Neuroplastic

Anhedonia, apathy, demotivation, emotional numbness

315 posts in this topic

Do any of you with anhedonia have memory issues? i dont just mean crappy short term memory (I have that too, I can say something to someone and when they tell me later I have no recollection, or put something on my calendar and have no memory of doing so)..but I guess its like...memory "cues" they dont work. And the result is a lack of emotional continuity. For example...each season, I used to get memories of the previous years season, so when, say it was fall, i would remember the previous fall and some of the emotions or feelings that came with it, like the good smell of burning leaves, or the feeling of a cozy fire, memories of emotions i guess you could say. But in this state, fall arrives, and I obviously recognize the fact that this is not my first fall...however, there are no automatic memory cues that lead to any positive emotion?sense?feeling. Its like my mind simply says "Oh, my eyes and ears tell me its fall again, I suppose that means it will get colder now" and thats it. No "feeling". Yet when the anhedonia takes a break (and the breaks are often very short, flickers, even, moments, maybe hours) its a very different story. My mind automatically retrieves feelings, triggered by memories, nostaligia, ect. But the unnerving part of it is that when this happens, it is memories and emotions and so on, from 2009 and prior. Its like during wd, my brain has not packaged memories properly. Its not like I have a blank from 2009 to now...but its a very different thing. Its not just that Ive felt horrible in wd all these years so there simply arent very many positive experiences to draw on...its a very definitive void of emotional "pictures" to draw from. I wish I could articulate it better, but its like I slipped from a colour movie into a black and white set of 2 dimensional drawings, still, static pictures, rather than a fluid, vibrant world. It permeates everything from eating, smelling, touch, libido, music, movies, books, art work, nature...when you really think about it...emotion permeates every single experience we have, positive, negative, or neutral, they are all emotions. Anyway not sure if this makes sense. Just nice to share it with fellow sufferers. I often complain about my creative pursuits dying off but that because its the most easily explainable part about it...unfortunately, when recently discussing with a family memeber, the consensus was that I must really miss painting and the obvious solution was to just do it again. *sigh*. Or people just assume you are depressed. Not so...depression includes anhedonia but anhedonia does not necessarily include depression in my experience. I just want to engage so badly, I miss it so much, even after all this time, you would think we would forget it was ever any different but the flickers of normality  tell us otherwise. I so miss "being" alive in all its fullness, rather than 'acting" alive. Its exhausting. I feel like Im breathing recycled air and haven't been outside to take a full breath of fresh beautiful air in years...

 

I have not experienced that precisely (or maybe I'm just less aware). However, it makes sense that if we don't feel pleasure/joy with the same intensity, we might also have difficulty attaching emotion to memories or cues that used to trigger emotion prior to this.

 

It also makes sense that if 2009 is when you started having muffled emotions, then you won't have memories that are emotionally charged during that period.

 

It all makes sense logically speaking, but not "emotionally" (no pun intended). I personally struggle more with motivation than emotion, but I sure don't feel joy to the same intensity I did in the past.

 

The uglier part is that lately the numbness is not acting on my negative emotions as much as it used to. I'm feeling loss and the anticipation of it regularly---but don't have the capacity for joy and hope that is part of normal emotional range, so it's harder to cope with the feelings of loss/pessimism/hopelessness.

 

The anhedonia is the worst symptom for me because it deprives me of my will to fight back all the other symptoms. I still have some of that will left and grab unto it for life to keep going---but it sure is much more difficult to fight when life has lost most of its meaning...

 

Big hugs dear :)

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"The uglier part is that lately the numbness is not acting on my negative emotions as much as it used to. I'm feeling loss and the anticipation of it regularly---but don't have the capacity for joy and hope that is part of normal emotional range, so it's harder to cope with the feelings of loss/pessimism/hopelessness."

 

I found that to be the same once my paxil dose got low enough. I could easily feel all the negative emotions, but not the positive ones, whereas when i was on the full dose i felt nothing in any direction, positive or negative. For you this could be a good sign, that the effects of the med are losing their grip. Its a step towards healing, however slow it feels.

As for motivation issues... I guess i link motivation with "excitement" and "anticipation" and call those emotions, but it is very hard for me to get interested in anything, and besides the basics, like caring for the kids and going to work and remembering to shower and take care of myself, there is zero desire to tackle anything else. I miss that part of myself, and I think its slowly slowly returning, but I'm more than ready for it to come back.

