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


itstrevor

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I am not surprised selegiline didn't "work" either but as I am stuck with something that needs to calm down the amygdala (SSRI) which all of it's consequences I need some "compensation". There's other areas in the brain other than the reward circuits. There's a natural reason for those to downregulate though what is there to say about those keeping up their interests like forever?

I don't expect tachyphylaxia(poop out) for parkinson-patients taking pro-dopaminergic or MAO-B inhibitors. Maybe there is but the circuit is mainly substantia nigra. I don't remember about volition but think striatum is involved.

Overall after this time I think this actually may have been helpful and MAYBE it's leading somewhere instead of me sitting in my room and becoming monomanic looking to link receptors and circuits with "lack of reward deficiency".

Except for ritalin I'd still be looking for something potentiating mu-opioid response if I wanted something for consummatoric anhedonia.

However as I went out last yesterday drunk and somewhat irritated some girl jumped up in my knee and that was reward as good as anything. It sure not as subtle as before 1994 but perhaps in some cases it's something evolutionary saying not to waste more times on (subtle) toys.

If it wasn't for selegiline I wouldn't probably have been there, and even If i had my selfesteem previously at rockbottom would have scared her away.

It didn't end well, but it was an experience.

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Lol trevor, you seem to be skeptical about pretty much any kind of treatment. Tdcs is proven to work for depression and the studies have been done by real psychiatrist. Whether it works for anhedonia/emotional numbness is different tho. This is not exactly like normal depression where you only feel negative thoughts and emotions. I find that tdcs does improve my mood, energy and cognitive functions. But doesnt really increase emotions or improve anhedonia. But mayb over time if i have a better mood the anhedonia will lift, who knows.

One thing is sure, you wont find bad things out there about tdcs because nothing bad can happen really, unlike meds which can fry your brain. Tdcs has been proven to be beneficial for the brain, it has a long term effect on the brain region where it is applied tho. It does increase myelin, which is some fat menbrane that protects neurons and makes them more efficient. The subjective effect of tdcs last a few hours or so, but in depression studies people that did the treatment for 6 weeks had effect up to one month after doing tdcs.

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Since some people have asked me about tDCS here's some links where i learnt more about it :

http://speakwisdom.wordpress.com/

http://www.reddit.com/r/tDCS

and this is the one i bought:

http://www.trans-cranial.com/tct/end-users-patients/tdcs-stimulator-products/ roughly $400

there's cheaper options like this: http://thebrainstimulator.net/purchase/ roughly $100

but i paid extra for the extra features.

It's had many studies showing its efficiency. and its not just used for depression either.

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Can I just say how comforting it is to see other people who are similar to me?

I mean, I don't mean to say that as if I'm happy others are suffering, but I find it so hard to relate to most people with depression who talk about constantly feeling down and crying when I just feel... nothing. It's comforting to see I'm not the only one.

Unfortunately, I also have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, making some of the treatments for my depression sub-optimal for my GAD. What have people who experience both GAD and extreme apathy induced by severe depression found as most effective treatments?

I've also had trouble finding therapists and (especially) psychiatrists who understand this.

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Hey there, I just saw this after my last post. I have been "feeling" this way more and more lately. It's "frustrating"? I'm not sure what word to use there. Many people always tell me that it's based off circumstance and that everyone goes through things. I know that there is a larger reason behind this, but cannot afford therapy or psychiatry, but it's tough to get motivated to help yourself when there is a lack of emotion behind you and you rarely care if you are alive the next day. (not suicidal currently, just lack of self-preservation)

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Hey there, I just saw this after my last post. I have been "feeling" this way more and more lately. It's "frustrating"? I'm not sure what word to use there. Many people always tell me that it's based off circumstance and that everyone goes through things. I know that there is a larger reason behind this, but cannot afford therapy or psychiatry, but it's tough to get motivated to help yourself when there is a lack of emotion behind you and you rarely care if you are alive the next day. (not suicidal currently, just lack of self-preservation)

I'm the same way (minus the psychiatry and therapy, but they've been completely unhelpful). Not sure what I can say other than that it seems we're not alone at least.

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Lateral Hypothalamus Damage is the theory I have concluded for myself.

After more than 9 months of having this anhedonia I have continued to live my life- work, play, etc. Nothing has changed. Every couple weeks I notice slight improvements, but now that I think about it these improvements are nothing more than me becoming used to the numbness.

For 9 months I have not desired food or water; things that we are biologically programmed to need to sustain life.

For 9 months I haven't desired sex.

For 9 months I haven't felt the love for my family.

For 9 months I have experienced little fear or disgust.

For 9 months I haven't felt any pride or regret of my actions.

Feeling tired doesn't feel the same.

Boredom does not exist.

All I want is for these feelings to return... but I don't even feel the desire for this.

