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How Did You Get Anhedonia?

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Everyone is curious and it would be nice if we could all share how we started suffering from anhedonia. Many things can cause anhedonia like stress, depression or other mental disorders and even psychiatric medication.

Although I had personnal issues all my life and I certainly believe they played a role for anhedonia, I am convinced my anhedonia was mainly caused by the ssri paxil that I took when I was 15. I NEVER had depression or anhedonia before taking that poison. I took it for social anxiety only. While I was on it, I lost ability to feel emotions and pleasure progressively. Worse, I was completely blinded and could not see what the drug was doing to me. My life and my mind was falling appart, yet in my mind everything was ok on paxil.

It is when I stopped it after one year that i regained my ability to be aware of my own problems. It is also there that I realised how paxil really messed me up. I have never regained my ability to feel emotions or pleasure after paxil. It has changed my personality permanently. No psychiatrist ever believed that, they just say I have depression. But I don't care what they think, I know better what happened to me better than any of them. I am not 100% unable to feel pleasure or emotions, but it is very limited. I do have hope that one day I can find a way to fix that problem.

It is important for people to know that psychiatric drugs can make anhedonia worse or even create it when you never had it before. All psychiatrist will ignore this, they will say that they never heard of it, that you are lying and it is impossible. But it is possible and I am far from being the only one who has been damaged by psychiatry. Psychiatry will never take their responsabilities, period. It is way too easy for them to say that what you are suffering is simply depression so they can keep on prescribing their ssris and making pharmaceutical companies very rich.

I think ssris can surely help people and they wont cause anhedonia for everyone. But they are not the wonder drugs they would like you to believe. Pharmaceutical companies have the right to publish or not to publish their studies. Some studies not founded by big pharma found that ssris are not much more effective compared to placebo. A big percentage of people on ssris will also drop them because of side effects.

In my opinion, it should be ILLEGAL to give ssris to people under 18 like they did with me. It is currently illegal in some Countries and it should be like that everywhere. People under 18 have not yet fully developped their brain and personality, why give them something that mess up personality? We tell kids to not take drugs because it is dangerous but we feed them with ssris??? It is complete nonsense.

Please feel free to share your experience about how you started suffering from anhedonia.

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I never had this before i took my first SSRI. Zoloft, then prozac. I only took them for a short period too. But i think excessive alcohol consumption triggered my depression which led me to take these drugs.

Another theory is my new job triggered it. This kind of thing can be caused by long term low level stress.

Really its hard to pick.

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Well surely stress is not good for anhedonia. However millions of people get stress and new jobs without ever suffering from anhedonia. It doesnt mean you cant get anhedonia with stress only.

It is strange that many people never suffered problems with anhedonia or low libido before taking a ssri and after they did. There are plenty of reports of PSSD and emotional numbness with ssris, sometimes lasting a long time after ssris are discontinued. And then what doctors say about this? Its just depression on another form? Bullsh!t! Lets call things the way they are, it is ssri brain damage(or brain function alteration if you prefer).

Whether or not psychiatry recognise it, ssris can do that. Doesnt mean they will do that to everyone either.

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After decades of depression, I think I just hit an overload point where I couldn't handle life anymore. I kept forcing myself to refuse suicide as an option, so this is what my mind did instead in order to cope. (Have never been on prescription medication for depression, so it's not that for me.)

If I had to trace it to a tipping point, it would be the severe miscarriage I had. Nearly died from blood loss twice; the first time because of the miscarriage the second because of the doctor's error. She was a really callous, just rude and unthinking doctor, too and the ER nurses were only marginally better. It was a horrible experience. Everything just starting sliding downhill from there into a different level of depression that I haven't experienced since I was a teen. But it's lasting longer this time.

The loss of positive (and a fair amount of negative) emotions just kinda snuck up on me. (It's one thing to not feel positive feelings joy or hope or pleasure- I had chalked those up to the deepening depression. But it's a real strange thing to have an experience happen that would normally make you angry, realize in your head "I'm angry", but not FEEL the anger that should be going with that, isn't it? That caught my attention.)

