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


itstrevor

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Btw in reply to hiimandre after going cold turkey on porn i found that my anhedonia immediately reduced in severity and duration. I did this after watching a talk by Ran Gavrieli at Ted. Link here "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRJ_QfP2mhU". If your serious about getting better i recommend you give this a try at least.

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well tbh im so apathetic and anhedonic that ic ant even read the longer posts on these threads..i get maybe a paragraph in and i give up..few things to say though.

MindfulGuy asked if anything has worked besides medication..ill say that exercise works somewhat and long hours out working in the sun seems to help a little but problem is, this leaves you tired so catch 22..keep in mind that exercise and long hours in the sun only gets me somewhat close to the level where normal people are..

lifelong passenger-yep, the feeling of wasting your life but at the same time realize you cant do much about it, can definitely empathize with you on that one..

i almost admire criminals who plan heists or other crimes, the passion they have to commit these things...or the nerd who is so sex-crazed that he will put in a ton of work to get laid..i cannot understand people like this as i have zero motivation, my libido is almost zero..just nothing there..

i was recently told by family that i should look into 'getting right with the lord' so that i could get more enjoyment out of life...i was just shaking my head in disbelief, people have no idea what anhedonia is like..

for those of you in your 20s, wow i urge you strongly to keep trying meds and exercise and just hope something clicks..you do not want to waste your 20s as it is crucial time for life experiences..

Hi there, i have just registered on this forum, and I too did not know there was a term for this. I am on Effexor for long term anxiety and depression which I only went to the doctor about 4 years ago even though I have had depression for years. The good news is that I am now able to focus on things (procrastination was a massive problem affecting every aspect of my life), but anhedonia has gotten much worse on the drugs. I had it before i took depression meds - a feeling of emptiness, numbness, not able to feel love, elation etc. Like some of the members, I get 'windows' where I experience normal emotions. I was on Lexapro and with it, I had no windows at all, so the Effexor is much better. I will almost put up with the anhedonia as at least I am able to do stuff. How I did not get fired from my job I will never understand - they have a new employee since the effexor which I am only on 12 months. I seemed normal to most people actually (nobody ever once mentioned it to me and I never took time off for it), but EVERYTHING was such a struggle. Putting one foot in front of the other took such effort. However, boring as it might sound, exercise does help me. Problem with being depressed is that I had no motivation to exercise, but the Effexor really helped my motivation/focus/procrastination problem. Now, if i run or go for a walk, i get a 'window' afterwards and even have some libido after a run. I eat really healthy and that never made any difference. The drugs stopped me feeling so exhausted - not diet and exercise. Even on effexor (225mg) i still get days where I my anhedonia is very bad - on those days gardening helps me. It is the only think that really get me out of a funk. For some reason a few hours weeding and pruning helps me. So, exercise and gardening. Play with my babies, dogs, cats - nothing else much helps! Just the exercise and gardening. Jo

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This is my 1st post on this thread and likely my last(may check back if I get time), I have read alot on here and have tried most everything stated. I will save you from hearing my story and get to the cure as quickly as possible, but I must say I have been chronically depressed and anhedonia with some irritability for 15+ yrs, I'm 27 male.

MY CURE:

diet:Gluten/Dairy free, vegetables, meat, fruit, and sometimes oats, flax (3-4 meals a day spread out 3-4hrs, fruit eaten between meals as snack with some nuts)

supps: vit C (atleast 1G day), omega 3(1G day), probiotics, prebiotics, vit d (2-5 mu a day), NOW Energy(2 on workout days), good multivitamin,

1 hr before bed take 5-htp(50-100mg), melatonin(3mg), (magnesium(2tablets), calcium(could take Calm supp for mag and calc)

The red are things that I think are crucial to my success, ecsecially getting good sleep

drugs: for full discrecion I must say that I have gotten 4 ketamine infusions that ended 5 days ago so they very likely could have helped also, but I just can't be sure.

