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Answers To Curing Anhedonia/numbness/apathy, No. 1


itstrevor

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Hellp everyone, its my first post but i have read almost whole thread.

Why is everyone suggesting ssri as a cure for anhedonia when internet is full of reports for ssri induced anhedonia and everyone on paxilprogress are suggesting to quit ssri to cure anhedonia

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Well anyone suggesting an ssri for anhedonia is an *****. Most psychiatrist are idiots and will recommand ssri for anhedonia saying that anhedonia is part of depression and studies shows that ssri are good for depression. But quite honestly, there is nothing more ridiculous than psychiatry. Ssri may be good for ocd, anxiety and overly emotionnal depressive but certainly not anhedonia.

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I too think ssri are not the way to go for anhedonia, but i think serotonin plays a major role in appreciation of things. I remember that, while i was on prozac, i actually enjoyed going to the cinema with friends and tought "so thats why people keep asking me to go to the cinema". In the end, i have the feeling it might have actually caused the anhedonia. Or, i might have got used to the "new me" and when the prozac eternal half life finally made it leave my body, i tought it changed me in that anhedonic being i am now. I dont know and for the moment i wont risk trying fluoxetine again. Anyway, MDMA is a serotonin releaser(ne and da too, and oxytocin as a consequence) and it probably is the nearest thing to being cured, talking from experience. I would say it is the ultimate form of wellbeing, while it lasts, and after well, i wouldnt reccomend it

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Shortly after that I went back on Wellbutrin for like 8 weeks then around March 15th I took myself off it all of of frustration of seeing no results from meds. Since then, I realize that I don't think I responded to any of the meds I've taken over the last three year.... Maybe the depression doesn't go away for some...it's like being told you have cancer for the rest of your life, it probably won't end your life but you'll feel sick from now on until you die..

Hi James,

First, I am sorry you are in such a hopeless place, but I have to compliment you on your analogy to being diagnosed with cancer that will make you feel sick from now until you die. That is perfect.

Second, please don't give up! At least not yet, There are too many options available and even more new meds in the pipeline.

I've lived with depression and anxiety for the last 40 years. Some good periods, but they've never lasted and the last 5 years have been the worst. My reason for living has been my daughter. Last year, I started counting the years until she graduates from high school & then college so I have something to look forward to - and that something was suicide.

Like you, I've taken many meds that have not worked - at freaking all! Frankly, drinking lots of coffee in the morning, smoking, and shoveling bad carbs in my mouth at night have been more effective than any of the meds. Until a few weeks ago.

I'm on Wellbutrin XR 450 mg/day now. I've taken the non-extended version of it at lower doses in the past and it did nothing but make me feel crazy - crying one minute, laughing the next, and then raging angry. I reluctantly agreed to try it again to quit smoking only because it is now offered XR and my occasionally forgetting the pill at night was what led to the crazy making effect. I took 150 mg for 2 weeks. All it did was zone me out and make me feel indifferent. I was about to flush it but decided that before doing that, I'd up the dose to the max. I don't know why I tried it because I really had accepted the hopeless state was permanent. Whatever the reason, I am grateful I did. The difference was obvious within a few hours and it was dramatic.

I've been on Wellbutrin XR 450 mg/ day (1 am dose) for a month, and I am happy, optimistic, focused. Anxiety? Negligible. Seriously! I still like my morning coffee but I don't crave nicotine or carbs anymore - that is truly miraculous.

Here's my two cents. If the meds you've tried have not worked at the dose you've been prescribed, have you tried the maximum dose before discarding? For me the difference between 150 & 450 mg of Wellbutrin has been life altering, but I'd bet money if I had told my doc the 150 wasn't working, he'd have just taken me off of it.

You must be your own patient advocate. There are many meds available and each has a different mechanism of action. Some cause the release of a neurotransmitter, others inhibit the reuptake of a neurotransmitter, others do a host of other things. SSRI's always seem to be the first meds an MD wants to try, but DUH, if your depression isn't caused by a serotonin deficiency the SSRI ain't going to work.

Try to be objective and ask yourself if any med helped a little bit. Did you take the max dose? Find out what its mechanism of action was and then search the web for other meds that operate on the same neurotransmitter. REFUSE to accept defeat. If you're doctor doesn't know what to do with you, suggest alternatives you find, see if you qualify for any clinical trials, get a new doctor ... Anything but resignation & defeat is better than the alternative.