Hugs to you too, NB!!

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I would love to read a success story where someone has gotten his/hers emotions back after reinstatement induced anhedonia.

Please, share if you know any?  :)

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I would love to read a success story where someone has gotten his/hers emotions back after reinstatement induced anhedonia.

Please, share if you know any?   :)

 

I've had a big window that lasted like 2 months last summer. I've also had an improvement of 30-40% in my energy/motivation level in the last 6 months or so. This was in great part a result of changing my diet to healthier foods and pushing myself a LOT to do things that were good for me, no matter how I felt.

 

Currently looking into my genetics to find supplements and foods that can help my body heal faster.

 

So recovery is possible but it takes a lot of time (I only noticed it in year 3) and a lot of work in shifting to a healthier lifestyle that facilitates the body's own healing process (exercise and diet are key, but also staying engaged with life because it literally rewires the brain).

 

Hugs :)

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I saw other threads like this but they were all outdated. This symptom is the main reason I am tapering off Lexapro. I am unbelievably numb. I feel nothing. Its getting to the point where I am being cold and blunt to the people I interact with. I have no sympathy and I am hurting peoples feelings and that is not okay. Thats not me, I was always a person to put others feelings first. I dont want to be this person, this cold, emotionless robot. Can someone please help? How do I feel again? 

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Yes, it would give hope if someone could tell that she/he has gotten his/hers ability to feel strong emotions back after antidepressants induced andehonia.

 

Hello, success stories needed! Anyone? :)

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Hi MySelf and Reaching (love both your screen names) -- Yes the feeling come back, stronger then ever.  A few years ago I had severe anhedonia, I felt nothing for anything.  Over the course of my taper I have seen this improve.  Slowly at first then accelerating until today I'm feeling the full spectrum of emotions most of the time.  Read through my intro thread and you can get more detailed information:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3458-brassmonkey-talking-about-myself/page-1

 

(((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))

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Hi MySelf and Reaching (love both your screen names) -- Yes the feeling come back, stronger then ever.  A few years ago I had severe anhedonia, I felt nothing for anything.  Over the course of my taper I have seen this improve.  Slowly at first then accelerating until today I'm feeling the full spectrum of emotions most of the time.  Read through my intro thread and you can get more detailed information:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3458-brassmonkey-talking-about-myself/page-1

 

(((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))

Thanks for sharing BrassMonkey!

 

Did your energy and motivation/apathy improve too? How far into the taper did you notice considerable improvement? I'm on year 3 tapering. Down to low doses (7mg Effexor and 7mg Prozac). I've seen some improvement on year 3, but still quite impaired. Brain is not as sharp as it used to be, still fatigued easily, still struggling with motivation (need lots of pushing).

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Just my two cents here, as I am only a couple of months into my Zoloft taper.  I am feeling much more motivation after years of numbness.  I am coming up with new and creative ideas at work, which had totally stopped on Z. 

 

I have a better outlook on life in general now than whilst on Z, more joy, more fun, looking forward to tomorrow kinda stuff.  I was very dark and dreary on my full Z dose.  I was actually suicidal on it when I had never had those kind of thoughts prior to any SSRI.

 

I actually look forward to my taper continuing as I am hopeful that my life will be more joyous and emotional with less Z. 

 

I know the mods will say that I am still on a very effective dose of Z with high SERT occupancy.  So difficult taper days are coming.  But I really want to see how this plays out, for better (I hope) or worse. 

 

Everyone is different of course.  Prayers for all to receive a reprieve from the suffering of SSRIs and the dull, lifeless feeling that goes along with them.

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Just my two cents here, as I am only a couple of months into my Zoloft taper.  I am feeling much more motivation after years of numbness.  I am coming up with new and creative ideas at work, which had totally stopped on Z. 

 

I have a better outlook on life in general now than whilst on Z, more joy, more fun, looking forward to tomorrow kinda stuff.  I was very dark and dreary on my full Z dose.  I was actually suicidal on it when I had never had those kind of thoughts prior to any SSRI.

 

I actually look forward to my taper continuing as I am hopeful that my life will be more joyous and emotional with less Z. 

 

I know the mods will say that I am still on a very effective dose of Z with high SERT occupancy.  So difficult taper days are coming.  But I really want to see how this plays out, for better (I hope) or worse. 

