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


itstrevor

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My Amygdala is starting to overreact again, (I get shaky and starts selfmonitoring when passing people by outside).

this is a progress dont you think? I feel the same on tianeptine, i told my shrink that my social anxiety has increased, in the direction it was before the ssri mess!

Honestly, while not "pleasureable", i think its a good sign, or at least, i do appreciate it, to some extent :) better than feeling totally numb.. still, id like to get rid of it!

I think tri/tetra cyclics are very interesting drugs which allow you to keep your personality and work on it as you prefer, whereas SSRI only make you not care about the problem anymore.

this indeed is not a solution, but it makes people stop complain, by turning them into little submissive worms inside their cocoons.

I think social anxiety is strictly tied to lack of serotonin and maybe even excess dopamine... i believe Moclobemide would be a decent idea

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My Amygdala is starting to overreact again, (I get shaky and starts selfmonitoring when passing people by outside). It's part of my Avoidant PD. My doc is a slave to faulty contraindication and therefore will not prescribe MAOI on top of Mirtazapine. For some reason I can't get the pesky clomipramine out of the system fast enough (drug interaction?). I like some aspects of Mirtazapine even though it has turned me into a robot.

Better impulse control, less stupid ideas and less squandering of money. Would that change if I went to MAO without mirtazapine? I would lack my old commie-self. I think I have to order my doc to prescribe betablockers. And I prefer to avoid SSRI. I Wish I had been put on Mirtazapine from the start instead of that crap. Increasing benzodiazepine instead of using betablockers could also do. Seems like this docs fuxking mission in life. "take away the benzo!". I wonder what's supposed to substitute it. Probably something related to his share-portfolio.

It's not like I am hiding in fear inside. I have actually, and I think it's thanks to L-theanine, been out more often. I went swimming some days last week and went to the gym early this morning. It's just that reaction when walking by a stranger when not even looking at that person. It's like some form of physical reaction and tenseness is appearing those moments. I know this is one of those less severe "symptoms" I get when not on drugs. However I think betablocker would do for this.

I dont know how bad these symptoms are to you, but they seem pretty minor compared to anhedonia. So maybe you can use 'exposre' techniques to overcome this anxiety. this works by gradually exposing yourself to increasinly scary situations.

It works for panic attacks. I overcame my phobic fear of high heart rate by employing this technique.

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My Amygdala is starting to overreact again, (I get shaky and starts selfmonitoring when passing people by outside).

this is a progress dont you think? I feel the same on tianeptine, i told my shrink that my social anxiety has increased, in the direction it was before the ssri mess!

Honestly, while not "pleasureable", i think its a good sign, or at least, i do appreciate it, to some extent :) better than feeling totally numb.. still, id like to get rid of it!

I think tri/tetra cyclics are very interesting drugs which allow you to keep your personality and work on it as you prefer, whereas SSRI only make you not care about the problem anymore.

this indeed is not a solution, but it makes people stop complain, by turning them into little submissive worms inside their cocoons.

I think social anxiety is strictly tied to lack of serotonin and maybe even excess dopamine... i believe Moclobemide would be a decent idea

I ampretty sure that in the end social phobia is related to your perceptions of yourself and the world. If you want to make healthy and sustained changes to social anxiety you need to adress these self-defeating beliefs. Mind you these beliefs are usually latent beliefs that shape how you react on a subconscious level. MOst of the time these beliefs are also not admitted to the self so you are unlikely to be consciously aware that you have these beliefs.

Trust me, I had social phobia so bad I couldnt look people in the eyes, becasue if I did my neck woul start to make these jerking movements because of the tension. The anxiety would get so bad that they would progressi nto panic attacks. As it turns out they were related to low self esteem. I do not experience social phobia anymore becuase I realized it and worked on the self esteem.

Chnaging self esteem is no mean feat though. It takes dedicated work, you have to bascially convicne your sub-conscious mind of your self worth. This involves achieving succes in some life domains that you value

Edited by sc2
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Thanks for that hint. However I don't like my sub-conscious mind. The only way I could convince it of something is by at least doing something of importance though I guess I am just one of those "sad cases" that only can put value on what one does and not what one is which means it wouldn't matter anyway. And I am still crippled in the ways of dissociation and anhedonia that route is closed for anything mentally taxing anyway. Actually I am thinking of Parnate (wish I just could keep the mirtazapine at the same time). I am far of being able to exist without drugs. However I guess I almost always felt like a sucker since I grew a brain. I could hid it behind computer programming. That topic isn't even interesting anymore maybe due to dull cognition due to those other symptoms or maybe it's a change searching for something else.

