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:
Pedophiles don't have signs on their backs or neon arrows pointing over their heads.
It's easier to believe that the "dirty old man in the park", rather than the clean-cut bus driver down the street, is a pedophile.
Pedophiles aren't confined to our Catholic churches. They are in Protestant churches, synagogues, and mosques. Some of them are teachers, counselors, scout leaders, truck drivers, factory workers, and youth ministers. In fact, they are wherever children can be found, irrespective of age, race, education, occupation, class, social standing, or income.
Celibacy isn't the reason priests prey on children. Sexual attraction to children, and sexual gratification from children, are the reasons.
Though there is no hard and fast profile of a pedophile, here are some general characteristics:
Pedo means "child" in Greek. Phile is a derivative of Greek, Latin, and French, meaning "love."
The Exclusive type of pedophile is attracted to children only. The Non-Exclusive is attracted to both children and adults.
A pedophile will not stop on his own, and will not turn himself in, because he does not take responsibility for his behavior and denies that he's doing anything harmful. He will abuse until he's caught.
A child not always recognizes when he or she is being abused, manipulated, or groomed by a pedophile. Unless the pedophile is a sexual sadist, he does not have to threaten a child into silence. The trust, gifts, secrecy, and "relationship" are enough. In some cases, the abuser will coerce the child into silence by saying that if anyone finds out, he would go to jail, or the child would, and maybe the child's parents. In other cases, threats to harm the child, pets, and family are used.
Pedophiles can be "treated" but never cured, because their sexual preference has always been, and always will be, children. Their urges will always be present. Therefore, treatment focuses on changing, curbing, or re-directing the acting-out behaviors of pedophiles.
Knowing the profile of a pedophile, does this mean that the little league coach who has a great rapport with kids and treats them to pizza at his house is suspect? Or that the teacher who throws pool parties is? Of course not. The majority of people who like and work with children are not pedophiles. It does mean that we should be observant of all the adults in our children's lives, whether they wear a white collar, a blue collar, or a clerical collar.
If a child tells us he or she has been sexually abused by someone, be it family, friend, or trusted adult, we are obligated by law to report it to a child abuse hotline, police, or local children's services agency.
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