And that is what I am currently doing and I feel good for the first time in a long time. I have used the internet to find the answers myself after doctors repeatedly failed me so I am just returning the favor.

Also, here is an amazing article about a unique psychiatrist working in Maryland who cured a patient who had anhedonia:

http://www.biomedsearch.com/article/Integrating-orthomolecular-energy-medicine-complementary/213722864.html

Please leave me a personal message, if you want to ask me questions or just want to talk, I have alot of knowledge that I have gained over these hard Anhedonia filled years that I am more than willing to share. I wish everyone reading this the best and I want you to know that you can get better!

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This is my 1st post on this thread and likely my last(may check back if I get time), I have read alot on here and have tried most everything stated. I will save you from hearing my story and get to the cure as quickly as possible, but I must say I have been chronically depressed and anhedonia with some irritability for 15+ yrs, I'm 27 male.

MY CURE:

diet:Gluten/Dairy free, vegetables, meat, fruit, and sometimes oats, flax (3-4 meals a day spread out 3-4hrs, fruit eaten between meals as snack with some nuts)

supps: vit C (atleast 1G day), omega 3(1G day), probiotics, prebiotics, vit d (2-5 mu a day), NOW Energy(2 on workout days), good multivitamin,

1 hr before bed take 5-htp(50-100mg), melatonin(3mg), (magnesium(2tablets), calcium(could take Calm supp for mag and calc)

The red are things that I think are crucial to my success, ecsecially getting good sleep

drugs: for full discrecion I must say that I have gotten 4 ketamine infusions that ended 5 days ago so they very likely could have helped also, but I just can't be sure.

And that is what I am currently doing and I feel good for the first time in a long time. I have used the internet to find the answers myself after doctors repeatedly failed me so I am just returning the favor.

Also, here is an amazing article about a unique psychiatrist working in Maryland who cured a patient who had anhedonia:

http://www.biomedsearch.com/article/Integrating-orthomolecular-energy-medicine-complementary/213722864.html

Please leave me a personal message, if you want to ask me questions or just want to talk, I have alot of knowledge that I have gained over these hard Anhedonia filled years that I am more than willing to share. I wish everyone reading this the best and I want you to know that you can get better!

I think it is the ketamine that you should have emphasised with the red color not the supplements. Ketamine is a very promising drug for depression and anhedonia. Because of the temporary NMDA antagonism it kind of resets the brain. And you don't have to take it every day. There is a similar drug called methoxetamine out there which is a derivative of ketamine. I think it is still unregulated in many countries and could be an option. For me I know I don't tolerate NMDA antagonists well, magnesium and alcohol immediately make my symptoms worse. But I have noticed that I feel so much better the day after drinking alcohol.

Another path could be to downregulate the kappa opioid receptors. This might be possible with chronic low dose salvia or maybe even ibogaine. People who have taken these hallucinogens have actually developed psychiatric conditions as a consequence but it's the dose that makes the poison. In very low doses salvia could be very therapeutic. And then there's the kappa opioid antagonist JDTIc for which there are very few anecdotes so far but it is very promising also. A group buy is happening here: http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/63691-jdtic-kappa-antagonist-bulkgroup-buy/

What I like about these substances is that they work fast, they actually seem to be effective and you don't have to take them every day. Currently available drugs seem to just make you barely functional but you want to feel alive again.

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I also noticed I felt somewhat better the day after alcoholintake. Not so very much regarding anhedonia or "dissociation" but I felt more relaxed. Other say they don't like that feeling of being "slow". I think at 75mg Lamotrigine I might have mimiced that state with probably some cognitiveslowing as a "bonus". Alcohol is said to block Glutamate which probably accounts for movement-issues (ataxia). That's another possible sideeffect of Lamotrigine.

