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Apathy, anhedonia, emotional numbness, emotional anesthesia

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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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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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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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