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itstrevor

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

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Well this thread is depressing. Kidding. I couldn't read through the whole thing of course but I will go back over it when I can.

By the way, I have to also say that SSRIs can (and did) have a permanent negative effect on me after using them only a few months, or even weeks. Just wanted to say that because of some skepticism about that. It's even listed in the drug literature. Too bad I read that only when it was too late. Or one time I was so desperate. So brain damage? Brain alteration? What's the difference? Point is the brain started working differently--in a bad way. Brain hosage. Not to mention chronic stress does destroy brain cells. So brain damage is very real I think.

Things I would suggest are like a few people here are Rhodiola, Wellbutrin, Aniracetam, and Choline, but it's been hit or miss with me. Totally unreliable. But I haven't given up yet though. The things I want to try next are: 1. L-Methylfo​late 2. Moclobemide 3. Pramipexole 4. stimulants 5. Some kind of social/adrenaline rush like a roller-coaster (an actual roller coaster). I have social anxiety though, so the social thing is a TALL order for sure. The stress might fry my brain. Has anyone here tried something to jolt you, like an adrenaline rush-type thing? You know like bungee jumping? It's a cool idea isn't it?

Edited by thebatman

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This summer, I'm going to try everything possible (without some risky stuff like taking more antidepressants for example)... full body MRI/ultrasound... visit numerous doctor's... etc, but if nothing can be done, then I'm just going to end this nightmare called "life", because for me, I can't imagine suffering for this for the rest of my life... living an empty, pointless life (not life, but existence). If I post something this summer, then that means it'll most likely be good news... however, I don't expect anything, nor should anyone else.

I've been completely destroyed as a human being. You have to understand... I don't even see the point of leaving the house ever again, or talking to another human being ever in my life again... and THAT IS screwed up... I know logically, that it is... however, it "feels" normal to me.... I could lay in bed for the next 60 years and I could be OK with that... that's just ****ed up.

I guess being human and having the ability to enjoy stuff is too much to ask for in this short life... so if you can't enjoy anything, then what the hell is the point of living anymore? While I was a normal human being, it was amazing to feel alive... to enjoy doing stuff... to be able to love... just to experience life... it's the best thing that can ever happen to a human.. and the feeling of love was amazing... it was an intense feeling.... man, do I miss being human...

99% people take human emotions/feelings for granted... that's a fact.

I won't be posting here much often anymore... because honestly, there's not much left for me to do... it's obvious I'm suffering from permanent brain damage from taking an SSRI for ONLY 4-5 months. I mean, let's be honest, what can I do? Try more mind altering drugs? Fry my brain with ECT? Let's be honest... I'm completely finished. This is reality... and hope truly is a delusion.

If I can't recover from this... I will have to end this living nightmare... it was amazing to be a part of life while it lasted... but I'm no longer alive, so why continue the suffering? I'm not going to fight this beast, because I have no strength left... I've been completely and utterly destroyed.. it is that simple. I'm not going to spend the rest of my existence being miserable, just to get my humanity back.... there's no way that's going to happen...

Actually, I'm going to post something during summer regardless of whether I've gotten better or not... but if I haven't recovered, then I will literally say a final goodbye to this forum, and to the world.

Edited by handsup

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Handsup, ECT has a very high success rate that is not matched by other methods such as antidepressants and can be as high as 80%. It is known that ECT can relieve anhedonia. If you wish to end everything, what is the harm in trying ECT anyways?

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Handsup, ECT has a very high success rate that is not matched by other methods such as antidepressants and can be as high as 80%. It is known that ECT can relieve anhedonia. If you wish to end everything, what is the harm in trying ECT anyways?

For the fear of being a complete and utter vegetable that couldn't even end this nightmare... even if I wanted too. Living 60+ years as a vegetable who can't speak, think, or have a normal conversation...... omg.... lol.

Edited by handsup

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Hi handsup,

I'm no expert but if you look into the risks associated with ECT I think you would find that your fears are misplaced. Loss of some recently stored memories is common but total 'vegetation' is not.

Also if you're getting tests done, I would get an QEEG done (quantitative EEG). This can help show neurological issues from depression to ADHD, OCD ect.

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Edited by Clip

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This summer, I'm going to try everything possible (without some risky stuff like taking more antidepressants for example)... full body MRI/ultrasound... visit numerous doctor's... etc, but if nothing can be done, then I'm just going to end this nightmare called "life", because for me, I can't imagine suffering for this for the rest of my life... living an empty, pointless life (not life, but existence). If I post something this summer, then that means it'll most likely be good news... however, I don't expect anything, nor should anyone else.

I've been completely destroyed as a human being. You have to understand... I don't even see the point of leaving the house ever again, or talking to another human being ever in my life again... and THAT IS screwed up... I know logically, that it is... however, it "feels" normal to me.... I could lay in bed for the next 60 years and I could be OK with that... that's just ****ed up.

I guess being human and having the ability to enjoy stuff is too much to ask for in this short life... so if you can't enjoy anything, then what the hell is the point of living anymore? While I was a normal human being, it was amazing to feel alive... to enjoy doing stuff... to be able to love... just to experience life... it's the best thing that can ever happen to a human.. and the feeling of love was amazing... it was an intense feeling.... man, do I miss being human...

99% people take human emotions/feelings for granted... that's a fact.

I won't be posting here much often anymore... because honestly, there's not much left for me to do... it's obvious I'm suffering from permanent brain damage from taking an SSRI for ONLY 4-5 months. I mean, let's be honest, what can I do? Try more mind altering drugs? Fry my brain with ECT? Let's be honest... I'm completely finished. This is reality... and hope truly is a delusion.

If I can't recover from this... I will have to end this living nightmare... it was amazing to be a part of life while it lasted... but I'm no longer alive, so why continue the suffering? I'm not going to fight this beast, because I have no strength left... I've been completely and utterly destroyed.. it is that simple. I'm not going to spend the rest of my existence being miserable, just to get my humanity back.... there's no way that's going to happen...

Actually, I'm going to post something during summer regardless of whether I've gotten better or not... but if I haven't recovered, then I will literally say a final goodbye to this forum, and to the world.

I wrote a long answer to this sadly Wintendo crashed. I will put it down more concise. I think there's a psychological aspect many of us isn't putting very much consideration into. The intrapersonal trauma caused by distressing upbringing. I remember Istrevor said something about POW and if they could take it then Istrevor should be able to. I grew up in a family totally devoid of feelings. It was as a big house of vacuum. Some one at depersonalizationrecovery.com is in one of his videos claiming that it could be beneficial to tell the parents of their feelings on things despite probably being met by denial from the parent(s). As I recall, 2 weeks after I went into derealization I had a conflict with them , I was raged, then sad and then I could appreciate even the "beauty" of snow. But after that 15-16 years has gone by watching an environment which I don't is connected to or it just looks "flat". There seems to be an overlap between derealization and anhedonia. How interested could one become by trying to participate in a world one does not feel one belongs to?

Some people might say it's easy to blame their parents.. Actually it's not. Most parents are really trying their best with what they have but sometimes one ends up like an extension for parents filling their inner gap.

One get's used and instead of the parents adjusting to the child the child has to fake everything and pretend to be content or else. Attachment theory and Winnicotts theories seems to be valid.

