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itstrevor

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

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Handsup, we have already confirmed that we feel like you do in terms of anhedonia and psychic pain. For me, the suffering is amplified considerably by all the waiting I am forced to do. It's a nightmare waiting days for emails then for appointments then to figure out what I'm doing then like a week for the pharmacy to order the meds, then like two months to see if it works, then a couple of weeks to wash the meds out, then the cycle starts all over again. It's driving me insane.

But what about not wanting to talk to people or ever leaving the house? I don't know, I just wanted to see how people feel about that as well.

Yeah... it is a nightmare... just waiting and waiting while each day passes by... another day of one's life gone. :(

Handsup..... I honestly feel that you are suffering from the early-mid stages of Depersonalization (which causes the EXACT symptoms you describe) - Please, let me re-assure you - I have felt the EXACT same way...... The total UNREALITY, the lack of emotions, the dreamlike state, the feeling you don`t belong, the feeling your past happened to somebody else, the memory issues, the fear, the anxiety, the frustration and confusion, the lack of "bond" to those closest to you etc.......basically it feels like your brain has been smashed to bits - you just feel completely LOST.

Anyway.....as I said, I`ve been there - and IT DOES GET BETTER WITH TIME.

The key is to ride it through - DONT FIGHT IT.

ACCEPT that you will feel odd and unreal for a while - but ITS NOT GOING TO HURT YOU OR GET WORSE.

It is simply a condition which FEEDS itself off your despair and anxiety.

I can assure you 100% that if you can just try this for a week or two........relax your mind a little, and let things be, that you will notice some improvement. Please, (and I know it`s hard) but please, please realize that this is only the symptom of a tired mind - you`re NOT going to feel like this forever - please don`t worry or fret or keep fighting yourself over this - simply accept it for now, let it be, pay it NO ATTENTION and don`t let it get to you.

This WILL pass - I have suffered HORRENDOUSLY on 2 occasions with this, both lasting months and months. Things only started to get better once I applied those techniques.

The anhedonia remains......but it`s not the deep, dark, bottomless pit anymore - I`m getting "windows" a lot more frequently, and I`ve even had whole days where I feel close to normal.

Unfortunately, this is just a journey we all have to take - there is no magic or instant cure.....we just have to wait for our brains to get out of this "self defence mode"......and remember.....whilst your brain is in this mode (i.e protecting you from further emotion) - it is also NATURALLY repairing itself.

Time is the best healer mate........ a positive attitude, a good diet and an understanding of why will all help speed up that recovery time.

Pleasetake note of this - I have EXPERIENCED it TWICE and got out....... I (personally) wouldn`t listen to any shrink or doctor, whose only "knowledge" and "understanding" of this state of mind is through out-dated text books, and whose minds are brainwashed into handing out drugs by those greedy pharmacutical companies who have NO IDEA what these drugs do or even how they work!!

Take care.....all will come good in time - for ALL of us.

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@peterb: I have basically the same symptoms described by others in the thread, including depersonalization and disconnection from my own feelings: they are there, but I don't "feel" them.

For 15 years.

No, it doesn't just go away.

I am in the process of rereading the whole thread, noting everything interesting.

When I am done, I will post my experience.

I am also considering to open a wiki on the argument, since this thread seems to be the only resource available on it.

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@forse, well depersonalization and anhedonia are distinct things, which should be kept in mind I feel when discussing possible treatments, experiences and the course of symptoms over time to avoid confusion.

Anhedonia refers to a lack or, in the most severe cases, absence of the ability to experience positive emotions, which can entail either the capacity to anticipate positive events (lookin forward to), also called anticipatory anhedonia or the inability to actually derive pleasure from previously enjoyed events, also called consummatory anhedonia.

On the other hand, depersonalization refers to a dissociative state characterized by the sensation that one is dissociated from one's physical and emotional self. An often accompanying phenomenon is derealization, that is having the sensation that the outside world is unreal, or dreamlike. Although this can also entail having the sensation that the outside world is lacking in emotional coloring and depth, most people suffering from anhedonia in the course of mood disorders have no perceptual abonrmalities.