 

Everyone is different of course.  Prayers for all to receive a reprieve from the suffering of SSRIs and the dull, lifeless feeling that goes along with them.

 

This makes sense with my experience too. I believe if I had reduced my SSRI dose when I started feeling tired and unmotivated, the issue would have resolved immediately. Instead, incompetent/ignorant drs insisted it was residual depression and kept trying more meds.

 

Every new episode of depression, the SSRIs/SNRIs helped sedate the anxiety, but soon after the apathy/lethargy/fatigue started. Every time I stayed on the antidepressant at the same dose when I should have reduced dose and only taken it for a few months instead of a year.

 

It is not surprising then that when I was put on the max dose of Zoloft for 2 full years, the anhedonia got so bad that it has persisted even after I decreased my dose considerably. It went from a side effect to a lasting possibly reversible med-induced damage--because I stayed on it too long, for too high a dose, even though my body was showing signs that my brain had been changed for the worse (I needed a much higher dose this last time, which indicated some form of tolerance or negative brain adaptation to the drug...).

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Hi MySelf and Reaching (love both your screen names) -- Yes the feeling come back, stronger then ever.  A few years ago I had severe anhedonia, I felt nothing for anything.  Over the course of my taper I have seen this improve.  Slowly at first then accelerating until today I'm feeling the full spectrum of emotions most of the time.  Read through my intro thread and you can get more detailed information:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3458-brassmonkey-talking-about-myself/page-1

 

(((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))

Hi Brassmonkey! Thank you so much for telling us your personal experience and giving us some insight. Your story is inspiring and makes me feel a bit better. I will definitely read your intro to learn more about your experience. Thanks again! 

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After reinstating 20mg of Paxil to start a long taper, I was hit with severe anhedonia and emotional numbness (which I only experienced at a much lower level when I was on the Paxil for a decade, despite higher doses). From the forums, it seems that anhedonia is common during reinstatement.

 

I experience brief windows of time when the dopamine pathways start functioning again and suddenly I'm able to enjoy the small pleasures of life like music, sunshine, socializing, etc. Of course this seems to be a transient phenomenon, and I'm soon back to the lobotomized zombie state. These short windows seems to occur more frequently after a drop in dosage.

 

What I'm wondering is what to expect, i.e is it possible the anhedonia will slowly lift even before I'm off the Paxil completely as the dosage drops? I've looked at the SERT occupancy charts as a function of dose, and obviously large changes occur as you get into the single digits.

 

I'm at 8mg now and I'm hoping that once I get to 2-3mg, I'll really start to awaken and feel alive again.

 

Does anyone have experience to share? Did things get better regarding the SSRI apathy/anhedonia at low dose or did you have to discontinue completely before feeling like that lifted?

 

Thanks!

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Hi! I am not fully healed from anhedonia yet...however, my experience has been very gradual. My anhedonia began during a period leading up to or perhaps *because of* a very intense poop-out. This crisis led to a rapid taper (basically a cold turkey in hindsight), a subsequent period of swapping different meds around to quell the chaos my CNS was in, and finally a slow 4+ year taper. I have now been off all meds for 3 months. Ive had anhedonia the entire time, with little windows here and there. I would say the anhedonia has improved much more this past year than any other period, and that since being off ive seen even more subtle improvements in motivation and the ability to read novels for example. Another thing is that from 20mg Paxil to 12mg or so, I had numbed emotions, so I didnt feel sadness, and was unable to cry. Also the anhedonia. The numbess/apathy faded away by the last 10mg, by then it was only positive emotions that were blunted but I could feel sad/angry and even cry again.

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In my case, anhedonia was a side effect of the meds that got better at lower doses, but came back after reinstatement when I started my taper.

 

Then I got windows that also got worse after reinstatements.

 

I was hoping I would get relief at lower doses, but even at 7mg Effexor and 7mg Prozac I'm still struggling.

 

I actually saw more improvement in that area as a result of better nutrition (more veggies, healthy fats, less processed stuff and sugar). I also cut carbs some and increased protein and healthy fat intake. At the same time, I pushed myself to be more active even if I had 0 motivation. After months of that, I saw a 30% improvement that lasted about 3 months.

