Neuroplastic

Anhedonia, apathy, demotivation, emotional numbness

315 posts in this topic

hOW WONDERFUL, I know you are a long way out and I know you still struggle with your sleep but how wonderful not to have anxiety like that, I hope I get to remember one day what it feels like NOT to have anxiety all day everyday, I know 6 months is not a lonf time in these terms but it feels like it.

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The only thing I want to do in my life is watch old Star Trek and Stargate episodes.

 

LOL... that's EXACTLY what I'm doing. All I do is watch Stargate episodes.

 

 

I had intense free-floating anxiety. Not so much akathisia.

 

I had depersonalization for quite a while and that gradually went away. One day I realized I was present.

 

The emotional anesthesia gradually lifted. I can't recall if there were windows because the changes were so subtle.

 

I can't say I still have anhedonia. My emotions still seem a little muffled.

 

How long did it take you to feel some sort of emotion? For me, it's been 5 years, and I haven't felt a single emotion. Pretty damn depressing.

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The free-floating anxiety is awful. Relieved to hear it given a name and also that it lessened. For me, it's closely related to dread / impending doom. Do we have a thread on free-floating anxiety?

 

Gilmore Girls reruns for me. It's the only place i feel at home and with *family*.

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It took a few years for the depersonalization to go away, then my emotions started coming back.

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I'm literally starting to lose hope in recovering... I mean, it honestly feels like it's never going to end. Everything is literally colorless... everything is grey, the passion for life is literally gone. I have no dreams/goals/passions anymore... everything is meaningless to me, oh, and I lost my personality completely (+ my sense of humor).I don't want to say bring the morale down or anything, but let's be realistic, is it even possible to recover from such a thing? In my opinion, I don't think so... it seems like permanent brain damage to me... the brain is a very delicate organ (is it an organ? lol I don't even know, but you know what I mean) and people think that the brain will recover no problem, it's just a matter of time... etc.I only took an SSRI for 4 to 5 months (and it was a low dose) and I ended up like this... so yeah, I guess I have the worst luck ever, and I'm going to suffer for the rest of my life. All I do is wake up, eat, watch movies and sleep... I no longer have a life... that's something I used to have. I died in 2009.I tried contacting Charly G., but he didn't reply to my message... I don't know why, though. I just asked him if he experienced this anhedonia (can't enjoy anything) and emotional anesthesia... but no reply.

Edited by Altostrata
name changed for privacy

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Charly is available on Facebook.

 

Be patient, it can take quite a while for the emotional anesthesia to fade. For me, it was about 3 years (I was also experiencing depersonalization for that time).

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Anhedonia, from the posts I have read you are unsure if you took the prozac in 2009 or 2010?

 

I dont understand how it can be 5 years? even if you took it in Jan 2009 it can only be 4 years? Dont get me wrong, 4 years is too long to feel like this and I really feel for you and all of us who are suffering this horrible symptom (yes I have it too, and cannot FEEL the love I know I have for my own 4 year old son)

 

Do you remember exactly when you took the meds, what year and what month? Maybe if your unsure you should ask your GP?

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Charly doesnt really want to be involved with ssri victims anymore, as Alto said he has moved on with his life now, he did spend many years helping to support ssri victims but at some point he has to move on, but YES he did have severe anhedonia and emotional anaesthia, and his feelings did return to him, but it was the last thing to come, as Alto said earlier in the thread....I think he said something like

 

Its only now (at 6/7 years) that I am becoming whole again and its more than I ever could have expected

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Charly is available on Facebook.

 

Be patient, it can take quite a while for the emotional anesthesia to fade. For me, it was about 3 years (I was also experiencing depersonalization for that time).

 

I know I have to be patient, but it's beyond depressing knowing that time is passing by... I'm about turn 20, yet I never, ever leave my house, because I don't see the point to leave at all... because why bother if you don't enjoy anything, and everything seems pointless, know what I mean? My birthday is coming up, and I don't even want to celebrate it... I'm completely dead inside.

 

You see, I worry that this will be permanent, because I took this drug when I was 15/16 years old... and even though it wasn't for long, I feel like because I took this drug when I was still developing, that it screwed me up permanently.

 

 

Anhedonia, from the posts I have read you are unsure if you took the prozac in 2009 or 2010?