Considering though, that derealization and deperonalization are dissociative states, often caused by traumatic or other high stress epxeriences I have no doubt that they are ofte comorbid with anhedonia, becasue it appears that most here suffer from anhedonia as a result of stressful life events

Edited by sc2

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@forse, well depersonalization and anhedonia are distinct things, which should be kept in mind I feel when discussing possible treatments, experiences and the course of symptoms over time to avoid confusion.

Anhedonia refers to a lack or, in the most severe cases, absence of the ability to experience positive emotions, which can entail either the capacity to anticipate positive events (lookin forward to), also called anticipatory anhedonia or the inability to actually derive pleasure from previously enjoyed events, also called consummatory anhedonia.

On the other hand, depersonalization refers to a dissociative state characterized by the sensation that one is dissociated from one's physical and emotional self. An often accompanying phenomenon is derealization, that is having the sensation that the outside world is unreal, or dreamlike. Although this can also entail having the sensation that the outside world is lacking in emotional coloring and depth, most people suffering from anhedonia in the course of mood disorders have no perceptual abonrmalities.

Considering though, that derealization and deperonalization are dissociative states, often caused by traumatic or other high stress epxeriences I have no doubt that they are ofte comorbid with anhedonia, becasue it appears that most here suffer from anhedonia as a result of stressful life events

Agreed with you. I had a month of derealisation and it wasn't that bad as I didn't really give into it too much, it was scary but not permanent. Goes away with time, or atleast it did for me. I had to ride it out and just try to not 'think' too much about it and it happened after a very stressful event.

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After first few days on large doses of nootropics I feel great relief. Some improvement in libido and emotions, but more important now I feel like a human, very calm human being. This is great, got my motivation back, need of socializing and some lust for life finally. Ahnedonia symptoms are not totally gone, but now it does not consume the whole mind, it became minor problem, more like a phisical disability. This is the most significant improvement I experienced so far.
I've took over-hours yesterday, done some cleaning, meet friends, bought a game, with I was playing today. Simply, I was productive in week and had fun in weekend. I forgot about anhedonia and this topic, which normally I visit daily. Still I'm waiting for my libido to come back with full force, this is my anhedonia meter.
It can be the first week effect, but I think nootropics work different than psychotropics. Maybe anhedonia and depression are not a neurotransmitter imbalances, but a some kind of ragged neural trails that need to be rebuild. Honestly I do not understand the most common explanation of depression. How fking up with neurotransmitters can help cure it? Well if it is an imbalance, you can fix it with drugs, but it won't cure it for good, at least an endogenous depression. How giving a drug to an addict can free him from his addiction? For me it does not add up. Maybe SSRIs are effective just beacuse serotonin increases neurogenesis?

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Hands up, I'm with you. My circle of life is a day of gloom, the only thing that gives me pleasure is the thought of sleeping. I often delay sleeping as my head figures out that if I sleep later, I'll get up later and miss the mornings, when I feel worse. Nothing seems to make me get any pleasure, but if I can get some manic energy together I do like to out and be around people. Not to talk to them but just to look for others who you can spot going through the same thing. People watching with a twist I guess..... The only thing that can stimulate me slightly and give me a feeling slightly above the baseline dumb, is to go to the gym, and run or spin, hard, like beyond my capabilities..... Somehow my brain engages for a few seconds and I pass the pain barrier. This is actually a good feeling, well it's about the only positive feeling I've had for a long time, so how about an exercise bike or tread mill. All natural, nothing to lose and it takes another 30 minutes of the clock!

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Hands up, I'm with you. My circle of life is a day of gloom, the only thing that gives me pleasure is the thought of sleeping. I often delay sleeping as my head figures out that if I sleep later, I'll get up later and miss the mornings, when I feel worse. Nothing seems to make me get any pleasure, but if I can get some manic energy together I do like to out and be around people. Not to talk to them but just to look for others who you can spot going through the same thing. People watching with a twist I guess..... The only thing that can stimulate me slightly and give me a feeling slightly above the baseline dumb, is to go to the gym, and run or spin, hard, like beyond my capabilities..... Somehow my brain engages for a few seconds and I pass the pain barrier. This is actually a good feeling, well it's about the only positive feeling I've had for a long time, so how about an exercise bike or tread mill. All natural, nothing to lose and it takes another 30 minutes of the clock!