Please keep us posted. And remember, you are a badass so seize control, kick some ass and refuse to be a prisoner!

Best, Pam

Edited by Pamalamadingdong
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I would appreciate it if a good amount of people could answer these questions. Thanks in advance!

Does anyone ever feel like they are about to cry but can't?

Has anyone had moments where they have cried, but only lasts up to a minute and as soon as it stops it was if it never happened?

I'm also curious if anhedonia causes DP/DR or if anhedonia is apart of DP/DR Disorder?

Do others on here feel like they are disconnected from themselves (look at old pictures and don't feel like that's you)?

Does anyone feel like they don't/can't judge anyone anymore? (Like I used to go to the mall and simply enjoy people watching, but everyone is the same to me now.)

Do most of you never feel a sense of relaxation?

If I have a long, hard day at work I doubt feel relieved to get home and lay down.

When this first started I was obsessed about finding a cure. Now I just do it to pass time.

Do you ever feel bored? (When I think of boredom I think of feeling agitated that I'm not doing something productive. Like I feel motivated to do something other than what I am doing, but undecided on what to do.) I never feel bored anymore, but I never feel not bored if that makes sense haha.

Last question you don't have to answer. This one is a little more personal, but important.

Do you feel the orgasm during sex/*************? I get the full sensation down there, but I don't feel it throughout my body or in my head. Instantly when I'm done I don't get that relaxed feeling afterwards. Also don't feel a need to do it anymore.

...I'm thinking about becoming a Monk.

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Hi, i can pretty much understand all of what you said and have similar experience. I often feel like i should cry but i cant most time. I have depersonalization but not derealization.i have no sense of self at all. I cant judge people anymore because when you judge them you are compairing them to you. But when you have no self, you cant do that. I also never feel a sense of relaxation but also no anxiety there. I feel bored all the time but cant say we could call this boredom. Boredom is when you are bored of something and you are looking to do something else but with anhedonia its pointless to do something else because it will be the same thing. The orgasm i feel while sex are pretty weak bur i can feel it. However there is no mental excitation.

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Yeah nighthawk, that's basically this anhedonia in a nutshell. Looks like you have the exact same spectrum of symptoms. It seems from my research that it returns to normal (see the timeline). Even extrapolating my vitamin D levels over time indicates a return to baseline within 2 years (to hit normal/mid-range).

It shouldn't be permanent, but sometimes it takes a very long time to normalize.

Nobody should suggest SSRIs to help with blunting - that is really stupid in the majority of cases (like prescribing caffeine for insomnia). SSRIs can eliminate anxiety and anxiety perpetuates anhedonia, but so do SSRIs.

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Keep in mind that simple "downregulation" or "desensitization" of receptors is most likely not a permanent issue (see picture below from the DEA, for example), nor are neurotransmitter levels (for example, my catecholamine levels returned to normal after having been elevated to 3x normal levels). Hormones are most likely not the issue (in my case anyways, as shown by my lab tests). I don't believe that this syndrome is caused by neurotoxicity or physical brain damage (many have had brain scans done with no pathological findings). This syndrome is responsive to many drugs of abuse such as stimulants (only temporarily with these drugs as they do develop quick tolerance and can actually prolong the healing process) and to ECT (temporarily). Many have reported the anhedonia lifting after periods of time ranging from weeks to 3 years. As far as I am concerned, the case is closed as to whether or not this is permanent

receptorrecovery.gif

IF YOU DO FIND YOURSELF RECOVERED PLEASE REPORT BACK TO THE THREAD AND POST YOUR SUCCESS! THIS GROUP NEEDS IT!!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by itstrevor
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I was put on risperidone at the age of 15 . Took it for one year. Then was put on luvox (ssri ) which i took for one year.

I have felt emotionless from the day i went to a psychiatrist and was prescribed risperidone.

I think i am permanently damaged becouse i was drugged with powerful antipsychotic and ssri at such a young age.

What can be done now. Is it all over

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Hi, quite honestly i am in the same situation as you. I was put on paxil at 15 for one year and havent been able to feel emotions for the last 12 years. Psychiatry is mostly big scam destroying people life. Honestly i am not looking for drugs to fix this because its not a neurotransmitter problem but a receptor problem. I am more interested in trying dbs which bypass the receptors.

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Honestly any psychiatrist should get a bullet in their head for giving such drugs to kids. They have no idea what harm they are doing to people. Psychiatry is the terrorism of the soul. They are only looking to destroy it.

