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arcentaus

Anhedonia is new to me, but it's rapidly getting worse - advice?

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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.

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Hiya, I'm 19 and currently attending university. I kinda have the same feelings, I consider myself passionate about stuff like music, animation, games and film and stuff, but I really don't ever actually engage with the stuff I say I love. A lot of the time I'll find something really worth while to spend my time on, only to get nervous and anxious about doing it. Most of the time I just end up doing really low effort activities like watching long analysis vids on YouTube that I just sorta tune out, maybe while playing a game that doesn't require a lot of thought. I tend to just lay around and smoke garden shrub a lot, and eat candy or pizza or whatever. It's really depressing a lot of the time, I so badly want to create and do stuff, and I think about ideas all the time that I congratulate myself for coming up with, but I never execute on . If I do get myself to work on something like art, I can almost never do it for an extended period and I get worn out and frustrated. And beyond this it's not like I'm using my energy for my class work either, I pretty much do the minimum requirement for whatever I can get away with unless I find it really interesting. I don't see the friends I have very often either and I tend to feel pretty isolated. I can still definitely get happy and sometimes excited about things, but I feel sometimes like I'm just phoning it in. I spend a lot of time just looking at myself in mirror wondering why I look so blank and expressionless, even when I'm smiling.

**** that got a lil down, anyway I just wanna say that I at least sort of understand where you're coming from, and while to be honest I don't really know what I'm doing either, I still think it's worth trying to make improvements where you can. I guess try not to beat yourself up for where you are or how you feel, or that you have a hard time changing things. Most of the time this kind of thinking is sorta cyclical and just reinforces a mental narrative, and it can make you feel worse.

Anyway,

****, it's not fun dude. But it'll get better. It might be worse sometimes, but there's always at least some small thing that's nice to focus on, and everything changes eventually. Even if you have a hard time feeling like you can change stuff, every day you'll get a little more context and understanding, and I at least find that little comforting.

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