Either one restricts their range of emotions or some drug has to do it.

However if one cannot solve the "riddle" one gets stressed and theres a risk of breakdown of hippocampus and prefrontal cortex among others..

I know this thread is very much focused on drugs and Ive been contributed very much in that direction but I think things like repressed emotions. "forbidden" emotions is very much related. I guess many of us don't even know what we feel if anything. There might be those like me who had a parent which couldn't mirror the emotions I was displaying. For instance after being erronously drugger on antipsychotic and at some point felt quite "ok" at least.. my mother suddenly came in worried like hell and asked three or four times if I felt good. I probably felt good because maybe I didn't have her tentacles over me. Some parents are both overprotecting and underprotecting. Many probably didn't have any adoloscense that's why many of us probably never had any either. Either one was treated as a baby or else as an adult. And those years between was nothing but plain rejecting and neglation. Nothing conscious, but just ****ing infantile behaviour from parents when the upbringing is totally reversed. I've never heard my mother admit she has done anything wrong ever. My father at least seems to have changed somewhat and said during a meeting he had some regrets about not being around me as much as he should have.

I probably was used as narcisstic supply by my mother. Now my sister got childrens so she can use them at least when they meet.

Well as I said, it's hard to blame their parents. First of all I believe in some sort of "determinism", then I am quite sure they did their best. I have my mom to thanks for my little brother and cat. And she helped me a lot with him. If there's anything I miss it's him and our dog Sasja.

@Handsup I suspect you are afraid, I was also afraid before taking any drug. One is afraid of getting the brain more messed up and in your case you might have been extremely unlucky, predisposed for it and/or there might be some socials factors you haven't reflected upon. Maybe you also grow up in a quite family dynamic?

Another thing despite being disassociated, having extreme anhedonia(aggreviated by Mirtazapine) and having this 15 or 16 years and no remission except for 30 minutes of feeling connected with the worlds 2 or 3 weeks after getting disassociated and well that week on Ritalin was ok I think. Despite this the depression itself which I didn't get SSRI for was far much worse than anhedonia though the Anhedonia was quite induced by SSRI I still don't know if I can engage in things I don't feel is real because of that derealization.

People tries Parnate, they are "content" with it, rating it high at least compated to most other new drugs.

Some get anhedonia (don't know how severe) and still "enjoys it".

Before I got SSRI or Clonazepam I didn't know at what degree I was anxious for instance. Avoiding caffeine is helpful but however.. Just take it into account it might affect you as well.

If I try ditching antidepressives now and get into depression even 2 or 3 week is unbearable so it's quite incredible I could hold out 5 years without any. Though last time I quit I ditched everything cold turkey so a backlash was expected.

If your'e not experiencing anxiety, feelings of guilt, stress and so on I still understand why you dont feel like "living" because this experience is much more like existing however there's no need to be eager to die before you tried things.

You got an advantage here after all. You've been reading in this thread and many different options except SSRI or SNRI has been brought up. I think you should use this information , I hadn't all these sources when I started taking drugs. Agomelatine wasn't on the market. I had never heard of Parnate or Nardil or Tianeptin or Nefazodone (which is withdrawn), Mirtazapine and so on.

But you know of these know, not that it's a guarantee.

I took some drugs holiday one time as long as a year. I don't like being flattened out by drugs. and when Ive quit I was always AFRAID of starting taking drugs. And I still don't like the approach. If I would have been able I would have solved potential intrapersonal issues and so on before my Prefrontal cortex probably broke down by all stress.

I read some chinese philosophy somethimes. Daoism. I can relate to it somewhat and I can see some benefits with this state compared to other people and their ambitions, social status and so on. Everything has it's price. Fame, being rich, who knows maybe even being good looking as well. Having a girlfriend may restrict oneself to. I wish i could appreciate some simple "pleasure" like the nature and music and perhaps videogames and programming.. interests which I don't have anymore.

But again,, Try those damn drugs (preferably good ones if any) instead of ******* yourself. It's true this can resemblance a waiting room. I've been "waiting" for my grand entry into the "human world" for 15 or 16 years now I don't know if I even care to join them or if there's a "chance" I ever will. But I will keep on trying things in a methodical way, optimizing the thing I can and keep on pestering the society by being a nuisance on social disability.

Take care.

And by the way I wouldn't say this is unbearable. Of course it's bearable otherwise I wouldn't have been able to "thrive" this long. And I know, I am not you and you are not me. But you've also survived carrying your luggage..

Edited by General_Failure

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General, I'm so brain dead I couldn't even read all of that... it was impossible. It takes much more time to read things then it did before... and sometimes when I read something, it's like it won't register in my brain or something. I honestly couldn't... maybe I'll try sometime later today.


You see, I honestly, and literally feel like I've been CURSED with bad luck. I don't want to talk about what has happened in my life, but it's been horrific (not child abuse or anything, just bad things happening in my life). After all these bad events happened, I didn't think it could get any worst...I fell into a depression... but I was still human.... until I tried Prozac, and I didn't know things would go from very bad to a rare form of hell.

So you see, for me, to compare my life before and after, I don't see the point of continuing this "living nightmare" anymore. Life is passing by... people are enjoying things in this very short life (and beautiful world)... but here I am, rotting inside my house... when I say I NEVER leave the house, I truly mean it. I think I've left the house less than 25 or 30 times the past 4 years...

This is far worst than cancer or some physical illness... for me, this is a complete and utter destruction of my humanity. I can't make jokes with anyone, I literally do not care about anything anymore... when it comes to anything, I literally DO NOT care anymore... so why continue? My life already ended... so it's only a matter of time until I won't be able to take it anymore.

I use to be religious, but not anymore. How can anyone believe in an imaginary "God"? It's sickening.... because this suffering cannot be compared to cancer or other physical illnesses. I won't consider myself anti-religious or an atheist... but a human who see's things as it is. Trust me, with all the bad things that happen in this life (kid's dying of starvation/illnesses, people getting ******** everyday, car accidents) etc... there's no such thing as God. I don't know how or why this universe has been created, but life use to be an unbelievable miracle.... but not anymore.

I was lucky to be a part of life for a very short 16 years... and it was amazing while it lasted, but there's no way I'm going to be a pu$$y and continue this suffering.

For people who are suffering from this inhumane condition... we are the most unluckiest people in the world... that's a fact.

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Handsup, what do you want? This is sort of getting ridiculous. You complain and moan about it, yet refuse to do anything about it. Most people here are posting about research they have done or their experience with various treatments they are having. They update the group with their status and progression with what is going on. Honestly, if you can't even read other people's posts, listen to advice, and refuse to do anything, then why even stick around this topic and rehash what you have said a million times? It's okay to let off some steam and express how the condition has affected you or describe your situation, or to rehash relevant information (since most readers wont reread the whole topic), but you have taken it a step farther with a refusal to do anything about it. You can't simply "think it away," but you can pursue treatments like ECT. In the instance that depression has become so unbearable that antidepressants are out of the question because they take so long to work and do trials, ECT is the fastest and most successful alternative. Seriously, I have been feeling so awful myself that I have decided to have it ASAP. I should get a call back with a consultation this coming week, but if they decide to take forever (like making me wait a long time for a call, then making me wait several weeks just for an appointment, then several more weeks to get an MAOI out of my system, then several more weeks to assess my pulse, then several more weeks before I can begin treatment) I might just decide to admit myself to the hospital so they can just get on with it already.

