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Barbarannamated

Disconnect between interest and action/motivation

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Newbeginning

I can relate to so much said here.

 

I remember having severe depression and still getting some adrenaline from deadlines that would help me get my school work done. Not anymore. No amount of guilt, sense of responsibility, dread of negative consequences or any other emotion/reward/punishment seems to have an effect on me.

 

I get to feel horrible afterwards, but I don't seem to be able to "learn from the lesson" from the negative consequences, so to speak.

 

I have relied on occassionally taking a stimulant to get through this. Not the best solution, but a better alternative that living with abnormal apathy and its consequences long enough to start thinking about suicide. I need that break from the stimulant to be able to go on. Literally.

 

I remember the first time I tried nuvigil (prescription stimulant meant to be used for people with narcolepsy). I realized that for months I had not been sitting straight, but rather slouching. I didn't even have the energy or motivation to sit upright. It was quite a revelation. Might seem like a small or silly thing, but it wasn't. You get so used to the apathy that it becomes a way of life. How could I argue this is not my personality when it is all me and others see expressed in my actions?

 

Apathy is also dangerous for our health. Obesity, stress, unstable sleep patterns, no motivation to eat well, exercise, be engaged or socialize. How could it not affect every aspect of our health in the long term? I know I gained a lot of weight in the last several years and I can see this abnormal apathy could have a lot to do with it.

 

My therapist was extremely frustrated with me. I could not follow through with any of the behavioral activation and other behavioral exercises she proposed.

 

Hard to believe, understand and explain how the day has 24 hours, but they go so fast when you're not connected to reality. Everything seems a blur. Every day seems like the one before. Months and years go by and I don't recall living that time.

 

I've often wondered if it's worth living this way, but I'm not giving up. If I'm still here after all this, might as well hang on to the faintest thread of hope.

 

If anyone feels like sharing, I'd like to know more about your experiences with this. Did you try and had any luck with behavioral activation?

 

How did you conclude this abnormal apathy was due to ssri use or withdrawal vs depression?

 

Any thoughts or experiences you share are much appreciated. Best of luck in your recovery journey :)

 

 

 

 

 

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Newbeginning

I know exactly what you mean, bar. I was talking about this the other day with my therapist. I seem to have the interest in making a plan but I have no energy to do it. I'm wondering if this is related to the lack of sense of reward, part of emotional blunting (I'm calling it emotional anesthesia now). Druid brilliantly described it here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/510-anhedonia-or-emotional-anesthesia/page__view__findpost__p__5231

 

Alto or any moderator, I tried accessing the thread from Druid linked here and it gave me an error message. Was it deleted or is there an other way to access it?

 

Thanks!

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Petunia

 

Alto or any moderator, I tried accessing the thread from Druid linked here and it gave me an error message. Was it deleted or is there an other way to access it?

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

Sorry NB, I only just saw this question, the link has now been fixed in the original post, or access it here:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2873-anhedonia-apathy-demotivation/?p=5231

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westcoast

Glad to see others have what I call "paralysis of the will."

It is all I can do to keep my home safe from vermin. I don't eat very much because the prospect of the mere act of loading the dishwasher is almost devastating. Any task I have to do goes undone for days at a time. The thought of doing anything with multiple steps is crippling. My mind goes through the steps and collapses partway through, and I decide not to even try the task.

Some weekends I have only ONE goal: "Take out the trash." That's it; my whole list. And I don't always do it. I can't make myself stand up.

 

So when I hear that I should EXERCISE in order to feel better, I want to throw things (but can't make myself :)

 

I do walk my dogs, but I must say, neverly every step is an ordeal during which I want to turn around and go home. The idea of enjoying a simple neighborhood dog walk is unfathomable, with my brain shouting at me to go home, go home...





 

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Addax

This was a good thread for me to find and I'm writing here to bump it.

 

As I often say, I can't stand it that people have had to go through anhedonia/apathy/demotivation, whatever you want to call it, but in reading other people's experience i'm reassured that it's a  withdrawal symptom and not "me"... Or at least given hope that it's a symptom and not a forever thing.  

