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Apathy, anhedonia, emotional numbness, emotional anesthesia


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I've experienced this too, but I think it's more a form of dread than anhedonia. I mentioned in my intro post that it took me three tries on three successive Sundays to get out the door and go to church. I distinctly remember getting knots in my stomach the first two times and an overwhelming feeling of, "I can't do this!" Once I actually got to church, however, the experience wasn't nearly as bad as my gut was telling me (this response wasn't rational - there are lots of good, compassionate people in my church). After that, it was a lot easier to get out the door on Sunday morning and to also schedule a Physical Therapy appointment and keep it. Attending church this coming Sunday will be Week 7 for that and this has been Week 5 for P.T. and I don't think twice about leaving the house for either any more.

 

On the one hand, I had to push my way through the dread the first time or two. On the other hand, if I hadn't been mostly ready anyway, I doubt I could have done it.

 

My advice would be to do as much as you can, but be gentle and understanding with yourself when you can't. This is all part of withdrawal and it isn't your fault that you're feeling this way. Beating up on oneself has never improved any situation as far as I know. When you're ready you'll handle things just fine, even if it's an emotional strain at first. Every time after that it gets easier.

 

You might also want to hold at your current dose longer than planned because this may have a lot to do with cortisol levels, but I'm not sure about that. I hope some wiser heads will come along and comment.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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I seriously still have Anhedonia. I have to really force myself to do school. Aside from that, I don't want to do anything at all, I don't want friends. Actually, I don't like people, except for my kids, and online communities where I can come and go without having to engage in small talk. Going to the store for necessities seems like it's the biggest bother in the universe. I don't like to take showers (that one is hard to admit), but I force myself. For a while it was so bad I didn't want to brush my hair for days and ended up having to cut a lot of it off from the matting. It's shameful, seriously. Cause I feel okay, but I just DON'T WANT TO. I think this is the one lingering issue for me, but it is getting better. I am caring more about life. Just hard to move.

 

Shanti. Boy do I ever understand this! I had to look up "Anhedonia".... in my mind I feel so guilty about it because it just feels like I'm being LAZY!!! ( I like the word Anhedonia a lot better). I had no idea that this can be a WD symptom? Can you tell me a little more about that? Anyone?

 

I don't like small talk... never really did but I could at least get up enough enthusiasm to fake it until I actually enjoyed it. I don't find joy in much of anything these days. It's gotten much worse over the last years and I was not tapering. I just started a taper. If it gets worse during WD I might just as well put a sign on my back that says "Don't talk to me. I'm not at home".

 

Like yesterday. I was supposed to "share" my experiences / thoughts on some aspect of a concept at work with another person. I scoped out the people and met eyes with a young girl I know and have enjoyed interacting with ...like 3 years ago . Cripe. I couldn't even make eye contact with her. I sat like a dope on a rope. I had nothing. It wasn't like I didn't have any thoughts on the matter but I just didn't give a ****. I DIDN'T WANT TO!!!!!!!! I felt terrible. That gal had to do all the talking.

 

I think I am experiencing work burn out too.

 

Anyway, Shanti, I was astonished at how familiar the feeling you are having are. I'm sorry you're having to experience it and I hope that the sepia helps.

 

 

 

My advice would be to do as much as you can, but be gentle and understanding with yourself when you can't. This is all part of withdrawal and it isn't your fault that you're feeling this way. Beating up on oneself has never improved any situation as far as I know. When you're ready you'll handle things just fine, even if it's an emotional strain at first. Every time after that it gets easier.

 

You might also want to hold at your current dose longer than planned because this may have a lot to do with cortisol levels, but I'm not sure about that. I hope some wiser heads will come along and comment.

 

This is why I like it here. This response makes good sense and affirms the positive, not the negative and is constructive. Thanks Jemima!

Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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Jemina, I remember you talking about that on your intro. I'm glad you're doing better now. The thing is, that I don't feel any anxiety. It's pretty much just as areyouthere says, lazy. It must have something to do with my metabolism. And yeah, I like the word Anhedonia better than lazy too lol. It is improving a bit, with some effort. It just feels like something is weighing me down. Oh and I've never liked small talk either. I've never been the type to surround myself with friends. I've always just had one or two good friends, and only ones that don't have expectations or attachments on me.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

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This is very bad for me, also. Apathy is ruling right now. I can't connect to any emotions that motivate me to want to do things or avoid the fallout from not doing things I should. It's very distinct from "depression" or dread or anxiety at this point...a void of emotion or energy, a vacuum. It's EXTREMELY uncomfortable... the nothingness is hard yo describe to others.

