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Apathy, anhedonia, emotional numbness, emotional anesthesia

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Newbeginning

In my case, anhedonia was a side effect of the meds that got better at lower doses, but came back after reinstatement when I started my taper.

 

Then I got windows that also got worse after reinstatements.

 

I was hoping I would get relief at lower doses, but even at 7mg Effexor and 7mg Prozac I'm still struggling.

 

I actually saw more improvement in that area as a result of better nutrition (more veggies, healthy fats, less processed stuff and sugar). I also cut carbs some and increased protein and healthy fat intake. At the same time, I pushed myself to be more active even if I had 0 motivation. After months of that, I saw a 30% improvement that lasted about 3 months.

 

I've relapsed into anhedonia now while holding my dose. No reinstatement and no dosage reduction. I'm not sure what caused it. I think it might be the Boron I was taking, which might affect hormones. I'm stopping the Boron hoping it will help.

 

Aberdeen, I'm glad you feel better!!! I just hope it won't take 4 years+ for me to get out of this state. Especially since I have 2 drugs to drop. Sigh...


  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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Henosis

Has ANYONE recovered from Anhedonia that was brought on by re-instatement, theoretically by tapering their SSRI/SNRI down to a dose where there dopamine system started functioning? (or augmenting with anthing)? Or did feelings, passions, and excitement only return after getting to ZERO or beyond (I know some people don't get anhedonia until after withdrawal which is an entirely different beast altogether). I never felt it strongly when I was on Paxil for ten years, but during withdrawal everything was pleasurable and emotional again. Re-instatement brought out a fierce this fierce anhedonic/apathetic/zombie state despite a much lower dose than I was taking for a decade. It seems I've tried almost everything (save for nortriptline as an adjunct to me paxil taper - yes, I know dangerous, but I'm desperate).

 

It's at the point that I actively consider quick tapering just to feel alive again, and deal with the WD effects and likely loss of employment because it is so maddening. Maybe move to a foreign country and volunteer for a year until my neurotransmitters recover.


Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

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Henosis

Has ANYONE recovered from Anhedonia that was brought on by re-instatement, theoretically by tapering their SSRI/SNRI down to a dose where there dopamine system started functioning? (or augmenting with anthing)? Or did feelings, passions, and excitement only return after getting to ZERO or beyond (I know some people don't get anhedonia until after withdrawal which is an entirely different beast altogether). I never felt it strongly when I was on Paxil for ten years, but during withdrawal everything was pleasurable and emotional again. Re-instatement brought out a fierce this fierce anhedonic/apathetic/zombie state despite a much lower dose than I was taking for a decade. It seems I've tried almost everything (save for nortriptline as an adjunct to me paxil taper - yes, I know dangerous, but I'm desperate).

 

It's at the point that I actively consider quick tapering just to feel alive again, and deal with the WD effects and likely loss of employment because it is so maddening. Maybe move to a foreign country and volunteer for a year until my neurotransmitters recover.


Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

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genlady

After going completely off Seroquel and tapering Celexa I have noticed a huge difference in my emotional state.  While on the drugs also in the past my emotions were flat, meaning I did not find things funny when others did.  I seldom laughed at anything.  I also did not experience other emotions like I do now.  My family and friends have also seen a difference in me.  I laugh freely , I also feel the negative emotions stronger such as sadness from watching a movie.  It has been wonderful to FEEL.  Even though my emotions are not yet stable from time to time, I experience feelings of anger that come out of left field, I'm able to recognize that they are Neuro emotions and that they will pass soon, and they do, only lasting a short time during a day.  

 

I think anti depressants dampen our emotions , so that we don't feel sad; but we also don't feel glad.  They cover everything.  I'll be so happy when I am off all of my Celexa so I can experience the joys of life more fully.