Edited by itstrevor

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I`ve been taking some cod liver oil with omega 3`s and a product called
"feroglobin" which has iron, b12, creates more red blood cells etc etc in it - I have most definitely
felt a HUGE reduction in my brain fog..... this has allowed me to "feel"
a little again....... I`m not getting too excited or carried away, but
even this minor improvement is such a relief and break from feeling so
so down and numb, that I`m trying to cherish every second!

Had a complete blood test done (FBC, thyroid etc) - saw that my MCH was very high (37.4) when norm is 27-32 - (stupid doctor told me everything was OK)

Anyway, read up a little about it, and a high MCH can bring ALL the symptoms that I have been experiencing for years...... including BRAIN FOG.

Seriously - this "vitamin" has made a HUGE difference - my mind is actually quite clear!! Derealization has faded massively and as stated.....created "room" for some feelings to surface!

Yes, I have FELT again!!! Empathy, warmth, love, sadness, happiness, excitement.....

Admittedly, it`s mild, and probably only a 20% improvement - but 4 straight days of this is AMAZING!

There is no way on earth that this is placebo - it`s amazing how "free" and "unclogged" my head is!! The constant knot in my stomach has gone, and my neck and shoulders are no longer tense.............oh.....and my memory has improved tenfold!! I can picture the last few days with ease - whereas before, it was all a blur - I`m even wanting to go out with my kids.....wanting to see friends.......AND wanting sex and actually "feeling" horny again........... I`m starting to remember "who I was" and suddenly acting like "me" again!!

What do you guys think?? Could these simple products be a "cure"????

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Peterb107, I would not say that it is impossible that simple remedies could help symptoms, but I would carry a sufficient amount of healthy skepticism to prevent the placebo effect from muddied thinking. It is important to view things objectively. I don't know much about MCH, perhaps that is something that you should talk to with a doctor. If the fish oil you are taking seems to be helping, that is a good thing. Personally, I have had no success with supplements and have my doubts about them, but that does not mean that it is impossible that they might help somebody else. I congratulate you on your success.

I have been drawing comparisons between my decision to use ECT and President Truman's decision to use the atom bomb in WWII. It could be considered a "necessary evil" in my battle against depression. In many ways, I really do feel like I am staging a sort of war. You have to keep up morale and try to end the episode as soon as possible with minimal losses. Unless you fight back, the enemy may destroy you completely.

I arrived at my decision to have ECT in a journal entry on 2/1/2013:

"It is times like these, where circumstances threaten the very existence of one's self, future, and humanity, that discussion over drastic measures is warranted. When one is rendered incapable of participating in the pursuit of happiness, and one's personality becomes fragmented and dysfunctional to the extent that there is significant distress, talk of unconventional methods to banish the distress is justified.

Let there be no further dispute - it has become clear that the inability to experience pleasure that I am experiencing has fallen out of the realm of psychological remedies and now requires intervention. The notion that perhaps this distress is self-created and "all in my head" has been shown to be false. It has become increasingly more clear that this issue will not resolve itself - the illness is in a state of static equilibrium rather than a dynamic state of recovery.

I write this to my future self, as I am now responsible for his welfare, and memories of this time may become altered or erased. It is important that in the case that something goes wrong, I know that I had little choice, and thus feel no regret. The time to act is now. The duration of this episode is long enough as it is - further delay may shift the probabilities of recovery out of my favor. A prompt and successful ECT treatment would also decrease the chances of relapse, since it would leave room for maintenance ECT treatments in the following months before returning to Berkeley.

Let there be no mistake, electroconvulsive therapy has significant risks. There are the risks of permanent cognitive deficits, loss of memory, short-term memory loss, and perhaps even death, Once one emerges from ECT, there is almost always an extended period of delirium or confusion. If one is concerned only with the ability to feel satisfaction over dissatisfaction, there is great reason to consider this therapy with little chance of long-term losses."

Edited by itstrevor

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Don't you guys think that you are a camera?, you record your enviroment and you don't feel anything, and you think that you are using only your eyes and anything else (apart from your other senses), like a robot?. There are moments where I feel like I'm out of my body, out from the world, (yes, our ****ing anhedonic world), and it's like if I had to slap me and tell to myself, hey, wake up, you are alive.

In this state I think it's like only negative things gets into your body and brain, and positive ones are rejected, so you fill up only with negative energy and that makes feel you so bad.

It's like whatever you do, you will feel the same, that nothing soothes your pain. I know it's very painful our state but we can't give up, we have to fight till the end of the world, we always have to keep in mind that we are gonna get out of this, that we will have a wonderful life after this, hope is the last thing to go.

Edited by diegoel10

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Drugs (in my opinion) will create more problems than they will solve - they`re not natural, and our bodies aren`t designed to consume that crap! Why do they CAUSE anhedonia.......numbing......derealization.......depersonalization.....anger issues.......memory problems.......sexual problems etc etc etc - How can anything that induces such drastic symptoms be any good for you??? Synthetically altering your natural brain chemistry is asking for trouble.

I hope we ALL achieve the state of "normalcy" we crave and deserve - but I`m going the healthy and natural route, and all I can say is "so far, so good"

A positive attitute, and stopping all this obsessing and constant self observation goes a long way too - How can any of you expect to get better when you`re CONSTANTLY thinking about how you "feel"?? Live a little WITHOUT asking yourself the self defeating questions like "Why aren`t I enjoying this"....."Why can`t I feel".....simply live in the moment, and pay your condition NO ATTENTION - try concentrating on events OUTSIDE your head instead - with practice, this will become natural, and YOU WILL start noticing things again.

A lot of what we are experiencing is habit. We`re living "inside our minds" - trying to "solve" this puzzle of anhedonia.....when, in reality, we can`t do a thing - but wait! - Our brain naturally looks for answers when we feel something isn`t right......and that searching becomes an obsession for us....... Anhedonia becomes our life...our reality - it`s BOUND to, as it`s THE ONLY THING WE`RE THINKING ABOUT!!!

Tell yourself "I can handle this" - "I can live with this"......and MEAN IT.... Make your brain believe that this anhedonia poses NO DANGER to you anymore. Don`t be afraid of it, pay it no attention.....and slowly but surely, your mind will relax and get out of this "self-defence" mode it has put itself in.

Trust me...... our brains are simply in "self-defence" mode - blocking us from any further stresses/worries/possible danger etc - Whilst we still feel "danger" (i.e worry about anhedonia), our brains will remain in this defensive mode.

Add a healthy diet, some NATURAL vitamins etc etc - and hey presto.

Edited by peterb107

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Great to hear this has worked so well for you Peterb!

As for an answer to our problems; it's certainly not definitive. I think this really depends on whether you had a deficency in the first place. I was skeptical of all vitamins/suppliments but have had some improvements in my general health from taking Vit D3. Nothing else (iron, B vitamins, omega 3...) has correlated with any improvement in my case (also-thyroid levels normal). I also eat a very healthy diet, exercise, don't drink, don't smoke - for me all of this isn't enough. Don't get me wrong I don't like the idea of using drugs, it's just that I don't have many options left.

