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arcentaus

Let's list the things we still enjoy (if any)

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I think of myself as "completely Anhedonic" fairly often, but the truth is, I still feel pleasure on occasion. In the interest of learning more about this symptom, I'm going to write them down in a list below, and encourage you guys to do something similar.

  • Food. It's the main one, and I'm mostly talking about junk food here. It doesn't taste as good as it used to, but it still contains the slightest amount of pleasure to keep me eating it. It's very brief, though, and it's the main obstacle keeping me from good health, which is why I often wish this one were gone too.
  • Sex. This one is less common. If I engage in some form of sex every night, odds are it'll only feel tangibly good 2-3 days of the week, and for around ten seconds before climax. Interestingly, it elevates my mood in a way that food doesn't, but only for that brief window.
  • Music. Even less common. It used to be my passion, and I still listen to music often, but only around once every two weeks will it yield real, physical pleasure like it once did. The plus side is that it lasts for much longer than the others, though always ends in less than half an hour.
  • A sense of understanding about my problems. Very rare. When the depression went in full-swing, I lost practically all my world-views, dreams, personality traits, and goals. Whenever I have a fledgling thought that may lead me to recovering that sense of self, it feels very good. The issue is that with lack of willpower and complexity of the topic, I never come close to rationalizing it out, and the opportunity is wasted.

And that's it. Another thing of note is that while these things feel good, they're a far cry from happiness, which I deem a state of lasting pleasure and contentment. It seems awful when looked at like this, though I've read of people with absolutely no pleasure (which I'm also interested in, if you'd like to describe it), and I am grateful for the little I manage to obtain.

Do you guys still feel any pleasure? If so, please write about it below. Hopefully it will increase our knowledge about a symptom that we still know so little about.

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I still enjoy:

1] Helping people who are in trouble

2] Feeding and caring for wild animals, including insects

3] Playing chess against the computer

4] Learning new things

5] Good films

 

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I enjoy nothing, but anhedonia generally reduces my ability to do things I don't like doing to begin with. For example, anhedonia makes it harder to make phone calls. I am, however, generally able to focus on doing things I used to enjoy. As a rule, if I can focus on it without wanting to scream about the fact I have to do it, it's probably something I'd enjoy doing under normal circumstances and this is how I recognize something that I "like" as well. Being exposed to something I like is generally easier to deal with as opposed to what I never did. The main downside of my anhedonia is it still affects my motivation and energy level. It's not impossible for me to do things, but it does take a lot out of me.

I used to enjoy:

  • Writing and drawing
  • Playing games
  • Talking to friends
  • Reading about things relate to my spiritual path in life
  • Watching anime
  • Listening to music

^^^^These are some things I still do even though I don't feel any pleasure associated with them. My fear is that my anhedonia is going to get worse and I could be in some bizarre early stage, but for the moment, anhedonia doesn't have any real impact on my hobbies. Before developing anhedonia, I wasn't exactly the definition of motivated and my energy levels have been pretty low all my life.

On a couple occasions, I felt like I was experiencing some level of happiness but with a form of detachment from it. This detachment prevented me from feeling like it was definitely me experiencing the happiness. It was as if my happiness was being restrained and held back by something. However, I was still able to tell it was coming from my brain, because on both occasions I felt more motivated and inspired than usual and I was smiling. Both occasions lasted for maybe 20 minutes before I returned to my poker face.

For the moment, I am still able to laugh at things I find funny.

Edited by Leora

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On 6/26/2017 at 3:32 PM, arcentaus said:
I think of myself as "completely Anhedonic" fairly often, but the truth is, I still feel pleasure on occasion. In the interest of learning more about this symptom, I'm going to write them down in a list below, and encourage you guys to do something similar.
  • Food. It's the main one, and I'm mostly talking about junk food here. It doesn't taste as good as it used to, but it still contains the slightest amount of pleasure to keep me eating it. It's very brief, though, and it's the main obstacle keeping me from good health, which is why I often wish this one were gone too.
  • Sex. This one is less common. If I engage in some form of sex every night, odds are it'll only feel tangibly good 2-3 days of the week, and for around ten seconds before climax. Interestingly, it elevates my mood in a way that food doesn't, but only for that brief window.
  • Music. Even less common. It used to be my passion, and I still listen to music often, but only around once every two weeks will it yield real, physical pleasure like it once did. The plus side is that it lasts for much longer than the others, though always ends in less than half an hour.
  • A sense of understanding about my problems. Very rare. When the depression went in full-swing, I lost practically all my world-views, dreams, personality traits, and goals. Whenever I have a fledgling thought that may lead me to recovering that sense of self, it feels very good. The issue is that with lack of willpower and complexity of the topic, I never come close to rationalizing it out, and the opportunity is wasted.