July Medications: Started taking antidepressants in 1981, also benzos off and on; antiphychotics , anti-seizure for years.   Trazodone, Lamotrigine, Klonopin for over 10 years   all at maximum dosages,:Disconcontinued Klonopin in month of February 2011,  discontinued Trazodone and Lamotrigine   in month of March 2011 while in hosptial.  Given Seroquel to "help" go off Klonopin  gradually increased to 600 mg ; doctor took me off 600 mg. Seroquel in two weeks, and switched to Resperidal  because of weight gain on Seroquel, went off Resperidal quickly,   then gradually reinstated  Seroquel to 600 mg. at my request.   Went off Seroquel by myself at 25mg. per month in 2014.     Last medication Seroquel completely off since May 2016. Also went off Morphine at the same time as last 25 mg. of Seroquel in May 2016. Started tapering Celexa 40mg. to 35mg.  on 11 Aug. 2016  ; 16 Oct. Celexa 32.5 mg.; 6 Nov. 2016:  30mg. , 50 mg abt. Feb 26 with occasional 30mg.  , : May 10, 2017 began tapering rapidly because of adverse reaction to Celexa;, 40 mg. Celexa;   May 24, 2017: 35mg Celexa.;  June 8, 2017, 30 mg. Celexa, June 22, 2017 25mg.Celexa,; July 6,2017 20mg. CELEXA, July 20: 15mg.; August 10: Sep 29 2017: 10mg. Celexa + 10mg. Prozac, 5 Oct, 2017:  5mg. Celexa + 10mg. Prozac.; Oct. 14 Celexa 0., Prozac 10mg.Took last Prozac on November 22, 2017, Jan. 31 30mg. Cymbalta........ May Cymbalta 90mg.

 

Supplements Cal/Mag , Potassium, , Multi Vitamin.  digestive aid, antioxidant

Medications presently taking:    Lyrica 150mg. 2x day  , Synthroid 175mcg, Nasonex 2 sprays each nostril, once a day ,     Tylenol  1,000 mg. 2x day., , Restasis eye drops 2x day,  Trazodone 100 mg, Cymbalta 90 mg. Arthrotec 50 mg., Plavix

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Henosis

 

What dose did your feeling come bac?????

 

Everything you said was relatable!

I felt same way after getting off paroxetine - WD symptoms sucked but I felt emotions , empathy, pleasure, excitement; again), but was forced back into the de-huanizingn, soul-sucking resinstement anheeonian because of cognitivelyl symptoms to keep my jobs .


Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

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Henosis

 

What dose of clexa did you taper to when your emotions returned?!

 

After going completely off Seroquel and tapering Celexa I have noticed a huge difference in my emotional state. While on the drugs also in the past my emotions were flat, meaning I did not find things funny when others did. I seldom laughed at anything. I also did not experience other emotions like I do now. My family and friends have also seen a difference in me. I laugh freely , I also feel the negative emotions stronger such as sadness from watching a movie. It has been wonderful to FEEL. Even though my emotions are not yet stable from time to time, I experience feelings of anger that come out of left field, I'm able to recognize that they are Neuro emotions and that they will pass soon, and they do, only lasting a short time during a day.

 

I think anti depressants dampen our emotions , so that we don't feel sad; but we also don't feel glad. They cover everything. I'll be so happy when I am off all of my Celexa so I can experience the joys of life more fully.


Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

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Henosis

Has anyone found ANYTHING that helps SSRI anhedonia brought on my re-instatement?

 

- have tried bupropion, adderall, miterazapine, low dose zyprexa

 

Debating whether to try the (knowingly ill-advised) addition of nortriptyline (TCA) for its 5ht2c receptor blockade. SSRI + TCA is specialist stuff and can be dangerous if not done correctly, but I'm desperate!

 

Not sure what else to do as I can't handle this anhedonia during the next 6-9 months.


Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

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ChessieCat

See this topic here:  tcas-or-ssris-in-regards-to-withdrawal

 

Post #8:  "Also, the tricyclics are still serotonergics. If your system has been sensitized by withdrawal or adverse reactions, you may get unanticipated reactions to TCAs, too."


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 12 Sept 2020:  Pristiq 0.625 mg (compounded)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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AliG

Henosis. What makes you think your anhedonia (emotional anesthesia) was brought on from the reinstatement and not a withdrawal  symptom from your many drug changes over the years ?

 

This symptom has been ongoing for me and I haven't reinstated. It's an effect I noticed whilst on the drugs and then it was greatly intensified in withdrawal.

 

Many have had this symptom for quite a while as you already know from reading here. I don't think anyone has the exact answers for this dilemma of whether it's a drug side effect, withdrawal symptom or reinstatement effect. I think it seems to be all of the above in varying degrees and depending on circumstances.