I second your frustration Trevor: I am getting pretty peeved with how long it is taking to get a consoltation. My GP has run out of simple antidepressants to prescribe so I'm finally getting to see a psychiatrist. I dont think i have been taken seriously as, because i am quite a private person I tend to present myself as stable, even if what I am saying would be alarming if simply writen on paper.

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Edited by Clip

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Peter, Regarding your vitamins and fatty acid I've been taking those for a long time now. B-complex,

B12 and Omega 3 and D3 on top of that. The B-complex might have worked as a mild stimulant. But I am not totally sure.

However Vitamin B8 (inositol) in high doses. I don't know how much I took when I was using Fairings Powder.

People who I didn't tell I was taking it was noticing an "improvement".- I had no hope for it at all , I mainly ate some powder because I liked the taste for some reasons.

Even someone on the net noticed an improvement. I was sceptical until the second one noticed something was different with me and I hadn't told that person either.

Afterwards I searched for some info about it. I don't remember why I took it to begin with. I imagine it had something to do with weightlifting. However. This didn't help against anhedonia but general wellness which is welcome. Sadly I can't find the Fairing powder again and if I have to keep myself to doses of 18 mg I wouldn't be able to afford it. 5-HTP didn't do much good though I got some of the side effect associated with SSRI. And I wouldn't be so condemning about drugs. Yes they are blunting, yes they have sideeffects and yes they should at best be used as a crutch while one works with ones eventual "issues".

I also prefer the more "natural" supplements before Drugs as you might understand. I've been trying Curcuming for a while and I am also drinking quite a lot of Ginko biloba tea.

And on top of that I seldom drink alcohol anymore and I avoid Caffeine. I also lift some weights. And no I am not obsessing about Anhedonia, I am not even obsessing over my 24/7 severe derealization either.

And I think it might be possible that amplifying the Prefrontal Cortex by drugs instead of letting the chainreaction of amygdala break down hippocampus is a lot better than toying with supplements which may or may not work. So no, no Silverbullet here. And if I can I will reduce my intake of drugs in a slow methodical manner. And I am sure of hell aware of that my combination of drugs or just mirtazapine increases anhedonia. But don't put, and label me into a group of those who think that psychopharmacology-silver-bullet will be the fix of everything. I've been in this state for 15-16 years and sure I have had some naive ideas about what Drugs can do and at this time I am quite sure what they not can do as well as side effects.

I will also try to see if I can get hold of that tea the same person who hinted about Curcumin mentioned.

And if you lack convincement about my disenchantment with technology then I might inform you I've read Jacques Elull the Technological Society and Agrees completely with his analysis. Even the Unabombers manifest isn't that shabby. And though I don't like the bombings he was right that I and many others wouldn't have being attracted to either his or Jacques Ellul works. Not saying that the end justifies the means. I actually never think it does.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9169302

"

hese results suggest that inositol has therapeutic effects in the spectrum of illness responsive to serotonin selective re-uptake inhibitors, including depression, panic and OCD, and is not beneficial in schizophrenia, Alzheimer's ADDH, autism or ECT-induced cognitive impairment.

"

Edited by General_Failure

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"A positive attitute, and stopping all this obsessing and constant self observation goes a long way too - How can any of you expect to get better when you`re CONSTANTLY thinking about how you "feel"?? Live a little WITHOUT asking yourself the self defeating questions like "Why aren`t I enjoying this"....."Why can`t I feel".....simply live in the moment, and pay your condition NO ATTENTION - try concentrating on events OUTSIDE your head instead - with practice, this will become natural, and YOU WILL start noticing things again."

-----

Peter, I'm not sure if you're experiencing anhedonia because you took an SSRI or you were simply unlucky... and I don't mean to be rude or anything, but ignoring a severe problem like anhedonia does not make it go away... that's rather delusional thinking.

This emotional anesthesia/anhedonia that I'm experiencing is always on my head.... why? Because it's normal... it's normal that we're frustrated at the fact that we can't feel anything or enjoy anything like any other normal human being does in this short life... it's impossible NOT to be!

I know you're trying to make people feel better (wait... that's not possible... we can't feel lol) but ignoring the problem will not make it go away... that's a fact. We deserve to be feel human... just like every other ordinary person does.

I agree that drugs causes problems (110%)... and hell, after taking an SSRI, I don't even want to swallow another pill EVER again... but I'm not sure if we can rule out drugs just yet. (I agree these chemicals are bad for our bodies, without a doubt).

Being in this state is definitely hopeless, without a doubt. It's depressing to think that people are going out, having fun... but us anhedonic's are miserable... can't enjoy anything... etc.

I'm a realist, and from my point of view... I don't think it gets better, unless we find a miracle (which practically won't happen) I honestly think we are a VERY, VERY unlucky people who are suffering from this miserable condition.

We're missing out on life... that's a fact.

For me - I literally feel like I want to jump off a building (seriously and honestly).

Edited by handsup

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I'm still waiting to see if I can/should take Parnate, and have emailed my psychiatrist because I got a message back from my primary physician in which I think he was implying I had the "all-clear?" My pulse at half a tab of Atenolol (12.5mg I believe) has been pretty good for the past 2 days (mid 80's). I asked if I should take it given the fact that I am adamantly pursuing ECT.

While I think that it is important to maintain a "positive attitude", to "keep morale up," to be mindful of negative thought patterns and to avoid despairing thinking (not doing these things can make depression worse), I do not feel that it can help everybody to overcome this type of depression. It is important to view things objectively. It is not good to purposefully dwell on the way one is feeling, but at times it crosses one's mind no matter how hard one tries to distract one's self. In a journal entry I explain the difficulty of "trying to ignore it:"

"Although I try to articulate the sensation, words escape me - it is a deep, disabling, and baseless pain, but, perhaps, it is not the pain itself that is intolerable, it is knowing that one cannot escape it - one is robbed of the natural tools used to resolve psychic tension - crying out in anguish brings no relief, a warm embrace does not release it. One is left only with enough to survive. There is no pleasure. I feel groggy and ill. My stomach has become sour, urging me to vomit, perhaps as a mechanism for releasing psychic tension that cannot be resolved by the natural means of pleasure.

This disease of the mind does not directly put one in pain, but rather it robs the individual of the tools used to resolve psychic tension, so that the defenseless mind becomes consumed by the negative aspects of any situation, able to recognize the positive, but unable to feel them. Though not directly dysphoric, the persistent anhedonia causes the mind to brand all activities unsatisfactory - thus the mind cannot find refuge or comfort in any of its usual dwelling places, wandering ceaselessly from thought to thought, much like an abandoned traveler dying from thirst. Every thought, even if good, illicits feelings of disappointment and despair - memories do not bring comfort, life's pleasures become hopelessly bland and empty - from this there is nothing to offset life's burdens, and all activities become overwhelming. The affliction that I experience is much like an itch that cannot be scratched. It is a subtle and deep irritation as well as a complete inability to experience pleasure, joy, or happiness."

Edited by itstrevor

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This will be my final post.

I have to end this living nightmare... without the ability to feel human emotion or enjoy anything in life, it is quite clear life has lost ALL of it's meaning. Knowing that I will never have a normal life (like having a wife + kids + being able to enjoy life) I think it makes sense to end it now... without the ability to care (I literally don't give a crap about ANYTHING anymore) without the ability to love... because I lost my humanity, my life ends.