I am quite sure of why it has become like this. It's the obvious turn out when some parents just appreciate someone as an extension or a tool. Gaining confidence though their child. It's typical. All focus is put on what the little miraculous offspring does nothing else. I don't like blaming them or even putting responsibility where it perhaps belonged. They had their own issues and probably tried their best. However getting away from that "lack of self worth", well I don't even know how to measure "worth" anymore.

Edited by General_Failure
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@sc2, I still of course have anhedonia, dissociation and avolition (with the exception for some physical activities maybe due to some restlessness).

Well, It's hard to get away from people. One meets them everywhere. And for some reason I could sit at the same cliff with quite a lot of people without getting strung up but it's something else when one is just passing them. It's of course a bit better when it's not teenagers in group. I mean the question is binary. Either I pass them or not. There's no room for gradual events between if I didn't belong to the kind of people who stopped everyone for chat about the weather and so on.

But like you say passing some people is associated with a stronger reaction than others. I used to have a similar thing related to panic. In my opinion it is good to be aware of which people caused stronger reactions and try to work towards exposing yourself purposely to passing strangers that provke an increasingly strong reaction. This way you might desentisize yourself to the anxiety.

I dont know if it will work of course, but it did for me with the panic attacks. II started out by puishing some limited amount weight, (i.e. bench pressing 50kg, 10 reps) and I ended up doing daily full body work outs inclding pressing 95 kilos in three sets of 12, 10 and 8 reps). etc.

My physical reaction to the sensation of high heart rate didnt cause me to go into panic attacks anymore, despite that it was a stronger reaction. The vulnerarbility will alway remain though, currently i am wokring up to that level of activity again, but once I was in it the anxiety was completely gone

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@sc2, The problem is that I am not that unfit. I've been in a better shape but reacting upon someone in the age of 70 with no prominent musculature and possibly a hidden alcohol-belly is overkill. However trying to keep this up is of no harm. Good luck with your own endeavors.

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UPDATE JULY 18, 2013

COMING OFF OF ALL MEDS FOR GOOD

I saw the endocrinologist and she said that my CATECHOLAMINE LEVELS ARE OFF THE CHARTS. That is, they are above 2x what is normal! As a result of this, I am getting off of Parnate. All of these psych meds that I have been taking over the past 2 years have done nothing for me, and have probably messed me up further. Parnate is dangerous for me because it is further elevating my elevated catecholamine levels. Perhaps my norepinepherine and dopamine levels have been too high since the beginning... I think that I am finished speculating .. and I think that I am going to just come off of everything and not try any more psych drugs. Maybe if I'm lucky I will get better in a year or two or three... I would be happy even if it took 5 or 10 years. Eventually it has to get better...

As any scientist knows, failures are much more common than successes. I've learned that trying to play junior brain chemist and almost died several times already this past two years. If I keep this up, I'll be dead by the time I'm 30 and exhaust my body on this crazy med-go-round. Yesterday I was going loony from the Parnate reduction... I seriously felt like I had Alzeimer's and felt extremely horrible. I could not sleep, felt nauseous, and felt like I was going to hallucinate or something (on top of these problems that I'm already having). As far as psychiatric human suffering goes, I'm not sure how much worse it could have gotten.

DESCRIBING PARNATE WITHDRAWAL

The endocrinologist said that she might have an idea of what the problem is (some endocrine system tumor) and I'm going to have a CAT scan on Wednesday, but that being on Parnate could skew the results of the catecholamine test. I think that after the withdrawal stages of going from 50mg to 40mg and then 40mg to 30mg, I feel somewhat better after each dosage reduction (better anxiety wise). I think it was almost a week ago that I went down to 30mg. I went down on my dosage on the 11th. I guess that sort of makes sense, since when I started taking Parnate I remember it taking 7-8 days to notice the initial Parnate dopaminergic effects. It's been about that many days since I stopped taking that last 10mg. I guess I'm glad I didn't cold-turkey it.