If I was guaranteed that all these feelings would return tomorrow and I believed it, I wouldn't even be capable of being excited until the feeling returns.

Time doesn't seem to exist. Memories of the past don't feel like they actually happened.

Everything has to be thought out logically rather than instinctively knowing.

I'm anxiety free, but never feel like I am at peace.

What leads me to Lateral Hypothalamic Damage?

No hunger and thirst.

No sex drive.

Limited emotions.

Circadian rhythm issues.

Headaches.

Different sized pupils.

Odd feeling in one eye.

Elevated cortisol, prolactin and TSH.

Half a month until my doc sees me, hopefully will schedule an MRI. She had already done so previously, but my parents told me not to because they they have the mindset that it can be nothing, but anxiety... Once labeled with anxiety that's all it can ever be.

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Your anhedonia sounds similar to mine. Even if someone told me tomorrow i was going to be cured, i would not be able to feel any excitment. When the light is closed, you cant even see what is missing. The lateral hypothalamus is definetely implicated in emotions, pleasure, thirst and hunger. But i can guarantee you that you dont have damage to this part. Unless you had head trauma and lesions being done there. If this part is involved in your disorder, it may be shut down by some unknown mechanism but damaged? No

Psychiatrist usually dont order fmri or other brain scans, whatever you will say to them. Usually to do these, you will have to contact some center by yourself and pay for it. Even if they find that this area is hypoactive whether its on a fmri, qeeg or spect.... what the hell can they do about it? Its sure good to know how your brain is functioning, but we do have extremely limited capabilities to change brain function as of 2014. Rtms and tdcs are good stuff, but they cant access deeper part of the brain such as the lateral hypothalamus. Meds are usually useless and extremely primitive. What is left is dbs, but good luck getting dbs. There is no dbs treatment that target the lateral hypothalamus as of now. There is one that target the medial forebrqin bundle howevet which is a key area in reward process that links the vta, nucleus accumbuns and lateral hypothalamus. Probably the best possible treatment for anhedonia that exist as of now....still good luck getting it.

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hey there

after few hours of reading this, i felt like saying something.

until this very day, i didnt even realize there is such thing as anhedonia. probably because, in a odd way, i have become some used to it.

my stroy goes something like this...since i can remember i've felt a gap between myself and everybody else. i have never really enjoyed "normal" things.

getting out and socializing, is what i just do out of habit, not because i enjoy it. staying home, watching a movie, reading - it all gives equally low emotion.

i have concidered a fact, that i might be depressed and not understanding that i am. but then again, im not sad or low on energy levels. i function like everynody else, somewhat even better, cause i dont dwell on emotions.

about ten years ago or more my troublesome years began with my mother getting cancer. my relationship with my father got awful (and we used to very close throughout my childhood). after seven years of struggle my mother died. shortly after that i understood that im incapable of feeling anything. (not able to cry at funeral etc). everything i do is sort of on autopilot (school, work, relationships).

funny thing is, im sure most of the people around me, dont even realize that im sort of faking normal. there are some who have accused me having no empathy toward "normal" situations (somebody getting killed on tv, violent movies, why not...even birth of a baby) i have "learned" to act like everybody else, not giving much thought why i really dont.

and i cant deny i have experiented with a lot of illegal stuff to feel something. it has had some effect, but as we all know, the next day is always the same, or even worse, because some level of negative emotions do kick in.

for the same reason that i havent really analyzed the why part, i havent ever seen a doctor. plus i've always been very sceptical about medicine (conspiracy theories etc) in general and the general knowledge about personality disorders. like pumping people up with meds, that dont cure, just block the negative out and keep you addicted. i really didnt see the point in that.

so....in june...i accidentally got my hands on xanax, so i decided to try that, because my numbness and feeling of being stuck somewhere was extremely high.

it didnt affect me much, besides i felt little more focused.

that was the point, when i started to do some research on my own. i stumbled on 5-htp first. i took it for a month. and understood something had changed. my sleep got more calm and instead of being emotionless, i felt slightly happy without obvious reason. i had more energy and willingness to go out and just talk for example. people seemed more interesting than they ever had. also...i used to have quite weird eating habits. sometimes i went on days without eating, sometimes i just forgot, sometimes it was intentional, sometimes i had binge eating attacks. after taking 5-htp, i understood, when i was hungry and when i just needed something.

i started reading a lot about it and got to tryptophane, which obviously is better solution than 5-htp, which just boosts up serotonine level in a short period of time. overall...i finally realized that my serotonine level was naturally low (or has been because of depression, illegal drugs etc) and it needed stable stimulation.

so far tryptophan has done the thing. i have energy and willingness to go further with this.

couple of days ago i thought it not only be the case of serotonine being low, but also dopamine. past few months i've been sort of happy-numb, still no motivation to actually change something in my life. so starting tomorrow, i'll combine tryptophan with tyrosine. i'll see, how that goes.

but if that combo works, like my so-called-research predicts, i might be on to something..

