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:
When being in love means putting up with his relentless name-calling, you are involved with the verbally abusive man.
When most of your comments are edited, in fear of how he might respond, you are involved with the verbally abusive man.
When you excuse his erratic temper, permit his put-downs, or endure his version of the "silent treatment", you are involved with the verbally abusive man.
When you believe that you can work with him to somehow change his behavior with the hope that he will treat you with respect, you are involved with the verbally abusive man.
When you have come to believe that you are truly all of the terrible things he has called you, including ugly, fat, selfish or stupid, you are involved with the verbally abusive man.
And when his name-calling has caused you to risk your emotional and physical health, or you have come to hate yourself, then you are absolutely involved with the verbally abusive man.
Maybe you are reading this article because you are tired of being mistreated by your partner, who seems to go out of his way to leave you feeling angry, frightened, humiliated or depressed. If this is the case, then this article is intended for you. If you are a family member or a friend of the concerned party, this article will require brutal honesty about their situation, for what follows is intended for you as well.
Before continuing further, let me state clearly that the act of verbal abuse is not confined to the males, as quite the opposite is true. In actuality anyone is capable of verbally abusing another, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or for that matter, the nature of the shared relationship. This means that a husband can verbally abuse his wife, a girlfriend can verbally abuse her boyfriend, or a significant other can verbally abuse his or her partner. It is perhaps for this reason alone that I consider the act of verbal abuse to be an equal opportunity destroyer - a destroyer of self-esteem, of inner happiness and most important, of ones own sense of self. Sadly however, women in particular seem to have born the brunt of this insidious form of mistreatment, most commonly at the hands of their male partners. This is in large part due to long lasting, albeit misguided societal norms that have relegated women into unfair subservient roles, which have allowed men to act out harmfully. And while times are changing, the issue continues to be lopsided.
Abuse in the prism of personal relationships can be a terrifying word. It whips up mental images of someone physically harming their defenseless victim in order to inflict maximum harm. In fact when heard in this context, we decisively shun it, turning our attention elsewhere and believe that, "It couldn't possibly be happening to me." But if you are truly honest about your situation - honest about the names you have been called, honest about the cruel way he treats you, then the word abuse will take on a whole new meaning.
After a period of time, persons involved with the verbally abusive man go on to develop a serious condition, which I have termed, "Verbal Abuse Syndrome". Regardless of the nuances of their specific relational stories or whether their time spent with the loved one was long, short or ongoing, these victims share one common bond. Verbal abuse syndrome does not mean having a mental defect, or having a life threatening illness, or being infected with some viral microbe. It means, in reality, that being verbally abused over the course of time eventually begins to emotionally wear a person down, progressing to the point that the victim ultimately loses their self-esteem. It means that the person actually begins to believe that something is truly flawed with their individual character and that they are all of the horrible things that they have been called. It means living in total fear and acquiescing to a harmful partner's' brutal behavior. Finally, it means living with immense guilt and hates oneself.
So how do you know if you are suffering from verbal abuse syndrome? Consider the following twelve characteristics and compare them to your own situation.
Should the traits and characteristics listed above speak to your own personal situation, then it may be time for help. There are many resources to aid victims of abuse cope with their feelings and emotions. Some of these include the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Other resources include therapists trained in the issue of verbal abuse or other similar professionals. What is important is that you start to reach out and begin to repair the damage that has been inflicted upon you. Keep in mind that verbal abuse does not exist in a vacuum, meaning there are usually other behaviors that accompany the angry words and actions being directed at you. Some of these behaviors include physical abuse and outright violence. Other behaviors may include alcoholism or drug abuse. Be sure to share this with the person you are working with so that they understand your entire situation. Like I tell my clients, when you reach out, you are really reaching in.
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