I've always thought that NMDA-antagonism and blocking glutamate would be the same. Not so after reading an article recently. Ackording to it NMDA-antagonism increases Glutamate or at least those drugs mentioned.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16001126

I wonder what NMDA-AGONISM would do then when it comes to glutamate. Some litterature say it may be excitotoxic which means that both Antagonism and Agonism may increase Glutamate.

Oh well.

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^ ^ Why not try trimethlyglycine ( glycine betaine)? It is known to boost SAMe and has other noted effects on depression and anxiety. As usual, start with a lower dose and work up to note the effects - that is what I did. It seems to help me with emotional energy.

Edited by stillkickin
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I just wanted to drop in and say the information in this thread is incredible. I really didn't know that others have this numbness. For me its been 5 years of feeling almost nothing. itstrevors post on page 2 really described what its like for me a lot of the time: link

I've been thinking what I want to say to my GP when I finally get up the courage, problem is I've felt so numb for so long I can't remember what anything actually feels like. I don't always feel sad or down, mostly I feel nothing. strangely I feel guilty that I feel almost nothing, kind of like I'm not really human. I can't empathize with anyone instead I understand their problem in a rational way. Its all the pretending to be happy or upset when something happens that actually bothers me. That and that everything seems so dull to me.

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I just wanted to drop in and say the information in this thread is incredible. I really didn't know that others have this numbness. For me its been 5 years of feeling almost nothing. itstrevors post on page 2 really described what its like for me a lot of the time: link

I've been thinking what I want to say to my GP when I finally get up the courage, problem is I've felt so numb for so long I can't remember what anything actually feels like. I don't always feel sad or down, mostly I feel nothing. strangely I feel guilty that I feel almost nothing, kind of like I'm not really human. I can't empathize with anyone instead I understand their problem in a rational way. Its all the pretending to be happy or upset when something happens that actually bothers me. That and that everything seems so dull to me.

Yup, that is definitely what numbness does to us. You're pretty much lying to people when you imply that you feel anything, which often leads to guilt. On the other hand, though, you don't want to tell people about the numbness for fear of ruining their good time(s), also a source of guilt. Either way you feel as if you are letting people down, all because of a condition which you have no control over. It sucks, and there is no getting around that reality.

I'd encourage you to talk to your GP about it, if at all possible. Any potential guilt you might feel is nothing compared to the fear that you won't feel anything again. Also, most people who have some understanding of depression/anhedonia will realize its something you can't help and thus be sympathetic. (At minimum the people here at DP will be understanding if no others.) Please don't let yourself live a life of quiet desperation; open up to the people around you.

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L-theanine is a partial NMDA agonist, and, consequently, it made me extremely agitated.

I'm currently on 30mg of sertraline (zoloft) and it is getting really difficult being patient -__-

I'm getting really irritable and I'm not sure if it's the zoloft or the taper (though I'm tapering EXTREMELY slow by any standard). I know I advocated this plan, but this whole thing is like living in a jail cell, and yes, I am still very, very blunted.. Yes, I know, I have to think positively and accept things, but this is making it very difficult when I can either feel blunted or anxious. Come off zoloft, feel anxious. Stay on zoloft, feel blunted. Like, it's as if there is no middle ground, even if I try to lower the dose. My psychiatrist told me he wants me to stay on zoloft for another year, and I can barely stand to stay on it long enough to do a 5 month taper... It makes me feel depressed just thinking about it... Like I would feel so devastated if I got off zoloft and I didn't see any improvement or learned I would have to wait ANOTHER year (it's already been 2.5 years of this crap and I can't believe time has been flying so fast).

Ugh I know I shouldn't be ranting on a place like this because it serves as a trigger for everybody to get obsessive and worried about their own situation.... Sigh...

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Well as for Lamotrigine 75 mg. I noticed slower thinking and maybe some sort of relaxation coupled with tiredness (of course no or worsened effect regarding anhedonia). Both slower thinking and relaxation seems to have been reduced lately and possibly I need to go up to 100mg so that my doc- who is trying to treat what's likely negative symptoms with lamotrigine</facepalm>, has his "guarantee" while changing Clomipramine to Escitalopram, Venlafaxine or Duloxetine (which of course most likely won't help anyway).