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..and im thinking the typical road of taking antidepressants cant be right, because bottom line is, it's all business. neverending money making to keep

you ill and hooked. antidepressants dont produce anything good in brain, they just keep you somewhere and when you're off them, you start to feel even worse.

the solution is to make your own brain receptors and natural balance work again. so im suggesting aminoacids (tryptophan and tyrasine), that start your brain producing serotonine and dopamine.

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Hello everybody, sorry I couldn't read all those previous pages but please listen to me. I'm tired of this life and I want to share my story and get a solution(at least temporary).

I have depression and anhedonia for 7+ years. I tried to analyze myself all the years and I got lost and didn't understand anything but that I went into vast numbers of situations. I had a severe depression in the first years with severe physical symptoms. Now it's different only by being little less severe but the anhedonia is much greater now. I feel empty always. Always feel pain in my head and have fatigue. I don't know what to do. Many times I wish I die because I can't get a solution.

Although this is very negative and may look like a curse, at some points it looks like a bless. I look at the world in abstract and scientific way. This helped me to know many deep stuff and realise the frauds in religion and politics and much more.

This sound stereotypical maybe but here are the core problems:

1- I live in Middle East and nobody here will understand my problem. I hide this from everyone and nobody knows about it. They will just make me worse. They will just throw the religious words and stuff and lie while I suffer. Also they think about psychological and mental problems as a derogatory (Yes, such an ignorant society!)

2- The country is bad as hell and will not help me at all in this. I tried countless times to get help and medecine and they kept me suffering. Their hospitals are bad like hell and there is no way they will help such a deep case like mine. So, I'm like suffocating here and I think of immigration but currently locked inside because of financial problems.

3- Through the years I had many problems ( Family, university ...etc) and witnessed a catastrophe in the country and the region. Although my political vision in the region is clear, this did nothing in reality and what happened affected me and I saw the ugly reality of people.

4- I just hate everything here, after I saw their reality and the frauds in the name of religion, I started to withdraw from the society because they are not sane. Mix this with political views and personal issues and I withdraw more and more. There is nobody that will help me.

5- I coped with many things like studying and dealt with the pain with patience, I got used to it and can't think about not having it, and sometimes I have no desire to return becuase I got used to it and because of the "bless" I got. However, I can't cope with anhedonia. Although at very rare times I have like 5% of enjoyment (Window you call it?) and I be like "Oh Ok", Almost all of the time I get 0% enjoyment and this kills me, because I really love my hobbies and want to do them and enjoy or at least have this 5% of enjoyment. Sometimes, I think of suicide just because of this problem. Without my hobbies, I'm like a zombie. I love reading about science, mathematics, computer science. I love learning languages, playing video games, listening to music and much more ( I love them really and when I try to do these things, my brain just don't work and don't send the chemicals and I do nothing)

Please help me with #5 because if I have a solution for this I can at least have a hope in my life. At least having a temporary way to get the chemicals and enjoy my hobbies until I get a way to immigrate.

Sorry for my English, I hope you understand and help me. I'm doomed :(

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It seems that there is rarely anything visible on a brain scan when it comes to anhedonia (my doctors also commented on this when in the beginning I requested a brain scan)... Once and a while there is a hormonal "imbalance," but I'm not sure that points to any damage to the hypothalamus in the traditional sense... Maybe a dysregulation of the hypothalamus would be a more appropriate way of looking at things...

Vitamin D levels were severely low in my case, but that was really it. All my hormones were within the healthy ranges. I think that anhedonia is a part of a syndrome with a cluster of symptoms including dead sex drive, apathy, and occasionally things like tremors and tinnitus, but the same syndrome can be caused by many things including hormonal dysfunction, but more commonly drug use, PAWS, stress, neurological disorders, and so forth.

I'm still riding on it going away eventually on it's own, but I've only comfortably arrived at that solution after coming to the conclusion that pharmaceuticals don't really get to the root of the problem or even ease the most annoying symptoms, but rather, for the most part, simply tone down anxiety.

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Continuing to see real windows periodically - only time will tell if this will result in a full remission. I can not say with confidence that everyone will be able to pursue the same path as me, or that pharmaceuticals are never beneficial, as only the individual can assess that.

Edited by itstrevor
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Continuing to see real windows periodically - only time will tell if this will result in a full remission. I can not say with confidence that everyone will be able to pursue the same path as me, or that pharmaceuticals are never beneficial, as only the individual can assess that.

Can you give me some tips? I wrote about my situation and hope I get some help ( sorry I cant read previous 70 pages now ).

