drive)?
  2. Do you have a lack of energy?
  3. Do you have a decrease in strength and/or endurance?
  4. Have you lost height?
  5. Have you noticed a decreased "enjoyment of life"?
  6. Are you sad and/or grumpy?
  7. Are your erections less strong?
  8. Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports?
  9. Are you falling asleep after dinner?
  10. Has there been a recent deterioration in your work performance?

If you answered "yes" to questions 1 or 7 or at least three of the other questions, you may have low testosterone levels.

Levels of testosterone, a male hormone, begin to increase at the time of puberty and peak about age 30. Testosterone is responsible for the development of masculine physical features such as body and facial hair, larger and stronger muscles, deeper voice and sexual maturity and drive. After age 30, these levels begin to decline naturally. In fact, researchers have determined that one in eight men in their 50s may have testosterone levels that are below normal, and this proportion increases with each decade. In some instances, unfortunately, these lower testosterone levels may not be sufficient for some men. Testosterone insufficiency can rob a man of his vitality.

Check with your doctor and ask about a blood test that can be done to measure the levels of your bioavailable or total testosterone in your blood (there may be a small cost for this in some provinces). If your testosterone levels are below normal, there are a number of replacement therapies available if that is, in fact, an approach that should be pursued by you.

The doctor will discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of testosterone injections (usually given every four weeks), pills that are normally taken with food (initially two pills twice a day), patches that can be put on the skin at night (usually one is required) or a gel that is rubbed on the skin once a day in the morning. It is important to note, however, that testosterone replacement is not appropriate for all men; in some cases, it may not even be right for men with testosterone insufficiency.

Being tired and grumpy is not a natural part of aging. It is possible to restore your vitality and improve your quality of life. Talk to your doctor about your testosterone levels.

Parent Category: Disorders

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