 

I've been feeling this way for just over a month now, so my question is this: Have people gotten beyond it? Did it pass?  

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Newbeginning

Keep in mind that it could be withdrawal, but it could also be a side effect of medication use (especially SSRIs), or even something else.

 

In your case Addax, since it's been just a month and happened right around the time you quit Wellbutrin, it could well be a result of stopping Wellbutrin. Not necessarily withdrawal though.

 

Why did you start Wellbutrin in the first place? I know many people who are started on stimulants because they get very sedated from using SSRIs. The wellbutrin might have masked how sedating the ssri was to you and now two years later you're off wellbutrin and either depression or the side effects of long term prozac use are showing. It's a little soon to tell. I would wait a couple more months and see how things evolve. In the meantime, try some cognitive behavioral strategies to increase motivation and see if they work. You might just need to re-learn how to motivate yourself in other ways.

 

 

For me, this has been the worst symptom to endure. Not  only is it plain depressing because of what it does to your self esteem, it also is nearly impossible for other people to understand and you're invariably labelled irresponsible, non-compliant, "not really wanting to change", and every other thing that compunds your own feelings of unworthiness and adds guilt and shame.

 

Then when I go to the dr and the screening tests show depression, I'm like: yes, I may have depression, but who wouldn't be depressed feeling the way I feel? Unable to take care of myself and having to push to do anything that can help me feel better, often not achieving anything no matter how hard I push or how many times I try?? Isn't it normal to feel depressed as a result?

 

I still struggle with this and it's taken a toll in every area of my life, but it's gotten somewhat better after about 8 months. I've struggled with it at different degrees for years, but the last 8 months were way worse. And now it's gotten somewhat better.

 

I'vbe been taking folate but I'm not sure if that helped or just time. I can't wait to be able to reduce prozac because I believe the apathy will improve at least some when I do...

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Newbeginning

 

 

Alto or any moderator, I tried accessing the thread from Druid linked here and it gave me an error message. Was it deleted or is there an other way to access it?

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

Sorry NB, I only just saw this question, the link has now been fixed in the original post, or access it here:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2873-anhedonia-apathy-demotivation/?p=5231

 

 

Thanks Petu!

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Addax

In your case Addax, since it's been just a month and happened right around the time you quit Wellbutrin, it could well be a result of stopping Wellbutrin. Not necessarily withdrawal though.

 

Why did you start Wellbutrin in the first place? 

 

I started Wellbutrin when I re-instated Prozac in 2012 to combat the fatigue and yawning i experienced with Prozac.   But I'm at a fraction of the dose of prozac I was on then.  

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westcoast

I'm glad this was bumped. I wanted to ask about something related.

Does anyone else have a racing mind in a static, motionless body?

If you asked me how I'm feeling, I'd say agitated. But from looking at me, you'd think I was calm. I feel mentally alert but physically wiped out. I very much want to sleep to escape this, but my mind is not tired.

I've been through akathisia and know it too well. This isn't that. It doesn't feel like depression either. It feels like my mind has been de-coupled from my body.



 

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Barbarannamated

I'm glad this was bumped. I wanted to ask about something related.

 

Does anyone else have a racing mind in a static, motionless body?

 

If you asked me how I'm feeling, I'd say agitated. But from looking at me, you'd think I was calm. I feel mentally alert but physically wiped out. I very much want to sleep to escape this, but my mind is not tired.

 

I've been through akathisia and know it too well. This isn't that. It doesn't feel like depression either. It feels like my mind has been de-coupled from my body.

 

Oh, yes. It's hellish.

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Newbeginning

 

In your case Addax, since it's been just a month and happened right around the time you quit Wellbutrin, it could well be a result of stopping Wellbutrin. Not necessarily withdrawal though.

 

Why did you start Wellbutrin in the first place? 