 

You said everything was pleasurable in withdrawal. How long did that last ? It is unclear from your signature.  For many of us  there is a " honeymoon "  period of withdrawal for a few months where everything seems great. Maybe that accounts for the discrepancy. 

 

The main thing is that this symptom lessens with time and isn't permanent. I have found it to be one of the last symptoms to go but never the less it's starting to recede and I know it will make it's final exit at some point in the future. Patience is hard but also necessary.

 

I hope you have some relief soon as I understand that it's very hard to live with on a daily basis. However, It does get better.


Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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Henosis

Once the withdrawal symptoms hit, they were accompanied by a complete remission of (minor) emotional anesthesia symptoms I had had while on Paxil... I was anxious, confused, had memory loss, etc but simultaneously I could cry again during sad movies, music sounded *amazing*, even sitting in the sunshine felt fantastic. This lasted roughly 3-4 months (until the day I reinstated) When I re-instated, most of the withdrawal symptoms improved, but the anhedonia/emotional anaesthesia came back hard. When I would switch meds and do a 3-4 day washout from Paxil, withdrawal symptoms would come back while anhedonia/emotional anesthesia disappeared.

Clearly, it's the SSRI being in my brain causing it, it's unrelated to depression or withdrawal. However, I've still yet to determine why it was made so much worse after re-instating than it ever was during my original ten years on Paxil.

 

All of this was noted before jumping around like crazy on meds, which in fact was expressly done to try to avoid both withdrawal and the anhedonia being caused by Paxil reinstatement.

 

 

Henosis. What makes you think your anhedonia (emotional anesthesia) was brought on from the reinstatement and not a withdrawal symptom from your many drug changes over the years ?

 

This symptom has been ongoing for me and I haven't reinstated. It's an effect I noticed whilst on the drugs and then it was greatly intensified in withdrawal.

 

Many have had this symptom for quite a while as you already know from reading here. I don't think anyone has the exact answers for this dilemma of whether it's a drug side effect, withdrawal symptom or reinstatement effect. I think it seems to be all of the above in varying degrees and depending on circumstances.

 

You said everything was pleasurable in withdrawal. How long did that last ? It is unclear from your signature. For many of us there is a " honeymoon " period of withdrawal for a few months where everything seems great. Maybe that accounts for the discrepancy.

 

The main thing is that this symptom lessens with time and isn't permanent. I have found it to be one of the last symptoms to go but never the less it's starting to recede and I know it will make it's final exit at some point in the future. Patience is hard but also necessary.

 

I hope you have some relief soon as I understand that it's very hard to live with on a daily basis. However, It does get better.


Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

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dalsaan

I had anhedonia/emotional anaesthesia on drugs and in withdrawal.   I think we have to keep gently testing where we are at with these symptoms and given them opportunities to diminish.   I say this because I think we can get into a habit of low expectations and thus are not looking for change.  When changes occur slowly they can be easy to miss.   If we miss changes in our emotional capacities then we extend the effect of the drug/withdrawal.   

 

I remember one day something happened that made me feel happy and I was surprised by that but then when I looked back there were other clues that change was afoot.   Withdrawal is painful, tedious and drawn out.  It has very real negative effects that necessitate very real ways of being, knowing and doing that can themselves be habit forming.  Recovery means recovering from negative effects and then developing habits that reflect and support our expanding capacities.     We need to look for, identify and enact our abilities as much as we do our disabilities.

 

D


Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Newbeginning

Has ANYONE recovered from Anhedonia that was brought on by re-instatement, theoretically by tapering their SSRI/SNRI down to a dose where there dopamine system started functioning? (or augmenting with anthing)? Or did feelings, passions, and excitement only return after getting to ZERO or beyond (I know some people don't get anhedonia until after withdrawal which is an entirely different beast altogether). I never felt it strongly when I was on Paxil for ten years, but during withdrawal everything was pleasurable and emotional again. Re-instatement brought out a fierce this fierce anhedonic/apathetic/zombie state despite a much lower dose than I was taking for a decade. It seems I've tried almost everything (save for nortriptline as an adjunct to me paxil taper - yes, I know dangerous, but I'm desperate).