Anyways, I feel like there is a brick in my head. I just feel off. I am going to try to describe it. Yesterday I felt sort of drunk and panicky. I had tremors (shaky) and felt panicky for little reason. I progressively felt like I was getting slower and slower for the past few days. Just little things - like grammar/spelling mistakes, not noticing things I would usually notice, having difficulties recalling things from memory and focusing. It progressively got worse and seemed to hit a peak yesterday. My right ear was ringing all day. I felt physically ill and overslept (it seems like rest/sleep helps stave off withdrawal symptoms a little bit, and so does eating and drinking alot). I also haven't had much of an appetite and I forget to drink water, which is problematic as you can imagine. I just do not seem as eloquent or careful in my writing or other activities. My mind does not seem to be able to discern what feelings to assign to different things. Like one second I'll feel a certain way about something, then a minute later I'll feel differently. I'll be sobbing, then sitting numb, then feel miserable, then feel sort of calm. Some things make me feel awful, then a second later they don't. Like just the thought of sitting in my room made me feel not-so-good, then a minute later it seemed to be more relaxing than being elsewhere. One second I am listening to a song and it seems to calm me down a bit, then a second later I'm numb and indifferent to it (anhedonia persists throughout it all though - in other words, I still cannot feel "good" - just numb, calm, sorrow, or awful it seems).

WHAT I'M GOING TO DO

I'm not going to try to figure it out... I don't want to think about it anymore... I'm just going to hopefully get better eventually and try to keep a positive path... I'm going to go to church and try to help people and have ECT if things get too excruciating... I don't want to do that though... I'm just going to first come off my meds and let my body and brain settle and see where I'm at in a couple of months...

Alcohol is bad... Stimulants are bad... MAOIs are bad... SSRIs are bad... NRIs are bad... Dopamine Agonists are bad... Everything is bad... No more meds for me...

Hopefully I can heal from being on these meds for so long... I'm lucky that my family cares about me. I have mixed feelings about the endocrine thing. Part of me hopes it is an endocrine tumor or something because then it can just be removed. A part of me hopes it isn't because I'm desperately afraid of anesthesia (that tells you how desperate I was to have 11 ECT's!). I'm just afraid of putting my life in somebody else's hands that I don't know. Like I could die and not even know it. Sounds frightening... Probably an irrational fear... But that doesn't make it go away - like trying to tell someone that it's irrational to be afraid of spiders doesn't make that fear go away.

I'm just trying to not think of anything. No more researching. No more anticipating. Just surviving every day. Hoping for the best.

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I'm so sorry for the outcome. I know you have done everything possible...

I'm basically on the same route, coming off medication. But I'm trying a natural route instead. www.truehope.com, compound Empowerplus. and I'm on gluten free casein free diet.

And a big eye opener for me was Robert Whitaker's book "Anatomy of Epidemic". it's possible to download it from here http://www.upload.ee/files/3450115/Anatomy_of_an_Epidemic_-_Robert_Whitaker.pdf.html

Edited by rapunzel
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UPDATE JULY 18, 2013

COMING OFF OF ALL MEDS FOR GOOD

I saw the endocrinologist and she said that my CATECHOLAMINE LEVELS ARE OFF THE CHARTS. That is, they are above 2x what is normal! As a result of this, I am getting off of Parnate. All of these psych meds that I have been taking over the past 2 years have done nothing for me, and have probably messed me up further. Parnate is dangerous for me because it is further elevating my elevated catecholamine levels. Perhaps my norepinepherine and dopamine levels have been too high since the beginning... I think that I am finished speculating .. and I think that I am going to just come off of everything and not try any more psych drugs. Maybe if I'm lucky I will get better in a year or two or three... I would be happy even if it took 5 or 10 years. Eventually it has to get better...

As any scientist knows, failures are much more common than successes. I've learned that trying to play junior brain chemist and almost died several times already this past two years. If I keep this up, I'll be dead by the time I'm 30 and exhaust my body on this crazy med-go-round. Yesterday I was going loony from the Parnate reduction... I seriously felt like I had Alzeimer's and felt extremely horrible. I could not sleep, felt nauseous, and felt like I was going to hallucinate or something (on top of these problems that I'm already having). As far as psychiatric human suffering goes, I'm not sure how much worse it could have gotten.

DESCRIBING PARNATE WITHDRAWAL

The endocrinologist said that she might have an idea of what the problem is (some endocrine system tumor) and I'm going to have a CAT scan on Wednesday, but that being on Parnate could skew the results of the catecholamine test. I think that after the withdrawal stages of going from 50mg to 40mg and then 40mg to 30mg, I feel somewhat better after each dosage reduction (better anxiety wise). I think it was almost a week ago that I went down to 30mg. I went down on my dosage on the 11th. I guess that sort of makes sense, since when I started taking Parnate I remember it taking 7-8 days to notice the initial Parnate dopaminergic effects. It's been about that many days since I stopped taking that last 10mg. I guess I'm glad I didn't cold-turkey it.

