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