 

It's at the point that I actively consider quick tapering just to feel alive again, and deal with the WD effects and likely loss of employment because it is so maddening. Maybe move to a foreign country and volunteer for a year until my neurotransmitters recover.

 

I've had a similar experience: anhedonia while on meds; got worst when I was on a very high dose for 2 years. Before that I could semi-function. After that, I couldn't.

 

Off the meds anhedonia got better, but reinstatements brought it back. And it didn't necessarily go away as I tapered, even though I reached very low doses.

 

I've had windows though. Not necessarily after a cut. Sometimes after a cut; sometimes not. My most recent window was after updosing and stabilizing. I think what caused it was improved nutrition, and forcing myself to stay active and achieve small goals for months. But then anhedonia came back few months later, and with a vengeance. I had not changed dose at all.

 

This time around, small reinstatement improved it.

 

Sooo....it's all over the place.

 

My best guess is that it is a lasting side effect of long term med use. This means it won't necessarily go away off the med or at low doses. It will go away as the brain recovers.  But it may get worse with any stresses to your system (such as withdrawal or updosing), simply because your brain is already stressed (and anhedonia is a manifestation of that). It can also get worse after reinstatements because it is a side effect too. And yes, it doesn't matter how low the dose is. Once your system is adapted to a dose, anything above that can cause the med side effects. Just like a tiny decrease can affect our sensitized systems, so can tiny increases.

 

My windows tell me this "stress effect" is reversible, but it will be slow to reverse, and progress won't be linear or predictable. And it does respond to external stimulation/learning, so when I'm not so bad, I push myself to do healthy things regardless of how I feel. And it helps windows last longer.

 

There is hope, but I won't lie: its a long difficult journey.


  • SSRIs 3-4 times in the last 14 years; would take them for 6-8 months and then taper off under dr supervision with no problems.
  • Med history prior to 2015: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6012-newbeginning-my-withdrawal-story/?p=267313#entry267313
  • 04/2015: Prozac decreased to 15mg over last 3 months; effexor held steady at 8mg; current effexor XR: 20 beads of a 75mg capsule per day (about 8mg)
  • 06/2015: Prozac: 10mg; effexor XR: 19 beads (about 7.5mg); 07/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor 18 beads; 08/2015: Prozac: 7.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • End of August: withdrawal: depressive symptoms, crying spells. Realized I was measuring prozac dose wrong for the last 2 months. Reinstated Prozac 8.5mg; Kept effexor at 17 beads. Stabilized in 5 weeks.
  • 10/2015: Prozac: 8.5mg; effexor: 17 beads
  • 11/2015: Prozac: 1.9ml (7.5mg); effexor: 16 beads
  • 12/2015: Prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: 16 beads. Withdrawal: neuroemotions
  • 01/2016: prozac: 1.6ml; effexor xr: reinstated 17 beads, withdrawal improved; 02/2016: Prozac 1.5ml; Effexor: 17 beads; 03/2016: Prozac 1.3ml(5mg); Effexor: 17 beads (7mg)-withdrawal (flu-like malaise, lightheaded, drowsy) started end of March. April 15: reinstated Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized. 2 weeks ok. End of April: Withdrawal (neuroemotions). Eventually stabilized in April-May. Apathy improved.
  • 3 month hold until August. August 2016: apathy came back;

  • October 2016: updosed to Prozac 1.6ml. Bad reaction: anxiety, depression. End of October: went down Prozac 1.5ml. Stabilized over several weeks.

  • Dec 9: tried macca for energy: anxiety/depression. Improved over several weeks, but not completely resolved.

  • Dec 31: cut Effexor 5% to 16 beads. After 9 days: withdrawal anxiety, depression; tried updosing to 17 beads Feb 7 but anxiety got worse; went down to 16 beads

    May 2017: Anxiety improved; severe depression continues

  • September 2017: finally stabilized!!!!!! 09/07/2017-12/31/2017: hold

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Henosis

In my continuing quest to alleviate horrific anhedonia and apathy caused solely by Paxil re-Instatement, I tried 5mg Nortriptyline (which is 10x lower dose than normal)

Pros: Motivation/energy improved

Cons: Terrible anxiety and restlessness, and *increased* withdrawal symptoms (cognitive deficits, physical pain, mild depression)

 

Apparently, blocking even the "bad" serotonin receptors (5ht2) (which is what Nortryptaline and anti-psych meds do to alleviate SSRI-induced apathy/anhedonia) doesn't work for me or (possibly) anyone in a mixed reinstatement/withdrawal state.

