nicolantana

nicolantana: Anhedonia- Recovery?

98 posts in this topic

anymore feedback here folks??? just proceed, living like a zombie most of the time and keep the faith??

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Thank you.  but my main problem isn't managing emotions/thinking patterns, it's that I have none......as in robot/zombie

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...

 

However, I'm still worried about emotions/desires/thoughts etc.....over the last six weeks....I've had maybe 5 occassions where I felt strong positive emotions...and maybe 3 times where I've been sad/angry to the point of proper crying. outside of those 8 occassions, there's still an awful amount of flat feeling, apathy etc...

 

I'm worried and wonder how long or if I will recover at all.   Feedback welcome!!

 

The fact that you have felt feelings is a good sign.  However when something is not right we naturally and automatically want to do something to make things better.

 

I believe that worrying about and fighting against our symptom/s is stressful for the brain and body and it slows down the healing.  Being stressed means that the brain has to deal with the stress and diverts its attention away from healing. It is helpful to learn to accept our symptoms which lessens the stress.  See:  Acceptance and Acceptance and Mindfulness

 

When it comes to withdrawal symptoms, time is the healer, and it is better to do nothing, other than taking care of ourselves the best we can.

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Does the fact I was on four powerful meds simultaneously mean I'm in for a rougher ride??? Is four highly unusual....two seems to be the usual max

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I don't know about a rougher ride, definitely a longer one. You'd be surprised how many people wind up on 4 OR more psycho-neuro-active medications, each one prescribed to "treat" side-effects or interaction effects of the previous cocktail.

 

We have members here who came to us on at least 6. As I've said, those prescribing doctors and the pharmacists who filled the Rx should be repeated thumped on the head with the PDR (Physicians Desk Reference, a very heavy book).

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So hey..as I say ...no energy, emotions, engagement (the three Es!)

This was no doubt caused by meds. Is there any justification for going back on a med?

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Hi Nicolantana!

 

I hear you, I suffer from apathy and have been for the past 13 years... polydrugged with two A/Ds and two benzodiazepines as you can see in my signature. It took me over a decade to realise that the meds were incapacitating me!! (and not chronic depression and/or chronic fatigue as I had been led to believe...)

 

I am tapering and still have a long way to go. I yet have to experience a window, something on the emotional front. I don't seem to get neuro-emotions... it is constant flatness day in and day out... but I am still on "quite a lot of meds".

 

I wish I had some insight but I came here to say that I understand you...

 

I believe you will get longer windows as the time passes, I know how frustrating it is, believe me, I have been living a day at a time since the beginning of my benzo taper over 2 years ago. But I believe you will feel again just like you used to.

 

Focusing on the lack of emotion leaves me feeling worse. It is not easy but trusting that there is a healing process taking place in your brain and whole nervous system right now and every moment does help.

I am so glad you manage to read. Think about the things you can do to distract yourself... 

Try mindfulness and CBT techniques to redirect your thinking in more helpful ways.

Remember that you are in Recovery, so take care of yourself.

 

...I don't want to sound patronising, I have spent the whole day obsessing about my lack of emotions ... searched for updates on this topic and found your thread...  -_-

 

But I really believe you will recover, hang in there and be gentle with yourself!!

Healing Hugs,

Julz xxx 

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Hey Julz!

 

Thank you for your input. It's good to hear from another voice.

It's hell. I haven't had a good moment in a few weeks....but the fact I've had a few in the past shows that I will have more

 

I have no real advice as I am new to all this fun. But, all the soldiers seem to suggest that recovery is possible, and even probable.

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Hi nicolantana - wow, you just came off all those drugs and you can still come on here and write coherently? I think you'll be fine!! (Seriously!!) 

 

Are you taking any supplements? I know it might seem like supps can't do much for the extreme condition of anhedonia, but I think magnesium might really be turning things around for me. Your body has been through a lot, and stress (physical, emotional, whatever) burns through your body's stores of magnesium...most people are mag deficient, and people in withdrawal/recovering from psych meds are definitely EXTREMELY mag deficient!! I highly recommend getting some magnesium w/SRT by Jigsaw. It's slow-release. I can barely tolerate a single pill of any other kind of mag - goes right through me - but I can tolerate 500mg/day of Jigsaw mag. I felt this incredible calm like I hadn't felt in years after I started taking it. Anyway - it's only been a few weeks for you and it's going to be ok!! Really.

 

(Please ignore my story - I think I'm an extreme case. I believe I got stuck this way for so long because I had a lot of issues before I started prozac. I was in fight-or-flight mode all the time and I think my brain was all too happy to slip into a depersonalized/anhedonic state when it was given prozac.)

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Hey Time to wake up (if that is you're real name ;p)

 

Thanks for posting!! I actually read your intro last week!......and I got alot of optimism from it. I find it encouraging that you went from lifeless to at least feeling some windows!!  it's absolute hell when you're in it. I haven't had a good moment in about three weeks.( But hey ho.