And that's it. Another thing of note is that while these things feel good, they're a far cry from happiness, which I deem a state of lasting pleasure and contentment. It seems awful when looked at like this, though I've read of people with absolutely no pleasure (which I'm also interested in, if you'd like to describe it), and I am grateful for the little I manage to obtain.

Do you guys still feel any pleasure? If so, please write about it below. Hopefully it will increase our knowledge about a symptom that we still know so little about.

I was just thinking about this very thing while sitting here bored out of my mind trying to write another healthcare appeal at work (it probably doens't help that we literally have these stacks upon stacks of medical records delivered to our desks to the point where we each have multiple 2+ foot tall stacks, but I digress).

My top pleasures I still enjoy (most of the time) are similar:

1.  Food.  That almost singular thing whereby we stimulate all our 5 main senses simultaneously, and there is variety, and we have to eat, so to a certain degree, guilt is or at least should be absent.

2. Movies/entertainment - great films or TV shows the ones that absorb you and show you something transcendent or stretching of the imagination. I think they not only evoke genuine emotions, but at their best they allow me to both get out of my head and out of the awful real world (and this is true even for really heavy, bracing films - after all, it's not me, and usually, it's not even real).

3. Sex.

4. Sometimes music.

5. Really good comedy, particularly dark but cathartic comedy.

6. my wife and kids.  They renew life.

 

I have never thought I was Anhedonic.  Just in pain. Something always clicked in me that this spectrum between pain/pleasure/happiness/peace has to be a continuum, at least for me.  My very ability itself to feel pain is oddly an evidence that I also experience the continuum that ebs into pleasure. If I am able to feel pain, then I literally can't imagine being able--at least in theory and/or in small measures--to be able to experience non-pain or pleasure, however microbial it might be.  And anyway, I can't deny that there are things that make me feel better even if that diminishes over my life. But I have to concede that what depression has wrought in me is a different paradigm of thinking

The thing about depression is, that it does take away from ALL of these and substantially so.  Sometimes, almost entirely.  It does this in myriad ways, but especially by living the past and future and with self-loathing.  And the on-going debate in my head is whether it remains 'worth it' to stay and keep living with these pleasures, given the countervailing pain.  That's strange when I think about it.  Is it 'worth it'?  I realize it makes common sense on its face in the way we conceive cost-benefit balance about almost everything and every choice.  But when it comes to life, this seems absurd to me in this sense.  I ask myself, 'I'm going on living, getting up each day (well most days) and carrying on toward what I have no idea, other than de*th, and why?  Because I persuade myself that the joy, the good outweighs the bad?'  That's stupid, I say to myself.  The relevant inquiry isn't whether pleasure or happiness outweighs the pain (although if it did, this would be an amazingly easy decision), but rather simply is the pain too much to bear at any rate?  That is, just like a person who carried an infinitely increasing physical weight upon his back would eventually be crushed to death by it, isn't' that what happens with those who choose to leave this world - their ability to cope is overwhelmed by the magnitude of the pain they feel.  If the pain passes a certain line, wouldn't true, fearless logic counsel me to end living, REGARDLESS of whether I still experienced pleasure and had happiness and even REGARDLESS of whether it was a significant amount and even yes, even if the happiness/pleasure was more than the pain.  It STILL seems to me that logically, I am only arbitrarily prolonging time in a life (that is mostly filled with pain) out of instinct, convention/conditioning and of course always the lack of motive-courage to end it finally.  I'm not glorifying or romanticizing by using the word, 'courage,' I just lack any better way of putting it.

In other words, I wonder this.  Once pain has passed a certain invisible line to the point where it somewhat defies reference to anything else and is just 'too painful,' doesn't that--or shouldn't it--end the calculus?  And here, I think I am like Camus, who concluded that nothing had meaning and that man was right to end his life in a meaningless world, but then attempted to circumvent his own unavoidable conclusion and call it 'heroic' to go on anyway because....well there really was no reason, but the fact was I think Camus enjoyed his life.  

It also makes me think of the great line in the Matrix, where Agent Smith says, (referring to viruses), 'there are levels of existence we are prepared to accept.'  That's what I feel like.  A mostly grayed-out automaton who nonetheless still feels pain. A husk. An essential nullity. 

 

Edited by gandolfication

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Things fade in pleasure as we age generally.

Some is biological, probably some neurological, and I think much is because the novelty (one of just a few primal drives are brains all crave) obviously fades.

