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About arcentaus

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  1. I think of myself as "completely Anhedonic" fairly often, but the truth is, I still feel pleasure on occasion. In the interest of learning more about this symptom, I'm going to write them down in a list below, and encourage you guys to do something similar. Food. It's the main one, and I'm mostly talking about junk food here. It doesn't taste as good as it used to, but it still contains the slightest amount of pleasure to keep me eating it. It's very brief, though, and it's the main obstacle keeping me from good health, which is why I often wish this one were gone too. Sex. This one is less common. If I engage in some form of sex every night, odds are it'll only feel tangibly good 2-3 days of the week, and for around ten seconds before climax. Interestingly, it elevates my mood in a way that food doesn't, but only for that brief window. Music. Even less common. It used to be my passion, and I still listen to music often, but only around once every two weeks will it yield real, physical pleasure like it once did. The plus side is that it lasts for much longer than the others, though always ends in less than half an hour. A sense of understanding about my problems. Very rare. When the depression went in full-swing, I lost practically all my world-views, dreams, personality traits, and goals. Whenever I have a fledgling thought that may lead me to recovering that sense of self, it feels very good. The issue is that with lack of willpower and complexity of the topic, I never come close to rationalizing it out, and the opportunity is wasted. And that's it. Another thing of note is that while these things feel good, they're a far cry from happiness, which I deem a state of lasting pleasure and contentment. It seems awful when looked at like this, though I've read of people with absolutely no pleasure (which I'm also interested in, if you'd like to describe it), and I am grateful for the little I manage to obtain. Do you guys still feel any pleasure? If so, please write about it below. Hopefully it will increase our knowledge about a symptom that we still know so little about.
  2. In the second half of 2014, I stopped enjoying reading. It was really weird, because since childhood I identified as a reader, and I had an identity crisis spanning two years over it. I'd chug through several classics in a row and enjoy none of them, and kept going because "You can't enjoy them all". Hell, I asked my teacher how to read Homer's poetry, because I thought I wasn't enjoying it due to reading dactyllic hexameter wrong. That panic climaxed in 2016, when I realized that it wasn't just music, but something bigger. I'd go back to old podcasts or YouTube videos, and they just weren't entertaining like they used to be. Slowly, everything around me was fading, and I was there to witness it. I got into obscure hobbies like visual novels only to stop enjoying them within a month. I remember the week that lying down in a hot shower ceased to be enjoyable. All that kept me going was music, because it gave me a window into the world of emotions. It was gorgeous - my lifeline - and even then life wasn't so bad, because I could experience all the wonder of life through my mp3 player. Then music went away. In December of last year, I enjoyed a piece of music truly for the last time, with Crying's album Beyond the Fleeting Gales. Since then, it's been empty. Not some artistic, existential emptiness with a tangible feeling of being alone and your life is pointless and yadda yadda yadda. More like non-feeling. It's tough to explain, but you know deep inside that basically nothing you do on earth will really make you feel, or provide a thrill. And it's confirmed on every occasion. For instance, I got along very well with the girl of my dreams a few months back, and it didn't feel good. Sure, I vaguely liked the fact that it happened, but there was no positive chemical reaction. Instead, I had a kind of dull headache, as if the pleasure was being blocked in my head. Last night, I had an incredible romantic dream, and I woke up with a headache. So, yeah, it's ****ed. But there are multiple ways to look at it. When I hit rock bottom, I chose the worst path. I flailed around like a dying bull, rending my heart on all sorts of forums about how it's not fair (and it isn't). What I really hoped for was some savior to come in and tell me what to do, and how to think, and so on, because life had screwed me over and someone has got to get me out of it, no? It would be wonderful if that were so, but the truth is that on issues such as these, we're quite alone - doubly so if emotional support doesn't help. The most insightful advice regarding Depression I've seen so far is "Do what you can in your situation, and forgive yourself for what you cannot do". Don't force yourself to get involved in hobbies you don't enjoy. Pick up any threads you can find for hobbies, and explore them. Check out lucid dreaming, or guitar, or whatever. If you don't enjoy it, that's okay. I used to guilt myself because I spent all day playing Counter-strike. Now, I'm at peace with it. It feels good, and I do my job, so where's the problem? That would be my take-away from Anhedonia. Not something silly like "Meaning is nonexistent because you can cease to feel it". It's funny to me now, but a month or two ago, I felt that statement whole-heartedly. The truth, as always, is more obvious than it seems: Anhedonia is a biological thing, and it affects your reason too. Life appearing meaningless is simply one facet of the myriad ways that it makes you unhappy. There's a wonderful world out there, we've just got to be in the right state to experience it. With patience and willpower, I think it will one day return to me.
