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Everything posted by itstrevor

  1. Statements like "while it's only 50%" used to always make me feel as though it was a permanent condition and that I was going to be forever damaged. I don't believe that to be the case as studies show animals to be basically indistinguishable from controls at like 6-8 months after major disruptions in systems from the dopamine system to the serotonin system. I don't suggest this, but low-dose psychadelics have been proposed that work at downregulating the 5ht2a receptors (I believe they are also downregulated after ECT which, from my memory, acutely cured the condition for me at least, though I am in no position to assume that downregulation of 5ht2a is the sole mechanism by which ECT works). I really can't suggest this as it is illegal and have never tried it. Unpredictable results may follow. We do desperately need more assuring stories though. That's what I think is missing and the lack of information on the topic, avoidance of doctors, uncertainty, and anecdotal evidence drove me up the wall with anxiety and despair. I see places like PaxilProgress where success stories are proliferated (not people lying though - just honest true stories) and it seems like it has been much more helpful and we are seeing more people getting better than in a place like ssris.e.x. where people are there mostly to bring their problems that have been marginalized into the public eye (an thus they dwell on the possibility of permanent damage). I do see improvements, but I have only been off for like 15 days and progress has been slow. I am hoping that after 2 months I will be in a content state of mind, but I might fall into the 6-8 month category :/
  2. When I get my computer back I'll start compiling a guide/book for free download with everything important condensed in it to prevent people from having to read like 65 pages. Really it gets better, but it doesnt improve when anxiety perpetuates it - and anxiety can arise from clueless doctors or uncertainty about the condition
  3. The reason that "depression" is so confusing is that most people adhere to a really outdated paradigm where things aren't really well-defined. It was developed in an era before people had any clue what they were talking about and believed baseless theories made on whims like many of Freud's psychoanalytic theories
  4. Okay so this is day 9 off of sertraline for me I believe and will be day 9 off meds completely. Sometimes I get an urge for a little Xanax or Ritalin. I notice I craved Ritalin weeks ago, but now I am increasingly craving Xanax. I will not use it. If I am exceedingly lucky, anhedonia will lift this week. If I am lucky it will lift within 2 months. If I were to guess I would say it will lift within 6-8 months If I am unlucky it will take 1-2 years. This is based on how long I am seeing it take for other people. I get a palpitation here and there, notice increased tongue biting and irritability, a bit of anxiety, and an urge to eat to get that relaxing feeling from carbohydrates. No brain zaps or diziness or anything. I sometimes see some progress, but it's pretty gradual.
  5. L-phenylalanine did nothing for me. Hyperforin is one of the main active chemicals in SJW. Unless there is something I'm missing, NDRIs downregulate receptors and transporter expression. I'd really advise against it, but sometimes people can't rest easy until they have tried everything
  6. SJW tonically increases serotonin, and, to a lesser extent, DA and NE. Seems like it would just behave like a weak antidepressant which blunts mood. Parnate increased all 3 and it didn't help me.
  7. These are studies of ssri users and users of other serotonergic agents such as XTC. This seems to be confirmed by first hand accounts as well. I'm confident ill get better with an estimated 4-24 month time frame and abstinence.
