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
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.
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.
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.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness which affects one person in every hundred.
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:
Apart of Manic Depressive Disorder (also called Bipolar Disorder) the two main known types of depression are Major Depression and Dysthymia. Both types of depression can easily be distinguished from each other although intertype episodes, especially of Major Depression in Dysthymia patients, are commonly experienced. So what are the differences between those two types of depression?
Arguably Major Depression is the mental disorder that a layman would associate with the term "depression". As the name of the illness implies it is the case that patients suffering from this type of depression show many or even all classic signs of depression in their most severe form. Such symptoms include a change in natural sleep patterns leading to excessive sleepiness and / or insomnia; a loss of appetite, motivation and drive even for simple activities and ones, which had previously been enjoyed by the patient; (often unexplainable) deep sadness; anxiety episodes; the inability to meet and entertain people, including close friends and relatives; a general lack of self-esteem; and potentially strong thoughts of terminal disease, dead and suicide. Major Depression can happen as a single devastating episode often associated with a so-called "life-event" such as the death of a dear relative or close friend, or an accident leading to permanent disablement. In such cases it may pass away after proper treatment, usually by combined application of anti depressants and psychotherapy, to never appear again. However, in many instances episodes of Major Depression happen without a major life-event though some external trigger can normally be identified. Triggers of Major Depression may for example be a seemingly minor incident such as a family quarrel, or a more severe incident such as chemical poisoning. Also, there are many cases where this type of depression occurs more then once during a patient's lifetime.
In a way Dysthymia is the less severe of the two mentioned types of depression as the usual symptoms of depression described before commonly occur in a weakened form and are less debilitating. However hard it is for her the Dysthymia patient usually is still able to live her life and to pursue her work (although it costs her much effort), while someone suffering from Major Depression may not even be able to leave his bed in the morning. In other words: The Dysthymia patient does not function properly – the Major Depression patient may not function at all. However, the downside of having Dysthymia rather than Major Depression is that the former is a chronic disease that may need constant treatment during a patient's life. Also, Dysthymia patients often experience one or more episodes of Major Depression on top of their Dysthymia disease during their lifetime.
While Major Depression and Dysthymia are closely connected but different types of depression they have in common that they are both types of depression that can be treated very successfully. The usual treatment for both types of depression includes anti depressants, talk therapy and a change in lifestyle towards proper nutrition, sports and selected recreational activities, etc. Treatment does possibly though not necessarily result in a cure of the disease, i.e. the disorder never reappears after treatment is stopped. In any case it does definitely lead to an increased standard of living as there will be prolonged episodes without disease. Thus, while both types of depression are severe mental disorders they have lost lots of their threatening potential due to today's medical achievements.
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