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Anhedonia, apathy, demotivation, emotional numbness

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les625
1 hour ago, Zeipii said:

Well at least I have not seen any healing whatsoever... thats why I am asking if there are people with similar case, but eventual healing after years, and would like to hear details of those. 

Check out the success stories thread and you will find stories of people who did recover

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Lionheart

Holy moly!

 

There is just such a vast amount in this thread.

 

I can so relate to those talking about difficulty making decisions.

 

In fact finding motivation to get anything done takes a herculean effort.

 

For the last two years I have had Risperdal and Remeron added to my drug cocktail and more so in these last two years than before I have experienced anhedonia, dissociation and an inability to feel love, joy or happiness.

 

It’s no way for anyone to live.

 

A hundred years from now I’ll bet that the doctors of the day, and society in general, will look back on what psychiatry did today as being barbaric and akin to some of the vile treatments we look back on today as being barbaric.
 

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Griqua

Lionheart did you try the injections ?

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Lionheart
26 minutes ago, Griqua said:

Lionheart did you try the injections ?

 

Hi Griqua,

 

I'm afraid I don't understand the question. What injections are you referring to?

 

 

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ChessieCat
39 minutes ago, Griqua said:

Lionheart did you try the injections ?

 

12 minutes ago, Lionheart said:

What injections are you referring to?

 

If you look at Griqua's drug signature your will see Risperdal Consta.

 

Risperdal Consta  is an injection form of risperidone.

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Lionheart
25 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

Risperdal Consta  is an injection form of risperidone.

 

Thanks, ChessieCat, I hadn't heard of it before and I haven't tried it.

 

Given that I'm now off Risperidone, and hope to stay off it, the point is moot but I will certainly keep the info in the back of my mind just in case.

 

Lionheart

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Griqua
On Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 7:53 AM, a99 said:

i'm almost 14 months off and a month ago I gradually started feeling some emotions while listening to music or when I go out , the colours look more vibrant and I started feeling real again , but it doesn't last long and it's usually in the morning 

a99 how are you today and which drugs did you take ?

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Ashachand28

Hi guys! I have been dealing with anhedonia since the day took a higher dosage of Elavil. I haven’t been able to care, feel, etc the same way I used to about my life and also couldn’t care less to continue living. No matter what I do my mind just doesn’t feel anything and sad to say but I can’t form well relationships with people. Does anyone know any supplements to take?

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les625
11 hours ago, Ashachand28 said:

Hi guys! I have been dealing with anhedonia since the day took a higher dosage of Elavil. I haven’t been able to care, feel, etc the same way I used to about my life and also couldn’t care less to continue living. No matter what I do my mind just doesn’t feel anything and sad to say but I can’t form well relationships with people. Does anyone know any supplements to take?

You can check out the threads for supplements on the forum. Lots of people say fish oil helps with withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately something like this isn’t going to be a quick easy fix like taking a supplement. Most likely it’ll just be time off the drug, good nutrition, exercise, adequate sleep.  Just overall good lifestyle choices to help your brain recover from the stress it’s under.  It will come with time, even if it never seems like it will improve.

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Jill28

Hi everyone- for those experiencing these symptoms, are you all able to cry?

i was CT from Prozac and feel zero inside and am completely unable to cry... no matter how hard I try. Sound familiar to anyone?😔

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Zeipii

no real cry no laugh in 2 years. Not for a second. 

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PapayaShake

Hi @Jill28

Thats a common symptom. I'm still tappering and sometimes I cry a lot, and sometimes I can't cry at all. I have tried to cry in some ocations that call for crying and it feels like something is wrong inside but I just can't cry or experiencience the sadness. 

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koivukovy

is it common for people to feel their anhedonia lifting as their anxiety diminishes? I feel like the severe anxiety experienced during withdrawal, leads to more emotional blunting. Also how long did it take for the anhedonia to disappear(for the ones that have already recovered)? and was it gradual?