  8. Please don't do XTC though. It's a damaging drug
  9. I don't think that it is necessary and I really wouldn't do it personally. I really have to be careful what I post here. I really do feel that the changes produced by SSRIs are reversible by abstinence. Even animals exposed to XTC overdoses chronically (a drug with neurotoxic effects and also more potent on serotonin than SSRIs) show recovery in the 180-300 day time frame. I am discouraged by reading negative stories where people say they have this thing for years, but it just doesn't seem to be permanent from my reading of scientific studies. At 180-300 days animals are indistinguishable from controls (rodents and primates) in behavior serotonin levels and density of SERT as well as receptor density. I've heard tons of accounts of recovery within the 2 month - 1 year timeline and I'm almost certain that if I remain abstinent from these drugs and medications I'll recover all the way too. Ifelt irritable today but I had a big dinner and now I don't feel irritable - especially after arming myself with knowledge. Also, it's not like I'm 100% anhedonic. I see small changes day to day and I still do things and enjoy things in a blunted but not completely terrible way most of the time. I'm going to be fine
  10. It seems to me that drugs are of little use so I guess I'm going to have to just wait it out and pray it gets better :( Unfortunately most people just won't "get" what it is like to have anhedonia or even how it is different than feeling depressed. I know the difference. I've been depressed, anhedonic, and anxious so I know how to distinguish. I still have remaining hope in the stories of success from people I've known and met and that helps me get through. Without it I don't know what I would do. This thread severely needs hope and stories of success. Not success over depression, anxiety, or other disorder. Success over having felt numb for months or years - with and without medications. Success over protracted symptoms. If someone posted their experience it would really help a lot of people.
  11. I had 11 bilateral ECTs while on Parnate. I thought to myself "I'm so sick of this I'm going to blast it out of the water with everything." I noticed no differences after 11 bilateral treatments, and I really hate anesthesia and everything, so I stopped. I got a few momentary windows of normalcy lasting minutes a week after my treatment. After that, I became severely anxious as if the ECT triggered a cascade of events that all the sudden made Parnate react bad with me. They found my catecholamines to be 3x normal levels (dangerously high) and told me to get off Parnate ASAP. I got off with the wrist withdrawals of my life and was hospitalized (again). The only thing that got me through was support, belief that it would improve, and zoloft which reduced/blunted the anxiety. I stayed on zoloft for a while and recognized the blunting in the absence of anxiety or depression again, so I weaned off my 50mg dose by about 0.33mg/day and here I am - a week drug free. How am I doing? It's hard to say. I feel really shtty right now, but i woke up okay I guess (not "back to normal" though). The only thing that helps get me through without the SSRI blunting my worries is hope that it will improve. I don't know if it is permanent but I don't think so. I'm scared honestly and some days I feel dead and like I would literally cut my arm off to be able to feel like I used to. Dealing with doctors is frustrating because they are dismissive, call it obsessive, or doubt that this even exists. I tell my doctor about an example "I did such and such activity and I felt disappointed because I didn't feel good at all like I know I should or would have" COMMON RESPONSES: "If you really didn't feel anything you wouldn't be talking about it" "These are symptoms of depression maybe you need (insert mood blunting medication here)" "Exercise" "Avoid using words like should or ought to" "Maybe try therapy (in therapy we only talk about activities that are ways to "cope with" but not address the issue or skeins only deal with controlling anxiety)" "It seems like you are feeling things fine to me"
  12. 5ht2c produces anxiety and isnt generally considered a "happy" receptor
  13. Also, buspar produces mostly tonic firing of 5ht1a, not phasic, so you will feel some effects but not as strongly. It's sort of like expecting a dopamine agonist to make you really high
  14. MJ can produce anhedonia after chronic exposure and ECT can work on anhedonia as well, but for me the effects were not long lived (though there is no way to tell if this was because of parnate). Whether or not ECT has longer term effects depends on the doctor. I had no side effects or memory issues whatsoever. I am seeing a gradual return of hedonia but it isn't as fast as I'd like of course. My mental state isn't uncomfortable so I think it's just a matter of time and abstinence for me.
  15. Phasic 5ht1a signaling is associated with increased oxytocin and dopamine release as well as anti- anxiety effects. 5ht2c receptors increase anxiety and inhibit dopamine. Chronic ssri I treatment results in lower activity in the VTA. Buspar's anti anxiety effects are thought to come from it's 5ht1a agonism, and drugs like E (which cause a lot of problems including anhedonia) may get it's pro-social effects from these receptors. Remember, phasic is different than tonic. Ssris downregulate all serotonin receptors as well, but these receptors upregulate after treatment ends.
