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Excellent Info On Anhedonia Treatments


jaiho

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I'm starting to feel the only thing that will truly treat Anhedonia are controlled substances.

Normall i don't advocate self medicating, but psychiatry has seemed to have failed severe form of Anhedonia & feeling a full range of emotion. SSRI/SNRI/MAOI/ Anti psychotics all blunt emotions.

I've found the following information & reports, specifically Ibogaine that is used in severely desensitised reward patients (drug addicts)

One glowing report: *link removed*

Here's a compilation of treatments:

1. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). The theory here is that in prolonged stress (also physical or chemical damage

 

), one of the “links” in the brain is disrupted. This link is between the amygdala (your alarm center) and the prefrontal cortex (the “you” that can tell your alarm center to STFU). It seems that this link is quite delicate and destabilises easily. Once down, it is prevented from coming back “online”… its job is to shut up the amydala, and with the link “down” the amydala has unfettered ability to yell “alarm”. This creates a vicious circle of MORE stress, which ensures the circuit remains down…

…interestingly this is why electroshock seems to be so effective (however the side effects are devastating). The seizures induced seem to “stimulate” the link into coming back online. Of course, that’s like doing surgery with a hammer… so, enter rTMS. This technique uses powerful magnetic pulses to – via the magic of physics – stimulate a very small electrical current in a precise area of the brain. The current is JUST enough to make neurons spontaneously fire. rTMS treatments daily for 4 weeks can cause the resurrection of the “offline link”:… and a subsequent cure in anxious or depressive behaviours. I’ve had this and it was indeed the thing that “cured” me. It’s not fringe science (mine was administered by the McGill University neuropsych department) and it’s very very interesting. And, in fact, it’s really pleasant! For half an hour after treatment (which is painless and relaxing) you are a Zen grand master… a profound peaceful feeling is upon you. And, oddly, a craving for coffee…

 

2. Low-dose psychedelics. No, I’m not being weird here… the curative abilities of psychedelics are well-documented and have been noted since the 1960s. Specifically, low-dose psilocybin (magic mushrooms) provoke neurogenesis (neuron birth) in the hippocampus. This is significant since the hippocampus shrinks in profoundly depressed and anxious people (this is behind some of the memory issues). Short term low-dose psilocybin has been shown both in rats and humans to cause ‘fear extinguishment’, i.e. cessation of the nervous response when exposed to a trauma trigger. I can vouch for this being of considerable benefit for me right now. MDMA and LSD also have effects, although slightly different applications… LSD is known to weaken depression and addictive/compulsive behaviours, and MDMA was one of the most effective tools in psychoanalysis until it was sadly banned as a party drug. Even today MDMA is now being re-trialed for use reducing fear of death and depression in terminally ill patients. Single or intermittent use of N,N-DMT (also known as just “DMT”) is also known to be of benefit – this one, personally, completely cured fear of dying on my first go.

 

3. Ibogaine. This is a psychedelic but a very unusual and interesting one. It has a number of effects on a number of receptors, with stunning and profound results. One of its uses is in drug addiction, where it is up to 20x more effective than traditional detox programs,. The OTHER use – which is intertwined with the anti-addictive effects – is in non-psychotic depressive disorders.

Its multi-pronged action simultaneously resets opiate receptor tolerance; floods the brain with dopamine, leading to re-regulation of disturbed dopaminergic effects such as anhedonia; has profound NMDA inhibitory effect (which is a whole new area of anti-depressive research right now, and also allows you to “re-process” traumatic memories); is a stimulant (cures brain fog and lethargy); is an SSRI (cures depressive behaviours); and last but not least, it upregulates production of BDNF. BDNF is a growth factor which causes neurons to “re-sprout and repair”… think a bare tree growing new leaves. Further, taking the full “flood dose” of 25mg/kg gives you a fascinating 20 hour trip in which you have unparalleled access to all your memories (thanks, NMDA inhibition) and can literally re-visit and gain insight into any part of your life. This has been called “2 years of intensive therapy in 1 day”.

