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Apathy, anhedonia, emotional numbness, emotional anesthesia

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Hellbutrin
1 hour ago, Alan47 said:

Ever since i came off luvox about 3 months ago I can't be able to feel real pleasure or enjoyment from things such as exercising, substances like alcohol, caffeine, cannabis, music. Is there any reason for this?

Hi Alan,

 

I'm in the same boat. I think that the term for this is referred to as "anhedonia"- the inability to feel pleasure. There are a lot of reports of this symptom being a side effect of withdrawal, but luckily a lot of people report that it eventually fades throughout recovery. 

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spokety
On 5/3/2018 at 10:03 PM, Altostrata said:

Hellbutrin, you keep on coming up with these odd questions. Please go to the Introductions forum and search for

 

"anhedonia"

"emotional blunting"

"emotional anesthesia"

 

to see how people are doing. Emotional anesthesia is a very, very common consequence of taking psychiatric drugs. If no one ever recovered from it, we would tell you. Usually it is accompanied by other withdrawal symptoms. such as sleeplessness or depersonalization, which also very gradually dissipate.

 

You seem to think you are the only person experiencing these symptoms, and you are doomed for eternity. Neither is true.

 

On 5/5/2018 at 2:20 PM, Altostrata said:

Merged similar topics. Yes, people recover, very gradually. It can take a long time and be very frustrating.

I get my emotions back eventually when I get off meds but it's too difficult to stay out of the hospital for very long when I'm off the meds, so I'm forced to get back on meds.  How can I stay out of the hospital when I get off meds?

 

On 5/30/2018 at 7:28 PM, Alan47 said:

Ever since i came off luvox about 3 months ago I can't be able to feel real pleasure or enjoyment from things such as exercising, substances like alcohol, caffeine, cannabis, music. Is there any reason for this?

It started when you stopped the meds?  That's strange mine started when I started the meds.

 

On 5/2/2018 at 8:37 PM, Hellbutrin said:

Can someone PLEASE direct me to ANY examples of individuals that recovered from anhedonia from wellbutrin withdrawal? I'm going on ten months post C/T and I haven't seen any change in this symptom at all. I have no motivation to do anything and I can't seem to get excited or feel any joy about anything. I'm so tired of feeling this way. I'm also really concerned because most of the reports that I've seen have expressed that Wellbutrin/Bupropion are usually the go to drugs that doctors recommend to treat anhedonia. I've also seen reports that Wellbutrin shares properties to amphetamines, which is terrifying because I know a lot of the side effects of amphetamine use are often permanent. I haven't had any windows in ten months and I'm desperate for reassurance that this will get better eventually. 

 

I'm supposed to be getting married in 6 months and I'd love to feel at least some semblance of happiness about it, but I just can't. I don't feel anything, I just feel like I'm going through the motions of day to day life waiting for things to get better, but they don't. 

Hey man you should inbox with me we should keep in touch.  I'll give you my phone number.  Us sufferers need to keep in contact.  I understand your symptoms like no one else can.

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Altostrata
5 hours ago, spokety said:

I get my emotions back eventually when I get off meds but it's too difficult to stay out of the hospital for very long when I'm off the meds, so I'm forced to get back on meds.  How can I stay out of the hospital when I get off meds?

 

This is a subject we should discuss in your Introductions topic, as it has to do with your own individual drug regimen and history.

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spokety
On 7/17/2018 at 8:39 PM, Altostrata said:

 

This is a subject we should discuss in your Introductions topic, as it has to do with your own individual drug regimen and history.

Okay thats fine, can you send me the link?

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Junglechicken

I've been emotionally numb for years, literally.

 

To get by on a day-to-day basis, I wear my "public" mask (as one does?).

 

However, I've felt pretty much dead emotionally for years, with the exception of losing my father which tore me apart.

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ChessieCat

Observations about returning emotions at lower Pristiq doses:

 

31 minutes ago, Andie said:

My emotions came roaring back at about 15 mg mark and are becoming stronger.  Its like someone suddenly turned the volume up. I am very shocked at how numbed out I have been. I didn’t think it was even possible.  I was a plank of wood. I would rarely get emotional about things but I would get very irritable and angry. A few people in my life pointed out to me that I didn’t seem ‘right’ and that I had changed.  I thought I was just standing up for myself and had gained more confidence. I didn’t believe them. 

 

58 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

The lower our dose gets the less numbed our emotions are.

 

April 2017 I bought a new car when I was at 25mg Pristiq.  In October/November 2017 I was at 19mg.  I got very excited when I unexpectedly saw some whales when we were checking out a car that my daughter was looking at and the seller's house was on the coast.  I even jumped up and down on the spot which I noticed because I had been having trouble raising my legs high enough to step up the gutter (this has slowly improved).  I realised then that when I got my car it was a dulled excitement.

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Amber

I had really bad anhedonia while on lexapro and risperdal. And after stopping. Everything was empty.  I felt little emotion, music meant nothing. I lost interest in basic activities.  I hated to work out. I tried so many supplements to cure it. Finally I stopped trying and to my surprise it went away. No meds no supplements just smooth sailing. 98% feeling like myself. The only thing is my sexual desire isn't very strong but i can live with that. I have fun again, i love music. It took about 3months to get well plus another 3months of medication.  There is hope. Just be patient. 