 

I started Wellbutrin when I re-instated Prozac in 2012 to combat the fatigue and yawning i experienced with Prozac.   But I'm at a fraction of the dose of prozac I was on then.  

 

 

 

Well, yes, but at that lower dose of prozac you may still experience tiredness. Alternatively, it can be a reaction to stopping long term use of a stimulant (wellbutrin), and it will take a few months for your brain to adapt to the change.

 

Long term SSRI use may also trigger an enduring apathy that lasts after you quit, and that may also improve with time.

 

Since you did not experience this degree of apathy until now, even though you were decreasing wellbutrin in the last 2 years, I think your prognosis is very good.

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Newbeginning

I'm glad this was bumped. I wanted to ask about something related.

 

Does anyone else have a racing mind in a static, motionless body?

 

If you asked me how I'm feeling, I'd say agitated. But from looking at me, you'd think I was calm. I feel mentally alert but physically wiped out. I very much want to sleep to escape this, but my mind is not tired.

 

I've been through akathisia and know it too well. This isn't that. It doesn't feel like depression either. It feels like my mind has been de-coupled from my body.

 

 

 

 

 

Hi WC,

 

Sorry to hear you're going through so much suffering. I can totally relate to the extreme apathy, but not to the racing mind stuff you mentioned. Racing thoughts can be a sign of high anxiety. Are the thoughts intrusive and trigger anxiety?

 

Also, I'm curious about something: In my experience of extreme apathy, doing intellectual work is very challenging because focus is poor and my thinking is more dull. Getting started is a nightmare. You said your mind is alert and I was wondering if in your case apathy does not affect your mental functioning as much?

 

Or perhaps your experience is similar to depression-type insomnia, when people are exhausted but can't sleep because of anxiety expressing in a racing mind. If it is like that, there's a cognitive strategy the therapist taught me, which worked some for me. It's called "Worry Time". Here's more info (page 10): http://cedar.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/schoolofpsychology/cedar/documents/Worry_website_version_colour.pdf

 

It's very simple and can help calm your mind some.

 

All the best,

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westcoast

I find it hard to start any task. I'm afraid I'll get confused or frustrated. My memory is shot.

My alert mind spends much of the day playing old tapes, rehearsing new worries, and generally creating hell for myself. I'm working on that and think I should start seeing a counselor soon. I've been in this alone for way too long. I was so angry at psychiatrists that I began to think no one could help me, but I think there's a role for some kind of therapy now.

I'll check out the worry time lead--thanks.

And as for insomnia...I'm not sure I have recovered from the two weeks of no sleep on Ritalin/psychosis/mania last year. I always feel tired when I'm awake, and when i awaken in the morning, I don't feel as though I've slept. In my heart of hearts, I feel like I should sleep for a solid month with very little interruption!

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Prestorb

Glad to find this thread and know that I am not the only one experiencing so much of what is described here. I forced myself to run a few errands today, even though I felt exhausted, and could not WAIT to get back home and lie down! It is absolutely crazy that WD does this to people.

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JanCarol

It's probably emphasized by the learned helplessness the drugs gave us.

 

Many of us learned, as I did, that there was no point - no matter what I did  - I would just "relapse" (decades passed, before I learned that this deep depression I kept falling into was withdrawal from the drugs)

 

I said this for years in one of the Murphy's laws sayings:  "You can't fall off the floor," 

 

and then the apathy says, "So why bother getting up?  At least I cannot fall from here."

 

And "fake it till you make it" can only carry you so far through fatigue that is waist deep mud to struggle through.  

 

After years of apathy management, I am pleased if I do one thing a day.  If it is more than one, I'm allowed to take a rest day.

 

It's frustrating being 1/5 (or less) as productive as a "normal" human being, but it's also self-management.  If I keep the activities low-key, the crash is less likely to follow....

 

My "one thing a day" is my survival through this.  Today it was 2:  a Xmas party and a massage (plus a little grocery shopping).  Woo!  three things today!  