  3. Is a state of complete Anhedonia (enjoying nothing but food and sex, or nothing at all, for months at a time) common? How long does it typically last for severely depressed people? My current impression is that it comes in waves amongst other symptoms, whereas for others Anhedonia is a constant.
  4. It's one of the few Depression symptoms to which most of society seems completely oblivious. When I mention my problems online, the vast majority of responses confuse it with ennui, and recommend that I simply try something new. Considering there's no good medication for it yet and so little is known about it, it seems to be rare. Is it? Even, very rare? I hesitate to say something like that, but since it's so hard to find info about it, I can't help but ask the question. What do you think?
  5. I know what you mean. Personally, the slide into it was so gradual that I didn't even know what was happening. It seemed only natural for the zeitgeist of the social media age that I should come away cold and unfeeling. And honestly, I do think that's a part of the problem, but it's far from all. When I moved houses last year, I spent two weeks with no internet reading as many classic novels as I could, and none of them let me feel anything. Only after that was I confident there was a problem. Once I figured that out, I searched my memory, and immediately realized how much sensation had slowly drained away from my life. It's so uncommon that I find the average person can't relate to it in any way. My advice is to take up meditation, improve your diet, and exercise more. If you have excessive free time, get a job. The meditation should keep you from panicking and letting negative emotions overcome you, and reaching the jhanas is something you can aspire to. Diet and exercise fix a lot of the basic physical problems, and having a job will also keep your mind occupied while putting aside money for when you can feel again. I'm no expert, like all of us here, that's just what has worked so far.
  6. Hi guys, I'm an 18 year-old guy about to graduate from high school, and the past few years have been tough. My biggest passion in the world - literature - abruptly stopped being enjoyable, and I fretted over that for several years. Meanwhile, almost every other pleasure I'd ever known quickly faded in the background. TV shows, podcasts, web sites, listening to a good story, talking to people, laughing, along with more obscure pleasures like the comfort you get from the sounds of falling rain, or from lying down in a hot shower. Lately, they're speeding up as well, since I've started spending my free time lying in bed. I agonized a lot these past few years, and only a month or two ago realized that it wasn't all in my head (or was, but you know what I mean). In addition to this, my passions, beliefs, and emotions have all faded to nothing, unresponsive to external stimuli. When a good thing happens, I don't feel joy, but a vague impression that something good has happened. Bad things may make me uncomfortable, anxious, or frustrated, but true sadness and anger are foreign to me. I very strongly believe that my problem is physiological in nature, and I'm seeing a doctor soon to try and get a prescription for something that affects dopamine. I'm about to start a new job (I heard it's helpful for depression) as well, and will head off to college at the end of summer, so it's really important that I do what I can and hopefully find a quick solution so I won't waste my college years like I wasted mine in high school. That said, I would really, really appreciate some advice. What are some things you wish you would've known when you first had this disease? What would you recommend I try in my situation? With the minimal amount of success stories for Anhedonia, I'm feeling quite awful right now, and any personal direction would be sincerely appreciated.
  7. I'm a student about to graduate from high school, and my problem is Anhedonia. I've gotten sick of just venting about my problem on miscellaneous sites, and now I'm dead set on finding a solution. This form of depression appears pretty elusive, and honestly, I'm scared for my future. Still, there are many things I haven't tried yet, and I'm eager to learn with all of you as we attempt to overcome our issues. So, hi!
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