Ibogaine can be dosed as the hallucinogenic “flood dose”, but that requires medical preparation, a minder, and is quite rough as a trip – expect nausea and ataxia. However it’s rewarding enough that many people do it once a year just for the incredible insight into one’s self that it brings.

However the way I tend to use it is the “microdose”. This is a 50mg dose per day, in a 7 days on, 3 days off pattern. The dose is not psychedelic at this point. You don’t notice it affecting you at all, but it IS there doing its work.. and by Week 2 you will definitely notice significant improvements in many aspects . If you’re interested in learning more, I wrote an entire treatise and protocol manual on this and can share it with you.

 

4. Ketamine – scientists at Yale University released some amazing data on this in 2012. Its mechanism of action is simply as a short-acting (30-45 minute) but intense NMDA inhibitor. Its effect is immediate – complete cessation of depressive and suicidal traits. And this, in people who had tried and failed to respond to conventional SSRIs! Further, one very small dose produces these effects for up to SEVEN DAYS. Part of this is that it, too, induces BDNF (Google Image search “ketamine bdnf” for a really cool image as to how this made rat axons grow back).

 

5. The methylation cycle. This is also a huge area of research, and has to do with B-vitamins. It turns out that almost half of Caucasian people are partially or severely unable to produce enzymes that assist in “methylating” things. Specifically, folate is unable to be methylated to the active form 5-MHTF, and/or homocysteine cannot be converted to methionine. These errors occur via silencing of genes, specifically MFTHR and BHMT. The net effect is that over 600 different metabolic processes are affected, especially those relating to DNA synthesis, epigenetic methylation, and manufacture of dopamine, seratonin and SAMe.

This is a little tricker to fix as you have to know your genetics. You can’t just pop a single pill – because if (like me) you have issues on MTHFR, MAO-A and BHMT, taking folic acid will lead to an excess of unmethylated folate; taking just 5-MHTF will lead to depletion of B12; taking just B12 will lead to a buildup of homocysteine, etc. You need to address ALL the weak points in the cycle. In my case this means supplementing with 5-MHTF (methylfolate), P-5-P (B6), methyl-B12, SAMe, riboflavin (B2), benfotiamine (B1), DL-phenylalanine, and trimethylglycine. Fortunately all these are pretty damn cheap.

Failure to address ALL of these at once will cause knock-on issues that will, generally, make you feel like complete . But the good news is that since I’ve started this last month, my condition has been slowly but steadily improving. It turns out that many cases of treatment-resistant depression, memory issues, mood instability, and PTSD are caused or heavily influenced by methylation cycle faults. It’s definitely worth a try. To find out what genes may be at fault, get a $99 genome scan from 23andMe (good for many reasons!) and then download the raw data and feed it into GeneticGenie or Promethease.

 

6. I cannot stress enough that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBS) and/or practising “mindfulness” is as critical as any drug. You MUST pay attention to this. The effects are both psychological and biological. Any and all treatment programs are not complete without this. And indeed I’ve found doing this was the key to finally starting to unwind it all…

That’s my basic braindump on this subject I hope it helps.

I’ll say it again, though: DO NOT TAKE RACETAMS IF YOU ARE ANXIOUS OR SUFFER FROM DIAGNOSED OR UNDIAGNOSED NERVOUS OR MENTAL ILLNESS. I would suggest that the problems people here are noticing (erectile issues, memory issues, anxiety issues) are actually just worsening of existing illness. All of those symptoms are hallmarks of depressive and nervous conditions.