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So iamnumb , you hevent felt emotions for 12 years. But people here say that emotions are recovered within 3 years max. Have you tried anything for it . Can u please tell me your history.

My sister keeps crying and tells me thet she feels her brother is dead.

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Hey i did try a few meds that didbt work at all. I did try to be more active and build a life, that also didnt work. I tried exercising and tons of supplements which didnt work. I also tried alternatives therapy like ayahuasca, san pedro and john of god in brazil. Nothing helped at all, complete loss of time and energy. Not only that the anhedonia just got stronger and stronger over time. I used to have small windows....not anymore. This is pure hell and torture all that because of the existence of psychiatry. How long is it since you have anhedonia? Maybe your brain will recover naturally with some time. I know mine wont, its just too stubborn.

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More good news is akathisia, a feeling of "restlessness" and a strong urge to "keep moving" abates after medication is stopped, and sometimes takes a few months to abate (seems like a sort of vague description given by the medical community and I have to wonder if this is basically just anxiety). More hope that this will abate as well.

Read around, I have seen people healing 100% after months or years.

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My akathisia definately wasn't caused by anxiety. I experienced it 5 years ago when I tried Abilify (as an augment strategy for a misdiagnosed depression) for the first time. Pure hell and torture for five long days. Completely impossible to sit down longer than 3 seconds. Very exhausting and disturbing experience. It's a VERY physical sensation and probably dopamine related. My doctor warned me in advance but said it was "normal". Lots of people go through it for a couple of days when starting Abilify. It is the only thing I ever experienced that, if it would last for months on end, I'd say is worse than my longterm anhedonia.

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Shortly after that I went back on Wellbutrin for like 8 weeks then around March 15th I took myself off it all of of frustration of seeing no results from meds. Since then, I realize that I don't think I responded to any of the meds I've taken over the last three year.... Maybe the depression doesn't go away for some...it's like being told you have cancer for the rest of your life, it probably won't end your life but you'll feel sick from now on until you die..

Hi James,

First, I am sorry you are in such a hopeless place, but I have to compliment you on your analogy to being diagnosed with cancer that will make you feel sick from now until you die. That is perfect.

Second, please don't give up! At least not yet, There are too many options available and even more new meds in the pipeline.

I've lived with depression and anxiety for the last 40 years. Some good periods, but they've never lasted and the last 5 years have been the worst. My reason for living has been my daughter. Last year, I started counting the years until she graduates from high school & then college so I have something to look forward to - and that something was suicide.

Like you, I've taken many meds that have not worked - at freaking all! Frankly, drinking lots of coffee in the morning, smoking, and shoveling bad carbs in my mouth at night have been more effective than any of the meds. Until a few weeks ago.

I'm on Wellbutrin XR 450 mg/day now. I've taken the non-extended version of it at lower doses in the past and it did nothing but make me feel crazy - crying one minute, laughing the next, and then raging angry. I reluctantly agreed to try it again to quit smoking only because it is now offered XR and my occasionally forgetting the pill at night was what led to the crazy making effect. I took 150 mg for 2 weeks. All it did was zone me out and make me feel indifferent. I was about to flush it but decided that before doing that, I'd up the dose to the max. I don't know why I tried it because I really had accepted the hopeless state was permanent. Whatever the reason, I am grateful I did. The difference was obvious within a few hours and it was dramatic.

I've been on Wellbutrin XR 450 mg/ day (1 am dose) for a month, and I am happy, optimistic, focused. Anxiety? Negligible. Seriously! I still like my morning coffee but I don't crave nicotine or carbs anymore - that is truly miraculous.

Here's my two cents. If the meds you've tried have not worked at the dose you've been prescribed, have you tried the maximum dose before discarding? For me the difference between 150 & 450 mg of Wellbutrin has been life altering, but I'd bet money if I had told my doc the 150 wasn't working, he'd have just taken me off of it.

You must be your own patient advocate. There are many meds available and each has a different mechanism of action. Some cause the release of a neurotransmitter, others inhibit the reuptake of a neurotransmitter, others do a host of other things. SSRI's always seem to be the first meds an MD wants to try, but DUH, if your depression isn't caused by a serotonin deficiency the SSRI ain't going to work.