 

I've relapsed into anhedonia now while holding my dose. No reinstatement and no dosage reduction. I'm not sure what caused it. I think it might be the Boron I was taking, which might affect hormones. I'm stopping the Boron hoping it will help.

 

Aberdeen, I'm glad you feel better!!! I just hope it won't take 4 years+ for me to get out of this state. Especially since I have 2 drugs to drop. Sigh...

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Has ANYONE recovered from Anhedonia that was brought on by re-instatement, theoretically by tapering their SSRI/SNRI down to a dose where there dopamine system started functioning? (or augmenting with anthing)? Or did feelings, passions, and excitement only return after getting to ZERO or beyond (I know some people don't get anhedonia until after withdrawal which is an entirely different beast altogether). I never felt it strongly when I was on Paxil for ten years, but during withdrawal everything was pleasurable and emotional again. Re-instatement brought out a fierce this fierce anhedonic/apathetic/zombie state despite a much lower dose than I was taking for a decade. It seems I've tried almost everything (save for nortriptline as an adjunct to me paxil taper - yes, I know dangerous, but I'm desperate).

 

It's at the point that I actively consider quick tapering just to feel alive again, and deal with the WD effects and likely loss of employment because it is so maddening. Maybe move to a foreign country and volunteer for a year until my neurotransmitters recover.

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Henosis. What makes you think your anhedonia (emotional anesthesia) was brought on from the reinstatement and not a withdrawal  symptom from your many drug changes over the years ?

 

This symptom has been ongoing for me and I haven't reinstated. It's an effect I noticed whilst on the drugs and then it was greatly intensified in withdrawal.

 

Many have had this symptom for quite a while as you already know from reading here. I don't think anyone has the exact answers for this dilemma of whether it's a drug side effect, withdrawal symptom or reinstatement effect. I think it seems to be all of the above in varying degrees and depending on circumstances.

 

You said everything was pleasurable in withdrawal. How long did that last ? It is unclear from your signature.  For many of us  there is a " honeymoon "  period of withdrawal for a few months where everything seems great. Maybe that accounts for the discrepancy. 

 

The main thing is that this symptom lessens with time and isn't permanent. I have found it to be one of the last symptoms to go but never the less it's starting to recede and I know it will make it's final exit at some point in the future. Patience is hard but also necessary.

 

I hope you have some relief soon as I understand that it's very hard to live with on a daily basis. However, It does get better.

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Once the withdrawal symptoms hit, they were accompanied by a complete remission of (minor) emotional anesthesia symptoms I had had while on Paxil... I was anxious, confused, had memory loss, etc but simultaneously I could cry again during sad movies, music sounded *amazing*, even sitting in the sunshine felt fantastic. This lasted roughly 3-4 months (until the day I reinstated) When I re-instated, most of the withdrawal symptoms improved, but the anhedonia/emotional anaesthesia came back hard. When I would switch meds and do a 3-4 day washout from Paxil, withdrawal symptoms would come back while anhedonia/emotional anesthesia disappeared.

Clearly, it's the SSRI being in my brain causing it, it's unrelated to depression or withdrawal. However, I've still yet to determine why it was made so much worse after re-instating than it ever was during my original ten years on Paxil.

 

All of this was noted before jumping around like crazy on meds, which in fact was expressly done to try to avoid both withdrawal and the anhedonia being caused by Paxil reinstatement.

 

 

Henosis. What makes you think your anhedonia (emotional anesthesia) was brought on from the reinstatement and not a withdrawal symptom from your many drug changes over the years ?

 

This symptom has been ongoing for me and I haven't reinstated. It's an effect I noticed whilst on the drugs and then it was greatly intensified in withdrawal.

 

Many have had this symptom for quite a while as you already know from reading here. I don't think anyone has the exact answers for this dilemma of whether it's a drug side effect, withdrawal symptom or reinstatement effect. I think it seems to be all of the above in varying degrees and depending on circumstances.

 

You said everything was pleasurable in withdrawal. How long did that last ? It is unclear from your signature. For many of us there is a " honeymoon " period of withdrawal for a few months where everything seems great. Maybe that accounts for the discrepancy.

 

The main thing is that this symptom lessens with time and isn't permanent. I have found it to be one of the last symptoms to go but never the less it's starting to recede and I know it will make it's final exit at some point in the future. Patience is hard but also necessary.

 

I hope you have some relief soon as I understand that it's very hard to live with on a daily basis. However, It does get better.