I could force myself to exercise, but I don't have the motivation/desire to do so... to me, everything is pointless/meaningless in this zombie state. Playing video games has become too hard for me... so I couldn't even imagine trying to exercise.

I don't know... I might consider it, but I literally believe I'm a lost cause... not because I don't want to recover, but because I know that's literally impossible. Let's say a hard drive contained everything that made me human (personality/passions/dreams/emotions/feelings)... well, I feel as if someone reformatted the hard drive and completely destroyed the hard drive afterwards... there is no me... I no longer exist. Talking to people "feels" very alien.

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I honestly think meds work because the person needs a reason to be happy, and the mere concept of a happy pill gives him that intellectual reason regardless if the pill literally alters mood. The intellectual provision starts a slow psyching up process.. and it reaches its noticeable peak a couple weeks after starting the pill, or maybe even just days, depending on whatever he's told or whatever he wants to happen. It's a total psychological thing. Us sufferers of purposelessness simply lack an intellectual reason to be happy.

Edited by feelingcursed
TOS

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Feelingcursed, I don't think that meds work via the placebo effect all the time. Studies have shown that when meds are effective, they work in higher percentages of people than placebo. I agree that in many cases, meds can work via the placebo effect, but in more severe cases of depression, the placebo effect is not enough to overcome symptoms. Severe depression can respond to certain medications. I think that in alot of situations (especially with SSRIs) there is a blunting of emotion/anxiety with meds so that people don't feel so depressed anymore and think that they are better, but they have not really fully addressed the problem.

I met a girl in church today because the pastor told everyone to meet the person they were sitting by and pray with them. Of course, my parents decided to tell her all about my depression and stuff (I'm not sure how I feel about this), nonetheless she told me that she had suffered from anhedonia/anxiety/depersonalization/derealization. I asked her about it, and she told me that she suffered with it for 3 years, but got better. She told me that she had experienced some trauma, then extreme anxiety, then the numbness/depersonalization/derealization. This seems to follow the pattern that many of us are describing.

She said she tried many antianxiety meds and antipsychotics prescribed by doctors, but that they made things much, much worse. I asked her if the "antianxiety meds" were SSRIs, and she said yes (big surprise). Anyways, she is another "success story" that brings everyone more hope. In fact, talking to her today helped me get through the day.

Every time someone encounters a "success story," there is some sort of inclination to believe something along the lines of "well did she REALLY get all the way better, or is she just fooling herself or just saying that." I asked her alot of questions, and it appears that she really did recover. Although I do not experience depersonalization/derealization (I don't think I do anyways), she described those types of symptoms as well.

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Hands up, I'm with you. My circle of life is a day of gloom, the only thing that gives me pleasure is the thought of sleeping. I often delay sleeping as my head figures out that if I sleep later, I'll get up later and miss the mornings, when I feel worse. Nothing seems to make me get any pleasure, but if I can get some manic energy together I do like to out and be around people. Not to talk to them but just to look for others who you can spot going through the same thing. People watching with a twist I guess..... The only thing that can stimulate me slightly and give me a feeling slightly above the baseline dumb, is to go to the gym, and run or spin, hard, like beyond my capabilities..... Somehow my brain engages for a few seconds and I pass the pain barrier. This is actually a good feeling, well it's about the only positive feeling I've had for a long time, so how about an exercise bike or tread mill. All natural, nothing to lose and it takes another 30 minutes of the clock!

I could force myself to exercise, but I don't have the motivation/desire to do so... to me, everything is pointless/meaningless in this zombie state. Playing video games has become too hard for me... so I couldn't even imagine trying to exercise.