 

I do have spurts of emotion at different times of day. Mornings are still difficult and Im having an emotional *episode* at about 6pm- anger, crying, nostalgia. I used to have a single hot flash at 6pm several months ago, so I suspect some diurnal hormone swing. It's very pronounced.

 

Glad you mentioned the hair and grooming, Shanti. I cant believe how I'm living. I don't have anyplace to be and things are being neglected. Most of my hair is chopped off (badly).

 

I havent talked to anyone by phone. I still have "phone anxiety" although I dont know that I would call it anxiety anymore. I simply cannot connect to anything emotionally except my animals. When im feeling the nothingness, I touch my little girl dog and she grounds me. Sometimes she sleeps with her back flat up against mine as if she knows I need her contact or energy. It's incredibly comforting. The horses also help me connect.

When I look at the animals, especially the little girl dog, I now see inti her eyes like never did before. She's a wiry little dog, not obviously cute like chocolate labs, for example, but I'm seeing how beautiful she is now. There's a connection I never felt while drugged (I'm still drugged, but off of Pristiq). The boy dog is extremely sensitive, intuitive (was abused, stray). I'm tuning into his feelings much more than in past.

 

Sorry, that went way off topic!

 

I have picked up an odd sense of humor through this. I find silly or absurd things extremely funny. I know it throws my husband because I *look* "depressed", but am laughing outrageously at times.

 

Thanks for opening this topic, Shanti. The Sepia looks interesting.

 

B

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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I havent talked to anyone by phone. I still have "phone anxiety" although I dont know that I would call it anxiety anymore.

 

Me either!!!!! I hate the telephone!!!!!!!!! I always have!!! I. Hate. Talking. On. a. Telephone. I'm rude about it and used to feel guilty for cutting conversations off shortly even with my own kids.

 

 

Anyway, Here is how it worked at my house for the last ten years....phone rings; I let it go to voice mail. If it is one of our kids or my husband and I want to answer ( rarely) I'll pick it up. Otherwise I just listen to them say "Mommmmmm... I know you are hooooomeee" ... and if I don't answer they just leave a message and my husband gets back to them. I've always felt terribly guilty about this BUT GUESS WHATT????

 

It's not that I wouldn't like to have a pleasant converstaion with them... I just plain hate to use a telephone. I know weird. But I have found something that works!!!

 

It's called Skype ... I have suddenly discovered that I can talk for extended periods of time to my computer screen!!! Or I should say to our kids/ my mother through the computer screen. And it's cheap. And I LOVE it! Maybe you would too Barbara!! I don't use the video portion ( I hate the way my double chin looks) so just use audio. But there's just something about sitting in a familiar position with my computer on my lap and I don't have to strain to hear... the audio comes out very clearly on the computer and my voice clearly to them.

 

Yesterday ( or maybe the day before) I called our daughter through skype... she has recently moved to another state and I miss her. We talked for..... wait for it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One hour, 38 minutes and 37 seconds!!! Un fricking believable. She must have felt the love.

 

Would trying something like Skype help Barbara?

 

It must have something to do with my metabolism.

 

I think that you nailed it here too. As a matter of fact I'm nearly positive that you did. That's the catch 22. In order to rev up the metabolism, you have to be more active ... and that is hard for anyone much less one experiencing Anhedonia... a legitimate term for what the drugs are doing to our brains. baby steps. I guess . The way I look at it, when I feel the energy to walk and I really don't want to

( this is personally true "laziness" on my part ) I try to push myself to walk. I do feel better.

Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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Oh yes, we are experiencing the exact same thing. We talked once here about Phone Anxiety. It has changed for me too, in that I simply don't like the phone. I just refuse to talk on it unless it's something important, like the doctor appointments or necessary things. I have lost my friends that wouldn't let me be. I finally exploded on them and told them I didn't want to talk, and of course they felt jilted by that. Not that I had many to begin with. I also connect more deeply with my animals. However, I do fine with connecting with anyone by email or on Facebook. So anyone that couldn't be content with keeping our relationship electronic drifted away.