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I had anhedonia/emotional anaesthesia on drugs and in withdrawal.   I think we have to keep gently testing where we are at with these symptoms and given them opportunities to diminish.   I say this because I think we can get into a habit of low expectations and thus are not looking for change.  When changes occur slowly they can be easy to miss.   If we miss changes in our emotional capacities then we extend the effect of the drug/withdrawal.   

 

I remember one day something happened that made me feel happy and I was surprised by that but then when I looked back there were other clues that change was afoot.   Withdrawal is painful, tedious and drawn out.  It has very real negative effects that necessitate very real ways of being, knowing and doing that can themselves be habit forming.  Recovery means recovering from negative effects and then developing habits that reflect and support our expanding capacities.     We need to look for, identify and enact our abilities as much as we do our disabilities.

 

D

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Has ANYONE recovered from Anhedonia that was brought on by re-instatement, theoretically by tapering their SSRI/SNRI down to a dose where there dopamine system started functioning? (or augmenting with anthing)? Or did feelings, passions, and excitement only return after getting to ZERO or beyond (I know some people don't get anhedonia until after withdrawal which is an entirely different beast altogether). I never felt it strongly when I was on Paxil for ten years, but during withdrawal everything was pleasurable and emotional again. Re-instatement brought out a fierce this fierce anhedonic/apathetic/zombie state despite a much lower dose than I was taking for a decade. It seems I've tried almost everything (save for nortriptline as an adjunct to me paxil taper - yes, I know dangerous, but I'm desperate).

 

It's at the point that I actively consider quick tapering just to feel alive again, and deal with the WD effects and likely loss of employment because it is so maddening. Maybe move to a foreign country and volunteer for a year until my neurotransmitters recover.

 

I've had a similar experience: anhedonia while on meds; got worst when I was on a very high dose for 2 years. Before that I could semi-function. After that, I couldn't.

 

Off the meds anhedonia got better, but reinstatements brought it back. And it didn't necessarily go away as I tapered, even though I reached very low doses.

 

I've had windows though. Not necessarily after a cut. Sometimes after a cut; sometimes not. My most recent window was after updosing and stabilizing. I think what caused it was improved nutrition, and forcing myself to stay active and achieve small goals for months. But then anhedonia came back few months later, and with a vengeance. I had not changed dose at all.

 

This time around, small reinstatement improved it.

 

Sooo....it's all over the place.

 

My best guess is that it is a lasting side effect of long term med use. This means it won't necessarily go away off the med or at low doses. It will go away as the brain recovers.  But it may get worse with any stresses to your system (such as withdrawal or updosing), simply because your brain is already stressed (and anhedonia is a manifestation of that). It can also get worse after reinstatements because it is a side effect too. And yes, it doesn't matter how low the dose is. Once your system is adapted to a dose, anything above that can cause the med side effects. Just like a tiny decrease can affect our sensitized systems, so can tiny increases.

 

My windows tell me this "stress effect" is reversible, but it will be slow to reverse, and progress won't be linear or predictable. And it does respond to external stimulation/learning, so when I'm not so bad, I push myself to do healthy things regardless of how I feel. And it helps windows last longer.

 

There is hope, but I won't lie: its a long difficult journey.

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In my continuing quest to alleviate horrific anhedonia and apathy caused solely by Paxil re-Instatement, I tried 5mg Nortriptyline (which is 10x lower dose than normal)

Pros: Motivation/energy improved

Cons: Terrible anxiety and restlessness, and *increased* withdrawal symptoms (cognitive deficits, physical pain, mild depression)

 

Apparently, blocking even the "bad" serotonin receptors (5ht2) (which is what Nortryptaline and anti-psych meds do to alleviate SSRI-induced apathy/anhedonia) doesn't work for me or (possibly) anyone in a mixed reinstatement/withdrawal state.

 

Also reaffirmed I can't tolerate strongly noradrenergic drugs which are also used to help with anhedonia (Wellbutrin, Nortryptaline, Atomexetine, strong SNRIs)

 

All of this despite the fact that I can pound coffee and nicotine all day without anxiety.

 

.... Giving up on the panacea search for now after exhausting 99% of options based on recognized pharmacological principles.