At this point I think someone should try prescribing something that actually has had good effect(Methylphenidate) and then IF there's tolerance withdraw but no...

Some sources at the interweb claims that tolerance-issue becomes lower when using SSRI with Methylphenidate. If so maybe because SSRI lowers dopaminelevels below baseline?

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Hi I havent posted in a while. I thought Id check in. Ive actually almost "forgotten" I have anhedonia. Which I dont know if thats good or bad. In the begining its all I could think about I was so distraught about it that I could barely function because I was so afraid and in so much anquish.

After almost a full year now, its alot different. Its been so long that I dont remember what its like to be normal. I forget that people dont feel like me. I geniunely cant really relate to people or even attempt to guess on what they feel. Im so far removed from feeling that the numbness sort of just is my life. I cant imagine anything else atthis point. I sort of just go about my business and Im actually still excelling in many areas, while still being numb. I think time is the only thing that can get you too the acceptance stage that I seem to be at. Theres still times when I think I should just end my life, but not as frequent. I am still bitter about my situation, but my anxiety about my condition isnt nearly as high.

I hope we all can recover. I bet people who do recover are so grateful. I wish I could talk to someone who has recovered more about what the "other side" is like after anhedonia. Must be great.

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I have anhedonia as a primary negative symtom of scizophrenia.

I felt the change going from non-sz to sz, during an injection of zyprexa, like my brain was fried.

The change felt so deeply permanent, I felt my soul draining from the wound that med caused in me, or possibly in conjunction with an anti-epileptic, and I've known since then my life from now and forward will be 0-0.5% of what it was, which may even be an exageration.

In my case I feel like the Glutamate/NMDA track feels intuitvely interesting, for alleviating anhedona, cause I know in my case it is not curable.

Anhedonia for me isn't something that was added, it's how I describe the difference between having a self and not having a self.

Everything I had and was was torn out from my brain and body, so it goes without saying I have anhedonia.

I think even full anhedonia kind of transcends a title or name for it, it's so deeply contrary to what being human is. Makes it seem smaller than it is.

I can use positive thinking but there's a human limit to that too, like a car without an engine saying "well this isn't so bad, I'm almost doing 1MPH" when it's standing absolutely still.

This is how scizophrenia with anhedonia as a primary negative symtom is like. I think even complete anhedonia that is a more isolated symtom doesn't have to be so dark.

I'm cut off from what being human is like, can hardly remember what it's like to have a self.

This is my story, I have anhedonia, secondary to scizophrenia, in turn secondary to a medical damage. I don't think scizophrenia is entirely the correct dagnosis but the symtoms are enough to meet the criteria for it.

It really is a prison, and one way to describe what it is like is the image of where you reach for water, and it disappears, or roll a stone up a slope, and it rolls down again, over and over.

You can say well think positively and do stuff mechanically, but there is a fundamental neurological basis for this state that has to be admitted, and the degree of how handicappng it is functionally.

To add something substantial to the purpose of the thread, I suspect the etiology of this state for me was Dopamine supersensitization from upregulation of postsynaptic dopamine receptors in the mesolimbic pathway (or the pathway between the limbic system and cortex if I misremember the name).

Of course anhedonia is not in all cases and I would think most, not connected to a psychotic disorder, but in my case it is, and apperantly, primary negative symtoms, which this is for me are not responding well and hard to treat with any substance, you just have to make do and enjoy the tiny % of being human you have left, which is how I live, but if you don't admit how serious a symtom anhedonia can be, and share your story, people who have it will never find others have similar trouble, and medical research will never happen for an unreported illness.