Some things increase in a certain kind of pleasure.  The satisfaction and joy one experiences in seeing their child--or grandchild--achieve some success or happiness, for example.  A great book.  Something new in the world.  Learning something really interesting.  Perhaps looking back on a good life? Or even the good one has been part if in their life?

I can't help still though but go right back to thinking:  what difference is there if I live 1 more year, 5, 10, or 40?  It's the old starfish on the beach analogy.  It'll matter to my kids, my wife, and maybe a few others.  That is all I can think of - and since they are the most real or salient things in my life who I love, and love is the closest thing to meaning I know, I guess I stay.  On, and the supposed 'experts' and people from their experience generally all say that things can change, and in the abstract I know this to be true.

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I enjoy reading a good novel.

I enjoy talking a nice walk when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold.

I enjoy a good meal.

I enjoy laughing at something hilarious.

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I guess I would say food is still one of my pleasures but I often feel guilty about my choices.

Music is something  I still enjoy.I listen to my favorite music every day.

I also enjoy arts and crafts but that depends on my mood and the fact that sometimes my brain feels empty and I have no inspiration.

I also enjoy movies and certain tv shows.

I also enjoy spending time with family(that includes my pets because they are family)

There are days though when I can barely get out of bed.Those are the days when I can`t enjoy anything.

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Music hands down. I cant stand silence. Theres music that fits every mood no matter what ones feelings are theres a song that will go well with it. Food is weird. I love it but I can easily loose my apetite with it. Ive been getting into Bookd again! And sad but movies and tv shows i enjoy and helping the environment and animals and playing with my nephews but that's  it. Also helping others but sometimes I question my intent with that :/

 

But all that said the most important missing is passion. I have zero passion for anything to get me moving.

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I enjoy chocolate.  Since I am trying to be a vegan, I buy 100% dark chocolate powder, add it to ice cold water and then add some sucralose drops to it.  I don't consider it a "guilty pleasure" though because I've read dark chocolate has lots of antioxidants and other good things. 

Edited by Epictetus

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I enjoy food.

I somewhat enjoy meeting my friends.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

I used to enjoy

working on cars

movies/TV

music

reading

walking/exercise

meeting new people

 

Edited by duck

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sleep, if and when i ever get it (some every other day usually)

watching clouds

rain, especially heavy rains

nature, including wild animals. i love watching jumping spiders, there are so many different types here

when i feel good enough, going for a walk

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I enjoy sleeping the most. Also my dogs, my kids, plants, wildlife and nature in general as well as just about anything bad for me it seems like. This feels like a deep, black, empty hole inside of me that I'm always trying to fill up with things that make me feel something, anything, whole again for even a little while. When I first started recognizing how numb I felt I turned to drugs...so I'm a recovering addict that still slips up every now and then when I'm desperate enough.

Things I used to enjoy: music, art, writing, jewelry making, SEX, people in general, books, computer games, cuddling, poetry...the list goes on. 

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I still enjoy some things, to some extent. 

  • Listening to music
  • Watching gameplays on youtube
  • Doodling (art used to be a BIG passion of mine, and now I rarely draw... but I still like it a little.)
  • Taking walks (with music!)
  • Sleeping... the couple of minutes before you fall asleep are my favorite. If I'm not overthinking something at the time.

Unfortunately, while food used to be big on the list, it's now one of my least favorite things as I now have gastritis and can only eat bland food, and experience nausea and pain.

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 I enjoy fresh brewed coffee in the morning.

I like to see hummingbirds outside sipping nectar from their flowers at the kitchen window.

I love music.

I love to cuddle with my man.

I love to cuddle with my cat.

I love when I connect deeply with people here.

 

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Sleeping primarily.

Hanging out with my cats while watching TV in the evening.

Getting high from "that leafy stuff"--though it isn't nearly as fun as it used to be.

Crappy food, laden with sugar.

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4 hours ago, JD4010 said:

Sleeping primarily.

Hanging out with my cats while watching TV in the evening.

Getting high from "that leafy stuff"--though it isn't nearly as fun as it used to be.

Crappy food, laden with sugar.

Re: leafy stuff,

no time like the first time.

Better when things are going better and you're able to do fun things and feel hopeful in general (I think it's an amplifier of what's already there).

Space it out and use in moderation and I find it better.

But everything in life is like this, in part because the brain craves novelty as a fundamental driver.

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i still like listening to music sometimes, eating junk food, watching children play if there is a play ground around.

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I like good movies, books, quiet (which is in extremely short supply) and sleeping.
I like imagining how I can make myself better in periods like now where a confluence of desperation (necessity) and seeming belief, combined with some actions conspires to make this possible again.  And I like writing, which I've been doing a little of and may post an article on the DF later soliciting a little crowd-sourcing input for anyone interested to read.

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