  16. It seems that I am seeing a few people saying they returned to "normal" after a couple of days of discontinuing their antidepressant, a ton saying 2-6 weeks, a few saying 2 months, a few 1-2 years, and the rest seem to randomly get better at some point years down the road. My main beef with doctors is their dismissive attitude towards the thing. I keep hearing things like "it may or may not get better" "we dont know" "let's not focus on that let's focus on the depression/anxiety" and so on and they expect it to just be okay with patients. Perhaps they don't understand how difficult it is to feel trapped within one's own mind without any understanding of what's really going on or assurance that it will ever get better. Any sort of objection to it is labeled "obsessive. " Studies seem to acknowledge reversal of apathy from ssris after discontinuation. Discontinuation syndrome occurs only when an ssri is tapered too quickly (one study demonstrates this to be true while another showed that discontinuation syndrome was much more likely in drugs with shorter half lives). Users of E note the ability to roll again after about 2 months discontinuation of an ssri (though E produces problems due to oxidative stress which SSRIs do not). Studies have also shown that the principle adaptive change produced by chronic ssri use is decrease in serotonin transporter density - apathy is not due to neurotoxicity or excitotoxicity. It has been shown that the brain also produces much less serotonin during chronic ssri treatment, but it returns to normal after gradual discontinuation.
  17. I think it's absolutely important to know that it is going to be okay and isn't a permanent problem. I think that if I knew what I do now back 2 years ago this thing would be gone by now. I wouldn't have started taking meds for "depression" in an ill- informed attempt at reducing the blunting (doctors don't tend to know much about blunting or fob it off) and I wouldnt have had the anxiety of having the possibility of it being permanent. Many people think that I could have just "stopped thinking about it" or "stopped focusing on it," but it was inherently draining and that advice, while administered with good intentions, made me feel frustrated and misunderstood, adding to the anxiety while desperately looking for answers and for hope at finding an end to the torment. I could not rest easy without assurance that I would make it out. It's like telling a paralyzed patient "just stop thinking about it" "you are focusing on it too much" "it may or may not permanent we don't know but don't feel uneasy about it and let's focus on treating something more important. " Doctors don't understand that comments like these are extremely unsettling especially to patients who don't know any better or are just looking for answers to an obviously terrifying state of being
  18. Well I saw my psych today and told him that I was off my sertraline. He seemed taken back by it and surprised that I could have come off of it without becoming anxious or anything. No withdrawals. No problems. I took it slow and steady and I knew from studies showing that prozac produced less rebound or discontinuation problems than paxil that this was most likely the case. Now that I have been off of sertraline for a few days I feel highly blunted. My guess is that this is from downregulated receptors. Word of mouth (which isn't always reliable) seems to indicate most people re-regulate receptors in 1-2 months. My doc said the same, but, like all the psychs I've dealt with, is sort of dismissive about the numbness/anhedonia and tells me to "try not to focus on it." I agree, but it is still an important issue. I guess I should hope for the best and expect the worst.
  19. This is going to be one s***ty waiting game but it's the only thing I really have left to do at this point -.- It kind of sucks because I meet cute girls and KNOW I like interacting with them but FEEL NUMB and NOTHING. I know getting frustrated just makes me more numb and anxious. It's really difficult to learn how to just "let it happen" and not get those "negative energy spikes." It has always scared me reading the horror stories of people left like this for years on end. I pray that I do not have the same fate.
  20. Dopaminergics are very fun on acute administration because they peak interest and reward anticipation while also potetiating reward and reward salience, but THEY DO QUICKLY FORM A TOLERANCE TO THIS EFFECT. What comes up must come down. If you don't come down the brain compensates with forming a tolerance. It is fun though while it lasts. Then it's worse than before. I would especially advise against amphetamines
  21. Okay I am on no sertraline now. I'm not on anything. Now I'm just going to wait. I have no anxiety or depression. I'm hoping the anhedonia will gradually fade. A quick word about dopaminergics - for me the antianhedonic effect quickly forms a tolerance within a week and leaves me more simulated, but irritable. In many people including myself, it causes problems. Increased anxiety can induce anhedonic symptoms similar to those felt on an SSRI. I use ritalin like maybe one a month as break in small amounts, but chronically, it seems to do more harm than good. Web ritalin or other simulats kick in, I feel less anxiety and less anhedonic, but after they wear off, negative symptoms are amplified greatly for about 5 times as long as the benefits were felt.