I don't know... I might consider it, but I literally believe I'm a lost cause... not because I don't want to recover, but because I know that's literally impossible. Let's say a hard drive contained everything that made me human (personality/passions/dreams/emotions/feelings)... well, I feel as if someone reformatted the hard drive and completely destroyed the hard drive afterwards... there is no me... I no longer exist. Talking to people "feels" very alien.

I know how you feel regarding forcing yourself to exercise. I'm not on my first ride on this roller coaster and I know that the pills help, but the real clincher is the exercise. The first time you try its not like its going to be easy. I started walking around the house, then the street, then up the hill. Then the gym after months of pressure from therapist doctor and finally an enthusiastic insurance company lady. Now in the last few weeks only I have started harder exercise again and it is working. Give it a chance if you can, it will knock time of the clock and maybe you'll reboot into safe mode, so you can start systematically re-installing those applications. You don't have to talk to people, believe me I don't often but I find it interesting listening to their BS....

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I used to excerise, years ago when I was actually functional. I went to the gym at least 5 days a week, ran for at least 30 minutes nonstop, then lifted weights for 30 minutes. I did this consistently for 2-3 months. I felt exactly the same. The anhedonia didn't budge.

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And trevor, you tell of all of that, thanks, but isn't the hundred billion dollar question HOW did she recover????????? Just all by itself, her brain healed itself? That's great for her and the few lucky others but for people who have had this for years and years like me (5), if it hasn't happened by now it's not going to. Not without serious outside intervention. So hooooow did she do it???

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She said "I can't pinpoint one thing that made me better" but she mentioned being in therapy and her involvement in religious groups. It is clear from her descriptions that she experienced a significant amount of numbing, that it all lasted 3 years, and that now she can cry, feel emotions, feel joy, etc. I'm guessing it was a gradual change, but I would still pursue treatment.

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Feelingcursed, I don't think that meds work via the placebo effect all the time. Studies have shown that when meds are effective, they work in higher percentages of people than placebo. I agree that in many cases, meds can work via the placebo effect, but in more severe cases of depression, the placebo effect is not enough to overcome symptoms. Severe depression can respond to certain medications. I think that in alot of situations (especially with SSRIs) there is a blunting of emotion/anxiety with meds so that people don't feel so depressed anymore and think that they are better, but they have not really fully addressed the problem.

I met a girl in church today because the pastor told everyone to meet the person they were sitting by and pray with them. Of course, my parents decided to tell her all about my depression and stuff (I'm not sure how I feel about this), nonetheless she told me that she had suffered from anhedonia/anxiety/depersonalization/derealization. I asked her about it, and she told me that she suffered with it for 3 years, but got better. She told me that she had experienced some trauma, then extreme anxiety, then the numbness/depersonalization/derealization. This seems to follow the pattern that many of us are describing.

She said she tried many antianxiety meds and antipsychotics prescribed by doctors, but that they made things much, much worse. I asked her if the "antianxiety meds" were SSRIs, and she said yes (big surprise). Anyways, she is another "success story" that brings everyone more hope. In fact, talking to her today helped me get through the day.

Every time someone encounters a "success story," there is some sort of inclination to believe something along the lines of "well did she REALLY get all the way better, or is she just fooling herself or just saying that." I asked her alot of questions, and it appears that she really did recover. Although I do not experience depersonalization/derealization (I don't think I do anyways), she described those types of symptoms as well.

Awesome.

One question, why is everyone extremely concerned with the drugs than fighting out of it in a natural manner? It doesn't make sense as you know drugs are going to harm you and you still have to be patient. With the natural route, you lift it in a healthy manner and still have to be patient. Main point being it takes patience and perserverance to get out of it, doing one small thing a day can make a difference.

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@peterb: I have basically the same symptoms described by others in the thread, including depersonalization and disconnection from my own feelings: they are there, but I don't "feel" them.

For 15 years.

No, it doesn't just go away.

I am in the process of rereading the whole thread, noting everything interesting.

When I am done, I will post my experience.