 

I introduced fish oil and  magnesium three weeks ago, and my anhedonia has intensified. Probably a coincidece, but I have since dropped supplements for now.

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can you describe some of your big windows? did you go from purely anhedonic to all of a sudden change? or more subtle?

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So I called to the doc today explaining my anhedonia, etc..how drugs stripped me of emotions and cognitive abilities....

 

first question....where are you mood wise on the 1-10 scale?

 

Did I not say I have no emotions doc?

 

second question......would you consider going back on the medication???   ........The medication that cause this??? sure doc, sign me up.

 

idiots, when it comes to post acute withdrawal the medical profession are clueless.

 

in other news, I am currently experiencing the hint of a window, praise the lord

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in other news, I am currently experiencing the hint of a window, praise the lord

 

Nicolantana, this is fantastic!!

 

...from what I realise, I still have the ability to empathise so the above is indeed heartfelt!! ^_^ 

 

Let us know how you are!! :) 

 

PS: no comment on doctors not knowing the difference between absence of emotions and depression... nothing surprises me anymore but it sure totally eludes me...  

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Thank you...yeah had a nice little for 24hours or so where I felt like a human. Back to robot now!

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Did you quit medications nico ? How are you feeling now?

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Hi there.....I quit everything over a very short period of time..I didn't need them/mis diagnosed but they have damaged me at least temporarily.

 

I feel nothing....most of the time. That's my main concern. I'm like a robot...I get up and do things with my day and look pretty well

but I'm like a robot

 

I have no emotions, very few thoughts, no motivation, little memory, no imagination,etc,etc,etc.... I guess ANHEDONIA is the closest word we can find to describe my condition

 

How does that sound to you??? much experience of these things?/any feedback?

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anymore thoughts on time length before I feel like a human?

 

or on possibility of permanent brain damage???

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I quit olanzapine Ct I had awful side effects for about 3 months now I feel a little better but need to quit lexapro it's been 2 weeks. Healing so far hope i will feel better

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any anhedonia?/windows from anhedonia

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Yes it does improve slowly

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I have this Nico...exactly. And after an adverse reaction to only ONE dose of two different drugs. It's been 17 months. I had a couple windows from the "anhedonia" or "emotional anesthesia" last summer. They lasted only moments. Otherwise none really since. I do laugh occasionally, and also cry occasionally, but I do not FEEL the laughter/happiness or the sadness, if that makes sense. It's like I'm going through the motions, and those are the appropriate feelings/reactions, but it's not connected. I don't feel it. I also have zero motivation. My creativity, formerly very strong, gone. Looking forward to things, making fun plans...all gone. All joy, deep love, gone. I don't even have happy dreams.

 

I, too, describe myself as a robot...an empty shell. I have many other symptoms also, but those wax and wane in intensity, come and go. The anhedonia does not, and it's deeply disturbing to me.

 

I think I had a neurotoxic reaction. I was given an injection of an antipsychotic (haldol) in the ER for BACK PAIN...had I only known... Then later due to the anxiety it caused, as well as a dystonic reaction, was given 50mg Zoloft. Severe reaction to that also, probably due to the new found cns sensitivities I'd developed unknowingly.

 

Anyway, my psychiatrist admitted to me that many of his colleagues consider haldol neurotoxic. He thinks that may have happened to me, and so do I. Hate to sound negative, but my life has been ruined...so far. I'm getting by, but barely.

 

I've been reading about Neuroplasticity. Holding out hope for that, that my brain will eventually repair itself. It's like a cord has been cut.

 

I hear everyone say that I will heal, that we'll all heal. I pray every day that is true.

 

I'm able to cope better than I was in the beginning...but it's hard to say if I've improved at all, or am just learning better to live with it. I think it might be a little of both. I'm also still tapering from my diazepam (result of this whole mess) and am not off completely. Hoping, praying, once I'm off that completely I'll heal even more.

 

Your case is different than mine, but I can relate. Most people I've seen on here improve. I can only think you will too...and hopefully me too. Hope is all I have left.

 

These effing drugs are toxic.

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thanks for your insight cr......scary as it is!! yeah hope must be maintained. The way I see it there are two options; persevere or throw in the towel. And we can always wait ten years to throw in the towel.....if we're still braindead at that point then maybe I would reconsider.

 

How do you spend your days?

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HI nick and fellow victims ,I'm so angry reading your stories here ,history will show how we have been treated as  a disgrace of a monumental disaster.

nick I'm so sorry u were  treated like that in the hospital ,pumped full of neuro toxins.

 

There was a  suggestion of hospital for myself in November and Zyprexa but I dodged them both,im just about coping and getting by but I have my free will to walk in the sun when I want to and that is a comfort  in a very dark and hard time at the moment .