 

Also reaffirmed I can't tolerate strongly noradrenergic drugs which are also used to help with anhedonia (Wellbutrin, Nortryptaline, Atomexetine, strong SNRIs)

 

All of this despite the fact that I can pound coffee and nicotine all day without anxiety.

 

.... Giving up on the panacea search for now after exhausting 99% of options based on recognized pharmacological principles.

 

 

 

 

 

Has ANYONE recovered from Anhedonia that was brought on by re-instatement, theoretically by tapering their SSRI/SNRI down to a dose where there dopamine system started functioning? (or augmenting with anthing)? Or did feelings, passions, and excitement only return after getting to ZERO or beyond (I know some people don't get anhedonia until after withdrawal which is an entirely different beast altogether). I never felt it strongly when I was on Paxil for ten years, but during withdrawal everything was pleasurable and emotional again. Re-instatement brought out a fierce this fierce anhedonic/apathetic/zombie state despite a much lower dose than I was taking for a decade. It seems I've tried almost everything (save for nortriptline as an adjunct to me paxil taper - yes, I know dangerous, but I'm desperate).

 

It's at the point that I actively consider quick tapering just to feel alive again, and deal with the WD effects and likely loss of employment because it is so maddening. Maybe move to a foreign country and volunteer for a year until my neurotransmitters recover.

I've had a similar experience: anhedonia while on meds; got worst when I was on a very high dose for 2 years. Before that I could semi-function. After that, I couldn't.

 

Off the meds anhedonia got better, but reinstatements brought it back. And it didn't necessarily go away as I tapered, even though I reached very low doses.

 

I've had windows though. Not necessarily after a cut. Sometimes after a cut; sometimes not. My most recent window was after updosing and stabilizing. I think what caused it was improved nutrition, and forcing myself to stay active and achieve small goals for months. But then anhedonia came back few months later, and with a vengeance. I had not changed dose at all.

 

This time around, small reinstatement improved it.

 

Sooo....it's all over the place.

 

My best guess is that it is a lasting side effect of long term med use. This means it won't necessarily go away off the med or at low doses. It will go away as the brain recovers. But it may get worse with any stresses to your system (such as withdrawal or updosing), simply because your brain is already stressed (and anhedonia is a manifestation of that). It can also get worse after reinstatements because it is a side effect too. And yes, it doesn't matter how low the dose is. Once your system is adapted to a dose, anything above that can cause the med side effects. Just like a tiny decrease can affect our sensitized systems, so can tiny increases.

 

My windows tell me this "stress effect" is reversible, but it will be slow to reverse, and progress won't be linear or predictable. And it does respond to external stimulation/learning, so when I'm not so bad, I push myself to do healthy things regardless of how I feel. And it helps windows last longer.

 

There is hope, but I won't lie: its a long difficult journey.


Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

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reachingforthestars

 

Apparently, blocking even the "bad" serotonin receptors (5ht2) (which is what Nortryptaline and anti-psych meds do to alleviate SSRI-induced apathy/anhedonia) doesn't work for me or (possibly) anyone in a mixed reinstatement/withdrawal state.

 

 

 

How did you came up with this idea that SSRI after reinstatement blocks 5ht2 receptors? It should block 5ht1a receptors normally.


Citalopram 40mg from 2003-2015

Jan 2015 started tapering first dropped to 35mgFeb 30mg, March 25mgApril 20mg, May 17,5mg, June 15mgJuly 12,5mg, Aug 12,5mg,

Sep 0mg for 5 days because of stomac flu and after I raised to 7,5mg. All the symptoms of acute WD shaking, diarrhea, vomiting, barely could walk ect. Still didn't realize that it wasn't only stomac flu but I was also going through WD.

Oct 2,5mg and crashed again badly and quickly raised to 4mg. It was then when I knew my symptoms were due to WD.