 

Then there is the farcical Church of the Subgenius, whose motto is "In pursuit of Slack."  Maybe, like other "addictions," if you pursue slack enough, you'll get so tired of it, you'll get up off the couch and DO something!

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JanCarol

So I've been thinking about this.  And I think I'm over the motivation hump.  It was a gradual thing, like walking out of a tar pit.  The more I began to see, the more I wanted to see.  My natural curiosity returned.

 

By December I felt confident enough to run "My Year Of Saying Yes."  So much of my life (whether withdrawal or illness or whatever) I have had no confidence to say yes - to that party across town, to taking a class among strangers, to going to new places.  So I have been saying Yes, and I'm in a yoga class, I'm teaching a shamanism class, I'm making new friends in Tai Chi, I might even be joining a fun ukelele group (like laughter yoga, only with music) I've driven all over town (this town is made of a zillion goat tracks and no thru-fares), and my life exploded into a gigantic firework chrysanthemum.

 

Heck, I'm even cleaning out closets and organizing them!  (but the house is still filthy)

 

But when I talk to my friends who are still in withdrawal, who cannot get to that first "Yes," I tell them:  you are still in a "Year of Saying Maybe. " And that's okay too.  It's important to feel safe and well before making commitments.  

 

I'm looking forward to the end of the Year of Saying Yes.  I'm tired, and don't want to get too overextended.  I've said Yes to some travel in November that is going to be quite challenging.  But at the end of the Year of Saying Yes - I will have gained more confidence, developed some interests, friendships and community, and improved my stamina for dealing with the "outside world."

 

So there is hope, it can happen.  I think TIME is the biggest one, but also following your pleasure wherever you can is important too.  And honouring the pleasure when it does come.

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Esperanza

Hello, I would like to have opinions or personal experiences on how to carry everyday things when apathy or little affect long-term vision after years of medication .... I'm on my third or fourth attempt to leave the psychiatric medication ... and encounter difficulties in simple things .... I try and do but I want to hear from others who feel similarly and how they have solved. thank you very much.

Edited by scallywag
moved from standalone thread

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ryella

I relate so completely to this topic and it brings up a lot for me.. I think this is my main problem.

 

It is very hard for me to follow through on things recently due to apathy. It's even hard for me to write down symptoms that I've been having.. because it's almost like I don't care enough to name what they are or dismiss them as not being real. I don't even really know how to distinguish between what is real and what isn't.. Or how to create things or bring meaning to my life.. It feels so good to write that down because it's been really hard for me to express these things.

 

I know I'm not walking in reality and I'm living in a state of complete psych sedation.

 

I'm wiped out almost 24/7, too. Just... straight tired. Sleepy, even.. just during the day. 

 

I spend insane amounts of money. and I mean insane. I work 60 hours a week and I keep spending more than I'm making when I can comfortably afford to live. It's really just crazy.. it's even hard to motivate myself to get out of bed and eat half the time.

 

This withdrawal isn't a joke.

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Newbeginning

I relate so completely to this topic and it brings up a lot for me.. I think this is my main problem.

 

It is very hard for me to follow through on things recently due to apathy. It's even hard for me to write down symptoms that I've been having.. because it's almost like I don't care enough to name what they are or dismiss them as not being real. I don't even really know how to distinguish between what is real and what isn't.. Or how to create things or bring meaning to my life.. It feels so good to write that down because it's been really hard for me to express these things.

 

I know I'm not walking in reality and I'm living in a state of complete psych sedation.

 

I'm wiped out almost 24/7, too. Just... straight tired. Sleepy, even.. just during the day. 

 

I spend insane amounts of money. and I mean insane. I work 60 hours a week and I keep spending more than I'm making when I can comfortably afford to live. It's really just crazy.. it's even hard to motivate myself to get out of bed and eat half the time.

 

This withdrawal isn't a joke.

 

How on earth do you work 60 hours a week with that degree of apathy and fatigue? What is the secret, please?? 

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hacilar

Bumping this excellent thread.

