Jump to content

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


itstrevor

Recommended Posts

Hi guys, Im new here. I have same problem as you. Now it's my second day on Wellbutrin 300mg and mirtazapine 30mg and I have a question. What if this symptoms are symptoms of schizofrenia? Im not here to scary, just I must ask. Schizofrenia with only negative symptoms (anhedonia, apathy etc.) exist (or maybe not?) What u think? If yes, then what next?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi guys, Im new here. I have same problem as you. Now it's my second day on Wellbutrin 300mg and mirtazapine 30mg and I have a question. What if this symptoms are symptoms of schizofrenia? Im not here to scary, just I must ask. Schizofrenia with only negative symptoms (anhedonia, apathy etc.) exist (or maybe not?) What u think? If yes, then what next?

negative symptoms sometimes occur in the prodromal (begin) phase of schizophrenia. How old are you? schiz. usually start in adolescence to early adulthood. Usually schizoid personality trait precede it by many years as does social anhedonia and peculiar behavior.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very young. Now 17, but it began at about 15 after high stress situation (what I remember is then I don't felt like myself). First meds that I took was: fluoxetine (6-7 weeks) - nothing happens, tianeptine (5-6 weeks) - little difference, venlafaxine + mirtazapine (5 weeks) - strong, but "blank" motivation. Sry for my english.

EDIT: I forgot about my other symptoms like: vision problems and something called "musical ear syndrome".

Edited by neur0nz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@neurOnz- I can only tell you my experience with my son. He was a relatively normal child until he reached grade 9 (14 years old). he then started to become more quiet, not talking much, and his school marks fell. It was around the same time he started experimented with illegal drug. I thought he was showing normal teenage behaviour, until it was so bad by Grade 11-12 ( 17 years old or so) that I sought help for him. He was diagnosed in Grade 12, although the changes I saw in him (prodomal) started years before that.

There are negative and positive symptoms in schizo. My son suffers mostly negative symptoms; mainly the ones you listed, but he also had some olfactory hallucinations/delusions. He also has paranoid behaviour. After being on Risperidone for 5+years, his symptoms are well under control. He will always have some residual symptoms, but he should be able to have a near normal life.

So, to answer your question.....you can have schizo with mainly negative symptoms, but I believe to have a schizo diagnosis, there's usually some positive symptoms like hallucinations, etc. These may be subtle. Often schizos deny anything is wrong with them,so maybe you're not aware of them?

I strongly suggest you revisit your doc if the latest meds are not working. The earlier schizo is treated, the better the response to medication.

Also, don't be afraid of a diagnosis of schizo. The media blows it all out of proportion. With support from family, and the proper meds for you, you should still be able to have a fulfilling life. The occurrence in the general population is believed to be 1 out of every 100.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My son has slowly improved over the last 5 or so years that he's been on medication. He completed an architectural drafting course at the local community college. It took him 3 years instead of the usual 2 years, ( he went part time) but he did it. He graduated from the course last year, but hasn't found any work yet. When he was first diagnosed, he talked very little, couldn't take the bus, or be around people in general. With support and meds, he's improved enough that he can take the bus on his own. Once he was diagnosed with schizo, I resisted the advice of the local case worker that advised us that he should go on social assistance. I didn't want to do this, so I told his case worker that the family would take care of him. In hindsight I see that what the caseworker was trying to do was to get him in the system so he could access the various programs that were available to him. He now lives in his own apartment, but stays with us on the weekend. We still have to help him financially, but it gives him a sense of independence.

As far as hobbies, and friends, go.....he really has neither. Most of his time is spent in his room with the computer on various computer related message boards. He has one friend that he sees maybe once a month. He is still awkward socially, but loves animals. The important thing for you to do is find out whether or not you have schizo, then the appropriate meds will be prescribed for you. Antidepressants won't help you if you have schizo. You need a different type of med for that.

