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What Helps Against Loss Of Interest In Normally Pleasurable Activities?

  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. What have you personally found helpful in regaining/creating interest and enthusiasm in activities that are considered pleasruable to most people?

    • Medication (please specify which one)
      5
    • Psychotherapy
      2
    • Diet
      0
    • Exercise
      4
    • Sleeping well
      2
    • Natural medicine such as herbs etc.
      0
    • Lifestyle changes (which ones?)
      1
    • Listening to music
      2
    • Other, please specify
      3


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Like the title states. Loss of interest is imo the most annoying thing about depression. In my case it causes me to lose interest also in important things such as work and familiy life. For example going to buy plants for the garden but being completely indifferent to what plants are picked, having a difficult time enjoying new things that my son can do (not always though but sometimes) . I want to be interested in and excited about normal things again if only so that I can lead a normal familiy life. Be the husband that my wife deserves and excelling at work like I used to. That is why I started this topic. Could you all please share your strategies to succesfully create and maintain interest in things. In cases where appropriate please also comment and specify for example which medication you use in case of meds or what diet you follow in case of diet etc.

Well here is to hoping that some useful strategies are shared

Edited by sc2

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I do everything on that lost except medication. Although my depression is more psychological than physiological in symptoms, when I get hit with anhedonia, I the two most important things are asceticism and and 'no mind'. The 'no mind' meditation stops all the negative thoughts which is important for so many reasons, & the asceticism because I have to both stop doing things that are pleasurable and stop having pleasurable things be a goal. Why that has been effective so farm I'm not sure. I don't know if it's because doing pleasurable things makes me feel bad about myself which then causes the anhedonia, or if my neurons get saturated with these pleasure chemicals and then become insensitive to them. But I think the most likely reason is that I use pleasure as a distraction from my problems, so when I go ascetic, I'm forced to face them--at which point I use CBT to pull myself out of the hole. This is just speculation though.

For the other stuff: I walk at least an hour a day, try and avoid naps, eat ham sandwiches on whole wheat bread for lunch and brown rice and green beans for dinner (with olive oil and sea salt it's actually really good, but sometimes I get bored with it and alternate with whole wheat pasta). Meditation with zen music. And other: self-love, though I'm not great at it. It's so strange to be "nice" to yourself when it's just so much more natural to be mean lol.

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WEll to chime in myself I find that in principle sometimes music gives me some joy that energizes me to subsequently be more motivated/engaged in other activities

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I do everything on that lost except medication. Although my depression is more psychological than physiological in symptoms, when I get hit with anhedonia, I the two most important things are asceticism and and 'no mind'. The 'no mind' meditation stops all the negative thoughts which is important for so many reasons, & the asceticism because I have to both stop doing things that are pleasurable and stop having pleasurable things be a goal. Why that has been effective so farm I'm not sure. I don't know if it's because doing pleasurable things makes me feel bad about myself which then causes the anhedonia, or if my neurons get saturated with these pleasure chemicals and then become insensitive to them. But I think the most likely reason is that I use pleasure as a distraction from my problems, so when I go ascetic, I'm forced to face them--at which point I use CBT to pull myself out of the hole. This is just speculation though.

For the other stuff: I walk at least an hour a day, try and avoid naps, eat ham sandwiches on whole wheat bread for lunch and brown rice and green beans for dinner (with olive oil and sea salt it's actually really good, but sometimes I get bored with it and alternate with whole wheat pasta). Meditation with zen music. And other: self-love, though I'm not great at it. It's so strange to be "nice" to yourself when it's just so much more natural to be mean lol.

Hmm this is a very interesting perspective in my opinion. If only I was really conscious of what makes me feel this way in the first place? Maybe I should seek a good therapist to gain a perspective onthat. although I noticed that I ussually start feeling this way after periods of extreme anxiety (panic attacks caused by work stress) and perhaps boredom of everyday mundane things. I will keep this in mind. thanks

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Hmm this is a very interesting perspective in my opinion. If only I was really conscious of what makes me feel this way in the first place? Maybe I should seek a good therapist to gain a perspective onthat. although I noticed that I ussually start feeling this way after periods of extreme anxiety (panic attacks caused by work stress) and perhaps boredom of everyday mundane things. I will keep this in mind. thanks

You don't know what the root problem is yet? It can be really hard to figure out. I had GAD symptoms for a month or so (you don't have the disorder unless its 6 months they say) and I took the physical and psych approach. At first I thought meditation was ridiculous, now it's a life saver, and I was able to figure out the root problem led to my mother (it almost always does lol--she was anti-loving and had anxiety herself). I have what's called an "anxious attachment style", so I'm constantly seeking positive reactions from others & I'm deeply miserable unless I have lots of love in my life. & yes, when I sit down and meditate and talk to myself on these issues it does work for the anhedonia and everything else too. But a therapist is defineatly the best option. Though if you're comfortable, do you have any ideas what could be at the core of it all?