Whenever I complain that I lost my humanity... people tell me they wish they had no emotions (how idiotic of them... they just don't want to feel the negative one's) and that I'm lucky.... LOL... can you believe that? They are telling me I'M LUCK THAT I DON'T HAVE A LIFE ANYMORE? You know what... I'd rather not live on this planet anymore... how the hell can people be this POSSIBLY stupid? I'm sorry, but I don't even want to get better... I just want to end this nightmare NOW.

I don't even care about getting better, because I'm honestly and LITERALLY fed up with this living nightmare. I really don't want to live anymore... why live when everything has lost it's meaning?

I just hope I don't end up as a complete vegetable... but rather successfully complete ending this nightmare.... for anyone who hasn't lost their humanity... you would NEVER understand why I'd rather die than "exist'. This truly is a LIVING NIGHTMARE... a nightmare that I can't escape.

Life was amazing while I had one... but with the complete and utter destruction of what makes me human.. and not even caring about getting better... it's quite obvious that I'm finished.

Goodbye world.... people make me sick to my stomach.

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Drugs (in my opinion) will create more problems than they will solve - they`re not natural, and our bodies aren`t designed to consume that crap! Why do they CAUSE anhedonia.......numbing......derealization.......depersonalization.....anger issues.......memory problems.......sexual problems etc etc etc - How can anything that induces such drastic symptoms be any good for you??? Synthetically altering your natural brain chemistry is asking for trouble.

I hope we ALL achieve the state of "normalcy" we crave and deserve - but I`m going the healthy and natural route, and all I can say is "so far, so good"

A positive attitute, and stopping all this obsessing and constant self observation goes a long way too - How can any of you expect to get better when you`re CONSTANTLY thinking about how you "feel"?? Live a little WITHOUT asking yourself the self defeating questions like "Why aren`t I enjoying this"....."Why can`t I feel".....simply live in the moment, and pay your condition NO ATTENTION - try concentrating on events OUTSIDE your head instead - with practice, this will become natural, and YOU WILL start noticing things again.

A lot of what we are experiencing is habit. We`re living "inside our minds" - trying to "solve" this puzzle of anhedonia.....when, in reality, we can`t do a thing - but wait! - Our brain naturally looks for answers when we feel something isn`t right......and that searching becomes an obsession for us....... Anhedonia becomes our life...our reality - it`s BOUND to, as it`s THE ONLY THING WE`RE THINKING ABOUT!!!

Tell yourself "I can handle this" - "I can live with this"......and MEAN IT.... Make your brain believe that this anhedonia poses NO DANGER to you anymore. Don`t be afraid of it, pay it no attention.....and slowly but surely, your mind will relax and get out of this "self-defence" mode it has put itself in.

Trust me...... our brains are simply in "self-defence" mode - blocking us from any further stresses/worries/possible danger etc - Whilst we still feel "danger" (i.e worry about anhedonia), our brains will remain in this defensive mode.

Add a healthy diet, some NATURAL vitamins etc etc - and hey presto.

Holy Lord, you just gave me an insight! I remembered when I was in an anhedonic state and was in deep depression, I wrote down goals and things I'd do if I wasn't depressed. I focused so much on those goals in my head instead of the negative thoughts, it still felt hopeless at that time but I think by focusing on it a lot, I eventually broke the negative patterns. So basically, like you said - allowing your brain to get out of self-defense mode and know everything is safe.

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Here is today's update for 2/19/2013:

Okay so I've been reading some things about how beta blockers like Atenolol have the potential to cause depressive symptoms. I admit that at this time I do not know how likely it is to encounter depressive symptoms or worsening of depression due to taking a beta blocker, or if it is even a rational fear, but in my war against depression, I take no prisoners - I'm not going to leave any stone unturned and I wont take any chances. "Depression" and "loss of libido" are mentioned in the list of side effects and I have read many reviews on askapatient that report those side effects as well as dulling of emotions and lethargy (even at low doses like 25mg).

I am currently taking 12.5mg because of Vivactil-induced tachycardia that has persisted even after discontinuation of Vivactil. To avoid withdrawal symptoms such as racing heart, panic attacks, and difficulty sleeping, I'm going to taper off of this ridiculously slow. I am using a precision milligram scale to slowly taper off of the Atenolol over a 2 month period. If at any point I experience distressing withdrawal symptoms, I'll simply taper off even slower and I still have 5 Xanax tabs just in case of panic attacks (feelings of adrenaline causing heartrate to reach uncomfortable levels) or difficulty sleeping.

I anticipated getting a consultation call today for ECT because my psychiatrist sent a referral, but I didn't, so I called their number and I kept getting the answering machine. I hope to get a call tomorrow. I will probably give them the ultimatum that if I cannot be scheduled for ECT in a reasonable amount of time, I will just hospitalize myself to get it over with already (though I do not need to be hospitalized). The ECT department I was referred to was at some place in Northridge (Northridge Hospital?). I have generally heard good things about the doctor there. I had a dream a few nights ago about having ECT done and it was sort of interesting because in dreams things can often feel very real.

Still no email back about the MAOI.

I plan on continuing my classes even through the weeks that I have ECT. I wont be driving myself during this time of course. I have class Monday through Thursday from 11:30 to 12:45 in Moorpark. I'm only taking 2 classes; Philosophy and Discrete Mathematics, and the workload does not seem to be much of an issue. I understand the material well and consider it to be relatively simplistic so far, so I'm hoping that even in a minor state of delirium I will be able to manage.

Edited by itstrevor

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Drugs (in my opinion) will create more problems than they will solve - they`re not natural, and our bodies aren`t designed to consume that crap! Why do they CAUSE anhedonia.......numbing......derealization.......depersonalization.....anger issues.......memory problems.......sexual problems etc etc etc - How can anything that induces such drastic symptoms be any good for you??? Synthetically altering your natural brain chemistry is asking for trouble.

I hope we ALL achieve the state of "normalcy" we crave and deserve - but I`m going the healthy and natural route, and all I can say is "so far, so good"

A positive attitute, and stopping all this obsessing and constant self observation goes a long way too - How can any of you expect to get better when you`re CONSTANTLY thinking about how you "feel"?? Live a little WITHOUT asking yourself the self defeating questions like "Why aren`t I enjoying this"....."Why can`t I feel".....simply live in the moment, and pay your condition NO ATTENTION - try concentrating on events OUTSIDE your head instead - with practice, this will become natural, and YOU WILL start noticing things again.

A lot of what we are experiencing is habit. We`re living "inside our minds" - trying to "solve" this puzzle of anhedonia.....when, in reality, we can`t do a thing - but wait! - Our brain naturally looks for answers when we feel something isn`t right......and that searching becomes an obsession for us....... Anhedonia becomes our life...our reality - it`s BOUND to, as it`s THE ONLY THING WE`RE THINKING ABOUT!!!

Tell yourself "I can handle this" - "I can live with this"......and MEAN IT.... Make your brain believe that this anhedonia poses NO DANGER to you anymore. Don`t be afraid of it, pay it no attention.....and slowly but surely, your mind will relax and get out of this "self-defence" mode it has put itself in.