 

I dont understand how it can be 5 years? even if you took it in Jan 2009 it can only be 4 years? Dont get me wrong, 4 years is too long to feel like this and I really feel for you and all of us who are suffering this horrible symptom (yes I have it too, and cannot FEEL the love I know I have for my own 4 year old son)

 

Do you remember exactly when you took the meds, what year and what month? Maybe if your unsure you should ask your GP?

 

It was in 2009, around March I believe... I took it for 4 or 5 months... somewhere between 2.5 mg to 10 mg of Prozac... this is making me so miserable. I'll try to find out exactly how long, and how much I took in a few days.

 

How long did you take it and how much (mg)? I'm sorry to hear that you and other people are suffering from this HORRIBLE condition.

 

 

Charly doesnt really want to be involved with ssri victims anymore, as Alto said he has moved on with his life now, he did spend many years helping to support ssri victims but at some point he has to move on, but YES he did have severe anhedonia and emotional anaesthia, and his feelings did return to him, but it was the last thing to come, as Alto said earlier in the thread....I think he said something like

 

Its only now (at 6/7 years) that I am becoming whole again and its more than I ever could have expected

 

I don't blame him at all... I just wanted to know if he experienced this emotional anesthesia/anhedonia... because he mentioned about the horrific physical symptoms he experienced, but nothing about emotions or feelings.

 

Good to hear that there's some hope left... maybe. I tempted to try stimulants, but at the same time, I honestly don't want to rely on drugs... it feels like it will never end.

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This is truly a situation where you have to "fake it until you make it."

 

Get out of the house as a therapeutic effort. Look around you and enjoy what you can. Take photos of anything that you even slightly like or find interesting. Do some walking.

 

All of these things help your brain to re-pattern itself. Put effort into helping it and it will help you.

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While I was on SSRI/SNRI, I didn't care about nothing. Like, literally nothing. I spent all my days playing videogames: it was the only thing that forced me to not think about the unfillable void that I had inside. And that was for more than ten damn years.

 

As soon I stopped those drugs, emotions come back all at once. Maybe even too strong :) But that's fine. I prefer to be "debilitated" (like I feel I am now after withdrawal) but at least I can feel. I can care.

 

So, well, there's hope for everyone, that's what I was trying to say. :D

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While I was on SSRI/SNRI, I didn't care about nothing. Like, literally nothing. I spent all my days playing videogames: it was the only thing that forced me to not think about the unfillable void that I had inside. And that was for more than ten damn years.

 

As soon I stopped those drugs, emotions come back all at once. Maybe even too strong :) But that's fine. I prefer to be "debilitated" (like I feel I am now after withdrawal) but at least I can feel. I can care.

 

So, well, there's hope for everyone, that's what I was trying to say. :D

 

Very good to hear you have recovered, but at what age did you start taking these mind altering drugs? I just hope I'm not one of the unlucky one's, because I took it at a very young age... and it hasn't improved a single bit... at all. :(

 

 

@ Altostrata - I try... I seriously do... but nothing matters. Everything looks lifeless... I try to go outside and do stuff, go for walks, whatever... but it never helps. That's why I literally feel completely hopeless.

 

I'm just praying and hoping I can recover, because I honestly won't want to live the rest of my life like this... I'd rather die than live like this for the rest of my life... because what's the point of living if you're completely dead inside?

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Very good to hear you have recovered, but at what age did you start taking these mind altering drugs? I just hope I'm not one of the unlucky one's, because I took it at a very young age... and it hasn't improved a single bit... at all. :(

I was 18. I took them (for some times, many of them at once) without stopping for more than ten years. They altered me so much that I didn't feel the difference anymore: I thought that it was simply a matter of personality, of character.

 

Are you still on them or did you completely taper off?

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Very good to hear you have recovered, but at what age did you start taking these mind altering drugs? I just hope I'm not one of the unlucky one's, because I took it at a very young age... and it hasn't improved a single bit... at all. :(

I was 18. I took them (for some times, many of them at once) without stopping for more than ten years. They altered me so much that I didn't feel the difference anymore: I thought that it was simply a matter of personality, of character.

 

Are you still on them or did you completely taper off?