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Sorry to hear Rogozjin. My first diagnose was Schizophrenia simplex. Negative symptom as you wrote is something taken away and not added. There's been some concern about the validity of this diagnose as well. I am repeating myself but adding Wellbutrin (150 mg) to Fluoxetin helped against at least Social anhedonia and improved my focus for 5 or 7 days. Then I got urticaria and was forced to quit. It doens't seem uncommon for Wellbutrin to pop out anyway. Methylphenidate+ fluoxetine worked even better for 5-7 days for "general anhedonia" then I had no more and I had no access to the drug. 5 years after that or more it seemed like my doc was ready to let me do a trial but then he quit and the new one is well new.

Well, the point is that they seemed to do something. I've been like this for 18 years now. At best I am somewhat indifferent towards it. I can't connect to any "positive" memories at all. There's no continuity, no past and no future. There's only a now. It's hard to take something serious and plan for the "future".

Which brings me to Fluoxetine + Reboxetine (2-4 mg). Actually Reboxetine did something for motivation and possible what I see as some organization deficit. That drug combined with a lots of caffeine activated me so I began on a programming-project. I ended it when removing Fluoxetine from the cocktail to see if it really was necessary. It definitely was as me taking only Reboxetine probably was worse than taking nothing at all. Agitated, anxiety and so on. Maybe I should have restarted it.

As for other drugs though I am sceptical would be..

*drumroll*

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GLYX-13

and possibly.

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

Regarding Schizophrenia there's also Flat affect which maybe resembles anhedonia and possibly there's also dissociation involved as that seems to have something to do with NMDA-receptors. Maybe all is related.

My theory has been that I've managed to smoke the NMDA-receptors.

But there's drug that may be helpful. Keeping depression and anxiety away is pretty important for at least surviving. Then it's much about self-esteem. Those schizophrenic traits isn't probably helpful because they doesn't seem to help cognitionwise.

Stephen M Stahl writes that the cognitive problems involved in schizophrenia is even worse regarding outcome and possible "quality of life" than the negative ones. I don't understand that one since amotivation(apathy,avolition(?) ) is another possible "blessing".

I am having a beef with analcompulsive doctors though. It would save some time if I just could get them to prescribe methylphenidate and let me "fire at will" for a while and watch for tolerance.

The same goes for Amisulpride. It's not even registered here. I dislike abilify without even trying it. It seems overly stimulating and I've heard about unlucky cases acquiring tardive dyskinesia after 2 weaks. Amisulpride may generate some hyperprolactinemia like all other AP but that's not necessary. Trying out 25-50 mg Amisulpride every second day for a while. That could actually do something. However as Provigil (suspected mechanism = prohistaminergic at dorslolateral prefrontal cortex and ackording to wiki a weak DopamineRI) doesn't seem to help for much more than tiredness and probably cognition I am not totally sure.

Edited by General_Failure
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Sorry about that analcompulsive thing. My ex doc was really crushing diamonds with his behind but I liked him. I am also myself a bit "constricted" and as long as it's a egosyntetic personality thing I don't see any problems..

The thing with the new one is that the thickness is strong with him. That's why that type hands out like Lamotrigine. It's like living in Uganda with Idi Amin and having a swimmingcontest with him. No one may come first. However I try to keep away from this subject. I am just surprised that there's actually psychiatrists that seems worse cognitivewise than their supposely schizophrenic patient. And it's another nail in that coffin which says that education cures stupidity.

But for the "good" news. L-tyrosine helps for Mirtazapine induced Restless Leg Syndrome which seems to be a dopaminergic thing. I've taking the last 4 days with creatine but I doubt it's the creatine. Another thing is that some claim RLS is due to increased Norepinephrine. Spontanely I would like to slap those perverts in the face but when I contemplate I've also noticed that taking Clonazepam before sleep also seemed to work. GABA should inhibit dopamine and norepinephrine.