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Songbird

I'm glad I found this thread.  I've been struggling with this a lot recently.  Sometimes it is fatigue, sometimes lack of motivation but usually I think it is a combination of both.  There are so many things I want to do, so many projects I want to work on.  There are also a zillion things that need doing around our place.  I'm constantly beating myself up for being lazy and not getting much done.  Whenever I get a day off, I spend about half of it sleeping.  It helps to see that others experience this and it is not just ME.  Now and then I'll have a good day when I feel energetic and motivated and get a bunch of things done, and that feels great when it happens.

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Podatus

Wow! This sounds like me, too. It's not really apathy, like when I was actively depressed, because I know what I have to do and, on some level, want to do things. I just can't make myself do them most of the time. I sleep ok most nights, but still often fall asleep in the afternoons (or feel like I want to).  I thought these types of feelings would go away once I wasn't depressed, but now I'm wondering if it's the meds. Grateful for finding this site.

12 minutes ago, Songbird said:

I'm glad I found this thread.  I've been struggling with this a lot recently.  Sometimes it is fatigue, sometimes lack of motivation but usually I think it is a combination of both.  There are so many things I want to do, so many projects I want to work on.  There are also a zillion things that need doing around our place.  I'm constantly beating myself up for being lazy and not getting much done.  Whenever I get a day off, I spend about half of it sleeping.  It helps to see that others experience this and it is not just ME.  Now and then I'll have a good day when I feel energetic and motivated and get a bunch of things done, and that feels great when it happens.

 

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Barbarannamated
On 12/17/2015 at 9:09 AM, JanCarol said:

It's probably emphasized by the learned helplessness the drugs gave us.

 

Many of us learned, as I did, that there was no point - no matter what I did  - I would just "relapse" (decades passed, before I learned that this deep depression I kept falling into was withdrawal from the drugs)

 

I said this for years in one of the Murphy's laws sayings:  "You can't fall off the floor," 

 

and then the apathy says, "So why bother getting up?  At least I cannot fall from here."

 

This is SPOT ON, Jan Carol.  I've referred to Seligman's (?) "learned helplessness / learned hopelessness"  in describing how I feel. I'm 8 years out from a sloppy taper of Pristiq, but still on several meds, and this is killing me.  

 

I was forced onto Involuntary Medical Retirement in 2001 after a neuromuscular injury partly due to Zoloft in 1993. Since then, I've just been trying to find something to stay occupied with by myself every day. I got involved in quite a few church groups, volunteer work, and horse activities (mainly observing), but nothing *stuck* except the horses, but they've since passed.  

 

My primary *job* since 2001 has been doctor appointments and pharmacy interactions several times per month (rarely does an RX order go smoothly).  

 

All of this has contributed to the learned helplessness / hopelessness / I'm just staying on the floor and not trying anymore.  THEN withdrawal brought a whole new feeling of futility and being trapped on these drugs and at the mercy of doctors and prescribing guidelines.  

 

The motivation / reward circuit is completely gone for me. I don't bother paying some bills if they're not on autopay.  Why bother to do the *right* thing?  I've played by the rules all of my life and it only hurt me.  The proverbial *good girl* in my family, but my druggie sister has been given EVERYTHING imaginable. Now she's on hospice and I can't find an ounce of sympathy for her. 

 

Sorry for that long explanation. I just don't know how I will ever get past 25 years of hit after hit.  

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JanCarol

Well, my "Year of Saying Yes" is long over, and while it expanded my life, I had to follow it with a Year of Saying No.  Of drawing lines around people and things.  I pretty much gave up playing online with the Crazy Cat Ladies - I miss them, but it's hard to go be jolly with them when people over here are struggling.

 

I started my own website, that I post on about once a month - not enough to be a successful blogger - and I always put that one off - it's the last "thing I have time & energy to do."

I have to fight so hard just to keep my head above water.  It's like treading water in wave after wave of surf.  I keep getting knocked back down.