  22. Okay so my understanding is this. There is anticipation of pleasure, and then there is a termination of the pleasure loop. The dopamine spikes potentiate and cause pleasure anticipation, and then there is the reward itself which terminates the process (otherwise the loop just hangs in anticipation and ends up causing anxiety if the anticipation is not satisfied). You can anticipate pleasure while still being anhedonic. I'd say that on the Depressed-anhedonic-Anxious spectrum I am more depressed when I lose motivation and am in that "just sit there" state. When I am anhedonic it is harder to become motivated but I am blunted to the annoying heaviness that comes along with doing things. I take that back, sometimes when I am so blunted that nothing matters I feel like "what's the point?" and don't do anything. Most of the time I do things anyways - most of them highly ambitious to just bide my time. I am currently on about 4mg of sertraline. Still no w/d effects or return of anxiety. Focalin is a stimulant similar to methylphenidate (Ritalin). In my experience Ritalin worked for like 2 hours, then caused a crash. It also formed a tolerance quickly, raised heartrate, and seemed to be more trouble than helpful in any way. I really think that elimination of the factors that perpetuate anhedonia and then acceptance and patience are key. I know someone who was prescribed ADHD medications and was in a blunted state for 2 years, dropped the meds, and got better. I would also like to mention that I have given Inositol a try after reading that it helps by resensitizing serotonin receptors. I didn't try it long, but for acute exposure it did very little if anything useful, possibly made thinking more fuzzy and possibly made me feel worse (more blunted and irritable - maybe placebo?). Top Ramen had a much bigger anxiolytic effect than inositol (for me anyways). For me the self-regard and feeling of sadness was a feeling of self-regard and regard/closeness to others which manifested itself in emotional sensitivity. I felt really connected, alive, and good. It was self-soothing. I think that anhedonia is really just failure to terminate the pleasure response properly. The anticipatory spikes fire but without the soothing/termination of the loop. Crying, orgasm, and feeling good are all soothing and seem to be almost the same sort of feeling. I think there is a sort of distribution of people when it comes to recovery with a peak at 1-3 months recovery time and 80% recovered at like 1 year or 2 and the rest pretty much recovered within 5 years (usually due to polydrug use, stress, or other factors).
  23. Also, I would like to know all of those people out there in college that I no longer support the educational system in the United States. Just to add to my disdain for the educational system - a friend of mine was asked an ambiguous question on a homework assignment. What is cos(195 degrees)? Seems simple enough, right? The only problem was that there were no parentheses in the possible answers provided, so the only way to arrive at an answer was to go through every iteration of possibilities to arrive at one that might work. This is just a one-time thing, right? Just a slip up in the system. NO. In my time at university this type of bulls*** was an ongoing problem and is simply unacceptable. Many professors make regaining points lost this way unreasonably difficult and/or impossible. After all, you are just a college student and lucky to simply "be graced by having been accepted at ____ campus." This is a repeated problem that I went into excruciating detail about in a link I think I posted somewhere here to my collegeconfidential thread. This type of thing produces baseless feelings of inadequacy in students which, after chronic exposure, can lead directly to anxiety disorders, extreme stress, and depression (this is not a baseless claim and studies among university students back this up as well). THINGS LIKE THIS REALLY pi** ME OFF BECAUSE THERE IS NO ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM AND ANXIETY/STRESS/DEPRESSIVE DISORDERS RESULT FROM THIS SORT OF CHRONIC BULLs***. TWO people I know had their transcripts lost at CSUCI. Students are forced to sign that if they are dissatisfied with the service provided, even after paying for education, there are no refunds. This type of thing would be unacceptable in almost any other industry.
  24. Yeah it is definitely improving as I taper at the appropriate rate.
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