The son I have now is not the same son I had before he became ill. We've made peace with that loss, and we have gained a whole new insight into what some people must, and can, overcome. Hope this post helps you a bit. You are not alone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got diagnosed schizophrenia simplex at 17. Then it was changed to severe anxiety ("explanation" for derealization) and depression, afterwards I suggested Schizoid Personality Disorder and got that through but then I met some psychologist who assumed because I had had one girlfriend at age 24 for 4 months that it was Avoidant Personality disorder. After that the doc didn't believe in Schiz PD because I wasn't feeling "comfortable" with my situation he claimed. Well who would feel "comfortable" whith "reward deficit syndrome" as in absense of wanting and liking. I also share the trait that I get along well with pets (not saying they all necessarily gets along with me). There's some israelic study where dogs has been helpful regarding the "anhedonia" if not apathy when it comes to schizophrenic patients.

I don't even know if Schizophrenia simplex is considered a diagnose anymore but there's some traits I lack from Schizoid PD anyway. Like for instance one is supposed to have some sort of "inner" more or less creative world which is preferable instead of the exterior. Sure, if one is dissociated 24/7 and get no enjoyment out of the environment the logical conclusion would be to make some crap up in the head but that "crap" probably must come from resources outside. And why would one want to integrate that kind of trash in some "interior" world.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15627854

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@General Failure @neur0nz Here in Halifax, Nova Scotia, we have something called Laing House, where young people with mental illness can gather in a non-judgemental environment. One of opportunities used to be a visit to the local SPCA to walk the dogs and cuddle the cats. Unfortunately, this program seems to have stopped, but I hope it is continued at another time. There is definite research showing a connection between the healing benefits of animal and human interaction. My theory is that schizo-type people have a problem picking up on the subtle non-language part of communication. Animals also don't care who you are or what problems you may have. They will love you unconditionally. I believe we all need some loving, physical interaction. My son will often say that the only one who physically touches him is me. So I try to hug him as often as I can.

These types of negative symptoms associated with schizo is part of the general anhedonia they experience; not dissimilar to the anhedonia the folks on this board experience. It is treatment resistant, and not much has been done to try to find something to help with it, although I hear there are some new drugs in early trials.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was reading about alprazolam (xanax) and I found a series of case studies by a reputable group (among which David Klein who less introduced the concept of endogenomorphic depression, which more ore less corresponds to melancholic depresison/depression with significant anhedonic symptoms and is someone I hold in high regard) that found that alprazolam relieved negative symptoms in patients with schizoprenia and panic anxiety (1). incidentally i remember trevor also had a favorable albeit obviously temporary response to it, anyone else care to comment?

(1) Adjunctive alprazolam for schizophrenia with panic anxiety: clinical observation and pathogenetic implications

Edited by sc2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Xanax did not make me feel like myself again. Xanax allowed me to release tension in the form of a restorative nap (with this numbness, it is very difficult to relieve tension or self-soothe because you are basically frozen).

ECT UPDATE DAYS 10-11:

Okay so yesterday I had my 4th ECT treatment. The nurses have had to slip the IV needle through the top of my hand because my veins are difficult to find. Yesterday I noticed that when I came home, I felt really slow, had difficulty finding words, and made more grammar mistakes than usual. I also felt more calm (my breathing was slowed down for the day). I'm not sure if I felt any better after the treatment - just exhausted. Today I woke up and I do not feel any different. So far the pattern has been this:

Go in for ECT treatment -> Wake up feeling tipsy -> Go home feeling exhausted -> Wake up next morning no different

I'm sort of getting disappointed... Perhaps this treatment, like it seems all the others (including SSRIs) are just meant to take away depression, not return you to euthymia? This sucks big time.

Edited by itstrevor
Link to comment
Share on other sites

we here want to revert a numbing. what modern psichiatry does is imparting numbness. think for example of schizofrenia: positive symptoms can be cured, but negative ones, the ones we anhedonia sufferers share, can not. Molecules are not "planned", they are discovered by chance. The fact that molecules addressing these negative symptoms are non existent is kind of demoralizing. It might mean that concrete life adjustments have to be taken. That is the last step in my opinion.

Anyhow, even if i think ECT is an insane idea, my condoleances for the negative outcome

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we here want to revert a numbing. what modern psichiatry does is imparting numbness. think for example of schizofrenia: positive symptoms can be cured, but negative ones, the ones we anhedonia sufferers share, can not. Molecules are not "planned", they are discovered by chance. The fact that molecules addressing these negative symptoms are non existent is kind of demoralizing. It might mean that concrete life adjustments have to be taken. That is the last step in my opinion.