 

I stopped taking them cold turkey somewhere around July/August of 2009... I took them around March (2009), I believe. No sign of improvement... I don't think it'll get better. Looks like I'll be living in my room for the next 60 years of my life. -_-

 

It's 2013, and I haven't recovered... looks like it's permanent... let's be real. Heh, it was awesome to be alive for a very short 15/16 years.

 

I guess asking to be human again is too much too ask for in this short life...

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Hi

 

I too am going through something similar. It is hard to tell, very hard, but I think I might be a bit better than when it started 2 yeas ago, when I was pregnant. It seems very slow indeed though. There are times (many) when I think i'll never get better but then there are very occasional tiny windows of hope which I really try to hold on to.

 

You might find this thread useful on the depression forums:

 

http://www.depressionforums.org/forums/topic/83323-answers-to-curing-anhedonianumbnesszombienessno-emotionsapathyno-libido-collective-experiences/

 

It looks like a few people are going to try the anti depressant Parnate to try to combat some of these symptoms (there is a post within this thread about how it can make you feel more). I too am going to try it. It comes with potentially quite serious side effects though, so you have to watch your diet while you are taking it.

 

There is also this article about the potentially numbing effects of anti psychotics that some people might find interesting:

 

http://www.mentalhealth.freeuk.com/acta.pdf

 

I am currently coming off my antipsychotic medication to see if that will help with the numbing.

 

Take care

 

Joose

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Hi

 

I too am going through something similar. It is hard to tell, very hard, but I think I might be a bit better than when it started 2 yeas ago, when I was pregnant. It seems very slow indeed though. There are times (many) when I think i'll never get better but then there are very occasional tiny windows of hope which I really try to hold on to.

 

You might find this thread useful on the depression forums:

 

http://www.depressionforums.org/forums/topic/83323-answers-to-curing-anhedonianumbnesszombienessno-emotionsapathyno-libido-collective-experiences/

 

It looks like a few people are going to try the anti depressant Parnate to try to combat some of these symptoms (there is a post within this thread about how it can make you feel more). I too am going to try it. It comes with potentially quite serious side effects though, so you have to watch your diet while you are taking it.

 

There is also this article about the potentially numbing effects of anti psychotics that some people might find interesting:

 

http://www.mentalhealth.freeuk.com/acta.pdf

 

I am currently coming off my antipsychotic medication to see if that will help with the numbing.

 

Take care

 

Joose

 

When did you start taking anti-psychotics? There's no doubt in my mind that the anti-psychotics could have taken your humanity away from you... I'm 110% sure. I didn't this person very well, but I've seen him a few times... he only took ONE anti-psychotic pill, made him go crazy, and then he said he lost the ability to feel emotions....

 

It's criminal that these drugs are legal...

 

If anyone has read this thread "Lost all my humanity, thanks bupropion" this PERFECTLY describes me... it's far worst than not feeling emotions... the guy literally describes what I'm going through... as he said, everything is a non-experience.

 

I don't want anyone to think I want them to feel sorry (that's stupid, I just want ME back) it's so bad, I don't have the ability to care about getting better... I mean, I literally feel DESTROYED. I honestly can't relate to humans anymore... I can't even have a conversation with someone... I have nothing to say to anyone... literally.

 

And day-by-day, I'm losing my sanity. Doctors are brainless/clueless... they are the one's who prescribe these soul destroying drugs like they are candy.

 

I don't know, but if it honestly doesn't get better in the next 2 years, I'll have no choice but to end this living nightmare.... how can life go from what it use to (you know, how every normal human experiences), to THIS RARE FORM OF HELL? Yeah, there's no hope for me.

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Just to let you know that the guy who made that post on the other site, recovered,

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Hi

 

I too am going through something similar. It is hard to tell, very hard, but I think I might be a bit better than when it started 2 yeas ago, when I was pregnant. It seems very slow indeed though. There are times (many) when I think i'll never get better but then there are very occasional tiny windows of hope which I really try to hold on to.

 

You might find this thread useful on the depression forums:

 

http://www.depressionforums.org/forums/topic/83323-answers-to-curing-anhedonianumbnesszombienessno-emotionsapathyno-libido-collective-experiences/

 

It looks like a few people are going to try the anti depressant Parnate to try to combat some of these symptoms (there is a post within this thread about how it can make you feel more). I too am going to try it. It comes with potentially quite serious side effects though, so you have to watch your diet while you are taking it.