Then in November after a month holding on 4mg raised to 5mg due to muscle weakness and had a VERY BAD reaction to reinstatement: akathisia(lasted for one or two weeks), insomnia, anhedonia... Drop quicly back to 4mg, Dec 3mg

Jan 2016 2,6mg( in the middle of Jan after I had been on 2,6mg for a week I tried to updose to 2,8mg and immediately had bad reaction to it: akathisia for a day, andehonia got worse. The next day dropped back to 2,6mg), Feb 2,4mg( a new symptom PGAD lasted 24/7 for 2 months after that on and off), March 2,4mg, April 2,3mg, May 2,2mg, June 2,1mg, July 2,0mg( Pgad almost nonexisting, sleeping pretty good, still some anhedonia but there has been a lot of gradual progress), Aug 1,97mg-1,89mg, Sep 1,88mg-1,49mg, Oct 1,48mg- 1,70mg,

Nov 0,65mg- current dose 0,5mg

 

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Junglechicken

Since quitting my job 2 weeks ago, I definitely feel apathetic about life because:

* I am unable to hold down a job - the type I was doing pre-drugged. Not sure what I am going to do now as my career is ****. Wanted to do a PhD, but as I have been non-resident for a while I don't qualify for funding. This dream has to go on hold for 3 more yrs.
* I am unable to run marathons, and although I had started training for the 5k distance, that all stopped as I managed to injure my neck whilst seated at a funny angle??
* Obviously my health is up the creek now - there is always something strange up, oh and living with mental illness.
* Have found out that my entire life might as well have been phony due to my mother's NPD. In retrospect, everything my parents did was for show and to boast about non-existent success/wealth. All the while I was busting a gut working my butt off trying to build a career for myself, and living in **** as I couldn't afford anything else. My mother didn't even know what I did for a living.
* Am in my 40s and living like a student on a freakin camp bed, whilst half of my capital has been ear-marked to keep my parents hunk-dory for the "rest of their lifetimes". Phony freakin ****.

Seriously, I already know the answer to the question...."where did my life go so freakin wrong??".

Edited by ChessieCat
edited out obvious obscenities

Dose History: 19 Feb 2014 - Escitalopram 10mg daily June 2015 - Started taper, 5mg every other day July 2015 - 5mg every 2 days August 2015 - 5mg every 3 days September 2015 - 5mg every 4 days Sept 14th - Completed tapering, but at 7 weeks "drug free" I suffered serious WD symptoms as a consequence of "incorrect" tapering. Nov 25 2015 - Re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg daily. WD symptoms faded. Held at this dose and experienced "windows and waves". 12 Oct 2017 Reduced dose to 1.25mg. 13 Mar 2018 Reduced dose to 0.625mg (approx.). 16 April 2018 0mg. Windows and waves triggered by stress (IBS/reflux, headaches, sinus issues) Aug 2019 Mirena coil fitted 6 Jan 2020 MAJOR Wave hit 19 months following last dose (protracted WD).  Symptoms listed below Mar 2020 Mirena coil removal.

Therapy: Nov 15th 2016 Re-started therapy Jan 19th 2017 Started CBT Dec 2017 Started listening to Hypnotherapy CD (self-esteem). Nov 2019 Started couples therapy.

Supplements: "Bioglan" Biotic Balance Ultimate Flora 10 billion CFU, live Bacteria, Probiotic, suitable for Vegetarians, with Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Longum"Pukka" Vitalise a unique blend of 30 energising botanicals.

Diet: 16 April 2018 Detox cleanse / anti-candida for 90 days. Jan 2020 Started "small plate" diet (i.e child size portions).

Exercise: Stretching, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, Elliptical/upper body workout, walking.

Medical Test Results: 4 Jan 2017 Homeopathic Treatment starts 24 Feb 2017 Started weight loss program 24 Mar 2017 Naturopathic Treatment + anti-Candida diet started due to suspected Candida Related Complex (CRC). DETOXED for 7 weeks to "re-set" gut. April 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Comprehensive Stool Analysis NEGATIVE; Full Blood Count (Normal) / Blood Cholesterol: 5.6 (Borderline) / Blood Sugar (Normal) / 28 Jun 2017 FSH 8.2 / 14 Nov 2017 FSH 17.7 Dec 2017 Blood Cholesterol: 3.9 (Normal) / Kidney Function (Normal) / Blood Sugar (Normal). December 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Food panel allergy (bloodwork) analysis - a few "VERY LOW/VL" allergens; Mar 2018 "Genova Diagnostics" SIBO urine analysis: High Level of Yeast/fungal markers found in small intestine but NO SIBO.  April 2018 Thyroid (Normal) / Full Blood Count (Normal) / FSH (Normal). 16 April 2018 Started anti-Candida diet - 3 month protocol.   25 March 2020 All test results "Normal". CRP" 5 mg/L (normal range to 0-5 mg/L).