Anyways, I feel like there is a brick in my head. I just feel off. I am going to try to describe it. Yesterday I felt sort of drunk and panicky. I had tremors (shaky) and felt panicky for little reason. I progressively felt like I was getting slower and slower for the past few days. Just little things - like grammar/spelling mistakes, not noticing things I would usually notice, having difficulties recalling things from memory and focusing. It progressively got worse and seemed to hit a peak yesterday. My right ear was ringing all day. I felt physically ill and overslept (it seems like rest/sleep helps stave off withdrawal symptoms a little bit, and so does eating and drinking alot). I also haven't had much of an appetite and I forget to drink water, which is problematic as you can imagine. I just do not seem as eloquent or careful in my writing or other activities. My mind does not seem to be able to discern what feelings to assign to different things. Like one second I'll feel a certain way about something, then a minute later I'll feel differently. I'll be sobbing, then sitting numb, then feel miserable, then feel sort of calm. Some things make me feel awful, then a second later they don't. Like just the thought of sitting in my room made me feel not-so-good, then a minute later it seemed to be more relaxing than being elsewhere. One second I am listening to a song and it seems to calm me down a bit, then a second later I'm numb and indifferent to it (anhedonia persists throughout it all though - in other words, I still cannot feel "good" - just numb, calm, sorrow, or awful it seems).

WHAT I'M GOING TO DO

I'm not going to try to figure it out... I don't want to think about it anymore... I'm just going to hopefully get better eventually and try to keep a positive path... I'm going to go to church and try to help people and have ECT if things get too excruciating... I don't want to do that though... I'm just going to first come off my meds and let my body and brain settle and see where I'm at in a couple of months...

Alcohol is bad... Stimulants are bad... MAOIs are bad... SSRIs are bad... NRIs are bad... Dopamine Agonists are bad... Everything is bad... No more meds for me...

Hopefully I can heal from being on these meds for so long... I'm lucky that my family cares about me. I have mixed feelings about the endocrine thing. Part of me hopes it is an endocrine tumor or something because then it can just be removed. A part of me hopes it isn't because I'm desperately afraid of anesthesia (that tells you how desperate I was to have 11 ECT's!). I'm just afraid of putting my life in somebody else's hands that I don't know. Like I could die and not even know it. Sounds frightening... Probably an irrational fear... But that doesn't make it go away - like trying to tell someone that it's irrational to be afraid of spiders doesn't make that fear go away.

I'm just trying to not think of anything. No more researching. No more anticipating. Just surviving every day. Hoping for the best.

Trevor - you have made the right choice!!! No-one can deny your enthusiasm, effort and committment in trying to get to the bottom of this!!

There are 1786 posts in this thread from several users - you have helped and reassured a LOT of people and made them feel less alone and afraid of this condition...... a "safe" sort of community if you like, for all of us to vent our frustrations.

If you look back on my previous posts, you will notice that all along I have urged you to stop meds / stop obsessing etc etc - You WILL get over this...... TIME and ACCEPTANCE are the best medicine.

If you have skype / facebook, it would be great to chat someday........

Add me v85lmo for skype, or peterhayley AT live DOT CO DOT UK for facebook.

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I think that this obsession is largely due to the anxiety. My persistence in things in life probably comes from a difficulty in feeling feeling content. Sometimes I seem to be able to manage, but other times I am in excruciatingly uncomfortable pain. It's trying to live life without the ability to ever anticipate "just letting things go" at the end of the day and feeling good. An example of this is the possibility that I may be have an active endocrine tumor. I really hope that I don't, because of my fear of anesthesia. It's the thought of not being in control and aware during a dangerous situation - I'm putting my life in someone else's hands that I do not even know - I don't just trust everyone right away. Like, if I were to die, I wouldn't even be ready for it - I wouldn't even know. It's a scary thought to know that after you are under anesthesia, that's it - you have no idea what's going on. Honestly, I would almost rather just have that part of my body numbed out and go through the surgery awake. How dangerous is surgery to remove a tumor like that anyways?

It probably isn't even as dangerous as driving, yet the difference with driving is I'm in control. I can be as careful or lacksidasical as I want. I know and am aware of possible dangers and hazards. I consider myself a very careful driver. I'm glad to have this sort of thread to post in because I really don't have many people to confide in about all of this. If I talk too much about it with other people, it becomes my identity - it becomes who I am. I become the "troubled adult" or the "mentally ill friend." I don't want to be seen like that, yet I need to let it out, get reassurance and advice, and receive feedback sometimes. Most of the time, other people have difficulty grasping how it is possible that I am "unable to control how I'm feeling" because they are used to their day-to-day experience where thoughts => feelings.