Try to be objective and ask yourself if any med helped a little bit. Did you take the max dose? Find out what its mechanism of action was and then search the web for other meds that operate on the same neurotransmitter. REFUSE to accept defeat. If you're doctor doesn't know what to do with you, suggest alternatives you find, see if you qualify for any clinical trials, get a new doctor ... Anything but resignation & defeat is better than the alternative.

Please keep us posted. And remember, you are a badass so seize control, kick some ass and refuse to be a prisoner!

Best, Pam

This is key...I was on Wellbutrin and it did get me out of bed in the morning however it amplified my anxiety...Focalin which is similar but a lot cleaner gave me all of the positives of dopamine but without the side effects...If anyone here ever did illegal drug which you snort Focalin is very close but not as intense but last a lot longer and no crash..I did coke years ago and loved it until it wore off..Focalin is the much like illegal drug in terms of confidence,eurphoria,no anxiety whatsoever and motivation up the wazoo...but no crash or depression afterwards..it's truly amazing..

Edited by trapped77
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Keep in mind that simple "downregulation" or "desensitization" of receptors is most likely not a permanent issue (see picture below from the DEA, for example), nor are neurotransmitter levels (for example, my catecholamine levels returned to normal after having been elevated to 3x normal levels). Hormones are most likely not the issue (in my case anyways, as shown by my lab tests). I don't believe that this syndrome is caused by neurotoxicity or physical brain damage (many have had brain scans done with no pathological findings). This syndrome is responsive to many drugs of abuse such as stimulants (only temporarily with these drugs as they do develop quick tolerance and can actually prolong the healing process) and to ECT (temporarily). Many have reported the anhedonia lifting after periods of time ranging from weeks to 3 years. As far as I am concerned, the case is closed as to whether or not this is permanent

Have you looked at this research paper "Prolonged Post-Treatment Genital Anesthesia and Sexual Dysfunction..." http://www.benthamscience.com/open/towhj/articles/V001/1TOWHJ.pdf

Specifically this passage:

"Permanent changes in serotonin transmission physiology manifested by diminished sexual behavior have been reported in murine models following neonatal or adolescent SSRI exposure and hence, it is biologically plausible that ananalogous alteration of serotonin receptor neurophysiology might persist in adult humans."

Doesn't it seem to suggest that this might be permanent after all?

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So I found a research study at ClinicalTrials.gov. by Mclean hospital for anhedonia and healthy individuals. They are actively recruiting. It is called Brain Mechanisms of Emotion and Motivation. It says " the purpose of this study is to investigate how the brain processes emotions and the way these processes affect behavior. It's two sessions, 7.5 hours and you do game-like tasks using a keyboard. They test saliva, blood and do a fMRI (brain mapping). I don't qualify because of the low dose medication I'm on but,I think it would be great to have a fMRI of my brain. Maybe someone else would be interested. Here is the link.

http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01850472?term=Anhedonia&rank=7

Edited by Tingles
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Tingles I might be interested in this, pretty far from where I live though. I was going to suggest that somehow we all get together and form a research study of sorts.

Iamnumb I know you've been interested in deep brain stimulation. There is a DBS trial for anhedonia, but it's for people with schizophrenia (you could pretend).

http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01725334?term=anhedonia&rank=20

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nighthawk37, a research study group would be good. There needs to be more research on this condition. Here is a response I got from a neuroimaging research facility that does fMRIs.

"It sounds like a difficult condition!! The scanning that we do here is for research purposes with very specific stimulus to show specific brain activity. I will ask some people i know that may have a project that is looking for people with your condition. fMRI is a challenging technique to build an experiment for and it usually requires scanning several people who's data is merged in order to get enough signal to even see changes. I will see if i can find anything useful for you."

I think structurally the brain probably looks normal in people with anhedonia but I wonder if it would be different functionally with regards to emotions and rewards.

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nighthawk37, a research study group would be good. There needs to be more research on this condition. Here is a response I got from a neuroimaging research facility that does fMRIs.

"It sounds like a difficult condition!! The scanning that we do here is for research purposes with very specific stimulus to show specific brain activity. I will ask some people i know that may have a project that is looking for people with your condition. fMRI is a challenging technique to build an experiment for and it usually requires scanning several people who's data is merged in order to get enough signal to even see changes. I will see if i can find anything useful for you."

I think structurally the brain probably looks normal in people with anhedonia but I wonder if it would be different functionally with regards to emotions and rewards.

Not always. There are some case series where they found lesions. structural changes are also commonly seen in older people with melancholic depression.

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