 

There is also this article about the potentially numbing effects of anti psychotics that some people might find interesting:

 

http://www.mentalhealth.freeuk.com/acta.pdf

 

I am currently coming off my antipsychotic medication to see if that will help with the numbing.

 

Take care

 

Joose

 

Joose, if you're on an antipsychotic, that could indeed cause emotional numbing.

 

We haven't seen any antidepressant that reliably fixes withdrawal syndrome.

 

Psychiatric drugs interfere with the factory settings that allow you to grow emotionally. Looking for a magic pill to fix the adverse effects of another magic pill -- that pattern alone is a recipe for continuing disappointment.

 

If you are tapering off a psychiatric drug, please start a topic for yourself in the Intro forum and introduce yourself to the community.

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Anhedonia -

 

I started taking the anti psychotic drugs two years ago. This co-incided with a breakdown. It is therefore difficult for me to know whether it is the breakdown or the anti psychotics which are responsible for my emotional numbing. I guess i'll find out when i'm fully off them.

 

I really don't know what good they have been doing me, that's for sure.

 

Altostrata -

 

I know that it is a huge potential for disappointment, but i'm pretty desperate. Having read lots of reports about how Parnate has made people feel more emotional, I thought I could at least give it a go.

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Anhedonia -

 

I started taking the anti psychotic drugs two years ago. This co-incided with a breakdown. It is therefore difficult for me to know whether it is the breakdown or the anti psychotics which are responsible for my emotional numbing. I guess i'll find out when i'm fully off them.

 

I really don't know what good they have been doing me, that's for sure.

 

Altostrata -

 

I know that it is a huge potential for disappointment, but i'm pretty desperate. Having read lots of reports about how Parnate has made people feel more emotional, I thought I could at least give it a go.

 

Well, it seems like most people who experience anhedonia is because they've taken a mind altering drug (anti psychotics/anti depressants) etc... no doubt that these "medications" are soul destroying pills... I can't say "for sure" that it's a result of taking anti psychotics... but I believe it is.

 

Honestly, please taper them off... I hope you recovery from this, because no one deserves to go through this rare form of hell.

---

 

As for me, I'm not sure what to do anymore... keep waiting while laying down in my bed, try more mind altering drugs, or stop the suffering and just blow my brains out already. I've been living through this hell for 4 years, and it's obvious it doesn't get better. Not a single window of relief.... I've been completely dead since 2009.

 

For me, it's so bad, that I don't even remember the last time I even showered. I literally feel destroyed... I know I'm being delusional to wait and "hope" that I can recover... but I'm a realist, and in reality, when you get fucked like this, there's no way you'll ever be the same person.

 

So I'll just lay in bed for the next 60 years, or decide that this suffering is enough, and just blow my brains out.... because I literally have nothing to live for (realistically).

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I am really sorry that things are so bad for you.

 

Only those of us who have been through something similar can truly understand.

 

Are you on any medication?

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I stopped taking them cold turkey somewhere around July/August of 2009... I took them around March (2009), I believe. No sign of improvement... I don't think it'll get better. Looks like I'll be living in my room for the next 60 years of my life. -_-

 

It's 2013, and I haven't recovered... looks like it's permanent... let's be real. Heh, it was awesome to be alive for a very short 15/16 years.

 

I guess asking to be human again is too much too ask for in this short life...

 

I'm afraid to hear that. I was lucky enough that my emotional numbness disappeared as soon as I stopped. I had quite the contrary reaction, as I said: the emotions sometimes are just uncontrollable and so anxiety, fear and even paranoia chime in.

 

I didn't tell my story to be pitied, but to show you that if I recovered (and trust me, I'm far from being a strong person, neither physically nor emotionally), anyone can :).

 

But...There's a huge but. I had an invaluable support from my family and my friends. They literally kept me alive. They pulled me out from my own room despite my conscious efforts to be sealed in. I don't know your personal situation, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that you won't improve an inch if you remain alone. It will become a self-perpetuating circle.

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Anhedonia

 

I am sorry for asking about medication. I have just looked at your older posts that say that you used to be on some.

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I stopped taking them cold turkey somewhere around July/August of 2009... I took them around March (2009), I believe. No sign of improvement... I don't think it'll get better. Looks like I'll be living in my room for the next 60 years of my life. -_-

 

It's 2013, and I haven't recovered... looks like it's permanent... let's be real. Heh, it was awesome to be alive for a very short 15/16 years.