Drinking LOTS of water and eating lots of protein/complex carbs seems to help the anxiety symptoms a bit (maybe it's flushing out the catecholamines? I'm not sure if they are excreted in that sort of way). Eating foods high in sugar almost always dramatically exacerbates symptoms. I am having a hard time determining whether taking my Parnate pill helps with symptoms I am experiencing (withdrawal?) or worsening them. Usually if I am doing well my heart rate is great, my breathing is slowed down, and I feel tired. During bad times my heart is racing (even without any anxious thoughts or worrying sometimes)

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Wow, I just found this thread. Awesome.

I have had anhedonia in a pretty serious way for at least ten years if not more, and probably on and off at some level almost all of my life. I don't have time to go into details now, but I do want to mention my current self-treatment technique.

In addition to working with things like exercise, self-hypnosis, positive thinking, and deep breathing, all of which are helping very, very, very slowly, I have started a process that basically involves trying to use memories of what it was like to feel things in the past as links to recapturing the ability to feel in the present.

For example, I have memories of the carpet feeling good on my bare feet after finishing a lot of work and having time to relax as a teenager. So I take off my shoes and feel the carpet under my feet now, and try to link the memory with the current sensation to build a "bridge" of sensing capability that spans over the "river" of anhedonia which separates the me who was able to feel in the past from the me who is learning to feel again in the present.

Does that make sense?

The theory is that if I keep doing this little by little, I can build up to enjoying things like music, romance, *************, interactions with people, etc. etc. Obviously I am not going to stick to just the feel of the carpet on my feet. When talking to a person, I will try to remember how it felt to emotionally interact with people when I was able to do that more. When watching tv, I will try to remember how it felt to really enjoy that as a kid. Etc. etc.

The catch phrase I associate with this exercise is "break on through to the other side" (from the Doors song). I feel like there is "another side" to the world, and that a membrane separates me from it. That "other side" is the world of feeling sensations more thoroughly. When I go through the feeling exercises I mentioned above, I use the catch phrase "break on through to the other side" to propel me, to motivate me, to push me through to that "other side."

So far I have experienced success, though it takes effort to sustain. And obviously, since it take so long to become anhedonic, it is probably going to take me a long time to fully "break through."

My limited success stories, then:

I have been able to recapture the thrill of watching sci-fi / superhero movies for short periods of time while watching movies this week. Very limited in both intensity and duration, but way more than the level of thrill I am used to at this point. Success that I hope to build on.

I have been able to recapture the feel of romantic touching. Again, limited in both intensity and duration. And again, better than what I am used to now.

I'm off to bed now. I am going to try to focus on the feel of the sheets, pillow, etc. Break on through!! Wish me luck!!

I hope some of this helps some people suffering through symptoms similar to what I am going through!!

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Mister anhedonia, thanks for the post with tips. Your post is bittersweet though because although youre starting to turn a corner , 10 years is so long! Ive been anhedonic for 3-4 months and it feels like forever. Any idea what triggered your anhedonia in the first place? I hope I dont have it that long, but I will try your methods!

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Well I get my CAT scan on Wednesday, perhaps you have an endocrine issue too that is causing the secretion of too high an amount of catecholamines? It's strange, but after I have a massive panic attack and then take a small bit of Xanax, I can feel the anhedonia leave sometimes and I get a "window." Perhaps this means that I'm close to getting out of it, I just need to wean off of Parnate, I have this endocrine tumor issue, or an overactive Amygdala or something? Perhaps it's linked to the glutamate circuits? Who knows. All I know is that ECT briefly helps after way too many treatments and a delay, Xanax seems to help but I do not want to become dependent on it, and stimulating things are making it worse (seems to be the opposite to my experience before?). Perhaps ECT took care of the depression, but I have another physiological issue that CAUSED the depression to surface that I need to still take care of. I can only guess.

I also experienced extreme anxiety, racing heart, and nausea this morning trying to get up 2 hours earlier than usual and attend church. Strange... Seems that the same thing happened when I tried waking up earlier for my doctor's appointment. For some reason waking up early makes me feel that way (or consuming too much sugar). Who knows... I checked my pulse a couple of minutes ago and it was pretty good, like 70-something. Seems fine usually, but when I have to DO anything, it changes quickly and is really sensitive. Just sitting in the shower too long makes it race (***?). Definitely not entirely psychological here...