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India
On 4/18/2012 at 6:22 PM, Nadia said:

Hi Barb,

 

Let me reassure you that this will improve! I was at the very depths of anhedonia some months ago, and slowly I started recovering my ability to feel pleasure. I went from feeling no love for anyone, no pleasure in anything... the most I would feel would be horror or dread or just a really bizarre feeling which I can only call derealization. Everything seemed awful and distant and cold.

 

Alto suggested I do the things which used to cause pleasure for me anyway... I sat in the sun, looked at flowers and trees, ate, took deep breaths, showers, drank a cup of tea, read. The progress was gradual and erratic. From anhedonia I went to depression, and disliking everything and everyone intensely. And then this past month, it's like a cloud lifted, and I feel so much better. Things that seemed absolutely horrible before seem OK now, or more like a problem that can be fixed instead of the end of the world. Nothing in my outer life has really changed, but because I can enjoy things more I can make choices about changes I need to make. The first thing I started enjoying was nature... I felt a deep thirst for trees, animals, and also food. That was a signal to me that I was "coming back to life".

 

I think you have to plow ahead and "fake it 'til you make it"... do things that are healthy. Walk, eat well, try some form of meditation. I often would repeat to myself "may I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be peaceful, may I be safe"... and then I added inspired and fulfilled as well. I tried to imagine and generate health, even though at the beginning it didn't feel like health or seem right.

 

Maybe to ultimately be happy you need to change your life situation and maybe right now you don't have the strength or the ability to do it... I suspect that was the case for me, but I was so far in the dark about everything, and everything seemed so horrible, that I could not imagine the way out. Now I'm relearning the things that I like naturally and that make me feel good and starting to be able to imagine having the gumption to take action (though I'm still taking shaky steps).

 

Even if you don't feel it at first, go through the motions. Sometimes it's good to socialize and get out there even if you don't like who you are with. But even better would be if you could find someone you actually enjoy spending time with (I'm still working on that one). And I think sometimes it's better to be alone or with animals! Certainly it's OK to shield yourself from toxic people in your life (as much as you are able).

 

I think being around animals can really help and you should not feel guilty about not being at your best with them... I know at the depths of what I was feeling I didn't even get relief from being around dogs and just didn't have the energy to take care of them (I did for a friend once, but my heart wasn't in it and I too felt guilty). I think even if you don't FEEL it at the moment, it repairs you in hidden, gradual ways. Do your best to take care of them, and let them take care of you, too.

@jozeff

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Tanha
8 hours ago, India said:

Let me reassure you that this will improve! I was at the very depths of anhedonia some months ago, and slowly I started recovering my ability to feel pleasure. I went from feeling no love for anyone, no pleasure in anything... the most I would feel would be horror or dread or just a really bizarre feeling which I can only call derealization. Everything seemed awful and distant and cold.

 

Thank you so much for this description. 

 

The fact that dark emotions are coming back sort of first being a sign of a process of normalization gives me a little bit more power to see my own dark emotions as a phase and that they will hopefully abate.

 

nadia, are you talking about emotions normalizing after or during withdrawl?

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jakethesnake

I want to share my experience with emotional anesthesia.

 

All my life I’ve been extremely sensitive to all of my emotions. I felt love, sadness, and joy in emotional extremes. Oftentimes these extremes were what lead to my depression.

 

I think what I miss most is the awe I used to feel that has been inaccessible to me ever since I started and tapered Prozac. There were many times predrug that I used to be overcome by the beauty of the world. I became obsessed by the complexity of everything. I could spend hours reading and pondering about the nature of the universe. Many times I would go outside and lay on my tramp and look up at the stars and feel so small and insignificant and utterly grateful for my life and all its nuances.

 

Memories are another thing that I’ve been robbed of. My life used to be defined by profound experiences: good and bad. Now I have no access to those emotional experiences. Because of this I feel robbed of not just my emotions, but my identity. I no longer feel human. I can no longer enjoy the music I listen too. I gave up playing the guitar months ago. I just can’t feel the words I sing. They mean nothing to me.