Anyhow, even if i think ECT is an insane idea, my condoleances for the negative outcome

I agree partly, the goal of psyxiatric treatment is to get people to a functional level, as it appears. So that is what you can expect if you chose this path. Honestly, I also didnt tihnk ECT would lead to substantial improvements in anhedonia. Having said that there is anecdoctal and some clinical evidence though that there are ways to relief anhedonia. HOwever the chemicals/plants that are useful for giving (temporary) relief are considered self-medicating on these boards. As someone with a background in medicine, I dont really see the fundamental difference between getting temporary relief using the substances psychiatrists perscribe and the substances I refer to

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe that mental illness has long been shoved to the back burner of research, in the case of depression.schizo and bi-polar, along with a very long list of mental illnesses. It's only been the last five years or so that these words have been included in the day to day language of people. It used to be that euphemisms were used instead. So, it stands to reason that it has been short changed when it comes to research, both in interest and money. I have a background in lab work, and my philosophy has been 'you can't find it if you don't know what you're looking for'. Until research catches up to mental illness, we are stuck trying to cope as best we can. And it's only been the last few years that schizo research has paid any attention to the anhedonia side of it's symptomatology. I guess the medical community thought that if their patients weren't running around raving and threatening people, then they were cured. Of course, we know that to fully enjoy life, you have to feel the joy in your heart, or you are just an empty shell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Which is exactly what anti-dopaminergical drugs accentuate except for perhaps the partial dopamine d2 agonist Abilify. It all sounds like substitute for a society which might have been. I remember being with my ex. Hugs felt somewhat like nitrous oxide. The time felt like stopping and there was some feeling of security and maybe comfort. Sure, maybe one could emulate that by increasing oxytocin by agonising HT-2a receptors which leads to increased prolactine and Oxytocin. The thing which probably is most likely least prefered to person in psychosis (psychadelics) would perhaps be the best way to cope with what's actually happening. People experiencing "positive" symptoms often have megalomaniac traits. Could that be the sign that the selfesteem or perhaps selffeeling is that low and therefore the brain compensates? That doesn't sound to unreasonable. Sadly people in the field seems too "smart" for that kind of thinking.

Earlier I was about to write about the "hope" regarding schizophrenia drugs and mention NMDAagonists which Glyc17(?) is one that Clip pointed out. Bitopertin obviously seems like another. Those symptoms these would likely address would be "dissociation" which seems to be in the cluster of some disorders. Borderline Personality D, Bipolar, Schizophrenia and of course depersonalization disorder. Stephen M stahl has some article about it..

http://www.cnsspectrums.com/aspx/articledetail.aspx?articleid=1037

Which basically seems to be an elaboration in the line of Arvid Carlsson and Co seems to have had in mind regarding PCP.

http://www.acnp.org/g4/gn401000116/ch114.html

PCP, Ketamine and Nitrous Oxide are drugs that is "dissociatives". Though I think it might be some form of "panic" stuck in the "freeze" mode. The Periaqueductal area seems vital or to be more exact Caudal ventrolateral periaqueductal area.

The psychological aspect might have to do with so called "attachment theory" and maybe sort of "unique" parenting however I don't like the blamecard and it has been used quite much in psychiatry. It's not funny but as I brought up things that hinted about this interaction between my parents and my state of being when talking with a friend he seems to frowned somewhat. The same person told me after I've been at them that "they're well meaning" without I've even said anything about the behaviour itself. He did of course pass that info to his mother which in turn told me the same without me not even mentioning it.

It seems like they're some fuxking denial at work. Mind that the only time I got out from this dissociation was after a fight with my parents 2 weeks after the onset of dissociation. That was when the numbing disappeared, I could feel anger, sadness and then appreciation for so called "beauty" in the nature.

I am sort of unsure what kind of approach would be the wiser. I know people did the best with the resources they had and those pets which was acquired thanks to my parents have had values beyond values.