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Tanha
On 2/14/2013 at 7:52 PM, Altostrata said:

I completely understand the feeling of emotional anesthesia and demotivation.

 

It does get better.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Since quetiapine/diazepam can cause a paradoxical reaction such as hyperarousel and anxiety after every dose (1,5 h after it to be more precise) I wonder if an interpretation could be that a reduction of theses medications could bring relief to severe anhedonia?

yet it seems to me that changing the dosage in any direction (up or down) intensifies anhedonia (always after a few initial days with great relief of symptoms). 

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Zeipii
On 12/12/2018 at 10:16 PM, Amber said:

I had really bad anhedonia while on lexapro and risperdal. And after stopping. Everything was empty.  I felt little emotion, music meant nothing. I lost interest in basic activities.  I hated to work out. I tried so many supplements to cure it. Finally I stopped trying and to my surprise it went away. No meds no supplements just smooth sailing. 98% feeling like myself. The only thing is my sexual desire isn't very strong but i can live with that. I have fun again, i love music. It took about 3months to get well plus another 3months of medication.  There is hope. Just be patient. 

what do you mean with "plus 3 months of medication". I thought your way to get better was not taking meds...? 

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Altostrata

Anhedonia is a side effect of psychiatric drugs, it is not a paradoxical reaction.

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Tanha

Thank you so much!

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Zeipii
7 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Anhedonia is a side effect of psychiatric drugs, it is not a paradoxical reaction.

Well what wisdom does that give re healing from it? Definitions are definitions, finding a possible healing is what has value. Btw I know people that have got anhedonia without depression also without using any drugs, even if much less typical as a starting point. 

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Tanha

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

 

 

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Tanha
1 minute ago, Tanha said:

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

 

 

Sorry this was the link to patients stories

 

here the studies:

 

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Tanha

Sorry for posting twice. Brainfog!

 

here is another link "recovery from anhedonia":

 

(We don't support application of more drug to cover problems so please scan through the linked site and find the healthy non-drug approaches - there are substantial studies that say antidepressants are not effective in treating anhedonia at all but worsening it).

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/Anhedonia_Recovery/

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Tanha

Always when I cut the quetiapine my anhedonia becomes debiliating and actually also "painful".

 

my anhedonia only recently became severe. And it seems to become unbearably painful after every small reduction of quetiapine. Yet the quetiapine doesn't need to be the cause since I ct-ed and tapered antidepressants before and this is likely to cause a thing called tardive anhedonia (see links in the last posts). The antidepressants can cause this also while on them.

 

i feel with everybody who has this or a similar conditions.

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Tanha
On 6/7/2011 at 7:22 PM, Punarbhava said:

 

Neuro......

 

I hope my response does not corrupt the subject of your thread but I seem to alternate between anhedonia and depression.

 

Both, as we all know, how horrible states to be in. I find though that the depression is harder for me to endure since, feelings of loss, trauma also become activated. Anxiety levels are usually higher when the WD induced depression hits. Fear, horror, caring too profoundly about everyone and everything and becoming hair-triggered to any negative emotion or event/stressor makes it extremely difficult to endure much of anything. Consequently, I avoid interacting with others or with life since, even going to the grocery store floods me with instant and visual reminders of how much I've lost in life.

 

Although, with that said, I force myself to distract via some form of activity, even if I cry through it since it can help get my mind moving outside the horrors of the WD induced depressive thoughts.

 

However, when I lapse into the anhedonic states I'm the opposite. I feel dead to the trauma, lifeless, no fear of any losses, nor any fear for my future, absolutely no motivation nor even care to motivate myself (although I do push through such states as best I can to distract although engaging in an activity usually deepens my feelings of disconnection since, I derive no pleasure or sense of accomplishment from anything).... just don't feel connected to anything life nor to my traumatic experiences/losses etc.

 

In a sick way, as horrid as anhedonia is, I actually prefer it to the depression since, it gives me respite from feeling traumatized (feeling too much of everything).

I feel disconnected from my losses and trauma when in this state.

 

So, in essence, I feel way too deeply in my depressive states and lifeless/dead in my anhedonic states. Then there are some okish days where I don't feel as polarized but rather, more neutral/balanced. Such days seem to be increasing in numbers (thank God) appearing in clusters (few days in a row). So, there is this "break" in between the two states that I have described.

 

No matter how serious these states feel, I try not to take them seriously (although, as we know its a challenge). I try to force myself to distract myself out of either state (even if for moments at a time). Humour saves me when in either state.

 

Although humour is really difficult to illicit, I really, really push myself since, its the only thing that snaps me into an altered state, for a short spurts of time.

 

I can construct a humurous thought but then plummet emotionally two mintues later. So, I go back and contruct another funny thought and so on. I'm very up and down in this regard but that's okay. My goal is to create as many mini moments of life and connection as possible.