 

Perhaps the my most disturbing symptom of my emotional anesthesia is my reduced empathy. I used to be highly sensitive to the feeling of others. This often extended beyond people and into the feelings of animals. A couple of months ago when my dog ran away however, I couldn’t feel anything. I was horrified and I wanted to grieve but the emotions wouldn’t come. When my sister cried for a week straight, I just couldn’t relate to her pain.

 

I really miss who I once was, and I’m hoping to god my emotions eventually return, but that’s not a guarantee. I think the best thing for me is to accept that I might never be the same and I’m just going to have to live with that.

 

For anyone suffering from these symptom I’m really sorry you have to go through this. I know just how painful this symptom can be and I wish you all the best.

 

 

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FarmGirlWorks

https://nyti.ms/2HWzAg2

 

I post this link from the New York Times about procrastination because it made sense to me through the lens of withdrawal with one of the symptoms being lack of motivation/apathy. It posits that procrastination is what we do when we are managing bad/hard emotions. Or, I would say, like having no positive emotions at all (anhedonia). No amount of life hacks or productivity boosters are going to fix the problems since the root is managing emotions.

 

“Procrastination is an emotion regulation problem, not a time management problem,” said Dr. Tim Pychyl, professor of psychology and member of the Procrastination Research Group at Carleton University in Ottawa.

 

The solution: forgive yourself and self-compassion. Dear lord: I feel like these (along with "accept") are the emotional equivalents to eat your vegetables, get enough sleep, and exercise for the physical body. Be on the look-out for my new book on how to be a perfect human being in five easy steps 😛  Of course I would also add: don't do pharmaceuticals!

 

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ShiningLight

I struggle with a lifelong (drug-long) pattern of apathy that is getting worse as I age (late 40s). The apathy has also resulted in poor self-discipline. So, not only do I not want to do anything, but I don't even want to try to help myself when I'm feeling bad, it seems. Add to that a traumatic childhood of being neglected, and me repeating the pattern by neglecting myself, and it becomes a spiral, worse every year.

 

I've also gotten quite discouraged with social relationships, as I flit in and out due to mental and physical illness, and am not very reliable. I've kind of given up on trying to be involved because it feels too hard. But I'm lonely. My current friends aren't very available even if I ask to get together. We mostly text. I hate it.

 

It will be years before I'm done with all of the meds. It would probably be naiive to assume that my apathy habit will change magically when I'm off the meds.

 

Any coping tips for dealing with apathy, or anyone else just want to pop in and say 'me too'? It would be helpful to know I'm not alone. I know I need to start practicing the life skills I never developed. How do you work against that darn medication induced apathy? It's so sad because I allow it to rob me of life experiences. I'm kind of just existing.

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Nevertoolate

"me too"

 

This sounds very much like me in a lot of ways and I'm sure many members will relate on some level 

I hope it helps to tell you on the road to survival you will see glimmers of light. They may not last long sometimes but will be enough to inspire you to keep fighting. In my own experience I just went with the flow of what I was capable of doing. If I didn't feel like socializing I didn't. 

Just keep going and don't bash yourself up over everything. Little steps forward will soon turn into big steps forward. The apathy will slowly fall away. It is amazing to one day realize things are getting better and trust me they will.

You will be able to wear the Survivor badge 🏅🎖with pride 🎉

Keep fighting. You are so not alone!

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ShiningLight

NeverTooLate,

 

Your response helped me so much. Thank you!

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uncomfortablynumb

Hey everyone,

I am suffering tremendously for the last 6 months.  I lost all my emotions - can't laugh or cry.  Haven't felt them this whole time.  Don't even feel love and lost interest in everything.  Faking a smile just gives me straining sensations in my head.  I can't feel music anymore.

 

I am having really bad head pressure with burning sensations. I can occasionally hear fizzing or crackling sounds when I am in bed.  Is this indicative of damage?  Feels like I have been lobotomized because I am also having major issues forming thoughts. Should I be getting any tests done?  

 

This feels pretty bleak and it seems as though many do not recover from emotional anaesthesia. Can anyone relate to all that I have described? Anyone get better?  

 

On top of it all my insomnia has been horrific again.  So hard to just hang on.

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Tanha

Dear uncomfortablynumb,

 

i cannot see on what meds you are or were because I cannot see signatures on the iPhone.