Trust me...... our brains are simply in "self-defence" mode - blocking us from any further stresses/worries/possible danger etc - Whilst we still feel "danger" (i.e worry about anhedonia), our brains will remain in this defensive mode.

Add a healthy diet, some NATURAL vitamins etc etc - and hey presto.

. I focused so much on those goals in my head instead of the negative thoughts, it still felt hopeless at that time but I think by focusing on it a lot, I eventually broke the negative patterns. So basically, like you said - allowing your brain to get out of self-defense mode and know everything is safe.

"Holy Lord, you just gave me an insight! I remembered when I was in an anhedonic state and was in deep depression, I wrote down goals and things I'd do if I wasn't depressed "

This may or may not come as a suprise but your method implicates hypothetical reasoning about "happiness". If you can't look forward to anything or hasn't any memories "comforting" you. And the whole world around looks flat and dead you won't come up with thoughts like "If I wasn't anhedonic I would do this". That implies that you are NOT anhedonic or is so at a not so severe scale. Maybe you was on your way to becoming better and then confuses the thinking pattern with your "cure".

If you don't remember what "happy" was like or can't imagine it then of course you can't look forward to anything. I may have a good memory for some things but I can't recall what "happiness" is after 15-16 years or so not being in that state. I am however thankful for all the I don't suffer from. And in this little particular state of mine you can't die again. That's a little bit like a psychological lithium. However I will try things out and see if I might again participate in this thing you feeble (pun intented) humans call life.

Right now I am a bit worried about Handsup however. Even with this remeronaugmented anhedonia I see no need to hasten to die. Maybe that's what other wants though , after all I am on disability.

Last time I got over Ritalin I played Piano the whole week with enough sleeping between. I was also more engaged in videogames when playing. I had "enthusiasm". I also slightly got sort of that effect with Wellbutrin but there it was mainly seen in social interaction. I didn't actually get bored talking about trivial subjects. I was into programming before and some guitarplaying. So would it help to write

"Hey ! What I really tend to do or did when I was NOT anhedonic was to play the guitar and write code and when I was maybe a little more than NOT anhedonic I started to play the piano" ?

Edited by General_Failure

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@handsup seems like you've run into the same people who would criticise me when I am not on drugs.

"you are so sensitive". I don't know if this is a stereotypical trait. : Breastshaving, watching Southpark and Friends, Philistine, probably good at visuo-spatial math, middleclass (possible upper middle), not much of creativity, tells you about their discoveries which one told them the week before and has already forgotten who's behind it.

Once in the while they say "I can feel that way to SOMETIMES" which isn't possible. Probably higher general dopaminelevels than most (actually social status and dopamine D2 is connected when it comes to apes).

This makes them prefer the Piano instead of "Unorganized" instruments as the guitar with some exceptions.

As I mentioned I also started to play and enjoy the piano when I was taking methylphenidate. Of course that instrument wasn't there for no reason but I never got to it.

And sometimes they of course express some envy of somebody who have to take psychedrugs. They complain about being oversexual and gets erection spontanenously at the beach despite having a girlfriend. Can't see the forest for the trees and so on.

Well I doubt anyone of us will get to that point. Just don't try to get them understand anything or they will start whining about "whining". If you lack meaning of life,, well then maybe you just have noticed the absurd state of humanity. One has their little projects which they find oh so important. Maybe they want to organize the society and create unions like EUSSR or maybe EU. I know you're not into politic I just point out there's a "reason" for not having reasons to THOUGH I assume there's a biochemical background.

Did you get absolutely nothing out of Wellbutrin or did you quit because you was losing hair ?

I suspect that was due to the norepinephrine. I might have lost some on Reboxetine as well even though I am soon old enough to have a "great" excuse.

Why not ask your doc for Methylphenidate + Memantine or Parnate ? If you don't want to try out those natural alternatives which have been mentioned.

Suicide is paradoxical a manifestation of will. Maybe that's why youre suffering , because of your wants.

(trying to not sound dharmic). But if it's about that there must be something your'e trying to overcome? Is it perhaps the frustration of the feeling of not feeling anything ? Or plain and simple frustration of something?

Edited by General_Failure

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Holy Lord, you just gave me an insight! I remembered when I was in an anhedonic state and was in deep depression, I wrote down goals and things I'd do if I wasn't depressed "

This may or may not come as a suprise but your method implicates hypothetical reasoning about "happiness". If you can't look forward to anything or hasn't any memories "comforting" you. And the whole world around looks flat and dead you won't come up with thoughts like "If I wasn't anhedonic I would do this". That implies that you are NOT anhedonic or is so at a not so severe scale. Maybe you was on your way to becoming better and then confuses the thinking pattern with your "cure".

If you don't remember what "happy" was like or can't imagine it then of course you can't look forward to anything. I may have a good memory for some things but I can't recall what "happiness" is after 15-16 years or so not being in that state. I am however thankful for all the I don't suffer from. And in this little particular state of mine you can't die again. That's a little bit like a psychological lithium. However I will try things out and see if I might again participate in this thing you feeble (pun intented) humans call life.

Right now I am a bit worried about Handsup however. Even with this remeronaugmented anhedonia I see no need to hasten to die. Maybe that's what other wants though , after all I am on disability.

Last time I got over Ritalin I played Piano the whole week with enough sleeping between. I was also more engaged in videogames when playing. I had "enthusiasm". I also slightly got sort of that effect with Wellbutrin but there it was mainly seen in social interaction. I didn't actually get bored talking about trivial subjects. I was into programming before and some guitarplaying. So would it help to write

"Hey ! What I really tend to do or did when I was NOT anhedonic was to play the guitar and write code and when I was maybe a little more than NOT anhedonic I started to play the piano" ?

Oh believe me I was ready to go... I was at the edge of my seat with the anhedonia and it was ******* me slowly. I felt utterly hopeless and in despair. I hit rock bottom. I saw no other way other than making a decision to get better and fighting for what I can even if it was hopeless, however that bit of a fight helped me so please don't talk down to me like I don't know what you're going through because believe me I do. Running to drugs was never an option to me and I sure wasn't going down that route so DECIDED to fight on my own and that's exactly what I did. And I won, so yeah it worked for me. If it doesn't work for you, find something else. I never came here to tell anything as nobody even bothers to listen, you won't get anywhere if you don't take advice then take action no matter how stubborn depression can cause you to be. I came here because someone mentioned something that I could relate to.

The goals stuff is the sidelines, it's breaking down those negative patterns and analysing why you're upset which was the key to overcoming depression for me. Basically get to the roots of it and being completely honest and acceptance of the whole process. The goals just give you direction when you're lost. If you don't want to do it, that's up to you. I would've been in the same state if I didn't but I WANTED to get better really badly so made changes, no point complaining if you're not doing anything about it. Oh and add patience and perseverence

Edited by MusicLover2

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I am not complaining.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesocortical_pathway

There's the perseverence! Look it's in your brain! Heureka.

People never explains their "sucesses" by biochemical action. They usually tend to believe the will is "free" as well. Like there's not any deterministic or mechanical pattern in the nature that would imply them.