 

 

 

 

 

Has ANYONE recovered from Anhedonia that was brought on by re-instatement, theoretically by tapering their SSRI/SNRI down to a dose where there dopamine system started functioning? (or augmenting with anthing)? Or did feelings, passions, and excitement only return after getting to ZERO or beyond (I know some people don't get anhedonia until after withdrawal which is an entirely different beast altogether). I never felt it strongly when I was on Paxil for ten years, but during withdrawal everything was pleasurable and emotional again. Re-instatement brought out a fierce this fierce anhedonic/apathetic/zombie state despite a much lower dose than I was taking for a decade. It seems I've tried almost everything (save for nortriptline as an adjunct to me paxil taper - yes, I know dangerous, but I'm desperate).

 

It's at the point that I actively consider quick tapering just to feel alive again, and deal with the WD effects and likely loss of employment because it is so maddening. Maybe move to a foreign country and volunteer for a year until my neurotransmitters recover.

I've had a similar experience: anhedonia while on meds; got worst when I was on a very high dose for 2 years. Before that I could semi-function. After that, I couldn't.

 

Off the meds anhedonia got better, but reinstatements brought it back. And it didn't necessarily go away as I tapered, even though I reached very low doses.

 

I've had windows though. Not necessarily after a cut. Sometimes after a cut; sometimes not. My most recent window was after updosing and stabilizing. I think what caused it was improved nutrition, and forcing myself to stay active and achieve small goals for months. But then anhedonia came back few months later, and with a vengeance. I had not changed dose at all.

 

This time around, small reinstatement improved it.

 

Sooo....it's all over the place.

 

My best guess is that it is a lasting side effect of long term med use. This means it won't necessarily go away off the med or at low doses. It will go away as the brain recovers. But it may get worse with any stresses to your system (such as withdrawal or updosing), simply because your brain is already stressed (and anhedonia is a manifestation of that). It can also get worse after reinstatements because it is a side effect too. And yes, it doesn't matter how low the dose is. Once your system is adapted to a dose, anything above that can cause the med side effects. Just like a tiny decrease can affect our sensitized systems, so can tiny increases.

 

My windows tell me this "stress effect" is reversible, but it will be slow to reverse, and progress won't be linear or predictable. And it does respond to external stimulation/learning, so when I'm not so bad, I push myself to do healthy things regardless of how I feel. And it helps windows last longer.

 

There is hope, but I won't lie: its a long difficult journey.

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Apparently, blocking even the "bad" serotonin receptors (5ht2) (which is what Nortryptaline and anti-psych meds do to alleviate SSRI-induced apathy/anhedonia) doesn't work for me or (possibly) anyone in a mixed reinstatement/withdrawal state.

 

 

 

How did you came up with this idea that SSRI after reinstatement blocks 5ht2 receptors? It should block 5ht1a receptors normally.

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Since quitting my job 2 weeks ago, I definitely feel apathetic about life because:

* I am unable to hold down a job - the type I was doing pre-drugged. Not sure what I am going to do now as my career is ****. Wanted to do a PhD, but as I have been non-resident for a while I don't qualify for funding. This dream has to go on hold for 3 more yrs.
* I am unable to run marathons, and although I had started training for the 5k distance, that all stopped as I managed to injure my neck whilst seated at a funny angle??
* Obviously my health is up the creek now - there is always something strange up, oh and living with mental illness.
* Have found out that my entire life might as well have been phony due to my mother's NPD. In retrospect, everything my parents did was for show and to boast about non-existent success/wealth. All the while I was busting a gut working my butt off trying to build a career for myself, and living in **** as I couldn't afford anything else. My mother didn't even know what I did for a living.
* Am in my 40s and living like a student on a freakin camp bed, whilst half of my capital has been ear-marked to keep my parents hunk-dory for the "rest of their lifetimes". Phony freakin ****.

Seriously, I already know the answer to the question...."where did my life go so freakin wrong??".

Edited by ChessieCat
edited out obvious obscenities

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SSRIs don't do the blocking of 5ht2, agents like most anti-psychotics Zyprexa et al do (for negative apathetic symptoms of schizophrena). agomelatine also does this but its weak an only available outside the USA. The only otter 5ht2c antagonist is an opiate (ultram) that shouldn't be used with SSRIs as it has serotonergic effects I believe, and then there are the trycycics like nortripiline. All of these drugs have clinical studies showing a reduction in anhedona/apathy in SSRI patients, but apparently once you go into a withdrawl state everything is fucked up

 

5ht2c is directly implicated as a serotonin receptor that inhibits dopamine activity int the VTA and Nuclues accumbs, leading to lack of enjoyment from pleasureable activities.