 

Getting treatment for my knee has been good - but it's knocked a hole in my exercise program (I have to rest it for a week after the prolotherapy shots).  This means that I never get better, with that week off, then I scramble to build back up and just about get where I was when it's time for another shot.  I take my last shot this week, so maybe the last half of the year I'll get some headway.

 

There are always so many things I want to do.  Visit other yoga studios, where my shaman ladies are practicing.  Attend other events to network and expand my horizons.  Hold special events of my own - like "drumming in the park" or a trip "out bush" with the ladies.  Here it is June, and I've done none of these.

 

There's always something.  The flu.  Bad sleep.  IBS.  Pain.  "If it ain't one thing, it's another."

 

Musical interlude:

 

The only thing I know to do is just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  If I can take this step, I can take another later.  Keep my eyes on the horizon, and if a step is away from that goal - save my spoons for a step that is towards that horizon.  I may never get there - but at least I'm alive.

 

I've been putting one foot in front of the other since 1986.  More so since 1998.  There were about 10 years (thank you Lithium, and probably Seroquel didn't help) where I gave up entirely, and here I am - what - 30 years on - still putting one foot in front of the other.

 

I look at Tami Simon, who is about my age - and she went to India and came back and founded Sounds True.  How does that ever happen?  (I know, we're not supposed to compare ourselves to others, but how do others DO IT?)

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Barbarannamated

I can't even get out anymore /again.  I tried to move to Florida and it was just too much.  I'm in an RV with no running water.  I just stay in bed.  Can't shower or anything.  I know that a lot of chronically ill people live like this, but I just cannot continue.  My body is completely shutting down.  Barely 80#, if that.    

Sorry to be posting this here.  

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Songbird
14 hours ago, JanCarol said:

I started my own website, that I post on about once a month - not enough to be a successful blogger - and I always put that one off - it's the last "thing I have time & energy to do."

 

I started a blog about anxiety in 2014 and was updating it every month or two or three, but stopped updating it in 2016 when I crashed again, and haven't got around to posting in it again since then.  I keep thinking about it, but never actually getting to it.

 

14 hours ago, JanCarol said:

There are always so many things I want to do.  Visit other yoga studios, where my shaman ladies are practicing.  Attend other events to network and expand my horizons.  Hold special events of my own - like "drumming in the park" or a trip "out bush" with the ladies.  Here it is June, and I've done none of these.

 

There's always something.  The flu.  Bad sleep.  IBS.  Pain.  "If it ain't one thing, it's another."

 

With me it's musical projects.  I have a home recording studio, but it takes me about two years to finish one song.  I hardly ever go out to my studio and work on my stuff even though I really want to.  Years go by and I look at how much I've actually achieved and it's a bit depressing.  I keep trying though, because giving up would be much worse.

 

14 hours ago, JanCarol said:

I look at Tami Simon, who is about my age - and she went to India and came back and founded Sounds True.  How does that ever happen?  (I know, we're not supposed to compare ourselves to others, but how do others DO IT?)

 

I do that too, look at all the people with successful online businesses, successful musicians who manage to perform live, create albums, make videos, write blogs, send newsletters, post on facebook, and so on.  How do people do all that???

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Barbarannamated

Are these people who've been very ill and recovered?   I'm in such a fog right now, I'm not comprehending.  

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Cipro

Barbarannamated, I'm sorry for you. 18 Years such a long time and may take very long time to recover. I couldn't read all the post cause my English.
But I'm really wonder if there is anyone used short-term and healed "completely". I was studying to olympiads and I really must to be intelligent as I was. I think my problems caused by dopamine inhibition now.
Could you help me with your experience and information? Does 5HT2C antagonist solve this issue permanently? What should i do?

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Barbarannamated
On 6/12/2018 at 11:30 AM, Cipro said:

Barbarannamated, I'm sorry for you. 18 Years such a long time and may take very long time to recover. I couldn't read all the post cause my English.
But I'm really wonder if there is anyone used short-term and healed "completely". I was studying to olympiads and I really must to be intelligent as I was. I think my problems caused by dopamine inhibition now.
Could you help me with your experience and information? Does 5HT2C antagonist solve this issue permanently? What should i do?