 

Last night I did manage to go trim some grape vines. I only did it for about 10 minutes and for hours afterward I had lost fine motor control. If I held my hands out they wouldn't shake, but if I tried to put a cup of water to my mouth or do something like hold a pen and write, my hand would shake wildly, to the point of splashing water. It was like Parkenson's. I took a muscle relaxer and it settled quite a bit. I don't know if it's from my muscles going atrophic or if it's part of this w/d syndrome. However, I am thinking the lack of motivation to move might have something to do with my body telling me the need to rest and heal.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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I'm just really glad that this feeling doesn't involve my kids. For some reason, they don't bother me one bit, I can talk to them fine without feeling like I need to end the conversation. Which is very good, as my daughter is taking a lot of focus with her medical attention, and her own reluctance to live her life. It's like pulling teeth to get her to take her driving exam and study for it, and she's 19. So I'm having to do everything for her and be on top of things with her doctor. I'm going to have to drive to San Fransisco soon to take her to UCSF, and I'm pretty freaked out about driving around that city! I'm several hours north of there in the country. Not at all used to traffic.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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What is the relationship between anhedonia and apathy? Are they separate entities, or is one a subset of the other? A like vs. want thing?

 

Sparrow

2009-2011: tapered off Trazodone, Namenda, Lamictal, Dextroamphetamine, Zyprexa; cold-turkeyed Pristiq; reduced Lexapro dose 50%.
On clonazepam since 2004, 0.5 - 1.0 mg daily PRN. Three failed (too rapid) partial tapers, 2010 - 2011.
Dec. 2011 - March 2013: Tapered off 0.5 mg clonazepam (Klonopin)

August 2013: Switched to liquid escitalopram (Lexapro) and began tapering from 10 mg.

January 2014: 4.5 mg escitalopram

March 2014: One year off benzos

May 2014: 3.0 mg escitalopram

June 2014: severe depression, updosed to 4.0 mg

Sept 1, 2014: 2.7 mg

Dec 7, 2014: Can't get below 2.5 mg without unbearable symptoms. Doing an extended hold (I hope)

March 2015: TWO YEARS POST-BENZO

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I can't say for sure as I don't know enough about it. But it seems to me that Apathy would be a subset of Anhendonia as there are other symptoms such as what we described as not wanting to be bothered with other people and phone calls. I think that goes a bit beyond apathy.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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I sense these as very different issues. I hesitate to use the term "anhedonia" because it is a psychiatric term and hallmark sign of "depression".

 

Anhedonia is the inability to experience PLEASURE, especially in things that used to be pleasureable.

 

Apathy, to me, is lack of care or concern about things both good and bad. I have difficulty connecting to or anticipating emotion, good or bad. Worry used to be a motivator for me. I rarely worry now, which sounds good in theory, but it's a distinct "just don't give a s*** about anything" and not because I trust that things will work out. The absolute basics get done, usually: eating, feeding the animals, taking drugs necessary to avoid immediate worsening of how I feel. I don't "see" a future, so I'm not motivated to take care of finances, relationships, etc. Most importantly, it's not a conscious choice. I do have to make a very concerted effort and force myself to do things "just in case there is a future". To be clear, I have absolutely no thoughts of harm or SI.

 

Apathy is also distinct from lazy. There IS a lack of motivation (positive or negative) to use as energy. I have had times of laziness and there's probably overlap, but it's the indifference about outcome or consequences that is the hallmark in apathy, IMHO.

 

Interestingly, apathy is something NOT addressed by psychiatry or the current DSM although DSM-V is looking at it. Makes sense, since they've created so much of it iatrogenically. *SIGH*

 

http://www.mcmanweb.com/apathy.html

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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I hesitate to refer to Wikipedia, but this page on APATHY and the interactive graph are interesting. Much of the information contained on the page deceives how I feel.

 

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apathy

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Bar that is a good comparison to the two. The differences you suggested make sense to me.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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I'm with Barb. Are we talking about apathy or anhedonia when we talk about this aversion to do things? I'll change the title.

 

For me, the lack of a sense of reward has made me sort of demotivated. It's hard to get started even on things I want to do. For example, I put in a lot of effort to order a rug a year ago, and I want it in my living room, but I can't seem to get going on taking the old rug up, cleaning under it, and putting the new one down.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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I'm with Barb. Are we talking about apathy or anhedonia when we talk about this aversion to do things? I'll change the title.

 

For me, the lack of a sense of reward has made me sort of demotivated. It's hard to get started even on things I want to do. For example, I put in a lot of effort to order a rug a year ago, and I want it in my living room, but I can't seem to get going on taking the old rug up, cleaning under it, and putting the new one down.