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To be honest, I think this thread ended up making more bad than good. Ive found that whenever I come back to it, I feel more hopeless and down than ever. When I stay off it for an extended period of time, I tend to have more hope that I can get better. Just seeing all the people who have tried so many things with no success, and see people who have had anhedonia for such long periods of time, is really hard on anyone living with anhedonia.

We fall into this trap of seeing that we have some uncureable disease, which fuels more anxiety and depression.

For my own sake I need to stay off this site, but at the same time I dont want to miss someone post something that could be a breakthrough or something.

This thread makes me more hopeless, and the regular forum pi**es me off when people complain about being lonely or overweight etc etc. Being lonely isnt a disease, if you can still react normally to good and bad situations I just dont understand how you have a mental illness. Drives me crazy some of the posts I see in the regular forum. I need to stay away for a while. Please PM me if you have a question for me, or some sort of breakthrough. Thanks

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That may explain Mirtazapine-induced Restless Leg Syndrome and possibly anhedonia as well.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16388723

"Higher FT4 concentrations at baseline predicted higher HAM-D scorers both at baseline and at the end of the treatment period. Furthermore, higher FT3 concentrations at endpoint were found to be predictors of lower HAM-D scores. Long-term treatment with mirtazapine increases FT3 levels and decreases FT4 maybe involving the deiodination process of T4 into T3."

Using L-tyrosine could possibly be seen as a "poor mans" thyroid augmentation (read some warning regarding using it for proven thyroiddeficiency though). It's true that Mirtazapine has some Dopamineantagonism but all activity at receptors other than possibly Dopamine D4 is neglible.

Maybe it could prove helpful if anyone chooses to try Mirtazapine instead for instance SSRI and get those sideeffects Thyroid-augmentation( also seems like something hard to get without tests proving deficiency at least here.

Edited by General_Failure
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Hi I havent posted in a while. I thought Id check in. Ive actually almost "forgotten" I have anhedonia. Which I dont know if thats good or bad. In the begining its all I could think about I was so distraught about it that I could barely function because I was so afraid and in so much anquish.

After almost a full year now, its alot different. Its been so long that I dont remember what its like to be normal. I forget that people dont feel like me. I geniunely cant really relate to people or even attempt to guess on what they feel. Im so far removed from feeling that the numbness sort of just is my life. I cant imagine anything else atthis point. I sort of just go about my business and Im actually still excelling in many areas, while still being numb. I think time is the only thing that can get you too the acceptance stage that I seem to be at. Theres still times when I think I should just end my life, but not as frequent. I am still bitter about my situation, but my anxiety about my condition isnt nearly as high.

I hope we all can recover. I bet people who do recover are so grateful. I wish I could talk to someone who has recovered more about what the "other side" is like after anhedonia. Must be great.

im not sure self-acceptance is the key to living a happier life with anhedonia..trust me, i know too well of what you are saying when you cannot relate to people..im at the point and have been for a long time where i dont even understand the purpose behind socializing, there is no pleasure there..i cannot imagine recovering from anhedonia, and gaining some passion for life or certain people, places and things..

i just coast from day to day..mainly a question for the men on here, do you even have a sex drive?mine is basically at zero..again why that is i have no clue as i eat right and exercise 5 times a week..i should be motivated to seek out sex but im not..a woman could call me that lives 5 minutes away and i doubt i would even take her up on it..

yep, i am very blunted, just nothing going on inside..

"I'm cut off from what being human is like, can hardly remember what it is like to have a self"

amen, im in same position, i dont even feel like a human being as i have no passion or joy or even sadness, just blank..

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How increased is it? How are your other hormones? Small tumors can cause prolactin increase, and lower testosterone causing depression. And they are usually benign tumors. Look into it

And i think ahedonia is more risky than ect. I mean, nothing to lose right? Meds can be just as dangerous and i think this thread has proven that no meds work for anhedonia. Ect seems promising. Almost like it jolts the brain back to life. My doctor said i havent tried enough meds for along enough period yet to be eligible.

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