 

Cipro,

 

I'm very sorry you're experiencing this.  

 

My history is very long and involved MANY different drugs over the years, so I encourage others to not compare their own situation to mine. 

 

I haven't read your thread, but from what you've said here, I feel confident that you will heal well.  I would definitely not attempt to *correct* it with additional drugs.  

 

Hang in there and know that you have found the best knowledge and guidance available with Alto and others here on this site.  

 

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Tanha
On 9/14/2011 at 9:10 PM, Rhiannon said:

I'm grateful for this thread, I am so frustrated about this too. Actually I have all sorts of ideas but I find it almost impossible to carry any of them through. Even simple things like buying an air conditioner and organizing some things around the house feel like huge obstacles; I can see them and think them through but there's just a disconnect between that and actually having the "oomph" to do them.

 

I'm not depressed. I've been depressed and this isn't that. There's just something missing. Unless there's some major reason why I have to do something due to outside forces, it's not going to happen. I just don't have the internal drive.

 

It's not exactly the same as anhedonia, for me, although it's closely connected and the two overlap, and I'm sure it's related as far as whatever's going on neurologically.

 

I like the analogy of impotence, actually--"general impotence", of life.

 

I've suffered from this for most of the 20 years I have been taking antidepressants. It's very interesting to hear other people describing the same thing.

 

Also, it seems to be worse when I'm having other withdrawal symptoms too, and seems to get better during my "hold" periods. But even at my best it's always still a problem.

 

Thanks so much for starting this discussion, I find it very reassuring to hear others describing the same thing, I have to say I have been beating myself up for 20 years about this.

Dear rhiannon

 

how is your emotional Anastesia now?

can this get better while still on drugs?

how can I bear this during my long withdrawl?

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Tanha
On 6/2/2014 at 3:03 AM, Newbeginning said:

I can relate to so much said here.

 

I remember having severe depression and still getting some adrenaline from deadlines that would help me get my school work done. Not anymore. No amount of guilt, sense of responsibility, dread of negative consequences or any other emotion/reward/punishment seems to have an effect on me.

 

I get to feel horrible afterwards, but I don't seem to be able to "learn from the lesson" from the negative consequences, so to speak.

 

I have relied on occassionally taking a stimulant to get through this. Not the best solution, but a better alternative that living with abnormal apathy and its consequences long enough to start thinking about suicide. I need that break from the stimulant to be able to go on. Literally.

 

I remember the first time I tried nuvigil (prescription stimulant meant to be used for people with narcolepsy). I realized that for months I had not been sitting straight, but rather slouching. I didn't even have the energy or motivation to sit upright. It was quite a revelation. Might seem like a small or silly thing, but it wasn't. You get so used to the apathy that it becomes a way of life. How could I argue this is not my personality when it is all me and others see expressed in my actions?

 

Apathy is also dangerous for our health. Obesity, stress, unstable sleep patterns, no motivation to eat well, exercise, be engaged or socialize. How could it not affect every aspect of our health in the long term? I know I gained a lot of weight in the last several years and I can see this abnormal apathy could have a lot to do with it.

 

My therapist was extremely frustrated with me. I could not follow through with any of the behavioral activation and other behavioral exercises she proposed.

 

Hard to believe, understand and explain how the day has 24 hours, but they go so fast when you're not connected to reality. Everything seems a blur. Every day seems like the one before. Months and years go by and I don't recall living that time.

 

I've often wondered if it's worth living this way, but I'm not giving up. If I'm still here after all this, might as well hang on to the faintest thread of hope.

 

If anyone feels like sharing, I'd like to know more about your experiences with this. Did you try and had any luck with behavioral activation?

 

How did you conclude this abnormal apathy was due to ssri use or withdrawal vs depression?

 

Any thoughts or experiences you share are much appreciated. Best of luck in your recovery journey :)

 

 

 

 

 

Dear newbeginning

how are you now?

