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:
Dysthymic Disorder (Dysthymia) presents with a chronic feeling of ill being or lack of interest in activities that were formerly enjoyable, but to a lesser level than that required for Major depression. In addition, the symptoms have to have been present for at least two years either continually or episodically (off and on). There may be periods of well being that last no longer than several weeks, and normal moods that last no longer than several months. A major depression may be superimposed on a dysthymic disorder, in which is colloquially called a "double depression".
Unlike major depression, in which clients are unable to function socially or in the work setting, those with Dysthymic Disorder are able to work and function, although at a less than peak performance. They never present with delusions or hallucinations. The depressions are less severe than major depression, and these patients may occasional laugh and even enjoy themselves, although their support system still can become frustrated with the ongoing expressions of habitual complaints, and upsets over stressors that others have no problem with. Approximately 50% of patients with Dysthymia recover, while those with "double depression" recover at a rate of 32%.
Dysthymia generally occurs during early adulthood, although it can also occur in children and adolescents. Its onset is gradual, so it is difficult to accurately pinpoint the exact time when it begins.
Treatment for Dysthymic Disorder begins with chemical anti-depressants. There are a number of different classes of antidepressants, including the tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, monamine-oxidase inhibitors to name a few. Each class acts differently upon the body, offering the person a wide variety of options that can be tried in order to control their depression.
Psychotherapy is also utilized to help the patient in a number of areas. These include learning about their disorder, learning to view themselves and their situations more realistically, and to improve their interpersonal relationship skills. This therapy may be conducted in individual, family or group settings.
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