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jaiho

Meditation Seems To Really Have An Impact On Anhedonia

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So since NSI-189 stopped working for me, i read some glowing reports on the impacts of Meditation.

Now i always thought it was spiritual mumbo jumbo, never bought into it, and have always been a worshipper of Science.

Until i saw these studies...

 

An area of interest is the Anterior cingulate, a part of the Frontal cortex, that processes emotions, which seems to be a key area in Anhedonia.

This area of the brain is underactive in depressed / Anhedonic people.

Interestingly, SSRIs further reduce blood flow to this area, which is a theory behind why SSRIs can cause emotional numbness.

 

http://ijnp.oxfordjournals.org/content/ijnp/5/2/147.full.pdf

 

 

 

An example of such an area is the anterior cingulate. A recent study suggests that regional brain metabolism, as measured by positron emission tom- ography, is reduced in the anterior cingulate of depressed subjects when compared to non-depressed subjects (Kennedy et al., 1997). This cortical region is associated with emotional expression, regulation of affect, and is modulated by dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and cholinergic systems. Increases and decreases in cingulate activity have been reported during depression and following treatment (Kennedy et al., 2001). Rather than restore normal function to this area, SSRI administration has been shown to further decrease activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (Ebert and Ebmeier, 1996).>

 

Here's where Meditation comes in. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4341506/

Short-term meditation increases blood flow in anterior cingulate cortex and insula

 

So i gave it a go myself. I'm using basic mindfulness, concentrating on the breath, and focusing on physical sensations and letting thoughts flow past, without focusing on them.

i do this 30 minutes a day, and as i've gotten better, i have gone up to an hour in a flash, as it becomes quite pleasurable when you enter that "Zen" state.

 

The results so far, are colours are much brighter, my sense of smell has increased drastically, as well as physical pleasure & taste.

Basically all my senses have enhanced. The world feels more real, closer to pre Anhedonia. I'm about 2-3 weeks in, and ive heard other glowing reports of it opening emotional flood gates by a certain point.

 

Give this a try people! It's free, you just need to set aside some time everyday, make it a routine, and as you get better at it, you will get results!

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So since NSI-189 stopped working for me, i read some glowing reports on the impacts of Meditation.

Now i always thought it was spiritual mumbo jumbo, never bought into it, and have always been a worshipper of Science.

Until i saw these studies...

 

An area of interest is the Anterior cingulate, a part of the Frontal cortex, that processes emotions, which seems to be a key area in Anhedonia.

This area of the brain is underactive in depressed / Anhedonic people.

Interestingly, SSRIs further reduce blood flow to this area, which is a theory behind why SSRIs can cause emotional numbness.

 

http://ijnp.oxfordjournals.org/content/ijnp/5/2/147.full.pdf

 

 

 

An example of such an area is the anterior cingulate. A recent study suggests that regional brain metabolism, as measured by positron emission tom- ography, is reduced in the anterior cingulate of depressed subjects when compared to non-depressed subjects (Kennedy et al., 1997). This cortical region is associated with emotional expression, regulation of affect, and is modulated by dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and cholinergic systems. Increases and decreases in cingulate activity have been reported during depression and following treatment (Kennedy et al., 2001). Rather than restore normal function to this area, SSRI administration has been shown to further decrease activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (Ebert and Ebmeier, 1996).>

 

Here's where Meditation comes in. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4341506/

Short-term meditation increases blood flow in anterior cingulate cortex and insula

 

So i gave it a go myself. I'm using basic mindfulness, concentrating on the breath, and focusing on physical sensations and letting thoughts flow past, without focusing on them.

i do this 30 minutes a day, and as i've gotten better, i have gone up to an hour in a flash, as it becomes quite pleasurable when you enter that "Zen" state.

 

The results so far, are colours are much brighter, my sense of smell has increased drastically, as well as physical pleasure & taste.

Basically all my senses have enhanced. The world feels more real, closer to pre Anhedonia. I'm about 2-3 weeks in, and ive heard other glowing reports of it opening emotional flood gates by a certain point.

 

Give this a try people! It's free, you just need to set aside some time everyday, make it a routine, and as you get better at it, you will get results!

2 years ago depression hit me in full force. I took some time off work and after a month of absolute rock bottom I scraped it together enough to go to yoga, I went almost every day sometimes twice a day and I really credit it as being one of the main things that lifted me out of that dark hole. It was a slow climb and since then I've had some rough weeks but nothing like first time.

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I've been considering taking up meditation again and this is encouraging to hear that it's worked for others. Only thing holding me back is my partner thinks it's "mumbo jumbo" and it'd be hard to relax when I know I'm being judged negatively.

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I'm sorry you have to deal with the negativity, Bolt_On.  I understand that it could cause problems.  Is there any way you could grab a couple of minutes to yourself without your partner around?  I know it's not the same as having a chunk of time but at least it is something. 

 

If have a 15 minutes recording that I can play on the subway so even if there is no other time in the day at least there is a little window. 

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I've been considering taking up meditation again and this is encouraging to hear that it's worked for others. Only thing holding me back is my partner thinks it's "mumbo jumbo" and it'd be hard to relax when I know I'm being judged negatively.

For a non spiritual person maybe try explaining it in terms of psychology instead. Visualization techniques have been empirically demonstrated to improve success at a task/goal in numerous studies. Athletes employ these psychological techniques in their training. Meditation is basically the same thing when you think of it.