I am also considering to open a wiki on the argument, since this thread seems to be the only resource available on it.

please do open the wiki, this threas is so huge and confusing, and it looks like an argument between deaf people

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Feelingcursed, I don't think that meds work via the placebo effect all the time. Studies have shown that when meds are effective, they work in higher percentages of people than placebo. I agree that in many cases, meds can work via the placebo effect, but in more severe cases of depression, the placebo effect is not enough to overcome symptoms. Severe depression can respond to certain medications. I think that in alot of situations (especially with SSRIs) there is a blunting of emotion/anxiety with meds so that people don't feel so depressed anymore and think that they are better, but they have not really fully addressed the problem.

I met a girl in church today because the pastor told everyone to meet the person they were sitting by and pray with them. Of course, my parents decided to tell her all about my depression and stuff (I'm not sure how I feel about this), nonetheless she told me that she had suffered from anhedonia/anxiety/depersonalization/derealization. I asked her about it, and she told me that she suffered with it for 3 years, but got better. She told me that she had experienced some trauma, then extreme anxiety, then the numbness/depersonalization/derealization. This seems to follow the pattern that many of us are describing.

She said she tried many antianxiety meds and antipsychotics prescribed by doctors, but that they made things much, much worse. I asked her if the "antianxiety meds" were SSRIs, and she said yes (big surprise). Anyways, she is another "success story" that brings everyone more hope. In fact, talking to her today helped me get through the day.

Every time someone encounters a "success story," there is some sort of inclination to believe something along the lines of "well did she REALLY get all the way better, or is she just fooling herself or just saying that." I asked her alot of questions, and it appears that she really did recover. Although I do not experience depersonalization/derealization (I don't think I do anyways), she described those types of symptoms as well.

Awesome.

One question, why is everyone extremely concerned with the drugs than fighting out of it in a natural manner? It doesn't make sense as you know drugs are going to harm you and you still have to be patient. With the natural route, you lift it in a healthy manner and still have to be patient. Main point being it takes patience and perserverance to get out of it, doing one small thing a day can make a difference.

I agree that drugs are bad, actually not bad but very very very bad... that's why a lot of us are in this nightmare in this first place, but some are here because of brain damage from drugs like SSRI's or there depression got worst and turned into anhedonia.

I know that it wasn't the depression... and I don't want anyone telling me it is (because I know for a fact I'm suffering from brain damage... can't concentrate, poor memory, can't function anymore, no personality) but the point is, the natural way doesn't always work as well... just keep that in mind.

I've been waiting and waiting... since 2009 and nothing has changed. I know I have been been damaged and there is nothing I can do... I've been completely destroyed.

Some people recover, and some people don't... that's reality.

People who suffer from this are just unlucky... terribly unlucky. We're missing out on life... it's that simple. I couldn't imagine where I could have been in life.... travelling all over the world.... doing fun stuff, enjoying life... I guess just experiencing life?

Just thinking my life before... and my life now... it literally wants me to jump off a bridge (literally... I'm not kidding). I know it's not going to get better (not being pessimistic, but rather fact) and I'm going to rot in my house for the next 60 years yet there is nothing I can do.

There was something magical about life before being in this state... and I don't think words can explain it. The world use to be such a beautiful place... but not anymore.

All hope has been lost for me.

Edited by handsup

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Please can we keep this thread on topic and not start debating whether or not prescribed drugs work or taking supplements is a better alternative?

That's a completely distinct and seperate debate and adds absolutely nothing to this thread.

The whole depression forum is full of people who claim to have gotten better through drugs or claim to have gotten better through supplements.

If you feel it's a worthwhile debate to have, why not start a thread for it?

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In other news, this last few days I've started to feel slightly better taking this phenelzine. I've increased the dose from 45mg day to 60mg day but I've also been more compliant this last few days. It's incredibly hard to remember to take the tablets three times a day when they've got to live in your fridge at home and you're working full time.

I'm taking 2 in the morning and 2 at night now... **** the 3 times a day thing. I'm better doing it twice a day and being compliant.