 

I vote for change of title to Apathy. I think "Anhedonia" is too wrapped up in the "depression" diagnosis as has been discussed in other threads. Also, apathy encompasses far more than inability to ENJOY or experience PLEASURE. It is also indifference to NEGATIVE things and lack of worry or concern about future.

 

Pharma has alot of drugs to dull and take away emotion. What will they come up with to make people care or infuse emotion and energy??

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Hear hear on the hating talking on the phone and having to make small talk. I think I'm not much of a people person. I only really click with a few people. I think I've always been that way.

 

At the same time, when I'm feeling well I have a much higher tolerance for doing things I don't like.

 

I do think it's related to anhedonia... when you are feeling good you see everything in a more positive light.

 

The lack of motivation is HUGE for me when I'm not well. I can gauge how well I am, for example, by my waxing and waning desire to have a dog. Or really, do anything. When I'm not well, everything is too much trouble. In a way that is how I felt when I was depressed before meds, but somehow it was easier to spiral out of it... I know it's withdrawal anhedonia when nothing will pull me out. Nothing makes me laugh, nothing pleases me that normally does (sun, food, chocolate, trees)... I think to myself "my desire box is broken".

 

Luckily, that is one of the main things that has improved... it seems to be the first thing to lift when I'm on an upswing, before the anxiety and insomnia.

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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A few weeks ago I was able to get up, walk the dog, study, meditate, etc. Now I can just about get out of bed. I have no desire to do anything. Couldn't be bothered walking the dog, not really interested enough to really engage with my study's, even though a few weeks ago I was fascinated!

 

I suspect it's either because I've been holding for some time now, which allows the drug to "settle in" more and exert its "therapeutic effect". Or it's because I caused instability by moving the dose forward. Either way, it's a PITA!

2003-2011: Paroxetine,Citalopram,Effexor; Aug/Sept 2011: Effexor to Mirtazapine; Oct 2011: C/T Mirtazapine back to Effexor; Nov/Dec 2011: Fast Tapered Effexor - w/d hell; Feb 2012: Reinstated Effexor 37.5mg; June 2012: Dropped to 35.6mg; Jan 2016: Propranolol 2.5mg per day for general anxiety; Feb 2016: Finasteride 0.25mg per week to slow hair loss; 18th May - 8th June 2019: Started Vyvanse 7.5mg and increased by 7.5mg weekly to 30mg (lowest “therapeutic” dose for adults).; 21st June 2019 - 12th July: Cross tapered from venlafaxine brand Rodomel to Efexor (1/4 > 1/2 > 3/4 weekly before ditching Rodomel); 13th July 2019: Cut Vyvanse dose to 15mg; 15th July 2019: Akathisia returned after years of being free; 16th July 2019: Went back up to Vyvanse 30mg

Supplements: Omega-3, Vitamin D, Zinc, Phosphatidylserine 

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The few remedies I tried, such as Cayenne, Curcumin, Ginger and the Sepia Homeopathy has helped with this some. I've been doing some light yard work and a few other things that I wouldn't have done before. I do feel a bit more motivated. Oh, and Coconut Oil. It's good for metabolism and thyroid function. I put a couple of tablespoons in some yogurt.

 

Edited to add that if I were in the midst of physical symptoms like brain zaps, jerks and other w/d body symptoms, I wouldn't take the fire element remedies that I mentioned. It might be too stimulating to the CNS. However, it doesn't effect me at all, not like coffee does.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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I think I posted some version of this somewhere, but here it is again:

 

Antidepressant Apathy Syndrome

 

http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/333128/antidepressant_apathy_syndrome/

 

" Levy et al. (1998) and Marin (1990) have made great strides to distinguish depression and apathy as two unique disorders. There is increasing evidence suggesting that apathy may also be a late- occurring complication of SSRI treatment separate from the original diagnosis (Garland & Baerg, 2001; Hoehn-Saric, et al., 1990,1991). Hoehn-Saric et al. (1990) initially reported SSRI-induced apathy in a case report of patients with depression and anxiety disorder. More recently, Garland and Baerg (2001) reported five cases of AAS among young people. It is important to note that before clinicians were aware that SSRIs could potentially induce apathy, it was rarely reported (Walkup & Labellarte, 2001). Furthermore, patients fighting anxiety or depression may ignore the insidious onset of apathy until most of their original symptoms are gone. At this late stage in treatment, apathy may be misdiagnosed as a relapse of the primary condition or considered treatment “poop out” (i.e., loss of efficacy). Distinguishing AAS from relapse and “poop out” has clinical implications regarding treatment and management strategies (Barnhart et al., 2004; Marangell et al., 2002)."