 

I am dealing with every symptom u guys are writing about and its hard but I believe I became stronger and have more confidence in myself when I took the power back from my doctor .this man googled something in front of me last year when I was in distress and worried ,I put all my hopes for a recovery in he's hands and then it came to me as clear as day.TAKE MY POWER BACK.

 

I don't think I know better than a doctor ,IM NOT PROMOTEING EVERYONE TO STOP LISTENING TO THERE DOCTOR .but in my case I could see he's limits .

We are all so tough and strong to cope with such adversity and we cant forget that .

take care

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Hello, nicolantana.

 

I merged your recent posts into this topic, as they seem to be a continuation of your ruminations here.

 

Clearly your condition is not permanent, as you know you have improved a bit already -- and it's been less than 3 months that you've been off psychiatric drugs.

 

I suggest you read other Introduction topics. Recovery from drug adverse effects can be very slow, with waves of worse symptoms and windows of feeling better than can be very frustrating and confusing. Read The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Emotional anesthesia is a very common side effect of psychiatric drugs -- you might say that's how they work. It can also follow withdrawal from the drugs. Like other withdrawal symptoms, which indicate a distressed nervous system, it will very gradually go away.

 

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Thank you altostrata.

 

Forgive me, but as most people here agree, it's hard to wrap your head around the fact that medication can do this to a person.

 

And secondly, when you're in it, it feels like recovery is not possible (as all feel good chemicals have been wiped out)

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Hi nicolanta happy st patricks day from fellow irish man.

I totally agree about how could we know about the mess we are left with after taking a drug ,given by a professional that we trust .

My deep anger has been replaced with a fight inside me to survive this ,I think I went into survival mode when I believed myself and not my doctor anymore.

I am dealing with horrific depression and headaches that make my head numb to the touch .

 

My family and partner  are deeply  worried about me and I accept there worry rather than let my ego control me and think I'm invincible because I'm not,but like all of us that are on this site ,I'm worthy of rest and peace of mind and happiness .

 

I totally respect and agree with the anger we feel because of whats happened to us but if we are not careful it will consume us .

Please give yourself time to navigate the site ,the answers and help is there.

Take care

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Thanks powerback and other users,

 

having a relatively normal few days here I must say. alot of the fog seems to have disappeared and I'm enjoying simple pleasures, however long that lasts.

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hey scallywag, 
 

The way through recovery is unpredictable and unpleasant but for those who stay the course, improvement and then full recovery do occur. We emerge stronger and wiser.

 
may have chatted to you before......'full recovery'.....is that the consensus?? that people return to their premed selfs???

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Full recovery is defined by the person who experiences it. In some situations such as decade long use it would be unreasonable to compare recovered drug-free state to to "their premed self."

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yeah, wrong choice of words really...but the ability to feel real emotions, engage in activities, work, have fun...all subjective I guess

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how's everyone now? ...today's thought...if we follow the analogy that the mind is like a lake, does anybody else feel like the lake is frozen??

That summarizes me right now, frozen in time. quite a place to be.

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Hi Nic,

hey scallywag, 
 

The way through recovery is unpredictable and unpleasant but for those who stay the course, improvement and then full recovery do occur. We emerge stronger and wiser.

 
may have chatted to you before......'full recovery'.....is that the consensus?? that people return to their premed selfs???

I don't believe that we emerge from this process unscathed however we can often come out stronger in the end even if it's perhaps slightly different than before. I think we undergo a metamorphosis of sorts so that even though there is some change, ultimately it is often for the better in the long term. I think the skills and knowledge we tend to acquire during this experience can set us up to lead a healthier and more aware life in the future.

 

Obviously if we could avoid this pain we would but in terms of seeing some positive benefits from it , at least there are some in my view. I think we become much better than our pre- med self. Compassion and understanding seem to grow exponentially , not to mention other positive qualities that seem to come to the fore.

 

I like to see the positive in this. It helps me to get through it.

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Cheers Ali g. I agree. When I post here it's usually in the more negative moments naturally...

 

But yeah, this feels like hell itself to me..

 

So if you come through hell, one's compassion, gratitude, patience, lust for life would expand exponentially...

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just an update.....there's been quite a dissipation of my condition in recent weeks. It's still torture but there are clear signs of progress.

 

I was thinking today: my experience on the medication (5 months)....was hell itself, with no relief, Finished meds at Christmas.

January was 95% hell, February was 90% hell and March has been 80% hell. Obviously these are random figures, but you get the idea...there is improvement, however small.

 

I met the pdoc for last time today. I asked him why I was on two anti psychotics,,,response: seroquel is not an anti psychotic, it's an anti-depressant. SHOCKING.

I corrected him on this, but he still denied and said seroquel is an anti depressant. Anyone with half a brain, and the internet in front of them knows that Seroquel is an anti-psychotic.

 

I have been met at every stage with severe incompetence.

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