This worsening would have been caused by the hyperarousal state induced by upregulated acetylcholine… which in turn was triggered by use or overuse of racetams. This would also neatly explain why symptoms fail to improve when the racetam is stopped – mental illnesses rarely fix themselves once triggered, for reasons I’ve begun to cover above"

Edited by Natasha1
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To be honest I am not sure I am in favor of self medicating with illegal drugs but point 1 really caught my attention. I spent most of my young life in fear and anxiety with an emergency mentality about everything. Everything was an emergency and had to be done in a hurry or else was how I ran my life. I took a job that added stress as well my home life was not the greatest and then some health issues piled on top of that my stress and anxiety went through the roof. I started to show classic signs of a nervous breakdown with constant agitation and bursting into tears for no reason. And then one day I just snapped but in a good way. I became as you say, was this you or someone else, well regardless, I became a zen master. I was profoundly peaceful about everything in my life. I still had issues but none of it bothered me. I stayed that way joyfully for almost 10 years when I got triggered back into an even worse severe depression than I had ever known. Well I had skirted it on occasion but was able to get out. This time I could not just turn it off. No so sure about the fear but the anxiety was definitely back but I would say maybe not as bad as before but I also don't have as stressful a life as I did before so I can't honestly say if they would be back as badly as it had been. Anyways, I have been trying to understand what happened and this is the first I ever came across possibly understanding why. Where did you get this info from? The link you posted seems to be related to point 3.

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  • 2 years later...

Good information, jaiho. I have been suffering from anhedonia/emotional numbness for about 16 years. It started with a stressful situation which resulted in my developing symptoms of depression with emotional numbness being the most bothersome symptom. I was put on an SSRI (zoloft) for 6 months and when I stopped it, the emotional numbness (and consequently the anhedonia) became a lot worse. I feel I should not have taken the SSRI in the first place but by then the damage was done. I tried taking other SSRIs and Tricyclics but I wasn't able to tolerate any other meds and the anhedonia just stayed and became chronic over the years. I felt cut off from feeling the ups and downs of life (in essence lost my emotional range) and nothing was able to give me relief. I came to realize that healthy emotions are really the foundation for our conscious experience of life and something we inherently depend on to navigate through every moment in our lives and for decisions we make, big and small. Without emotions, it feels like just being in a 3D movie where all you can do is silently observe time passing by without being able to participate in life. I also deal with severe panic and anxiety as a result of my blunted emotions. I have tried various alternative treatments, increasing my exercise, exposure to sun etc but nothing has helped over the years. Couple of years ago, I tried Ketamine IV administered by a psychiatric doctor since it has helped some people with treatment-resistant depression but it did not help improve my symptoms. I briefly felt more emotional when the drug was in my system so that gave me a little bit of hope but I always returned to baseline about an hour after the infusions. So no lasting effects from that. I have also tried things like Lithium, Buprenorphine, Adderall and TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) and none of them have helped me feel better. My doctors have given up on me since I have not responded to anything. It also not clear if I have classic depression or some sort of dissociation/PTSD which have similar symptoms to depression. I certainly cannot feel sad or the desire to cry (I wish I could). The only thing that makes me feel some emotions is alcohol but it also increases my anxiety and insomnia so I have to use it carefully. I'm now doing research on psychedelics and microdosing, which I have stumbled upon more recently in my search for a solution. I have never done recreational drugs of any kind before, so I plan to tread very carefully here but I might try microdosing with one of the psychedelics to see if it helps improve my severe anhedonia. But since my anxiety and panic can be triggered very easily I'm skeptical if I will be able to tolerate the psychedelics. If you have any thoughts or advise for me, please do share. Thanks for your informative post!

Edited by SonnySkies
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  • 3 weeks later...

I'll have to strongly disagree with you on this one Jaiho. Since the end of August to beginning of september, my anhedonia has had such a great reduction to the point where my emotions are practically fully intact and the only noticeable thing now is the sexual anhedonia. If you look back at my old posts, I was in a similar situation as you all. I think going back to school and having my mind stimulated, and having a positive outlook has contributed to this. I stopped taking medications and supplements long ago, which in general did nothing for me.

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On 16 January, 2015 at 7:25 PM, jaiho said:
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I'm starting to feel the only thing that will truly treat Anhedonia are controlled substances.

Normall i don't advocate self medicating, but psychiatry has seemed to hav form of Anhedonia & feeling a full range of emotion. SSRI/SNRI/MAOI/ Anti psychotics all blunt emotions.