Symptoms:  Flu-like symptoms, anxiety, anhedonia, sinus headaches right-side (severe), IBS issues/reflux (severe)**, tinnitus, fatigue, inner tremor, nausea, chills/hot flushes, pounding heart, muscular issues including stiff left hip flexor, intense anger, PSSD (ongoing).  **Histhamine intolerance (suspected).

 

Major Life Events: 

Re-located to UK from Canada: Jan 2016

My father died: 5:05pm, Monday 5 Feb 2018 Last Lexapro dose: 16 April 2018 (its now been over a year since I quit ADs)

Moved house: Friday 23rd February 2018  "Divorced" toxic Mother: Monday 26 March 2018 Starting working again: 19 November 2018

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Henosis

SSRIs don't do the blocking of 5ht2, agents like most anti-psychotics Zyprexa et al do (for negative apathetic symptoms of schizophrena). agomelatine also does this but its weak an only available outside the USA. The only otter 5ht2c antagonist is an opiate (ultram) that shouldn't be used with SSRIs as it has serotonergic effects I believe, and then there are the trycycics like nortripiline. All of these drugs have clinical studies showing a reduction in anhedona/apathy in SSRI patients, but apparently once you go into a withdrawl state everything is fucked up

 

5ht2c is directly implicated as a serotonin receptor that inhibits dopamine activity int the VTA and Nuclues accumbs, leading to lack of enjoyment from pleasureable activities.

 

Pubmed articles about for this abound, but can send specific links if you can't find them....

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently, blocking even the "bad" serotonin receptors (5ht2) (which is what Nortryptaline and anti-psych meds do to alleviate SSRI-induced apathy/anhedonia) doesn't work for me or (possibly) anyone in a mixed reinstatement/withdrawal state.
 

 

 

How did you came up with this idea that SSRI after reinstatement blocks 5ht2 receptors? It should block 5ht1a receptors normally.

 


Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

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Henosis

It will be that make sweeter when you recover and half a hell of a story to tell (thats my thought anyways).

 

I was on a Phd track for neuroscience in undergrad until OCD and stress stopped by academic career. Picked up software development after dropping out of a prestigious neurosci college, going on Paxil for OCD, and pickup software engineering. All was well until the paxil quck-taper and now it been two years of hell. Potentially planning to return to neuosci to do what I can to help this !#!!$!$# mess of a situation with psychiatry, Would be a psychiatrist but feel too old for med school at 32. Also, as far as neurosci I'm not enthused about ******* with rats brains and then euthanizing them from a moral perspective. may just sell my **** and do something less demanding than software engineering despite the good paycheck. Will feel like saving the world from SSRIs when the the motivation returns.

 

 

Since quitting my job 2 weeks ago, I definitely feel apathetic about life because:

* I am unable to hold down a job - the type I was doing pre-drugged. Not sure what I am going to do now as my career is ****. Wanted to do a PhD, but as I have been non-resident for a while I don't qualify for funding. This dream has to go on hold for 3 more yrs.
* I am unable to run marathons, and although I had started training for the 5k distance, that all stopped as I managed to injure my neck whilst seated at a funny angle??
* Obviously my health is up the creek now - there is always something strange up, oh and living with mental illness.
* Have found out that my entire life might as well have been phony due to my mother's NPD. In retrospect, everything my parents did was for show and to boast about non-existent success/wealth. All the while I was busting a gut working my butt off trying to build a career for myself, and living in **** as I couldn't afford anything else. My mother didn't even know what I did for a living.
* Am in my 40s and living like a student on a freakin camp bed, whilst half of my capital has been ear-marked to keep my parents hunk-dory for the "rest of their lifetimes". Phony freakin ****.