I met a girl once, she told me that she took Zoloft for 2 weeks and then she stopped and proudly yapped out "I am too strong to use those drugs!". That's a helluva of a survivor. I never asked why she started them to begin with. Of course she excluded factors like that the emotional support she probably was given by those handing out the "candy". Maybe she went there because some romance went wrong. "I am to strong to eat Zoloft for my tendency to seek druginduced "support" after my romance has fallen down the drain!"

But hey the dream lives on , Everyone grows up in the same environment got exactly the same kind of dna hell maybe even people get to public school but they still fail! what's wrong oh dang..

And I am not a pessimist however. I wouldn't have survived this long if not for being otherwise. I am not a fan of drugs either. I wish I could be the perfect ubermenschen I am like everybody else without drugs.

With enough dopamine in my brain I maybe even fool myself into believing there's no such thing as determinism and mechanical actions in the nature. Sadly I got no access to a SPECT or MRI otherwise I could show you some flashy pictures of my brain and especially the Parietal-Temporal and potentially occipital lobe. But no let's think of all fun I had 16 years ago. Oh bummer I just can't connect to it.

I guess psychometric doesn't count otherwise I could brag about having an IQ-discrepancy of 30 points or so. But I know what I do, I write that list ..

But to be a bit serious.. How does a "decision" come to mind ? Would it for instance imply motivation? And then motivation for what?

Let me see, Retardpolitican running down the eurozone and Goldman Sachs is having fun with their printing press like in US,,

Having a slight "disadvantage" to integrate in this "technological society" due to the little issue of not actually being able to participate in it.

And of course I don't get any joy from anything either but that's actually almost quite ok. I don't like rituals like music anyway. Not without methylphenidate.

But then those "good sides", I exercise, I avoid sugar and caffeine , I don't drink alcohol, and I am on disability. This means I can actually live long and annoy people at the same time. Trying out drug,combination, vitamins and supplements. I read some, take a shower once in a while and then I get outside to do the laundry or buy some groceries. And once in a while I meet my breastshaving buddy.

And yes I almost forgot. I was in Therapy 4 years 2 days a week 50 minutes each pass. I was quite young and missed out some. The therapeut had 18 years of experience and I could notice he got slightly annoyed about 3 times during that period. And I am good at noticing peoples "emotions".

At some time, probably at the last year, he said "sometimes drugs can be useful".

I don't exclude things like "repressed emotions", interpersonal problems or psychosocial factors, I am "working" on those as much as I can. As I stated it's not like I have that naive "drugs will make everything better" anymore. If I ever had.

Edited by General_Failure

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I am not complaining.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesocortical_pathway

There's the perseverence! Look it's in your brain! Heureka.

People never explains their "sucesses" by biochemical action. They usually tend to believe the will is "free" as well. Like there's not any deterministic or mechanical pattern in the nature that would imply them.

I met a girl once, she told me that she took Zoloft for 2 weeks and then she stopped and proudly yapped out "I am too strong to use those drugs!". That's a helluva of a survivor. I never asked why she started them to begin with. Of course she excluded factors like that the emotional support she probably was given by those handing out the "candy". Maybe she went there because some romance went wrong. "I am to strong to eat Zoloft for my tendency to seek druginduced "support" after my romance has fallen down the drain!"

But hey the dream lives on , Everyone grows up in the same environment got exactly the same kind of dna hell maybe even people get to public school but they still fail! what's wrong oh dang..

And I am not a pessimist however. I wouldn't have survived this long if not for being otherwise. I am not a fan of drugs either. I wish I could be the perfect ubermenschen I am like everybody else without drugs.

With enough dopamine in my brain I maybe even fool myself into believing there's no such thing as determinism and mechanical actions in the nature. Sadly I got no access to a SPECT or MRI otherwise I could show you some flashy pictures of my brain and especially the Parietal-Temporal and potentially occipital lobe. But no let's think of all fun I had 16 years ago. Oh bummer I just can't connect to it.

I guess psychometric doesn't count otherwise I could brag about having an IQ-discrepancy of 30 points or so. But I know what I do, I write that list ..

But to be a bit serious.. How does a "decision" come to mind ? Would it for instance imply motivation? And then motivation for what?

Let me see, Retardpolitican running down the eurozone and Goldman Sachs is having fun with their printing press like in US,,

Having a slight "disadvantage" to integrate in this "technological society" due to the little issue of not actually being able to participate in it.

And of course I don't get any joy from anything either but that's actually almost quite ok. I don't like rituals like music anyway. Not without methylphenidate.

But then those "good sides", I exercise, I avoid sugar and caffeine , I don't drink alcohol, and I am on disability. This means I can actually live long and annoy people at the same time. Trying out drug,combination, vitamins and supplements. I read some, take a shower once in a while and then I get outside to do the laundry or buy some groceries. And once in a while I meet my breastshaving buddy.

And yes I almost forgot. I was in Therapy 4 years 2 days a week 50 minutes each pass. I was quite young and missed out some. The therapeut had 18 years of experience and I could notice he got slightly annoyed about 3 times during that period. And I am good at noticing peoples "emotions".

At some time, probably at the last year, he said "sometimes drugs can be useful".

I don't exclude things like "repressed emotions", interpersonal problems or psychosocial factors, I am "working" on those as much as I can. As I stated it's not like I have that naive "drugs will make everything better" anymore. If I ever had.

Oh sorry I forgot to mention nearly everyone turned their back on me while I was at my lowest point. My mental health assistant was adamant I was okay and left me, my family were talking about me behind my back and told me to figure it out on my own...so no I didn't exactly have this emotional support at all. The only reason why I mentioned not taking antidepressants is because I knew what they could potentially do to my brain in the long term and I just couldn't take it anymore. It's not logical to take a drug that's going to make you feel worse, that's the worst decision I could've made.

The decision came mainly from just being knocked down so hard, that was probably the hardest bit. Acceptance plays a big role. I understand you're seeing everything in a rocky view right now but if you want some advice, stop being so hard headed and take advice from others...dependent on how much you want to get out of this mess.

Best of luck!

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I would like to start this thread for everyone to share their experiences with anhedonia (emotional numbness, inability to experience pleasure, apathy, dead sex drive, etc.) so that we may all collectively find the best solutions. The more experiences we have here, the easier it will be to make connections and narrow down useful strategies/medications/solutions, We all need to work together on this.

I would like to add my personal experience with anhedonia and what I have discovered about it along the way. I have been anhedonic now for 10 months due to major depression triggered by chronic stress. Anhedonia is my only persistent symptom and is occurring in the absence of any other depressive symptom (I do not feel "depressed," I do not "feel" at all). For this reason, many people experiencing anhedonia (me included) find fault with the technical association with "anhedonia" being only a symptom of another disease rather than a syndrome in itself. Firstly, what I have noticed about every person experiencing anhedonia (me included) is that they seem to mention the inability to experience the same list of things: music/art, sex/romance/dating, and emotional appreciation. To me, all of these are inter-related and so anhedonia really boils down to a flatness of emotional responsivity to anything and a general inability to experience pleasure. The best way to describe it is to make the analogy to the loss of interest in sex as similar to the loss of interest in sex a male might experience soon after ejaculating (refractory period)or the loss of interest in music to the loss of interest one might feel towards a song after having heard the same song repeatedly for several months. I have read many articles on anhedonia and have seen many theories that suggest that anhedonia is a result of the failure to anticipate pleasure rather than experiencing it and that it involves the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinepherine. Firstly I would like to say that I can anticipate having a pleasurable response to something, but the only thing that is missing for me is the response itself. For example, I may get an adrenaline rush from something such as sex, but it is not accompanied by feelings of pleasure. I anticipate the pleasure, but I only experience the adrenaline, not the pleasure itself. I have had partial responses to stimulants and dopaminergic agents but no response to norepinepherine modulating drugs, though I have read many reports of people having success with norepinepherine drugs. Others left no noticeable effect.