I think yoga and meditation (and weight lifting interestingly enough) are very helpful for mental health because they employ deep breathing that is controlled. Very helpful for anxiety and depression.m

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Actually explaining it in non spiritual... psychological way...  a form of cognitive behavior therapy. The form of CBT that is mindfulness directed is MiCBT. So its not quite as mysterious as the word "meditation." Probably lot easier since there is a therapist to lead you thru it; as learning to truly meditate is not exactly easy in the beginning.

 

That being said.... Im not downing the theory in any way. If it helps relieve or even helps a sufferer to cope with the issues; all the better for them. I personally don't see it as the "cure" we are looking for. We DONT need to cope, we need a remission, if not a real cure. I stand by anhedonia being a chemical/structural issue in the brain. There is many that the condition was induced by chemical means with no indication of stress disorders. So being more aware of behavior reactions is not going to cut it. If it is caused by chemicals the answer has to be in chemicals. Look at structural change in the brain that can be seen in medical scans... no changing a persons outlook is going to suddenly repair that.

 

The answer is for researches get off their educated ***** and look deeper. We now have vaccines for herpes.. vaccines for certain forms of cancer.. vaccines for HIV.. with a cure right around the corner. What has the sufferers of "mental conditions" got during that time? SSRIs? Oh wow.... pills with less food restrictions at the cost of increased sexual dysfunction and increased emotional blunting?  Makes all the since to me.. take a depressed man's ability to have sex (which most men center their ego around) is definitely going to make him happier and less depressed!

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I've been considering taking up meditation again and this is encouraging to hear that it's worked for others. Only thing holding me back is my partner thinks it's "mumbo jumbo" and it'd be hard to relax when I know I'm being judged negatively.

For a non spiritual person maybe try explaining it in terms of psychology instead. Visualization techniques have been empirically demonstrated to improve success at a task/goal in numerous studies. Athletes employ these psychological techniques in their training. Meditation is basically the same thing when you think of it.

I think yoga and meditation (and weight lifting interestingly enough) are very helpful for mental health because they employ deep breathing that is controlled. Very helpful for anxiety and depression.m

She's stubborn as a mule. Not going to happen no matter how I spin it :v I guess I'll do it when I get some alone time or in the shower

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I think that last comment was directed towards me and not "her." Just because I see little chance of remission or cure doesn't mean I think it mumbo jumbo and your partner is wrong for discouraging you. Even  Im right and it has no effect on anhedonia; it has been shown to have other positive effects on the mind. Heck even Steve Jobs attributed lot his success to meditation.

Edited by been_too_long

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I think that last comment was directed towards me and not "her." Just because I see little chance of remission or cure doesn't mean I think it mumbo jumbo and your partner is wrong for discouraging you. Even  Im right and it has no effect on anhedonia; it has been shown to have other positive effects on the mind. Heck even Steve Jobs attributed lot his success to meditation.

I think you're taking things too personally. I was speaking about my girlfriend.

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Anyone struggling to grasp mindfulness i highly recommend a book called the happiness trap and an app called Headspace, very simple to follow

 

BTW Mindfulness was one of things that cured Trevor's (OP) anhedonia

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Anyone struggling to grasp mindfulness i highly recommend a book called the happiness trap and an app called Headspace, very simple to follow

 

BTW Mindfulness was one of things that cured Trevor's (OP) anhedonia

Thanks for the info.

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I've recently returned to meditating and it's been very helpful. I did it regularly for years but stopped. I started reading the book Buddha's Brain and the neuroscience behind the positive effects of meditation sparked my interest in mindfulness. I recommend the book and meditation highly to anyone. May you be peaceful and at ease.

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Loving kindness meditation has almost cured my anhedonia. When you forget how to feel others emotions, youve lost touch with yourself. An anhedonic doesnt know how other people feel and come off as being cold. Theyre not cold, theyre in their head. Stuck.

Since I began Loving Kindess meditation, I also practice twenty minutes of mindfulness, followed by observing expressions earlier in the day and attempting to put myself in that persons heart and feel what they were feeling. And its working.

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That's awesome ComingHome.

I haven't tried practicing loving kindness as yet, i found repeating the words kinda of cumbersome, i found it more relaxing concentrating on the breath and sensations. No doubt Mediation is more powerful than i expected, and from researching it, many other anecdotes of it increasing emotional responses & pleasure in daily life, both which Anhedonia completely block.

Many people give up early on when attempting mediation, expectations too high and impatience tend to cause that, but i hope people can push through and make it a routine and you will see great results.

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im going to give this a college try i have tried a few times so its early days yet but i do practice yoga every day almost tho i have found cardio workouts very effective for mental health issues 

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Im just using a simple technique of observing sensations and the breath, letting thoughts float by without judgement. Sometimes i do a guided loving kindness method.

I'm still getting great benefits from this, I highly recommend it to everyone

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Jaiho is the meditation still working for you?  I'm on day 24 now,  for me it's hard to say.   I got upset over a girl last week,  thought something positive was coming into my life again..  Fat chance

Ive also been totally ignorant to the fact I was binge drinking whole weekends.   I have been tee total this weekend and plan to continue.   Alcohol abuse can increase cortisol levels and doesn't exactly help your brain heal

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Meditation has worked wonders for me in getting emotions back. Gotta stay away from the alcohol - it kills whatever feelings you do have and amps up your baseline into a more anxious, excitatory state, releasing more cortisol and perpetuating the stress response which I think is what leads us to anhedonia in the first place.

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7 hours ago, NeatFreakmom said:

Anhedonia...how do you know if you have it?

 

You're unable to feel your positive emotions in any situation. It can also extend as far as not being able to feel any pleasure at all from orgasm or eating. Basically very little to no pleasure 24/7. There's no mistaking it. 

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