I'm far from out of the woods and I dont feel nearly as good as I have done (briefly) when starting a couple of other drugs. But after 20+ years of almost continuous unipolar depression and ever decreasing ability to feel any joy or optimism, any improvement is vastly welcome. Side effects wise I'm struggling to get to sleep and I think I'm eating more. My restless legs are having a constant jiggle under my desk at work.

Based on responses to drugs in the past, and my symptoms, I think I've got too much serotonin and still not enough dopamine.

Being able to do normal things on a Sunday like change my bedding, put the washing machine on, and cook food is a huge leap forward for me. I've been here before though and it's pooped out after a week or 10 days... I just hope this time is different. Although I'm not out of the woods, overall I feel profoundly different to when I started the phenelzine (Nardil) so these definitely aren't the jelly tots (children's candy for you American readers) that some other pills might as well have been.

I highly recommend giving a MAOI a go if you've exhausted enough other avenues to feel like it's worth putting up with the dietary restrictions.

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I don't want to trashtalking "natural" approaches. There's something I maybe should make clear. I had OCD and "mild depression" already before 10. After much stress and the death of my uncle I started to inspect my neck for some reason. There was some fattytissue I assume. But at that time I was sure I was dying in Hodgkins or some lymphonic. That's where I first got a panicattack and then got into derealization. I wasn't scared of it because I had read about depressions already at(14) and thought it was just another symptom of it.

However I started to live quite much in my head before this began. Instead of solving computerprogramming problems I "solved" them in my head and was laying down on a bed getting high on thinking. I drank too much coke, didnt sleep at nights but I managed to get decent degrees in the school anyway. My mother was taking care of childrens in our house. Annoying little things disturbing my attemps to even try to do better. Instead I put my whole soul into writing some s***ty game wish I hopefully could present to Sierra at the age of 15. But this wasn't the case. I ended up walking around derealized and depressed in a forest contemplating on all ways of suiciding.

I couldn't orient myself in the school. I didn't even find my way to the classroom because of that derealization. I didn't get "treatment" until I was 17 where they put me on antipsychotic because I was "too melancholic for being melancholic". Of course antipsychotics don't work well on negative symptoms and I had no "positive" ones either. I was just severly depressed, anhedonic and had derealization combined with my other little quirks. I stayed on a high dose of that utter crap until finally I met another doctor who understand I was actually depressed. And after getting Prozac I actually enjoyed going up in the mornings the first 2 or 3 weeks.

I didn't do well in the rest of my schoolperiod and was put in a little home for "challenged" people with the possible of studying at higher levels somewhere else but I didn't care much. I was living quite decadently those last years of the youth. Too much alcohol,, well I sometimes could get things done when programming but seldom. Those dark travels in the forest and around I still don't know how I could manage to survive. It was like being stuck in time and watching everyone else progressing , getting girlfriends, grades,, celebration for getting grades and I got . At 14 I was also sure I was dying in some sort of cancer 2 years or so. I know it would be easier to treat if it was diagnosed faster but I rather die without knowing it or get in when it would get worse.

The derealization, as I stated went away once after having a fight with my parents. It came back as soon as I returned and since that I have been having it 24/7. That is 16+ years. The anhedonia started to bother me.. I cut myself sometimes as well. I decided that was not my thing however but it was connecting with self-loathing. It got better as I got older and thanks to Prozac.

I stopped taking it for a year but the depression, self loathing, sleep difficulties, feelings of guilt, loss of appetite, bouts of aggressions and hitting the walls or even throwing chairs,, got hold of me again.

I ordered some from spain, and my "belt-strappener" which I probably had fired when I decided to quit Effexor sent a letter. Well timed.

A friend of mine also prefered to feel something instead of being blunted by SSRI. He died at 28. I am quite sure it was suicide.

The last time I forget to get my pills from the nutward I noticed that I felt better than for a long time. Not as good as Voxra or Ritalin with SSRI but I could appreciate things like music and so on. The reward system seemed to be offline and I was still derealized of course.