People have to drug themselves to cover up systematical failures. I would say this shxt is all about a cover up. It's possible the change is not possibly by nondrug approaches. I've had some beers,. That's one way of getting in touch with the bitterness hidden under. It's still not enough. The incapacity caused by not taking drugs is brain-shrinkage (prefrontal cortex and hippocampus and possibly more). A working blunt brain or a non working not blunt brain. One can only lose..

Edited by General_Failure
Link to comment
Share on other sites

ECT UPDATE DAY 12:

I had my 5th ECT today. So far I have not noticed any obvious memory loss, even with bilateral treatments. So far the procedures and their side effects seem to be way easier than I had anticipated (I was prepared to lose almost a whole year's worth of memory or more and was also prepared to be like Dory from Finding Nemo). I can still easily remember passwords, phone numbers, and pretty much everything I need to. I might be just a tad bit slower, but I can't tell for sure, and I'm pretty sure that is only on treatment days. I did have a headache after this last treatment, but so far there has been little to no discomfort (after the first "trial" treatment, that is). My muscles do not feel sore and it seems to be that I am taking the treatments even easier as time goes by (like I'm not as exhausted and such). The nurses keep having to stick the needle in the top of my hand because it is so difficult to find my veins - I would say that is the most uncomfortable thing, and the exhaustion afterwards. It really does feel like you have had too much to drink - you stumble around for about an hour and then you are fine (well in my case anyways).

The sensation as you are anesthetized is pretty interesting - like as you start to fade out you hear that ringing sound get louder and louder until everything is dark. Sometimes it mutates into the 60hz hum, and sometimes I can faintly hear people talking. I don't seem to have forgotten anything about the procedure except maybe right when I wake up is a bit fuzzy. Everything about me getting in the car each time seems pretty clear.

I even remember the conversation I had with the doc. I expressed my concerns since this was already my 5th treatment and I was still unable to discern a real difference. He said that it was still pretty early to give up because typically a MINIMUM of 4 treatments were required before a patient notices a difference. I sure hope that he is right! I saw two ECT documentaries where it took like 9 and 10 before those two patients felt any better. I really need this to work... I just don't want to naively fall for another "miracle cure" only to be let down again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hang in there Trevor, I would hope for some improvement by the end of it. BTW do they do a set number of treatments or stop when there is a improvement?

General: The drug I mentioned was Glyx13

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Clip @GeneralFailure. Glyx13 sounds so promising. At least there's research being conducted into those hard-to-treat depressive symptoms and patients. I await with bated breath. Hope is hard to come by when disappointment is the norm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ECT UPDATE DAY 13:

I woke up feeling a bit different today, like as if my brain chemistry was changing. I woke up with some sort of familiar feeling... I can't say that I woke up feeling "good," but hopefully this is a good sign and I will continue to change until I am better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder how s***ty side effects glyx13 will have IF it even gets through trial and IF it actually works (I don't take drug studies seriously, only anecdotes)

It can't be too perfect as that would cause problems when evergreening.

Edited by General_Failure
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder how s***ty side effects glyx13 will have IF it even gets through trial and IF it actually works (I don't take drug studies seriously, only anecdotes)

It can't be too perfect as that would cause problems when evergreening.

I am similar. Evne when i trust the people running the study the outcome measures used seem so far off from what it is that people actually suffer from. Not to mention that inclusion criteria of modern clnical trials are severely biased towards patients who have favorable chances of 'responding to the medication', to the point that placebo response is often around 30%.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been on tianeptine for the last 55 days, that about 8 weeks. It is said that tianeptine takes 4-6 weeks to grow to its full therapeutic potential. I had noticed that something was going on already at week one, then that feeling plateaud for another 3-4 weeks during which i could feel that there was something going on in background but i was slightly disappointed, and now i have the feel that it has furterly increased.

Before i describe my experience further, a quick recap of my situation for those who dont have the patience or energy to seek my previous posts: skip this if you know what my background is.

2008- took fluoxetine for 8months to cure a case of dysthimia with melancholic, avoidant and social anxiety traits. had no problems of libido, emotional dampening, concentration, had excellent memory.