 

I guess asking to be human again is too much too ask for in this short life...

 

I'm afraid to hear that. I was lucky enough that my emotional numbness disappeared as soon as I stopped. I had quite the contrary reaction, as I said: the emotions sometimes are just uncontrollable and so anxiety, fear and even paranoia chime in.

 

I didn't tell my story to be pitied, but to show you that if I recovered (and trust me, I'm far from being a strong person, neither physically nor emotionally), anyone can :).

 

But...There's a huge but. I had an invaluable support from my family and my friends. They literally kept me alive. They pulled me out from my own room despite my conscious efforts to be sealed in. I don't know your personal situation, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that you won't improve an inch if you remain alone. It will become a self-perpetuating circle.

 

You don't understand, I can physically force myself to do things, but I don't see the point of doing anything anymore. I can go outside, and do stuff... but I can't enjoy it... I just can't. Before, I could... but now, I can't, because I'm completely DEAD inside.

 

It doesn't matter if I'm with people or not... nothing changes, and it honestly doesn't make a difference (I don't mean to come off as being mean, this is not my intention). Actually, if I try to go out... I feel worst psychologically, because I know I'm supposed to enjoy doing stuff... like talking to friends or hanging out with them... but I can't... and I just feel like going home and never go out ever again.

 

Everything is a non-experience. There's a guy named Devoid on Paxil Progress (type in: "lost all my humanity, thanks bupropion") and he PERFECTLY describes the state I am in. The fact he even did it is BEYOND mind blowing... because I don't have the ability to experience this rare form of hell... I mean, I didn't think it was even possible to explain this living nightmare in words.

 

Apparently, he recovered by taking thyroid/adrenal supplements... I'm trying Licorice Root right now, but I honestly don't expect anything to happen. I'll be getting a full body ultrasound/MRI this summer, so I'm hoping they can fix me at this point... if that's even possible.

 

I don't trust American/Canadian doctors at all... pretty much most of them only write prescriptions without solving the problem... they don't use their brains whatsoever... but how can you use your brain when you have none? Most of these doctors are clueless... and I can't believe I trusted one in the first place, but I guess it's too late now.

 

At this point, I hope I can recover, but it seems like that's not a possibility...

 

 

Anhedonia

 

I am sorry for asking about medication. I have just looked at your older posts that say that you used to be on some.

 

I took Prozac for 4-5 months... and it was a LOW dose... LOL, what boggles my mind is the fact people take this **** for 2+ years and end up recovering... that's honestly something I don't understand.

 

But yeah, get off that crap... I hope you recover, I really do... no one deserves to experience this horrific nightmare.

--

 

Anyways, I hope I don't come off as "poor me, I have it worst" but I think I honestly am. I can't even function... and I'm scared to talk to people... I have social anxiety now (never had this before)... I literally can't make a conversation with someone, because I honestly don't know what to say... my mind is blank.

 

I think this is something far worst than emotional numbing/anhedonia... I guess you can call it "chemical lobotomy" (which to me, means complete destruction of a person). When I say I'm not human anymore, I really am not.

 

I don't know about other people, but I don't think recovery is possible for me. Not because I don't want too (because trust me, I would be the happiest person in the world to feel some sort of emotion) but I just don't think it's possible. I'm completely dead inside.

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I'm not religious, but i'll pray for you anyway x

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I'm not religious, but i'll pray for you anyway x

 

I use to be religious, but trust me, if I learned anything going through this living nightmare, there really is no God... only fool's believe in an imaginary man who created the world, lol. With all the terrible things that happen in this world (kids dying of cancer, people dying everyday from starvation) there is no God...

 

But if there is a small chance that there actually is a "creator", then this "creator" is a sick, and evil piece of ****.

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You don't understand, I can physically force myself to do things, but I don't see the point of doing anything anymore. I can go outside, and do stuff... but I can't enjoy it... I just can't. Before, I could... but now, I can't, because I'm completely DEAD inside.

 

It doesn't matter if I'm with people or not... nothing changes, and it honestly doesn't make a difference (I don't mean to come off as being mean, this is not my intention). Actually, if I try to go out... I feel worst psychologically, because I know I'm supposed to enjoy doing stuff... like talking to friends or hanging out with them... but I can't... and I just feel like going home and never go out ever again.