I did a coldturkey, which one shouldnt but anyway. Suffice to say it backlashed and I ordered means to end my life and would have done if the drug I was put on wouldn't work. Though I am now taking 5 drugs. Mirtazapine actually increased the anhedonia as I stated before.. and my doc is leaving now at this precarious moment which is bad because it sound like it was possible to switch provigil against concerta and try that out.

With everything said and done I couldn't take all this the "natural" way. Maybe if I was able to comfort myself or boozed myself that much I started crying in conjuction with doing something idiotic. I am well aware of the "restriction" of the emotional register when taking drugs and I am well aware that derealization and much else could be a natural way to rest the brain. But what's when that's not enough ? Should I smash another toiletdoor? or maybe throwing chairs out my windows? Agitated, afraid , p***** of, self loathing,

It's not like I like "rationalism" that much either but I am unable to go full blown ****** "naturally" which probably would be beneficial.

And not taking pills were like having a emotional straightjacket, I felt like a robot , observed by all and myself in not the Grandious way I might add. This is not about having a bout of depression and riding it out at an somewhat adult age. And if someone took a ****ing MRI or SPECT or whatever I would be greatful so I don't have to explain to people why I dont have the "strength" to do it the "natural" way. And no I don't exclude psychosocial influence and I sure as hell don't exclude that my personality formed by genetics and upbringing has a great deal to do with what I am.

Maybe high dose Inositol (Vitamin B8) would have helped but I didn't know of those things until quite recently.

I tried 5-htp with and without Buspirone and I just got headache. What I am saying is that I and most likely many more have a loooooong story behind which might have started too early. The constant derealization coupled with anhedonia destroyed my ability to study hence I couldn't even find the classrooms due to spatial deficits.

So as a "bonus" I got screwed academically which implies joblessness these days which means social exclusion.

What happens to the brain when it get's overloaded by stress? As far as I know, breakdown of Hippocampus and probably prefrontal cortex. Does that seem like a reliable "natural" cure ?

And with that said.

Merry Christmas!

Edited by General_Failure

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Please can we keep this thread on topic and not start debating whether or not prescribed drugs work or taking supplements is a better alternative?

That's a completely distinct and seperate debate and adds absolutely nothing to this thread.

The whole depression forum is full of people who claim to have gotten better through drugs or claim to have gotten better through supplements.

If you feel it's a worthwhile debate to have, why not start a thread for it?

That's irrelevant, I didn't state drugs don't help at all but you're putting so much at stake by taking them and you all know this so why deny this fact? Believe it or not Depression is a huge mystery still after so many years so nobody knows what these drugs are 'really' doing to your body. I'm saying that if other people who you can meet in person or take advice from online, famous people, books etc. can give you two sides of the story - why not try some of their ideas and put into action instead of waiting for a pill to turn this around for you?

Edited by MusicLover2

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Sometimes people on here say things that just resonate so strongly with me and I feel I must agree out loud.

"I've been waiting and waiting... since 2009 and nothing has changed. I know I have been been damaged and there is nothing I can do... I've been completely destroyed.

Some people recover, and some people don't... that's reality.

People who suffer from this are just unlucky... terribly unlucky. We're missing out on life... it's that simple. I couldn't imagine where I could have been in life.... travelling all over the world.... doing fun stuff, enjoying life... I guess just experiencing life?

Just thinking my life before... and my life now... it literally wants me to jump off a bridge (literally... I'm not kidding). I know it's not going to get better (not being pessimistic, but rather fact) and I'm going to rot in my house for the next 60 years"

I've had my issues all my life basically except the anhedonia which hit full force in 2009, though I had it to a lesser degree before that. So I've never experienced happiness before so no, I definitely can't say life was magic befpre that but it really hurts to watch everybody progressing while you are, like someone else said, stuck in time. You have powerful dreams and desires but while everybody else is allowed to pursue theirs, you are not. You are only allowed to spend all your time and effort and money on trying to get rid of the torture that never should have been there in the first place. And no matter what you do, the universe will make sure it doesn't work.You try and try and do everything you possibly can, yet all your efforts are thwarted and blocked, no matter how hard you try or what you do, it won't work. I am on ssi disability which is next to nothing and out of that I spend every last penny on treatments every month so that I can't even buy underwear sometimes, and none of them have worked, not even a little. I have been doing this for 3 years straight. Human words cannot even begin to describe how frustrated and angry it makes me. I agree with handsup - people suffering from this are just terribly, terribly unlucky.