2009- during these 8 months i happened to do some MDMA a couple of times and occasionly smoked filter. I dont think it played much of a role, maybe the mdma ruined my memory and conentration capabilities a bit, but i feel its not the culprit for the rest. Tought it was worth mentioning just to be fair. While on SSRI i was motivated to do things i otherwise find s*** (like going to the cinema with friends for example) and i had so much energy it almost felt weird. Tough i find that my judgement was compromised and i was way more tolerant that id like to be or that id want to be.

2010-early2012- did not take action to "repair" anything: i just tought that patience and time would restore me: i still suffered from dampened emotions and all aforementioned deficits, plus sexual dysfunction, genitals anaesthesia etc, but the mental libido was there.

2012- started trying out adaptogens like ginseng, rhodiola, SJW, bacopa, list goes on. then i tried Cialis, then Methylphenidate and Modafinil.

adaptogens - minor and shortlasting relief. I found that SJW had no effect, rhodiola was "ok" and ginseng was the most energising of them all and had a pretty good effect on my hypersomnia.

cialis - it was a miracle pill. I could not feel the "muscles" of my penis before, its like it reconstructed the bridge of connection between mind and musle in ONE FOURTH of a 10mg pill. taken once, my mechanical function has been quite restored since (ofc i think all the porn and my aging have to be taken into account too)

methylphenidate and modafinil - didnt work at all. i could not feel them working. methylphenidate is the most misterious, it gave me absolute zero differences from my normal self. and the modafinil, i perform much better in whatever activity that requires mental effort i am doing at that moment, but dont feel any different, its an interesting substance somehow.

so - all this just to clarify: i am quite treatment resistant. So tianeptine might work better for you.

The Tianeptine is ok. I really dont know. I was thinking of writing that im slightly disappointed, because i actually am, but i am doing better than before, and its in the right direction. Hell, even my old social anxiety crawling back is a good sign!!! I also get upset and "sad" when i have discussions with my GF, and i feel anger and frustration: i know its there, its inside me, but its nebulous, its not a sharp feeling... I still do not "bond" with people and am kind of always detached and cinical, but that might be another problem.

I have had no side effects whatsoever. no weird dreams, no vivid dreams. I think i might dream slightly more, and i have my light alarm clock turn on an hour before the actual time just to so that my sleep is more shallow and i will remember more. It makes me start the day with a smile having had a good dream and being able to remember it. I have the feeling i do more mistakes while writing, and i express myself with less clarity. Somehow, i think tianeptine alone is not enough, but that might just be me, lets face it guys, we're all quite "addicted" to this little chemist attempt at fixing up our problems and frustrations, and the temptation to just jump to the next substance is great, but it has to be resisted for the sake of being at peace, later on, in crossing out a substance

I notice no big changes in memory or my ability to focus. Maybe its improved slightly, but nothing im sure about, thats why i started taking sulbutiamine and aniracetam too. I had two very pleasant days with the sulbutiamine, then it kinda pooped out already, ive added aniracetam to the mix for the long term. Anyhow, i have no idea if it is avdiseable to take both sulbutiamine (dopamine production inhibition --> dopamine receptor increase) + tianeptine (serotonin reuptake enhancment --> serotonin receptor increase , also it is known that tianeptine modulates dopamine so maybe i might slowing down the tianeptine process with the sulbutiamine, since the alphamanliness that rised in me the first days felt quite dopamine related)

[besides the daily tianeptine, sulbutiamine and aniracetam, im also taking fish oil and vitaminB complex]

Edited by nostromo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doesn't matter, if someone is plagued by constantly returning classical depressive symptoms there's good reasons to try out those drugs which at least causes the least amount of crap when it comes to increasing anhedonia, apathy and so on. Tianeptine seems like one of those kinds of drug. At this time however I think of changing clomipramine to venlafaxine. As reduced anhedonia or dissociation seems to much to ask for augmenting with a drug which turned me into a pure moron at that time I tried it in monotherapy starts to look like a good deal. After that maybe one could get into the state of indifference which seems about to be the only state offered by the pill-industry but maybe that also seems to overestimate their labor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...