Autism Spectrum Disorders

 

The following information was extracted from the National Institute of Mental Health website.

     

What are Autism Spectrum Disorders?

 

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), also known as Pervasive evelopmental Disorders (PDDs), cause severe and pervasive impairment in thinking, feeling, language, and the ability to relate to others. These disorders are usually first diagnosed in early childhood and range from a severe form, called autistic disorder, through pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), to a much milder form, Asperger syndrome. They also include two rare disorders, Rett syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder.

 

Common Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders

 

Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behaviors in their child. In some cases, the baby seemed "different" from birth, unresponsive to people or focusing intently on one item for long periods of time. The first signs of an autism spectrum disorder can also appear in children who had been developing normally. When an affectionate, babbling toddler suddenly becomes silent, withdrawn, self-abusive, or indifferent to social overtures, something is wrong. 

 

What is bipolar disorder?

 

Bipolar disorder is a serious brain illness. It is also called manic-depressive illness. People with bipolar disorder go through unusual mood changes. Sometimes they feel very happy and "up," and are much more active than usual. This is called mania. And sometimes people with bipolar disorder feel very sad and "down," and are much less active. This is called depression. Bipolar disorder can also cause changes in energy and behavior.Bipolar disorder is not the same as the normal ups and downs everyone goes through. Bipolar symptoms are more powerful than that. They can damage relationships and make it hard to go to school or keep a job. They can also be dangerous. Some people with bipolar disorder try to hurt themselves or attempt suicide.People with bipolar disorder can get treatment. With help, they can get better and lead successful lives.

 

Common Symptoms of Bi-polar Disorder

 

Bipolar mood changes are called "mood episodes." People may have manic episodes, depressive episodes, or "mixed" episodes. A mixed episode has both manic and depressive symptoms. These mood episodes cause symptoms that last a week or two-sometimes longer. During an episode, the symptoms last every day for most of the day.Mood episodes are intense. The feelings are strong and happen along with extreme changes in behavior and energy levels. 

  • People having a manic episode may:

  • Feel very "up" or "high"

  • Feel "jumpy" or "wired"

  • Talk really fast about a lot of different things

  • Be agitated, irritable, or "touchy"

  • Have trouble relaxing or sleeping

  • Think they can do a lot of things at once and are more active than usual

  • Do risky things, like spend a lot of money or have reckless sex.
     

People having a depressive episode may: 

  • Feel very "down" or sad

  • Feel worried and empty

  • Have trouble concentrating

  • Forget things a lot

  • Lose interest in fun activities and become less active

  • Feel tired or "slowed down"

  • Have trouble sleeping

  • Think about death or suicide

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