 

i lost all my emotions being on meds or withdrawing (very slowly). 

 

I cannot say what causes this.

 

but i can say that i was certain that i will never have any emotion again for almost a year. After a reduction of quetiapine they started to come back. Not all yet and not in a linear way or so slowly I don’t recognize. 

They come as attacks, too and even positive feelings can be painful now. 

I definetly felt lobotomized when i had no feelings and the brainfog was worse.

 

things have change , yet I have to wait much longer until emotions feel balanced out. I think of it as phases of withdrawl and recovery. 

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uncomfortablynumb

Hi Tanha,

My medication history is very long with many fast tapers and cold turkeys.  I am not on anything now.  

 

I really don't know what is going on.  Is this a part of depersonalization or what. I have experienced similar symptoms when getting off medications two other times but they resolved after maybe 4 months or so.  The level of emotional emptiness and blank mind seems worse this time.   I do not even have a startle response.  

 

Since my head symptoms are also pretty extreme I am wondering if any sort of tests would show anything.  Who knows what... maybe lesions, inactivity, blood flow issues? 

 

How was brain fog for you?  Could you form thoughts?  And did you lack all emotion, even negative?  At least you have noticed improvement over time.  That is reassuring.  

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Tanha

Uncomfortablynumb,

 

there were no emotions, no self, nothing.

dp and dr were bad for 11 months after ct cymbalta and many drugchanges after that. Others had this for many years after quitting Paxil.

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Pearlsky

I have total apathy and am unable to feel or think anything at all. My mind feels deadened as though I have no brain cells. I can’t function. I’m existing in a reality of horrors. I’ve lost my self and all memory of what life is. I don’t know my own name or what I look like. I can’t feel my body. I live with my family and can’t recognize them or the home in which I’ve lived my whole life. I forgot how to communicate with other people. Everything and everyone looks unreal to me. It is overwhelming to keep my eyes open. I always feel like I’m asleep. I can only get through the most basic functions every day - eating and sleeping to keep me alive. I don’t know how I’m still here. I’m of no use. I don’t know anything that I can do. My mind is completely blank and I can’t come up with any ideas. Does anyone else feel like this?

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serotoninsyndromesufferer

What are your dreams when you experience deep emotional numbness? I'm in this situation now and my dreams are really weird. They are just images and sounds, I don't feel anything when dreaming.

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Adili13

This is by far my worst symptom lately. Feels like I haven’t felt a human emotion in 3 days. I’d almost rather be filled with anxiety and depression than this

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crashcourse
On 12/19/2018 at 2:25 PM, Tanha said:

I found an interesting site where several studies are linked about ssri/snri causing tardive anhedonia and tardive dysphoria

 

 

Thank you for this. Will be important to read this as I progress with tapering. I feel anhedonia, apathy, PSSD while on AD. I presume these will last a long time, especially after reading the stories in this thread. I simply hope I'll be the outlier, not that I have high hopes. 

I won't write my symptoms here; since this has been mentioned by others in the thread, and I won't be contributing anything new. Best of luck to all.

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crashcourse

@Altostrata  I've just read this paper which suggests that SSRI's are more like to cause apathy than non SSRIs. Here's the link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989833/

 

It further suggests reducing dosage of SSRI to deal with apathy or shifting to another drug. Quoting from the paper:

 

"Few empirical studies are available, but SSRI-induced indifference is likely to be under-recognized (e.g., it is characterized by low insight in those afflicted, particularly children and adolescents), have an insidious and delayed onset, be related to dosing, and completely resolve with a dose reduction or discontinuation of the SSRI. As for treatment strategies, possibilities include a dose reduction in the SSRI, augmentation with another medication, or switching from an SSRI to a non-SSRI."

 

Since I take both a SSRI and SNRI, of which I am currently tapering the SNRI (Effexor XR), is it worth considering that I first start tapering the SSRI (Citalopram).

 

My primary problem right now is loss of motivation and emotional blunting, along with sexual dysfunction. I do not have anxiety or appetite issues.

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