I want something to lessen the problem so I can cope with myself and enjoy little

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i actually remembered one thing. trevor you said your d vitamin level was low. there's one thing i used to do (though for allergies, but still). it's ultraviolet treatment.(i dont mean sunbeds, but they're actually quite good for the mood also)

you take few second sessions within couple of weeks and your skin thinks it's in the sun, which starts producing vitamin d on its own, no suppliments. so in general it sort of gives natural high and improves immune system, when it really needs in, for exapmle in wintertime, when we dont see much sun here in north...and up to six months. it's not much, but it's still something i recommend doing once in a while, because skin and inner body are pretty much connected and have to work together also.

and my personal update. tyrosine doesn't affect me, the way i predicted. it sort of made me drozy and agressive in the same time. so i'm figuring, my dopamine levels are working fine and they dont need boosting regurally, it's still the serotonine i have to work on. it's written everywhere that tryptophan supposed to make you sleepy, because of the melatonin producing in the brain. but i have that system upside down, instead of getting sleepy at nights, i was more wide awake than ever, yet never tired in the morning despite the lack of sleep. i changed my routine, taking tryptophan in the morning and carrying on with 5-htp during the day, cutting out tyrosine completely. though quite frankly, it's hard to tell, which sytem or combo works the best, because individuals are different and it's just something everyone must figure out on their own.

i have a friend, who has struggled with depression for years now. doctor prescribed her prozac last month and she turned into a maniac sort of. acting like a totally different person...and in a bad way. so i insisted to come off from prozac and try my combo. and in her case, she has the opposite condition than me. her dopamine level is low and serotonine is fine. tyrosine has great effect on her and tryptophan nothing at all.

so..there are different options with this

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The only real "brain damage" that is documented to be permanent (as in, it slowly returns to normal, but may become an intractable problem) would be axonal damage or loss of brain axons (such as in Parkinson's Disease). Most neurological issues are neuroadaptive, and are a result of "push pull" mechanisms like SERT and receptor densities. Please read this article that I have provided as it really can provide a lot of hope to those worried about "brain damage" caused by drugs or about "permanent chronic illnesses" which are not shown to be caused by axonal damage. The article contains a lot of scientific work that shows what I have been saying to be true and may help those of you with similar issues prevent anxiety spikes (also, something like stress does not cause neurotoxicity):

http://thedea.org/neurotoxicity.html

It's quite understandable that people are afraid of brain damage when they experience this sort of mental disruption; the average person has never been told that there were any other possible explanations, in spite of virtually all of us being familiar with the basic phenomenon in the form of 'needing that first cup of coffee in the morning to get going' and the like. My position is not that people don't get seriously screwed up by frequent use of MDMA; only that the cause is unlikely to be actual permanent damage. Given a break from use of a few months, even the most severely 'e-tarded' user should find themselves greatly improved as the brain slowly returns to its normal 'volume settings.' (For more information and an animation of one process of neuroadaptation, visit MDMA At Work.)

Edited by itstrevor
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I experience Anhedonia in a curious way. I will start dating someone I am extremely attracted to. After about a month or two, like a "lighswitch," I lose all intrest in them to the point of revulsion; however, I don't lose interest in anything else pleasurable. Because of this very real illusion that I am no longer into the person, I break up with them, then some weeks later I realize my mistake, spiral into a deep black hole and want nothing more then to get them back--the lightswitch flips back, from revulsion to obsession. During this black hole I lose interest in everything to the point that I can't even get out of bed. It takes medication to pull me out and then I repeat the cycle. I have done this three times now and it is insidious in that in addition to my spiraling into a depression, I have caused broken hearts. The feelings of this--revulsion and then obsession---completely opposite of one another---are so real during each phase, even though they are only weeks apart, make no sense.

Edited by ramkuma
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It seems that there is rarely anything visible on a brain scan when it comes to anhedonia (my doctors also commented on this when in the beginning I requested a brain scan)... Once and a while there is a hormonal "imbalance," but I'm not sure that points to any damage to the hypothalamus in the traditional sense... Maybe a dysregulation of the hypothalamus would be a more appropriate way of looking at things...

Vitamin D levels were severely low in my case, but that was really it. All my hormones were within the healthy ranges. I think that anhedonia is a part of a syndrome with a cluster of symptoms including dead sex drive, apathy, and occasionally things like tremors and tinnitus, but the same syndrome can be caused by many things including hormonal dysfunction, but more commonly drug use, PAWS, stress, neurological disorders, and so forth.

I'm still riding on it going away eventually on it's own, but I've only comfortably arrived at that solution after coming to the conclusion that pharmaceuticals don't really get to the root of the problem or even ease the most annoying symptoms, but rather, for the most part, simply tone down anxiety.

I see we have both come to the conclusion that pharmaceuticals are not the long-term solution for this issue. They can help with symptoms of severe depression and such but nothing can simply erase the experience and memory of this unfortunate cognitive shift.

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