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Shanti I have had that. It never lasted a terribly long time, but while in the thick of it I only wanted to watch re-runs of Law & Order and old Westerns :lol: I swear.

 

And yes, I did not want to talk and there were times I actually couldn't talk. I was physically able, but I had to force myself to speak. That scared my daughter and I had to explain it to her.

 

The good news is that it does pass.

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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I don't know if I'm ok being alone or if SS/NRIs just made me feel ok with being alone. I feel the aloneness and loneliness and *stillness* inside my head now and it's AWFUL. Today was a day of feeling every second tick by. And, of course, *everyone else* is busy doing something interesting and purposeful or so my mind imagines. It's frightening that I cant remember what I've done for the last 11 years since I worked last. Aside from the nonsense i mentioned earlier, it's a blur.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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I just posted a topic about my recent relapse in the physical conditions, such as body zaps. It may due to taking the Cayenne and Curcumin, as they are stimulating. I'm going to stop taking them and see how my symptoms improve but it's really a bummer, as it was helping me with the apathy and anhedonia.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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  • 3 months later...

Did those of you with this problem find your motivation returned after you got off the ADs?

2003-2011: Paroxetine,Citalopram,Effexor; Aug/Sept 2011: Effexor to Mirtazapine; Oct 2011: C/T Mirtazapine back to Effexor; Nov/Dec 2011: Fast Tapered Effexor - w/d hell; Feb 2012: Reinstated Effexor 37.5mg; June 2012: Dropped to 35.6mg; Jan 2016: Propranolol 2.5mg per day for general anxiety; Feb 2016: Finasteride 0.25mg per week to slow hair loss; 18th May - 8th June 2019: Started Vyvanse 7.5mg and increased by 7.5mg weekly to 30mg (lowest “therapeutic” dose for adults).; 21st June 2019 - 12th July: Cross tapered from venlafaxine brand Rodomel to Efexor (1/4 > 1/2 > 3/4 weekly before ditching Rodomel); 13th July 2019: Cut Vyvanse dose to 15mg; 15th July 2019: Akathisia returned after years of being free; 16th July 2019: Went back up to Vyvanse 30mg

Supplements: Omega-3, Vitamin D, Zinc, Phosphatidylserine 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I experienced it - and am still experiencing it - during withdrawal. I'm a bit over a year from a too-fast taper off of Lexapro which ended in mid-December of 2011. According to what I've read, feelings of pleasure and interest in life are the very last to be restored after a bad withdrawal.

 

I've thought about this a lot and I suppose it makes sense that feelings of fear, sadness, and anger would come back first, especially fear, which helps us to survive.

 

Over the past several months, I've had some episodes of pleasure but at the present time they're fading in and out, the old windows and waves pattern. But at least I know I'm still capable of feeling pleasure and in time that capacity will be back to normal.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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This is from an old post by Alto in another thread. I've always found it reassuring (Emphasis mine):

 

...Emotional resonance does seem to be coming back, faintly. Charly G. said emotions were the last to come back. A knowledgeable doctor recently told me this, too.In all the years (6 now) that I've been reading people's experiences with withdrawal syndrome, of all the awful symptoms, the emotional anesthesia seems to frighten people the most. It's so not-human.(I prefer to call it emotional anesthesia, implying an iatrogenic condition, rather than anhedonia, which is supposed to be a symptom of garden-variety depression. Hah! I'd go for anhedonia any day over emotional anesthesia.)Yet, if you look at what these drugs do when you're taking them, it's a predictable residue of their action....it does get better....
This is the thread if you'd like to read more:http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?app=forums&module=post&section=post&do=reply_post&f=8&t=510&qpid=7381Dunno why these two are separate. Edited by Altostrata
name changed by request

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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"...the emotional anesthesia seems to frighten people the most. It's so not-human."

 

Exactly.

 

It is so difficult to maintain hope or motivation without positive reinforcement of some kind.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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"...the emotional anesthesia seems to frighten people the most. It's so not-human."

 

Exactly.

 

It is so difficult to maintain hope or motivation without positive reinforcement of some kind.

 

It's like having not will to live or survive. Emotional anesthesia seems to take that away, doesn't it? It's like the antithesis of life. Fight or flight? What's that? I'll just hang here and see what happens. Oh, what's that? Danger? Really? I'll just hang here and see what happens in the middle of the danger. That's how emotional anesthesia seems to me.
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"...the emotional anesthesia seems to frighten people the most. It's so not-human."