Strangely, I would sometimes spontaneously and instantaneously get a “window” of normalcy where my emotional numbness would break for a few minutes and I would feel normal, as if a “light switch” was controlling my emotions and ability to feel pleasure. My libido, my numbed emotions, and that zombie-like feeling I was having – they were all related, they all came from that same part of me that was “turned off.” It’s the same type of sensation that I was missing – whether it was the feeling that I was not getting thinking about a girl, the excitement I was not experiencing thinking about my future, and the enjoyment I was not experiencing being around my family doing activities with them, they all (pleasure) were just “off.” As time passed, I would see fewer and fewer of these windows until they disappeared completely. At first, with much difficulty I felt two windows once while crying shortly after arriving at home and once during a car ride with my mother.

There seems to be two "camps" that psychiatrists fall under. In one camp are the psychiatrists who tend to disregard anhedonia as "just a symptom of the underlying depression/other illness" and not mainly a dopaminergic phenomenon saying "treat the underlying depression/other illness, and the symptoms go away with it like a cascade." These psychiatrists believe that SSRIs are most effective for any type of depression, regardless of symptoms, (usually calling me "obsessive" for researching or disregard science backing it up as "just theories,” and that “nobody knows what’s actually going on in the brain" etc.) and often deny that serotonergics make anhedonia worse (I've been with two of this type). The other "camp" is, in my opinion at least, more reasonable; psychiatrists falling under the second camp listen to symptoms and recognize anhedonia as mainly dopaminergic or to do with norepinepherine.

It's known that the activation of certain serotonin receptors inhibit the release of dopamine, (obviously shown in the blunting effect and loss of libido associated with SSRIs/SNRIs) and it is also known that dopamine plays a crucial role in the processing of emotional responses. Norepinepherine is another key part of the puzzle, in my experience sort of the "second banana" to dopamine, as it is shown in many studies that animals lose preference towards a reward with reductions in norepinepherine - norepinepherine is associated with motivation and arousal.

The treatments that I have found through research to be successful in treating anhedonia are:

Stimulants - Methylphenidate, Dextroamphetamine, etc.

Dopamine Agonists - Pramipexole, Ropinirole, Cabergoline, Apomorphine, Bromocriptine, Rotigotine, etc.

Low Dose Antipsychotics - Aripiprazole, Amisulpride, Sulpride, etc.

Serotonin Receptor Antagonists - Buspirone, Low dose Fluoexitine, etc.

SSREs - Tianeptine

Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors - Amineptine, Bupropion, etc.

Norepinepherine Reuptake Inhibitors - Desipramine, Atomoxetine, Nortryptaline, Bupropion, etc.

MAOIs - Parnate, Nardil, Selegiline, etc.

Other - Amantadine, Nicotine, Testosterone, Levodopa, Phenylethylamine, Cyproheptadine, Thyroid Augmenting (lithium for example), L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, SAM-E, St. John's Wort, etc.

Unfortunately several drugs are not available in the USA such as Tianeptine, Adrafinil, and Amisulpride, and many of these medications have significant drawbacks such as tolerance, addiction, long-lasting side effects, severe reactions, heart problems, heptatoxicity, blood pressure problems, and more.

I have tried Wellbutrin, Abilify, L-Tyrosine, L-Theanine, SAM-E, DLPA, Ritalin, Adderall, and Desipramine. My experience was that I felt no different on Wellbutrin even after being on it for 8 weeks at the highest recommended dose (450mg). Abilify (5-7.5mg) helped me to regain focus and the ability to do something for longer periods of time without feeling anxious, though had little noticeable effect on anhedonia and gave me random twitching and tremors. L-Tyrosine (500-1500mg) had no noticeable effect. L-Theanine (300-1000mg) made me extremely agitated and irritable. SAM-E made me more irritable. DLPA (1000-2000mg) had no noticeable effect. Ritalin (15-30mg 2x daily) was the closest thing to helping my anhedonia, but was unreliable, worked for only about an hour, quickly formed a tolerance, and raised my heart rate substantially. Adderall (5-15mg 2x daily) only raised my heart rate with no noticeable effect on the anhedonia, but I can't help but to feel that this was because of a cross-tolerance with the Ritalin (I had already become tolerant to the Ritalin after only a week, so thus I was also tolerant to other stimulants such as Adderall). Desipramine (200mg) left no noticeable effect besides dry mouth and tremors after several weeks, but I later found out that due to its heptatoxicity, my liver was reacting poorly to it and thus I have been forced to come off of it.

For anhedonia I would like to take next a combination of Pramipexole, Cyproheptadine, Busiprone, and Selegiline, though I am not a doctor so do not regard this as educated medical advice without consulting your doctor (just a legal disclaimer). I will be visiting my doctor tomorrow and will start a new medication regimen and let everyone know how it goes. Please post what your experiences have been, what works, what doesn't, if you've found relief or not, or just the details of your anhedonia.

This thread is amazing! I love hearing peoples experiences and to know that I am not alone with these problems. Do note that we are all very different and have different reactions to supplements or medications but we also share some similarities too. I can completely relate to l-theanine and sam-e making you more irritable or anxious. My family love both supplements and says they help their anxiety and depression so I thought I was just the odd one out.

I see you mentioned zyprexa...that made my anhedonia worse. I felt like I was not in my body and more spaced out. Didn't do anything for my anxiety either.

Cymbalta made me wired but still felt a bit dull like the SSRI's. I can easily say THE BEST thing for me is avanza(Mirtazapine) at night and lamotrigine in the morning. This combo has got me feeling NORMAL. I cry when needed, feel a stable amount of anxiety that doesnt cause panic or severe symptoms and I don't feel depressed. On occasion I take propranolol or a valium for presentations or days where I have a lot of stress but life is actually normal.

I really do hope you and many others find a combination or that med that works for you. It took me a while to realize SSRI's made me more blunt, monotone and spaced out. Mirtazapine did the opposite but took about 3-4 weeks to work. Lamotrigine took about 2 months for the full effect and can safely say I am stable :). I just hope it continues! Not to say SSRI's do not work, a mate actually came out of his shell and has been more outgoing since he took lexapro. Again is it all trial and error unfortunately. Just becareful of withdrawals when changing medication, just taper slowly to avoid harsh side effects. Makes it bearable :)

PS regards to beta-blockers causing depression is possible. The BEST way to avoid this is to take the lowest dose possible. I find 20-40mg effective for my anxiety. I took 80-160 daily for a while but it made me lethargic and apathetic so again dosage is important. I have had no depressive effects at 20-40mg. Not sure if it is due to the fact lamotrigine and mirtazapine are doing a great job at prevention.

Edited by joerpg

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