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therapy hasnt helped (therapists are idiots and are like children who have hurt feeling rather than rational adults who want to help) and drugs havent helped overall except ritalin which helps a ton (for depression, I dont have ADD at all). However listening to trance music set and forget it on pandora is nice. I have some pretty comfy headphones for it too with noise dampening so I can ignore family noise (major cause of stress). For some reason it keeps out the bad thoughts or at least helps. I can still suffer really badly while listening to the music but its dampened and easier to get out of.

I also enjoy coffee. They say caffiene is bad for depression, I say its good. I dont use any other substances at all (cept whey and multiV) and the amount of coffee i drink isnt very much (like maybe 20oz a day if that).

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i found daily exercise to be the biggest help. It just does so much to regulate the body.

Next I would have to say is diet. .....if you can stick to it.

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This problem has become a lot worse for me over the years. I just began working in a field that I love but I'm currently unhappy with the work that I'm doing. This is largely due to the depression although several other factors (mostly occurrences at work) play into these feelings. I also feel the same outside of work - it's hard to feel the same joy and zeal when doing things that I love.

On the list of yours what works for me the most is exercise. It's already been proven that physical activity is a great combatant for depression as it helps to increase serotonin levels in the brain. For me medication never really worked, psychotherapy helped somewhat as did CBT and lifestyle changes. Music is helpful but as an aid to severe depression I think it has its limits.

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For me, counseling helps a lot because my depression stems from having no friends and nobody to talk to. Unfortunately, I can't afford therapy right now so I have to depend on meds. Since most depressed people have family and friends , therapy might not help them.

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The only thing that has helped me *a little* bit is Wellbutrin. I have tried literally everything on that poll (multiple times) with no luck.

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I chose listening to music. I started listening to The Phantom of the Opera (1987 recording???) again, and I've learned some lyrics and am singing a long to it in the car. I am an excellent singer but only when I am alone ;)

It's just making me feel really, really good. There are some moments that give me chills, and the musicians' precision gives me goosebumps. It's a nice little adrenaline rush that is putting me in a good mood.

Les Miserables does the same.

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Oooh I meant to add--- exercise! If I could have chosen a second option, exercise would have tied with music.

I have never been a runner, but I decided I needed a hobby, and that running is the healthiest and free one that I could start! I am using the couch to 5k app on my phone, and i'm on week 3. I went from wanting to die after lightly jogging for 30 seconds to being just fine after jogging for 3 minutes. Pushing myself to accomplish this is giving me something to be proud of. Lots of other people can do this in a pinch, but it's hard for me and I'm doing a good job. It's baby steps, and I'm chunky, but one day I think I can run a 5k and feel that good feeling runners like to talk about. It is really starting to shift my focus from wanting to freak out and cry from anxiety (from other issues) to just wanting to finish my jog because I'm tired. And the sun is giving me a nice boost too.

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might sound weird. and i tested it to the best of my ability. cola soda. not sure why. not so much caffnee. might be the surger. might be the lowering in electrolytes.

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might sound weird. and i tested it to the best of my ability. cola soda. not sure why. not so much caffnee. might be the surger. might be the lowering in electrolytes.

funny thing is, I noticed that too. Also with coffee though.

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Thanks everybody for contributing. For those answering medication. whicjh type of medication do you use that are helpful?

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This doesnt help me actually enjoy anything, but sometimes I sit back and say "ok you have a good life around you, you may not feel it right now, but it is here for when you get back and find out how to fix this"...it makes me a feel a sense of hope/comfort I guess.

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Even when I try to do different things to help energize me, I often have to remind myself why I even do basic things or something I enjoy. I spend a long time convincing myself to do things that I dont think should take so much effort. One thing that gets me going though is CAFFEEINE.

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Sleep! Man when I am tired my anxiety levels rise and things just become a burden to me. The trick then is how to get sleep. Sleep is so so important, especially for those with depression.

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