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Tanha
On 8/23/2014 at 11:06 PM, westcoast said:

Glad to see others have what I call "paralysis of the will."

It is all I can do to keep my home safe from vermin. I don't eat very much because the prospect of the mere act of loading the dishwasher is almost devastating. Any task I have to do goes undone for days at a time. The thought of doing anything with multiple steps is crippling. My mind goes through the steps and collapses partway through, and I decide not to even try the task.

Some weekends I have only ONE goal: "Take out the trash." That's it; my whole list. And I don't always do it. I can't make myself stand up.

 

So when I hear that I should EXERCISE in order to feel better, I want to throw things (but can't make myself :)

 

I do walk my dogs, but I must say, neverly every step is an ordeal during which I want to turn around and go home. The idea of enjoying a simple neighborhood dog walk is unfathomable, with my brain shouting at me to go home, go home...





 

Dear westcoast

 

how are things now?

did the will to do things come back during taper or after?

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Nevertoolate

This thread is awesome. It's another piece in the jigsaw falling into place. Here I've been thinking for years I'm just a boring lazy person. 

To think of all the lost years the lost opportunities the lost chances of trying new exciting things 😖

All I want now is to heal and become alive in every sense of the word. 

I'm so so glad to be on this journey with all of you. 

We can do this. 

How exciting is it going to be to see who we can become 💓💓

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Lionheart

What a wonderful thread!

It's so encouraging to read that other folks are having the same problem.

 

For years now I've been beating myself up over being lazy and undisciplined even though I came to suspect my medication.

 

It's exciting to me that as I get further along the process of tapering off my meds I could very well start feeling more motivated to live instead of just surviving.

 

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Newbeginning
On 12/26/2018 at 2:35 AM, Tanha said:

Dear newbeginning

how are you now?

 

Hello Tanha,

 

I apologize for the late response. I often miss the notifications from here, as they are not e-mailed like the private messages. 

 

To answer your question I need to give you a little bit of background on my situation first: have been tapering since 2014 and reached a roadblock around 2 years ago when I reached low doses (6mg prozac and 6mg effexor). At that point, withdrawal was too severe at even 10% cuts, and I was forced to hold my dose for long periods of time, in order to stabilize. When I finally stabilized, I tried Melatonin, and that caused withdrawal when I tried stopping it after about 3 months, so I am stuck tapering that now before I can try to decrease antidepressants again. 

 

Anhedonia for me is a side effect, rather than a withdrawal effect. It is not necessarily a dose-dependent side effect in my case, as I have experienced it at low doses too. It started on the medication, before I experienced any withdrawal. I've had it for 15 years at different degrees of severity, but it was 4 years ago that it became disabling (before that, I was able to function, bt only did the most necessary stuff like work/school). That's when I started tapering. 

 

I have had windows of improvement of anhedonia starting on year 2 of my taper. During these windows I feel about 30-60% better, depending on the day. On year 2, the window lasted about 2 months. On year 3, 4 months. On year 4 it's been 5 months, but this last month my mood has been lower, which makes me wonder if I'm heading for another relapse :(. But I'm fighting it with teeth and nails  💪🧠

 

It's important to mention that when I'm in a window, I do everything I can to maximize my gains. I was in intensive therapy for 8 months last year, and I use every tool I learned for emotion regulation, including tools for managing apathy/low motivation, fatigue, low mood. If I just relied on the improvement I get "naturally" during a window, I would probably not have as much improvement. I push myself a lot, as I see it as the only way to help rewire the brain. I rest a lot too, so it's a balance between pushing and resting that works best for me. It might be different for you, and I stringly suggest you lisen to your body and heart :) 

 

I am of course still on a substantial dose of medication  (especially Melatonin [70% of my initial dose]and Prozac [30% of my initial dose]), so that may delay my progress too.

 

I hope this is helpful. Please feel fre to reach out by PM too. If you reply here, please send me a PM to let me know, in case I miss it.

 

Good luck!

 

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