I've found the following information & reports, specifically Ibogaine that is used in severely desensitised reward patients (drug addicts)

One glowing report: *link removed*

Here's a compilation of treatments:

1. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). The theory here is that in prolonged stress (also physical or chemical damage

 

), one of the “links” in the brain is disrupted. This link is between the amygdala (your alarm center) and the prefrontal cortex (the “you” that can tell your alarm center to STFU). It seems that this link is quite delicate and destabilises easily. Once down, it is prevented from coming back “online”… its job is to shut up the amydala, and with the link “down” the amydala has unfettered ability to yell “alarm”. This creates a vicious circle of MORE stress, which ensures the circuit remains down…

…interestingly this is why electroshock seems to be so effective (however the side effects are devastating). The seizures induced seem to “stimulate” the link into coming back online. Of course, that’s like doing surgery with a hammer… so, enter rTMS. This technique uses powerful magnetic pulses to – via the magic of physics – stimulate a very small electrical current in a precise area of the brain. The current is JUST enough to make neurons spontaneously fire. rTMS treatments daily for 4 weeks can cause the resurrection of the “offline link”:… and a subsequent cure in anxious or depressive behaviours. I’ve had this and it was indeed the thing that “cured” me. It’s not fringe science (mine was administered by the McGill University neuropsych department) and it’s very very interesting. And, in fact, it’s really pleasant! For half an hour after treatment (which is painless and relaxing) you are a Zen grand master… a profound peaceful feeling is upon you. And, oddly, a craving for coffee…

 

2. Low-dose psychedelics. No, I’m not being weird here… the curative abilities of psychedelics are well-documented and have been noted since the 1960s. Specifically, low-dose psilocybin (magic mushrooms) provoke neurogenesis (neuron birth) in the hippocampus. This is significant since the hippocampus shrinks in profoundly depressed and anxious people (this is behind some of the memory issues). Short term low-dose psilocybin has been shown both in rats and humans to cause ‘fear extinguishment’, i.e. cessation of the nervous response when exposed to a trauma trigger. I can vouch for this being of considerable benefit for me right now. MDMA and LSD also have effects, although slightly different applications… LSD is known to weaken depression and addictive/compulsive behaviours, and MDMA was one of the most effective tools in psychoanalysis until it was sadly banned as a party drug. Even today MDMA is now being re-trialed for use reducing fear of death and depression in terminally ill patients. Single or intermittent use of N,N-DMT (also known as just “DMT”) is also known to be of benefit – this one, personally, completely cured fear of dying on my first go.

 

3. Ibogaine. This is a psychedelic but a very unusual and interesting one. It has a number of effects on a number of receptors, with stunning and profound results. One of its uses is in drug addiction, where it is up to 20x more effective than traditional detox programs,. The OTHER use – which is intertwined with the anti-addictive effects – is in non-psychotic depressive disorders.

Its multi-pronged action simultaneously resets opiate receptor tolerance; floods the brain with dopamine, leading to re-regulation of disturbed dopaminergic effects such as anhedonia; has profound NMDA inhibitory effect (which is a whole new area of anti-depressive research right now, and also allows you to “re-process” traumatic memories); is a stimulant (cures brain fog and lethargy); is an SSRI (cures depressive behaviours); and last but not least, it upregulates production of BDNF. BDNF is a growth factor which causes neurons to “re-sprout and repair”… think a bare tree growing new leaves. Further, taking the full “flood dose” of 25mg/kg gives you a fascinating 20 hour trip in which you have unparalleled access to all your memories (thanks, NMDA inhibition) and can literally re-visit and gain insight into any part of your life. This has been called “2 years of intensive therapy in 1 day”.

Ibogaine can be dosed as the hallucinogenic “flood dose”, but that requires medical preparation, a minder, and is quite rough as a trip – expect nausea and ataxia. However it’s rewarding enough that many people do it once a year just for the incredible insight into one’s self that it brings.