I really noticing an increased loss of emotion about the same time I noticed a loss of color visually. Has that happened to anyone else? One day I was driving my son to school and it dawned on me that the colors didn't look quite right. I chalked it off at the time to it being my imagination, it was fall, the leaves and lawn are dead, of course it's not going to be as colorful as summer. But the next spring came and then summer and the vividness of color was gone. It's like a slightly faded picture, the colors are just... off. Dimmer. There is no color blindness or anything wrong with my eyes- even had them checked. Did find one online article that briefly mentioned that severely depressed people can lose some of their perception of color like this.... so I can only chalk it up to some wacktastic new phase in this journey called depression.

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Been reading the Original thread over and over and OVER for several months now. Never bothered to register since I have nothing to offer.. obvious since haven't figured a cure out myself. Guess its time to at least say hello...

In early 2009 I lost a job of six years. Was kind of messed up in fact we showed up for work one morning to a meeting where they announced do to economy they was shifting marketing focus to South America and everyone that did not speak fluent Spanish was terminated. Too bad that we was all dumb enough to stick with the company and keep it afloat thru the worse part of the recession.

Now jump ahead to late 2009; I went to an appointment at the VA (veterans hospital) for a flue shot. The nurse was going thru the normal questions they ask you each visit... are you being abused at home, do you feel like hurting others, do you want to **** yourself, blahblahblah. I answered no to all them as usual and said only new problem I was having (im diabetic) was for about a week every evening I was having weird episodes. I would feel flush all over, light headed, short of breath and heart racing.... then it would go away after few minutes. Next thing I know; instead getting my flu shot Im sitting in front of a Psych Dr. I repeat same description (along with fact I could set my watch by it, this would happen at nearly exact same time each evening... personally I think should paid attention to that part of the symptoms.)

Well she decides Im depressed over losing the job and having a hard time finding new one and its giving me panic attacks. I basically laugh at that and argue Im not depressed.. Im not unhappy.. it sucks but Im ok with what happen. She says "ok we wont call it depression we will call it readjustment disorder" and prescribes me some pills (cant for life of me remember name right now.. it started with a C.) I think its big load of bull but being good little ex soldier I follow a "officers" orders and start taking them that night. After 4 days it had done nothing for the original complaint but I noticed a HUGE problem. I was unable to ejaculate during sex. Not just hard time doing, or took long time.. I couldn't at all. Next day same thing... she was happy but lets just say it frustrated me a bit... Since these new pills was only change in my daily life I looked them up, found at they was a ssri and that was a known side effect. I immediately flushed the pills.

Heres the funny part... I was still having the so called panic attacks, and one hit me while at the grocery store. I didn't lose conscious but came as close as you could. There was an off duty EMT there at time who came to help. He set me down and gave me a soda. The feelings went away almost immediately.... I realized something. Right before I started having the "episodes" I had started a new kind of diabetes medication. I changed timing of taking the med in comparison to when I ate.... miraculously the episodes stopped the next day. Never had one since....

A week latter I met up with my "friend with benefits" and happily I was able to ejaculate np... but oh crap there was no orgasm... I did not even know that was possible. It must be a fluke... till happen a 2nd time and a 3rd. I immediately went to see my PC Dr who set me up with urologists. He did a few tests, said nothing wrong and though hes heard of the problem they had no idea what causes.

I had no idea at time what anhedonia was nor that the lack of orgasm was the first sigh of it presenting itself. It took few years till I started understanding. Yeah there is more on how I started realizing what the issue was and how it changed my life. But doubt anyone really cares about that. Whats important is I have been full blown anhedonia for years now. It is destroying my life and not sure how much longer I can go on.

Yeah I could blame it on taking an SSRI but for few reasons I got idea that its hereditary and the pills probably just triggered what was bound to happen. Or maybe just a coincidence on timing. I just cant see how taking the pills for less than a week could cause years of this. What I do know is there was no anxiety that caused it. No drugs/alcohol use. And Im not freaking depressed (or at least have no other symptom of depression.)