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Well I get my CAT scan on Wednesday, perhaps you have an endocrine issue too that is causing the secretion of too high an amount of catecholamines? It's strange, but after I have a massive panic attack and then take a small bit of Xanax, I can feel the anhedonia leave sometimes and I get a "window." Perhaps this means that I'm close to getting out of it, I just need to wean off of Parnate, I have this endocrine tumor issue, or an overactive Amygdala or something? Perhaps it's linked to the glutamate circuits? Who knows. All I know is that ECT briefly helps after way too many treatments and a delay, Xanax seems to help but I do not want to become dependent on it, and stimulating things are making it worse (seems to be the opposite to my experience before?). Perhaps ECT took care of the depression, but I have another physiological issue that CAUSED the depression to surface that I need to still take care of. I can only guess.

I also experienced extreme anxiety, racing heart, and nausea this morning trying to get up 2 hours earlier than usual and attend church. Strange... Seems that the same thing happened when I tried waking up earlier for my doctor's appointment. For some reason waking up early makes me feel that way (or consuming too much sugar). Who knows... I checked my pulse a couple of minutes ago and it was pretty good, like 70-something. Seems fine usually, but when I have to DO anything, it changes quickly and is really sensitive. Just sitting in the shower too long makes it race (***?). Definitely not entirely psychological here...

hmm I have that too with the heart racing if I stay in the shower too long. Heart rate going up in the shower i just a physiological reaction. The body attempts to adapt to the sudden change in temperature by pumping the blood around more quickly and thus bringing the blood closer to the surface of the skin in order to cool the organs/brain. My guess is that you are in a hypervigiliant state because of the parnate/high catecholamines induced panic type symtpoms andt that is why you notice this phenomenon, whereas normal you woud be thinking about drinking coffee after or some stuff like that :-). Note that there is a 'psychological' dimension to this. The physiological consequence of the hypervigilant state is that you notice these things more quickly and it causes strong anxiety. However the way you subsequently intepret this once it has been forced into your attention is psychological and shapes how the anxiety develops from there, but more importantly if and how it will devleop next time you are in the shower.

Edited by sc2
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What are your collective opinions on memantine for anhedonia? In addition to the adderall, sertraline and Wellbutrin I am taking I added R. Rosea. I will say that the adderall seemed to touch my anhedonia the first day or so that I started taking it. It was really short lived. I have to say that although the adderall really didn't have effects past 3 days or so it has been the only other drug that seems to have touched anhedonia that I have taken. I also dropped the sertraline for a couple of days and got pretty darn irritable and depressed. I started taking it again because of that. I am seeing my pdoc in a week and I will probably. Be dropping everything for 2 weeks to take selegiline. I am sure it will be a rough 2 weeks. I just wonder if memantine would be better. I see Trevor discussing how MNDA can be a causing. Factor in anhedonia and how memantine is an MNDA antagonist. Would this not solve the problem? Since I would probably have to twist my pdoc's leg to get memantine it is more likely that I will be going on selegiline. What is everyone's opinion on selegiline for anhedonia? Also, what are your opinions on supplements like sublimitate and prizecatam (I know that I spelled those horribly. I was just too lazy to look up the proper names)? God I hope I am able to get myself back. As always I hope that Jesus is with each and everyone of you helping to fight anhedonia and depression. God bless

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What are your collective opinions on memantine for anhedonia? In addition to the adderall, sertraline and Wellbutrin I am taking I added R. Rosea. I will say that the adderall seemed to touch my anhedonia the first day or so that I started taking it. It was really short lived. I have to say that although the adderall really didn't have effects past 3 days or so it has been the only other drug that seems to have touched anhedonia that I have taken. I also dropped the sertraline for a couple of days and got pretty darn irritable and depressed. I started taking it again because of that. I am seeing my pdoc in a week and I will probably. Be dropping everything for 2 weeks to take selegiline. I am sure it will be a rough 2 weeks. I just wonder if memantine would be better. I see Trevor discussing how MNDA can be a causing. Factor in anhedonia and how memantine is an MNDA antagonist. Would this not solve the problem? Since I would probably have to twist my pdoc's leg to get memantine it is more likely that I will be going on selegiline. What is everyone's opinion on selegiline for anhedonia? Also, what are your opinions on supplements like sublimitate and prizecatam (I know that I spelled those horribly. I was just too lazy to look up the proper names)? God I hope I am able to get myself back. As always I hope that Jesus is with each and everyone of you helping to fight anhedonia and depression. God bless

Not gonna turn this into a religious debate - but if there was a God (who loves everybody apparently) - he wouldn`t put this amount of suffering upon anybody!!......besides, I`m hoping Father Christmas or The Easter Bunny will cure me....