 

Everything is a non-experience. There's a guy named Devoid on Paxil Progress (type in: "lost all my humanity, thanks bupropion") and he PERFECTLY describes the state I am in. The fact he even did it is BEYOND mind blowing... because I don't have the ability to experience this rare form of hell... I mean, I didn't think it was even possible to explain this living nightmare in words.

 

Apparently, he recovered by taking thyroid/adrenal supplements... I'm trying Licorice Root right now, but I honestly don't expect anything to happen. I'll be getting a full body ultrasound/MRI this summer, so I'm hoping they can fix me at this point... if that's even possible.

 

I don't trust American/Canadian doctors at all... pretty much most of them only write prescriptions without solving the problem... they don't use their brains whatsoever... but how can you use your brain when you have none? Most of these doctors are clueless... and I can't believe I trusted one in the first place, but I guess it's too late now.

 

At this point, I hope I can recover, but it seems like that's not a possibility...

 

Trust me, I DO understand. I felt the same things that you felt and used the same words that you used to describe them.

 

You will recover. It will take time (but you're still very young and you have plenty of it) and patience, and a lot of suffering, but eventually you'll wake up one day and you'll know that something has changed, and that you can put everything in perspective.

 

One thing, though: don't rely on some sort of "magic pill". I sincerely hope that the MRI can be useful to you, but probably it won't be enough in any case. You will still need the effort. Is it sad, frustrating and flat out unfair? You can bet on it. Are you to blame? Not at all. We were all put on this boat against our will and the best that we can do is to row back home.

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I completely understand the feeling of emotional anesthesia and demotivation.

 

It does get better.

 

Be very cautious about interfering with adrenal function. Paradoxically, emotional anesthesia is probably a function of the adrenals working well and producing the anxiety hormone cortisol, like they've been instructed to do by the brain. Most withdrawal symptoms are due to this.

 

The adrenals don't need additional stimulation, and they don't need slowing down -- they govern other very important body functions. It's best to leave them alone.

 

It's possible that fellow recovered from time passing, and the adrenal supplements were coincidental.

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Is painful BOREDOM a flipside of this constellation of symptoms? I don't have any less going on than before discontinuing, but I notice the vacuum FAR more. Difficulty concentrating on TV, books, etc.

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I feel like my brain has been raped, my soul has been destroyed, and my spirit has been taken away.  

 

I have to literally force myself to get anything done, which is a daily struggle, just to meet my basic needs.

 

It will soon be 4 years, since I've been in protracted withdrawal.

 

I sure wish I knew how to make it go away or at least when it's going to go away.

 

My heart goes out to each and every one that is feeling the same way.

 

It's an absolutely awful way to live!

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One foot in front of the other, Christiana. I went through this, too. It does get better.

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Christiana, I am so sorry for what you are going through. Please, take care and trust it will get better.

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Alto - the end of this month will be 4 years since my withdrawal started.  How long did it take for this symptom to improve alot for you? I keep hoping and praying it will resolve for me before too much longer, but I can't even see any light at the end of the tunnel yet.

One foot in front of the other, Christiana. I went through this, too. It does get better.

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Finn,

 

Thank you.  Did you have this? Or do you still have it? How long have you been in withdrawal? I'll soon be entering my 5th year and I don't have any windows with this yet.

 

Christiana, I am so sorry for what you are going through. Please, take care and trust it will get better.

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I see that this is an old post to reply to but I relate completely! I hope I can get part of if not all of my former self and feelings and emotions back. I remember my old self laughing a lot at everything...before depression diagnoses and antidepressants. My life is in stuck mode. I lost an important relationship due to what I think might be a detached feeling from people I supposedly love. Stopped having a drive for life, sense of humor, and no chance of getting excited about anything. Just kind of dead inside. I hate it. and also, a lot of obsessive compulsive thoughts. Thank you for sharing all of you. I see I am not alone. I am tapering off of cymbalta at the moment from 60 to 30, but was prescribed 10 mg. of prozac for the taper temporarily. I wonder how I'll feel when I stop with the prozac. scared. dazygirl

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I apologize. This is not an old post I responded to. I don't know how to use the site properly. I'm so sorry that people are suffering so much as we are. I thought I was the only one.

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