 

One could remark: "well, you can't be suffering too badly IF you can create humour". Yes, that may seem to appear to be the case but it's not at all. For some reason, the creative part of my mind, despite the severest of WD states, has been accessible to me, at some level, but only if I force myself to direct my mind into this mode, even if I have to cry my way through it (which happens often). It's a survival tactic utilized to keep myself going. If I don't do so, I won't make it psychologically.

 

Not implying that my approach will work for everyone. Rather, just sharing what I have to do to survive this WD ordeal.

 

Punar

Dear punar

 

how are you now?

did things get better?

i am also unverwendbar anhedonia and Depression all day.

 

did things get better while tapering or after? 

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Suttisan

Any tips for managing / reversing ssri induced anhedonia? I've heard an amino acid called sarcosine is good, any other recommendations? 

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les625

Time is supposed to be the best recommendation.  Unfortunately supplements react very different with everyone and anhedonia cannot be fixed by much besides time (unless you want to take a stimulant, which will cause even more problems to deal with).  

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Suttisan

Thanks for the answer, I'm improving taking lithium orotate 5mgs daily, the racing thoughts are going but yes I think like you say the emotional blunting should subside in time. 

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les625
3 hours ago, Suttisan said:

Thanks for the answer, I'm improving taking lithium orotate 5mgs daily, the racing thoughts are going but yes I think like you say the emotional blunting should subside in time. 

 

Of course. It will, some people have it longer than others. Other than time, there are other things that are crucial to healing, such as rest/keeping stress low.  Other things that help are exercise (if you are easy for it), reduced screen time, meditation, spending time outside.  Since the brain is plastic, it is important to make healthy practices/lifestyle changes in order for it to heal.

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Suttisan

Thanks Les, appreciate the advice 

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les625
1 hour ago, Suttisan said:

Thanks Les, appreciate the advice 

Of course, happy to. It is important to hope and believe it will improve, it takes time to detox from these medications; your brain has a remarkable gift of healing and changing.  I went of medication last year very quickly and even though withdrawals were bad, I slowly regained motivation and emotion.  I went back on them due to my psychiatrist believing I was depressed again (big mistake haha).  But I’m slowly going off and improving; I think accepting my current situation and trusting that time will provide healing has been so beneficial and given me the hope and drive to continue on.  You got this!

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Zeipii

I have had emotional blunting, pssd, loss of skin sensation, life disabling amotivation now for 20 mths after 2 weeks of bupropion. I am out of hope, only faith in a chance of new better life keeps me alive. Anyone healed still after years of no improvement? 

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Tanha
21 minutes ago, Zeipii said:

I have had emotional blunting, pssd, loss of skin sensation, life disabling amotivation now for 20 mths after 2 weeks of bupropion. I am out of hope, only faith in a chance of new better life keeps me alive. Anyone healed still after years of no improvement? 

I am so sorry you have to go through this. 

20 months fighting is an ackomplishment and surely adds to your healing. 

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Zeipii

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. 

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yoshi

I have the same problems with anhedonia, inability to concentrate, loss of motivation, flat affect after getting a time released shot of haldol.

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Zeipii

for how long anhedonia? any changes over time? 

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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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VincentV

Its a feeling that's very difficult for me to comprehend, literally get my head around, and I'm just wondering if the forum could shed some light on it. Maybe other people experience this as well or maybe there's already another post on it (I have tried to look)? There was a BBC report on SSRI withdrawal and one woman said she'd had this 'lobotomised feeling' and the words struck a chord with me.

 

I've had this odd sense  since about week 8 after I took my last dose of sertraline of not being able to grasp all my own thoughts and feelings and hold them in my mind in their entirety (It sounds clumsy but that's the best way I can sum it up). I call it the 'lobotomised feeling' and 'brick/ hole in my brain" feeling. Somethings missing and I cant figure out what it is.   Sometimes I just call it brain fog, because I often feel spaced out and detached, but I'm not entirely sure if its accurate to call it that. It doesn't quite feel like depersonalisation either (though again it feels close, but I've had to a small degree before and this feels kind of different and worse somehow) Its like I try and take stock, or audit how I'm feeling, try to take a look at me, 'myself' and I just can't.  I'm completely on autopilot and have been ever since, like big bits of my subjective experience, maybe all of it are missing. Yet I'm still aware that I feeling things like depression, or agitation or anxiety. I'm just not sure what's feeling them I'm not even sure who, or what is writing this, really. I mean I know its me, but I'm not here?

 

I know this sounds crazy and ridiculous. Can anyone understand or relate or shed some light?

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Nevertoolate

Hi Vincent.

I'm sure one of the mods will be along shortly to answer your question but in the meantime fear not you're in good company. 

It's not crazy or ridiculous I'd say you'll find a huge percentage of us feel exactly that way at one time or another. 

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VincentV

Yes,  there dont seem to be many others dealing with this odd symptom. I was just wondering, from my description whether others thought it sounds like brainfog or DP. Yes I came across the lobotamy conspiracy video but didn't take it seriously. 

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VincentV

To be honest, sometimes I think or wonder whether part of it was more the shock of no knowing what was happening to me. Not know why my mind felt like it was collapsing. I remember exactly when I really noticed it, i was very upset at the time. Ever since then there's been a wall. 

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