Anyhow - I must concur with parts of Trevors last post

1. Anxiety and feeling much much worse if you don`t get enough sleep

and

2. This isn`t entirely psychological - there is DEFINITELY a deficiency somewhere causing this - whether it be nutritional or chemical

Have any of you looked into CANDIDA ?? (Overgrowth of yeast) - It can cause ALL the symptoms described in this thread from Anxiety to Depression to Derealization to Brain Fog to Emotional Numbness

Isn`t it funny how you very very rarely hear of cases of Anhedonia/Depersonalization etc outside The US/UK/Australia or Northern Europe??? I have not read ONE account of this from China/India/Greece/Italy etc...... You know why??? Our SUGAR FILLED DIETS.

Please take a few seconds to read up on Candida and its effects.......

Then look into NEEM oil........

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I've avoided grain, sugar, milk. I've been basically down to eggs and vegetables since almost a year. Sure, the "paleo-diet" might have helped me lose some weight but that's about all. I also avoid Aspartame and monosodiumglutamate. I am sort of more active but has become a bit physical lazy after insertion of Agomelatine. I don't think in paradoxes any longer though but maybe I can accept that and lower the agomelatine as I have no interest of anything intellectual anymore as programming. I think Mirtazapine is responsible for the loss of programming and it also lowered the appreciation of music to a pit I've never been in. As I said, despite this, I think mirtazapine has been good in an anxiolytic sense, also helped as a sleeping aid and I don't drink as much alcohol anymore. I overall don't get any ideas anymore at all which means I spend less because at this time I am already aware of my halfxxxed attempts trying something. And no, that's not some nirvana-state of mind I am talking about. I also don't meet people. If I wasn't autistic before this must have brought it on. I guess I'll keep on tapering of Clonazepam and Clomipramine which would maybe lead to some kind of dopamineactivity however the only thing that touched this issue was Methylphenidate SR + Fluoxetine.

I also tried Piracetam. I fel't like an ***** taking it. But maybe it just meant that my cognition got so well I was able to do some self-reflection.

Edited by General_Failure
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Yeah, And fluoxetine + Wellbutrin combination seemed to at least work for social anhedonia. But I just had the chance to take it for 5 days due to urticaria. Borderline lowdose Buspirone augmentation of fluoxetine may actually have increased the "social drive" somewhat. Both Wellbutrin and Buspirone increased anxiety somewhat whereas methylphenidate didn't decrease but if anything decreased it.I guess it's about that Dopamine D2 mechanism. Pramipexole didn't much else than cause twitching under one eye. I also combined it with Ephedrine and l-phenylalanin.

It wouldn't surprise me if Dopamine D1 and D5 is the culprit and those aren't addressable by anything other than psychostimulants. At least that what was claimed on some site and taking my experiences into account without yet having tried out any real irreversible MAOI it seems plausible. Maybe I should hand my new doc my piracetam-leftovers he seems to need it.

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In line with the failure of pramipexole to elicit a response in trevor and the notion that depression/anhedonia is not simpy a question of not enough dopamine, a recent study fouind that pramipexole inhibted neural resopnse to aversive but also rewarding stimuli. perhaps through an inhibitory action of D2/3 autoreceptors on phasic burst activity of midbrain dopamine neurones. The authors speculate that this mechanism is why pramipexole is 'useful' in treatment resistant depression. Similar results were obtained in the past for SSRI's (2). These kinds of results underscore in my opinion that classical AD meds that are aimed increasing the availability of a certain type of neurotransmitter, or have the opposite mechanism of action in fact, serve by decreasing emotional reactivity to external stimuli, thereby alleviating emotional distress and decreasing depression rating scale scores, who are heavilty biased towards these kinds of positive symtpoms. Anhedonia and other deficiencies are usaully not really adressed in commonly used depression rating tools.

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It's probably much about receptor-availability however in line with the Ritalin and Wellbutrin augmentation which worked here but not Pramipexole as well as Ephedrine didn't work except for ego-boosting and energy which just lead to increased anxiety. I wonder if that fact has something to do with the differences between amphetamine and candy caine. Yeah,, however in line with that it wouldn't be surprising if other receptors need to be addressed. If Parnate didn't do it even temporarily like Methylphenidate. And if Pramipexole didn't do it and I recall itstrevor also mentioning trying abilify which is a dopamine d2 partial agonist. It could as well have to do with Dopamine D1-D5 (or possibly D3 or even some kind of interaction) receptors. It probably hasn't anything to do with D4 if not neophilia and crossdressing correlates with hedonism. It seems Piribedil is given for anhedonia. Why is that? does it have something to do with being more D3-ish? It seems that it also is given for Restless leg Syndrome. As I belong to those getting RLS everytime about 1 hour after Mirtazapine intake and Mirtazapine has Anhedonia as listed side-effect then maybe something with more of that preference could be considered.