 

Pubmed articles about for this abound, but can send specific links if you can't find them....

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently, blocking even the "bad" serotonin receptors (5ht2) (which is what Nortryptaline and anti-psych meds do to alleviate SSRI-induced apathy/anhedonia) doesn't work for me or (possibly) anyone in a mixed reinstatement/withdrawal state.
 

 

 

How did you came up with this idea that SSRI after reinstatement blocks 5ht2 receptors? It should block 5ht1a receptors normally.

 

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It will be that make sweeter when you recover and half a hell of a story to tell (thats my thought anyways).

 

I was on a Phd track for neuroscience in undergrad until OCD and stress stopped by academic career. Picked up software development after dropping out of a prestigious neurosci college, going on Paxil for OCD, and pickup software engineering. All was well until the paxil quck-taper and now it been two years of hell. Potentially planning to return to neuosci to do what I can to help this !#!!$!$# mess of a situation with psychiatry, Would be a psychiatrist but feel too old for med school at 32. Also, as far as neurosci I'm not enthused about ******* with rats brains and then euthanizing them from a moral perspective. may just sell my **** and do something less demanding than software engineering despite the good paycheck. Will feel like saving the world from SSRIs when the the motivation returns.

 

 

Since quitting my job 2 weeks ago, I definitely feel apathetic about life because:

* I am unable to hold down a job - the type I was doing pre-drugged. Not sure what I am going to do now as my career is ****. Wanted to do a PhD, but as I have been non-resident for a while I don't qualify for funding. This dream has to go on hold for 3 more yrs.
* I am unable to run marathons, and although I had started training for the 5k distance, that all stopped as I managed to injure my neck whilst seated at a funny angle??
* Obviously my health is up the creek now - there is always something strange up, oh and living with mental illness.
* Have found out that my entire life might as well have been phony due to my mother's NPD. In retrospect, everything my parents did was for show and to boast about non-existent success/wealth. All the while I was busting a gut working my butt off trying to build a career for myself, and living in **** as I couldn't afford anything else. My mother didn't even know what I did for a living.
* Am in my 40s and living like a student on a freakin camp bed, whilst half of my capital has been ear-marked to keep my parents hunk-dory for the "rest of their lifetimes". Phony freakin ****.

Seriously, I already know the answer to the question...."where did my life go so freakin wrong??".

Edited by ChessieCat
editied Junglechicken's quote

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Seems like a lot of us have anhedonia or something similar. Too bad we haven't reached the point of not caring about our apathy. :) (Just a joke! Actually that's a good thing.) In fact the very fact that we are troubled by anhedonia proves that we must still have some emotions after all. I know I do.

 

Unfortunately I seem to swing between numbness and states of depression and overwhelming anger.  I have to hide it from the people around me because I don't feel I can tell them about my decision to withdraw by tapering.

 

Sometimes I actually welcome numbness. I go from valley to gloomy plain to valley. No foothills or even mole hills any more it seems. :(

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I agree with everything you mentioned.

Funny anecdote: I am usually researching everything to death, but I actually DID get to the point once where I was so apathetic about being apathetic (and anhedonic) that I didn't care anymore. It was an exceedingly strange mental place to find yourself in.

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Hey folks,

 

Just got pointed towards this thread

 

Anhedonia! what a beast, never heard of her until I met her.

 

So throwing my story out there as this website is the only place where one can find validation on this topic.

 

I had a mild depression last July....to put thing in perspective I was training for a marathon in may, on an enjoyable hoilday in Amsterdam, working daily, dating girls, etc....

 

A couple of situational factors happened to knock me a bit.......I was put on lex 10 initially. This did not go welll. Then I was put on seroquel 25. Combination led to hospitalization.......In hospital was fed with meds.....seroquel 125, zyprexa 20, lex 20, mirt 30.....I was on this mix for over four months. The moment seroquel entered my body, I felt nothing. no emotion, no memories, no imagination, no creativity. I was like a zombie with literally no window until I realised that the meds had done this to me....

