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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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Psychoeducation is a specific form of education. It is aimed at helping persons with a mental illness or anyone with an interest in mental illness, to access the facts about a broad range of mental illnesses in a clear and concise manner. It is also a way of accessing and learning strategies to deal with mental illness and its effects.

What it is not

Psychoeducation is not a treatment. It is designed to be part of an overall treatment plan. For example, knowledge of one's illness is crucial for individuals and their support network to be able to design their own relapse prevention plans and strategies.

Why use Psychoeducation?

Research has shown that the more a person is aware of their illness and how it affects their own lives and that of others, the more control that person has over their illness. This means that, with appropriate knowledge and techniques, episodes of mental illness occur less often and are usually less severe in intensity and duration.

Is Psychoeducation a new approach?

No, psychoeducation has been around for a long time. It has remained consistently popular as a tool for families and carers to be able to make sense of what is happening to a person who is experiencing a mental illness and to help them to care for that person. It has often been used prior to, or in conjunction with, family therapy. It has been used less frequently in a formalised way as a tool for persons suffering mental illness although, many mental health professionals have used the concepts of psychoeducation in working with individual clients.

How can I access Psychoeducation?

There are a number of ways to do this including:

  • Contact the psychoeducation coordinators on this sheet or package.
  • Speak to your health care professional for a referral
  • Ask your GP to access the information
  • Access the information on the website.
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