Edited by IWantToFeelAlive

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Music lover.

I'm taking a drug that's the best part of 70 years old... we're pretty clear now what the drug does to people's bodies. We're also pretty clear on what untreated depression does too... it's got a high morbidity rate and lowers your life expectancy. We all know what it does to your quality of life.

I'm waiting for a drug to turn it all around because I've been to clinics at one of the world's leading authorities on depression and they only treat people who have treatment refractory depression, and they have a 96% success rate in finding a treatment that works. I've made lifestyle changes and i'm on the waiting list for therapy too so it's not just a pill to turn it around, but until I'm stable on medication I simply won't be open to changing the way I think about things which is a necessary part of therapy working. The clinic I visit has seen several people just like me who've had very treatment resistant depression who've had their lives turned around by the right drug. It's not the path for everyone, it might not be the right path for you, and that's fine, but it's the right one for me. You know very little about me or my condition so I'm not sure why you feel so confident in offering medical advice... and lets face it, advising whether or not taking drugs for a condition is the best strategy for them is medical advice.

I've tried 15 or so drugs now and I'm quite aware of what the benchmark is for a drug working or not working. I've had plenty that have done nothing whatsoever. I feel significantly better than I did 3 or 4 days ago... I'm happy about that while it lasts and see absolutely no reason to start questioning whether or not I should be taking these drugs. I was aware of the risks before I started this drug, which are considerable with phenelzine, and happy that the risk to therapeutic value suits me. I wouldn't try and evaluate that on your behalf so please don't do it for me.

Edited by Pw1981

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Well here is my update for 2/25/2013:

I have FINALLY gotten a prescription for tranylcypromine (Parnate) and the pharmacy said they will get it in stock on Wednesday and I will start it. I have also found another ECT facility that allows for ECT with MAOIs, so I might start exploring that as an option. The new ECT doctor is in Los Angeles (Dr. Barry Kramer). It's actually funny, because before I was referred to him, I actually watched a few of his youtube videos.

I think it is always important to be involved in goal-oriented behavior and that stagnation will make you feel worse in the long run, because you will feel bad about "being stuck in time" or look back at all the time you wasted. I refused to have ECT right away when the ECT specialist said that I would have to drop the classes I am in and miss another year of school absolutely. Dropping all my classes and missing school for another year would be regression, not progression, unless absolutely necessary.

My plan is to at least finish the classes I am enrolled in, and if by then Parnate has not helped enough, then have ECT. The idea is to always be in a state of progress - to always be progressing in both treatments and in your life, even if you don't feel like it, so that you don't look back and think that you wasted your time - so that you can look back and not have regrets because you did the best that you could do and accomplished things. If you do ever get out of this, if you continued progressing, you won't look back and feel regret for wasted time.

As for supplements, of course taking meds has risks, but sometimes people need them. I explored the supplements route extensively before deciding to try meds.

Pw1981's experience is consistent with my suspicion that MAOIs might help, but there is a possibility that they wont get me "all the way there." I really don't think that the main issue is a depletion or shortage of dopamine per se, but I think that extra dopamine might help counter the anhedonia at least indirectly. The problem with this, of course, as we have seen, is downregulation and tolerance, to which the dopamine system seems to be extremely vulnerable. Perhaps the real problem is that an overactivation of Brodmann's Area 25 represses the dopamine system. We will see how this pans out.

Edited by itstrevor

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hi @itsTrevor

been following this thread on and off. whenever i've the time, just to learn and also understand better from people's experiences.

Just stopped by and read your response. Well said, it's true. I am still struggling and sometimes "stagnant" due to depression - but what you say is the word of progress and improvement.

That's all I have to add for now. and to the rest, Keep up the positive energy here.. this is a useful thread

~ subliminal

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