 

The doc reduced the meds at the end of november.......instantly, I felt slightly more human

I was off all drugs by christmas which I know is an outrageous taper

 

However, I was not psychotic or anywhere near it.

 

I am better without the meds, and I have no real withdrawal symptoms.

 

However, I'm still largely anhedonic.

 

since dropping meds completely I've had maybe 5 windows in 8 weeks. Windows lasting 36 hours max.....where I feel a bit alive, emotional, creative,stimulated etc......so that's maybe two or three weeks in zombie mood......a day of life....back to zombie,etc......

 

it's pretty scary and challenging......it's impossible to connect with people, impossible to work, impossible to enjoy life (95% of time)

 

Feedback welcome......I'm scared that the mix I was on really damaged me and that I may never return to pre med self.....

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Man this thread was crazy depressing. Anhedonic for a year, really don't think I can keep moving forward, it's just a living hell.

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hey hey...anybody else notice or experience an INABILITY TO YAWN when in this anhedonic/zombie state....like I never yawn!!!

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Went trough that for several months.  Sometimes I could trip one off by forcing my mouth wide open.  It cleared up after a while then rebounded the other way for a while, couldn't stop yawning.

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I can still yawn. Weird how it manifests itself in different ways in different people

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Hey!! 

 

About yawning... now that you mention it... I don't think I ever yawn in spite of being so "tired" (understand drugged)...

 

I know it is so incredibly difficult it is to stay somewhat positive when in such a debilitating state - I find Dalsaan's post spot on:

 

I had anhedonia/emotional anaesthesia on drugs and in withdrawal.   I think we have to keep gently testing where we are at with these symptoms and given them opportunities to diminish.   I say this because I think we can get into a habit of low expectations and thus are not looking for change.  When changes occur slowly they can be easy to miss.   If we miss changes in our emotional capacities then we extend the effect of the drug/withdrawal.   

 

I remember one day something happened that made me feel happy and I was surprised by that but then when I looked back there were other clues that change was afoot.   Withdrawal is painful, tedious and drawn out.  It has very real negative effects that necessitate very real ways of being, knowing and doing that can themselves be habit forming.  Recovery means recovering from negative effects and then developing habits that reflect and support our expanding capacities.     We need to look for, identify and enact our abilities as much as we do our disabilities.

 

D

 

...the balance between "routine" and trying something different every now and again is not easy to get as routine can shield us from suffering - to a certain extent, and probably moreso when you're tranquilised by drugs. We have to learn to cope in this chaotic environment which is that of withdrawal and recovery... trust that recovery is happening!! 

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Has anyone experienced cognitive issues of any kind following AD treatment that did not subside even following years off medication.

Thanks in advance for sharing

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In my days pre drugs I used to be passionate about life excited about things and loved to do stuff. Post drugs and many years of withdrawal I'm not passionate about anything. I struggle with things that used to be normal for me especially socializing or interacting with others I need to think everything over nothing comes spontaneously. Anyone experience that even many years post withdrawal?

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I feel every symptom of anhedonia too. Totally relate.

Has anyone recovered from this?

Please help!!!

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I've had anhedonia now for roughly 4 years, and well over 3 of those years consisted of me not taking any antidepressants whatsoever.  I have had some small improvements but I have not felt too many emotions whatsoever.  I am also very stressed out because I don't have much money or security and I KNOW this adds to the problem.  The entire period of antidepressant withdrawal has been marked by financial stress in one way or another - either that or work related stress - but stress in general has been high since this started, and there's no way to alleviate it because you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

 

I really do envy those wealthy individuals who can just chill out and hire meditation experts and go to retreats and **** like that - that definitely will give you a MUCH better chance at recovery.

 

Every day working class people probably have a 50% lower chance of recovery compared to someone who's retired or someone who has a shitload of money and no mortgage to worry about.

 

I have actually had a couple of short lived windows, but they usually ended when something sh*tty related to my situation came back and hit me.

 

My next move here is to say "**** it" and just give up all my stress and just go out on my own and wish for the best, or meet my demise.  True freedom may be my only shot at this point, as it's been 4 years and I'm still trapped and it's not a good way to live.  I've been patiently waiting and holding onto the chance of success and recovery, but I don't think it's going to come so long as I am not out on my own and living my own life, regardless of how stressful and improbable my survival in such a situation.  Sometimes it's better to thrive for a short period of time than it is to survive for many decades.

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