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Was it celexa? Its a popular ssri. I dont think ssris triggered anything that was in you. Its not normal to not be able to orgasm, period. You never had this problem before ssris and probably would never have experienced it. Its true some people wont react like you did but some other will. Its just because we all have different brain chemestry. Its purely revolting a stupid psychiastrist prescribed you a ssri for no valid reason. They are there to make money, not to help people. Good luck trying to explain your situation to a psychiatrist now, they will just look at you really weird and ignore you. What a big joke.

Is inability to orgasm your only problem? Can you feel emotions at all? How long youve been on the ssri and how old where you?

If you look at paxilprogress, many people got over anhedonia sometimes after months or years off the drug. I am guessing you are now at year 5?

Jaiho had anhedonia from ssri and hes having some success with nsi-189, a research chemical. I will get to try it.

Its not because you have no cure that you have nothing to offer, your experience, opinions, support and theories are all valuable to everyone. The more we are here, the better it is. And there will be more and more people like you and me because ssris are being given to everyone, everywhere and often for no valid reason.

There are always more and more options available to people and im sure one day a lot of people with anhedonia will find relief. The spread of information and this forum is extremely important for that.

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By the way, doctors have no idea at all of what exactly ssris do to the brain. Yes it increase serotonin in certain part of the brain, but all the cascade of reactions that follows is unknown really, and its definetely different in every people.

We cant compare your experience with people that take acid or m@rijuana and then get full blown psychosis triggered. In that case the drug triggered something that was already in them because these drugs tend to amplify what is already going on in your mind.

Ssris dont amplify anything, they just screw up people brains. As i said no one is the same. Its pretty sure that most people wont ever get anhedonia from just one week of ssri but you did. I knew a woman that fried her liver by taking a common antibiotic years ago, she will die soon if shes not dead already. She had the one in a million reaction.

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Im 42. Never touched another SSRI after that experience.. at least not till see number people testifying a specific one has in fact cured them of anhedonia... not depression but anhedonia itself. No emotion cept anger. I now have a very very short fuse. Only saving grace is Im not violent when the fuse goes off.

Actually Im not really sure if should call it anger or extreme irritability.

Other than that... no happiness, no laughter, no sense of fear, no sense of regret/remorse, no empathy, no sadness (even at news my mother is dieing.. I feel no need to return home for last visit,) no libido to point of causing ED that even Viagra has no effect on. I know the ED is not physical because every once on blue moon I will get a full blown erection if I setup things just right (Ive learned how) but unable to keep it soon as mind wanders. Ive gone from overly affectionate personality to unable to hold hands of hug without faking it.

The worse thing is I feel totally normal. There is no melancholy, no changes in sleeping, no appetite changes, no lethargy. Cept for the anhedonia I wouldn't know I have a problem. That's why the extreme few Ive opened up to cant understand what Im going thru. They look at me like Im crazy when try explain.. Im not unhappy, I just cant be happy.

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many people with much greater stress than myself have no anhedonia..ive always been rather bored with life i guess, the older i get the worse it gets.whether i take medication or dont, still have anhedonia..what i saying is trying to figure out what caused my anhedonia is impossible and pointless tbh..i think its always been with me tbh in varying degrees.

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Over time I just slowly lost my ability to feel emotion, but in instances I can feel quite a lot, just in general I'm not very happy or anything really. I guess having depression exhausted my limited emotional capability.

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I don't really know. I guess it took off shortly after depression did, my social life became screwed, and i gave up hope of getting better. I think this last point is especially responsible, since once i heard of ECT and got approved, the anhedonia lifted somewhat. Once it failed to achieve longterm results, i lost hope again and the anhedonia returned fully.

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I'm not entirely sure what caused my anhedonia. I noticed it being more consistent in the last couple of months, but I've noticed it at certain times during the year, in the past. I only just found out the name for the 'emotional numbness' last week when I saw my therapist.