Pramipexole, ackording to wikipedia seems to be given to counter SSRI sexual dysfunction. Dopaminagonists tends to decrease prolactine however I wonder if that's the whole of the answer.

I recall rzda wrote something about amisulpride (partial dopamine D2 at low doses 25-50 mg) mainly helping against sexual dysfunction which even more makes me to think that's about what one can archieve addressing that type. Another correlation is with the dominant (macab?) apes in some study. It's also interesting to note that Methylphenidate increase mu-opioid receptor sensitivity in nucleus accumbens. What about Parnate regarding increase of dopaminelevels. Are they building up to slowly so as not to "attack" the receptors like a (N)DRI? Regarding the opioid-receptors I know of course Parnate hasn't any documented effect.

Not to "diss" that poor receptortype but I think the D2 monomania have had its heyday.

PS

@sc2 It's probably an interesting article however.

"

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Edited by General_Failure
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Hey ItsTrevor and everyone else... I remember I read almost every post in this thread just a month ago. I was looking for the same answers as you guys, where are my emotions? Why am I always so tired? Why do I feel nothing if something great happens (for me, I got into a doctoral program and felt nothing) or if something bad happens? I especially, wanted to figure out why it was so easy for some people to feel emotions and it was so hard for others. The biggest thing I remember about this thread is that people always wrote "I wish that someone who recovered from anhedonia would share their experience with us".

So, although I'm not fully recovered, I have regained quite a bit of the feelings I've been looking for and I'd like to share some valuable insights and changes in thinking that occurred for me.

I remember the one poster on here who said that she made it through anhedonia said something like "it was a long struggle, but I had faith in God, and I prayed a lot, and eventually I started to regain my feelings". That seemed so nonsensical to me, that you just have faith, why? Where's your proof that everything's going to be alright?

But, I started seeing a therapist about a month ago, and she diagnosed me with dysthymia (low-grade chronic depression). And I think most of you guys posting here are suffering from some sort of anxiety or depression (as anhedonia is the classic depression symptom). So, this should be very relevant. My therapist actually hasn't done too much, she's mostly just given me advice for books I should read and straightened out a few of my big cognitive distortions.

I was hesitant, just like ItsTrevor and probably just like so many of you guys are, to admit that I have depression. I thought, well, first off I don't feel depressed, my thoughts aren't usually hopeless, and it's not like my life is in shambles... it's actually the best that it's ever been.

NONE OF THAT MATTERS. It's not what's happening in your life, but it's how you're perceiving it. Every book about undoing or recovering from depression, states that your feelings are just a product of your thoughts. When you have a healthy thought process then obviously you are going to have healthy feelings, but if you have distorted thoughts then you're going to have all sorts of trouble... among these problems are a lack of feeling. Doesn't that make a lot more sense? You messed up your brain chemistry with your distorted thoughts, and now to get your brain chemistry back to normal, you just have to straighten out your thoughts? Makes a lot more sense than taking a bunch of medication trying to magically get the perfect dosage.

Anyway, I've learned to catch my distortions and my doubts, and life has become a lot easier. I feel like I know what I need to do, and it's just going to come down to actually doing it every day. I learned that it was my unrealistically negative thoughts and negative way of perceiving the world that is dragging me down... that makes my relatively good life seem like an everyday struggle.

I would really recommend you guys to check out Self-Coaching by Luciani. Any book about curing depression through CBT and tracking your distortions, they're mostly all the same anyway.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for sharing. IT appears to me that anhedonia is a symptom of depression, but it can also be induced by medications, used to treat mental ilness, ironically. As you will see the most severe and persistent cases usually were induced by medication or some other somatic causes(that is resulting from long term drug abuse or somatic ilness).

From what I have read, ahnedonia is a frequent symptoms of stress induced major depression, particularly so in men. It is also a symtom of dysthymia.

I dont think thoufh that anhedonia results from self-defeating thought patterns perse . Rather I think that the physical effects of stress hormones cause anhedonia. I also think that those vulnerable to anhedonia/depression have a genetic vulnerability in a hyperactive HPA axis and they therefore tend to react storngly to stress. However all that said I do think that CBT is very usefull particularly in those people to manage stress levels and thereby helping themselves heal from the neurotoxic effects of stress.

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