However the way I tend to use it is the “microdose”. This is a 50mg dose per day, in a 7 days on, 3 days off pattern. The dose is not psychedelic at this point. You don’t notice it affecting you at all, but it IS there doing its work.. and by Week 2 you will definitely notice significant improvements in many aspects . If you’re interested in learning more, I wrote an entire treatise and protocol manual on this and can share it with you.

 

4. Ketamine – scientists at Yale University released some amazing data on this in 2012. Its mechanism of action is simply as a short-acting (30-45 minute) but intense NMDA inhibitor. Its effect is immediate – complete cessation of depressive and suicidal traits. And this, in people who had tried and failed to respond to conventional SSRIs! Further, one very small dose produces these effects for up to SEVEN DAYS. Part of this is that it, too, induces BDNF (Google Image search “ketamine bdnf” for a really cool image as to how this made rat axons grow back).

 

5. The methylation cycle. This is also a huge area of research, and has to do with B-vitamins. It turns out that almost half of Caucasian people are partially or severely unable to produce enzymes that assist in “methylating” things. Specifically, folate is unable to be methylated to the active form 5-MHTF, and/or homocysteine cannot be converted to methionine. These errors occur via silencing of genes, specifically MFTHR and BHMT. The net effect is that over 600 different metabolic processes are affected, especially those relating to DNA synthesis, epigenetic methylation, and manufacture of dopamine, seratonin and SAMe.

This is a little tricker to fix as you have to know your genetics. You can’t just pop a single pill – because if (like me) you have issues on MTHFR, MAO-A and BHMT, taking folic acid will lead to an excess of unmethylated folate; taking just 5-MHTF will lead to depletion of B12; taking just B12 will lead to a buildup of homocysteine, etc. You need to address ALL the weak points in the cycle. In my case this means supplementing with 5-MHTF (methylfolate), P-5-P (B6), methyl-B12, SAMe, riboflavin (B2), benfotiamine (B1), DL-phenylalanine, and trimethylglycine. Fortunately all these are pretty damn cheap.

Failure to address ALL of these at once will cause knock-on issues that will, generally, make you feel like complete . But the good news is that since I’ve started this last month, my condition has been slowly but steadily improving. It turns out that many cases of treatment-resistant depression, memory issues, mood instability, and PTSD are caused or heavily influenced by methylation cycle faults. It’s definitely worth a try. To find out what genes may be at fault, get a $99 genome scan from 23andMe (good for many reasons!) and then download the raw data and feed it into GeneticGenie or Promethease.

 

6. I cannot stress enough that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBS) and/or practising “mindfulness” is as critical as any drug. You MUST pay attention to this. The effects are both psychological and biological. Any and all treatment programs are not complete without this. And indeed I’ve found doing this was the key to finally starting to unwind it all…

That’s my basic braindump on this subject I hope it helps.

I’ll say it again, though: DO NOT TAKE RACETAMS IF YOU ARE ANXIOUS OR SUFFER FROM DIAGNOSED OR UNDIAGNOSED NERVOUS OR MENTAL ILLNESS. I would suggest that the problems people here are noticing (erectile issues, memory issues, anxiety issues) are actually just worsening of existing illness. All of those symptoms are hallmarks of depressive and nervous conditions.

This worsening would have been caused by the hyperarousal state induced by upregulated acetylcholine… which in turn was triggered by use or overuse of racetams. This would also neatly explain why symptoms fail to improve when the racetam is stopped – mental illnesses rarely fix themselves once triggered, for reasons I’ve begun to cover above"

Amazing info in this post thanks Jaiho.  

Edited by jay89
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  • 2 years later...

can u @jaiho tell , some information/ experience u have it for anhedonia with AGOMELATINE ......DOes it work? My anhedonia started with SSRI treatment , and remained same though my doc changed drugs to SNRI and Bupropion.  I am going to try for agomelatine...is it effective ... I also heard that Pramipex  , is useful in this?

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