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Mine was caused by gambling related money problems probably. I lost control and while I have dealt with it already, the consequence seems to be anhedonia. I went through a period where I lost so much that I think it made me feel nothing about other things also. The numbness is here..

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On 11/9/2014 at 5:54 AM, iamnumb said:
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Everyone is curious and it would be nice if we could all share how we started suffering from anhedonia. Many things can cause anhedonia like stress, depression or other mental disorders and even psychiatric medication.

Although I had personnal issues all my life and I certainly believe they played a role for anhedonia, I am convinced my anhedonia was mainly caused by the ssri paxil that I took when I was 15. I NEVER had depression or anhedonia before taking that poison. I took it for social anxiety only. While I was on it, I lost ability to feel emotions and pleasure progressively. Worse, I was completely blinded and could not see what the drug was doing to me. My life and my mind was falling appart, yet in my mind everything was ok on paxil.

It is when I stopped it after one year that i regained my ability to be aware of my own problems. It is also there that I realised how paxil really messed me up. I have never regained my ability to feel emotions or pleasure after paxil. It has changed my personality permanently. No psychiatrist ever believed that, they just say I have depression. But I don't care what they think, I know better what happened to me better than any of them. I am not 100% unable to feel pleasure or emotions, but it is very limited. I do have hope that one day I can find a way to fix that problem.

It is important for people to know that psychiatric drugs can make anhedonia worse or even create it when you never had it before. All psychiatrist will ignore this, they will say that they never heard of it, that you are lying and it is impossible. But it is possible and I am far from being the only one who has been damaged by psychiatry. Psychiatry will never take their responsabilities, period. It is way too easy for them to say that what you are suffering is simply depression so they can keep on prescribing their ssris and making pharmaceutical companies very rich.

I think ssris can surely help people and they wont cause anhedonia for everyone. But they are not the wonder drugs they would like you to believe. Pharmaceutical companies have the right to publish or not to publish their studies. Some studies not founded by big pharma found that ssris are not much more effective compared to placebo. A big percentage of people on ssris will also drop them because of side effects.

In my opinion, it should be ILLEGAL to give ssris to people under 18 like they did with me. It is currently illegal in some Countries and it should be like that everywhere. People under 18 have not yet fully developped their brain and personality, why give them something that mess up personality? We tell kids to not take drugs because it is dangerous but we feed them with ssris??? It is complete nonsense.

Please feel free to share your experience about how you started suffering from anhedonia.

Wow! I've experienced the exact same thing you did. Anhedonia for me was caused by discontinuing Paxil (took it when I was 18). Like you, I only have social anxiety. No depression. I've never experienced anhedonia before quitting Paxil. Since then, my personality has changed for the worst. I'm very quick to anger, extremely irritable, have cognitive deficit, sensitivity to stress, depersonalization, clumsiness, severe anxiety, severe sexual dysfunction. These symp have not abated. Paxil definitely damaged my brain for good.

Doctors are certainly wrong in believing that it's depression, or a relapse of original illness or any other crap excuse. Why? Because believe it or not, the symptoms I listed above are also experienced by those quitting benzos, street drugs, alcohol, etc. Clearly, anything that changes brain's chemistry results in addiction. The person experiences PAWS (Post-acute Withdrawal Syndrome). These 2 sites describe what it is beautifully:

 http://www.pbinstitute.com/signs-paws/ 

http://drugabuse.com/library/post-acute-withdrawal-syndrome/

After staying off meds for more than 3 months with no resolution of PAWS, I decided to go back on meds again. Unfortunately, I found out that there are some (few) meds treat anhedonia , some don't, and some make it a lot worse. I feel like I'm forced to go to docs and find myself argue with them alot. This whole WD experience made me lose trust for docs. They hand out meds like candy. It seems I'll be on meds for life. 

Op, are you taking medications now or still off?

Edited by bintuae
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Btw, anyone who did not go through WD, will not understand or empathize with you that includes normal people, patients and doctors. You'll find that they'll ignore what you say or think you're lying, exaggerating. 

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