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:
"I can't seem to stop snacking," said Linda, in our phone session. "And I can't figure out why. I don't overeat during meals, but then I snack on things that I don't need to be eating. I've had this issue on and off since adolescence and I want to resolve it."
"Linda, right now, take yourself back to the last time you snacked. See if you can tune into what was going on and what you were feeling."
"It happened a lot this last weekend. I had some work I needed to get done I didn't want to do it. Snacking is a way of putting it off for a bit."
"So you were in resistance to getting the work done, is that right?"
"Yes, that's what was going on."
"What is the feeling inside when you have to do something you don't want to do?"
"I feel trapped."
"Do you often feel trapped in your life?"
"Now that you are asking - yes! I feel trapped a lot. I feel trapped in this job, which I don’t like. I feel trapped when my husband asks me to do things. I often feel trapped by our money situation. I feel trapped when I have to answer email. Sometimes I even feel trapped by my children's needs."
"Is this when you snack?"
"Yes! Now that I’m thinking about it, it's always about getting out of feeling trapped for a few minutes. But then I end up feeling trapped in my body because I don't like what I weigh!"
I knew exactly what Linda was talking about, as I used to feel trapped in my life a lot, and I had also learned to turn to various addictions to resist feeling trapped. Whenever I saw something as a "have to" rather than a "want to," I felt trapped.
"Linda, I know the sensation of feeling trapped and wanting to find some way out. What I've learned to do is to shift my thinking from telling myself that I 'have to' do something, to seeing it as an opportunity to love myself and others. When I shift from 'have to' to asking "What is my opportunity to love right now?" the trapped feeling goes away and the resistance dissolves.
"For example, right now, imagine opening your email and asking yourself, 'What is my opportunity to love right now?' What comes to mind?"
"The first thing that comes to mind is that I can send out kind and caring emails to the people who are reaching out to me."
"What do you usually tell yourself when people reach out to you?"
"I feel annoyed that now I have to answer them."
"How does it feel to tell yourself that this is an opportunity to be kind and caring?"
"Wow, it's amazing! When I tell myself that I have to answer them, the first thing I want to do is get up and snack. I can see that telling myself that I 'have to' sets me up for feeling trapped and resistant. But when I tell myself that this is an opportunity to be kind and caring, I feel great and I look forward to answering the emails. I think that if I can remember to do this every time there is something I need to do, I will probably be able to stop snacking."
None of us like to feel trapped, and many people go immediately into resistance the moment they feel trapped. When you choose to see each situation in your life as an opportunity to love, and you open to learning about what would be loving, you will no longer feel trapped.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!
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