Exactly.

 

It is so difficult to maintain hope or motivation without positive reinforcement of some kind.

 

It's like having not will to live or survive. Emotional anesthesia seems to take that away, doesn't it? It's like the antithesis of life. Fight or flight? What's that? I'll just hang here and see what happens. Oh, what's that? Danger? Really? I'll just hang here and see what happens in the middle of the danger. That's how emotional anesthesia seems to me.

 

Yes, exactly (again). No will or energy to fight or flee. Frozen, waiting to see what my fate is.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone, I took Prozac for 6 months in 2009 and ever since, I lost my emotions COMPLETELY. I was 15 at the time...

 

""I consider myself to have been recovered after 6 to 7 years. However, the emotional recovery takes almost twice as long. It's only now that I feel I am becoming whole again and that's more than I could ever asked for.""

 

When he said emotional recovery, did he mean the ability to REGAIN emotions? I want to feel human again.... I literally feel DEAD. Please tell me it's possible to recover? It's 2013 and I don't have my emotions :(

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""I consider myself to have been recovered after 6 to 7 years. However, the emotional recovery takes almost twice as long. It's only now that I feel I am becoming whole again and that's more than I could ever asked for."

 

Hi everyone. I took Prozac when I was 15 (in 2009) and I lost my emotions.... completely. Ever since, I have not felt ANYTHING. It's so hard to continue like this. I fear this is permanent.... I hope I do recover... I want to feel excitement/joy/happiness.... even sadness would make go crazy (in a good way) it means I can feel again.

 

It's 2013, and nothing has improved. Anyone else still suffering after 5+ years?

 

 

When Charles mentioned about emotional recovery, did he mean REGAINING emotions? Please let me know, because I want to feel human again.

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You're referring to Charly G. here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1351-charly-g-recovered-from-prozac-withdrawal/ ?

 

Charly is on Facebook, you might ask him the details.

 

He's a musician and has gone back to a normal life, leaving withdrawal syndrome behind him.

 

I can tell you personally, it does get better.

 

(I merged our two similar topics on anhedonia, apathy, demotivation together.)

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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You're referring to Charles G. here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1351-charly-g-recovered-from-prozac-withdrawal/ ?Charly is on Facebook, you might ask him the details.He's a musician and has gone back to a normal life, leaving withdrawal syndrome behind him.I can tell you personally, it does get better.(I merged our two similar topics on anhedonia, apathy, demotivation together.)

Thank you. I'm hoping that's the case, how long did it take for you to recover? This suffering is simply inhumane. I never thought in a million years THIS was even POSSIBLE. Edited by Altostrata
changed name to protect privacy
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My emotional anesthesia took a few years to noticeably lighten -- it also stopped bothering me so much -- then continued to get better.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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My emotional anesthesia took a few years to noticeably lighten -- it also stopped bothering me so much -- then continued to get better.

 

Thanks for replying.

 

Have you fully recovered from emotional anesthesia? To be honest, I almost forgot what it's like to feel or have emotions... it's almost as if I never had them in my life, but I know I did. There was something magical/exciting about life before, and I can't explain it. The feeling of excitement was amazing... it was something I can't even describe. I had goals/dreams/desires in lie, now, I don't even understand why I'd want to do anything anymore, or even leave my house for that matter.

 

I just want to feel human again... if there's only one thing I want in life, it's to feel emotions/feelings. When I recover (i'm hoping I do), I will be the HAPPIEST HUMAN BEING in the face of the Earth.

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I'm 62 and menopausal, so it's hard to tell how much of my present state is due to aging.

 

I can't say I'm 100% recovered yet, but it gets better all the time.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Alto, what improvements have you seen?

 

do you have the strong free floating anxiety and inner restkesness?

 

Do you have anhedonia still or does it come and go?

damaged by citalopram - severe suffering for 3 years now...no improvement

 

akathsiia, pgad, dp/dr, terror, and so SO many more daily

 

severly disabled and lost everything

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I had intense free-floating anxiety. Not so much akathisia.

 

I had depersonalization for quite a while and that gradually went away. One day I realized I was present.

 

The emotional anesthesia gradually lifted. I can't recall if there were windows because the changes were so subtle.

 

I can't say I still have anhedonia. My emotions still seem a little muffled.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • manymoretodays changed the title to Bamo: Emotional numbness
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