Seriously, I already know the answer to the question...."where did my life go so freakin wrong??".

Edited by ChessieCat
editied Junglechicken's quote

Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

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RachelE

Seems like a lot of us have anhedonia or something similar. Too bad we haven't reached the point of not caring about our apathy. :) (Just a joke! Actually that's a good thing.) In fact the very fact that we are troubled by anhedonia proves that we must still have some emotions after all. I know I do.

 

Unfortunately I seem to swing between numbness and states of depression and overwhelming anger.  I have to hide it from the people around me because I don't feel I can tell them about my decision to withdraw by tapering.

 

Sometimes I actually welcome numbness. I go from valley to gloomy plain to valley. No foothills or even mole hills any more it seems. :(


I have been on so many medications since I was 20 and diagnosed as "mentally ill" that I have lost count.

Right now, however I have been taking:

Lamictal 25 mg: I went on it in March for only 13 days, then cold turkeyed off when I thought I was developing a rash because of it. Pretended to go back on it, but didn't. Not the best idea, but I had no way to reduce the dose. Anyhow I had no adverse withdrawal reactions, probably because I was on it for less than 2 weeks.

Abilify 20 mg:  I have been on this for several years. Actually at least half the time I have spent as a meds "consumer" I have been on this nasty pill. I finished tapering off it at the beginning of 2016. Was reinstated during the 4 days I spent in a psych ward in March. Tapered off it again in 10 weeks, from say March 15-June 30. Needless to say this is not exact, but I remember I was off it before July 4 (patriotic holiday in America!) I am doing fine, although I know I may have to wait till Christmas or later to know I am out of the danger zone for withdrawal psychosis. The main thing I notice about being off is that I no longer crave sweets all the time and am losing weight without trying. Good thing since I used to weigh 350 lbs.!

Effexor 150 mg: This is the real trouble-maker. Since I have no other way of tapering I do the best I can by bead counting. I unscrew the gel capsule and count out the tiny micro-capsules or beads inside. This works fairly well with the generic time release version. Only 120 beads to count of almost identical size. Lately I have been "holding" at 20 bead removal due to some major stress in my life. Moving hundreds of miles from my old home and a bout of strep throat that wouldn't respond to antibiotics.  I guess that means I'm on 120 mg of Effexor right now. On October 16 I am going to recommence my taper since I am safely moved and no longer have strep! 

I admit now that I did something stupid. I had trouble opening the extra strength gel capsules containing the beads so I reinstated at the original dose for a week. I know it's not good to play ping pong with my brain, but I could never open the capsules without spilling those microscopic balls all over so I was never sure what dosage I was taking! Thank the LORD that I finally have the old kind again and can safely count out the amount. I am now back on 135 mg and feel somewhat better.

October 30, 2016. I am down to 120 mg effexor. November 27, 2016. Down to 105 mg effexor. December 25, 2016. 90 mg effexor. January 15, 2017. 75 mg effexor. January 21. 82.5 mg effexor. January 23, 90 mg again. Feb. 14, 81.25 mg. Mar. 15, 72.5 mg. Mar. 27, 65 mg.  Apr. 9, 58.75 mg. Apr. 24, 52.5 mg.

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Henosis

I agree with everything you mentioned.

Funny anecdote: I am usually researching everything to death, but I actually DID get to the point once where I was so apathetic about being apathetic (and anhedonic) that I didn't care anymore. It was an exceedingly strange mental place to find yourself in.


Medication before problems: Took Paxil 60-100mg from 2003 to 2014 for OCD.
1) Last pill taken November 2014, horrendous withdrawal started six weeks later.

2) Re-instated successfully @ 20mg May 2015, but accompanied by severe anhedonia, loss of emotion, apathy, and fatigue

3) Switched to Prozac, Viibyrd, Zoloft, Nefazadone, Cymbalta, Nardil in attempt at abating WD symptoms while not re-introducing anhedonia. Each one either failed to relieve WD or brought back anhedonia. So re-stabilized on Paxil at 15mg

4) Tapered down to 7.5mg as of October 2016. More energy, anhedonia/loss of emotions remains apart from short windows.

5) May 2017 - down to 3.5mg of Paxil (no other meds)
6) Early 2018 - added 8mg of Prozac
7) January 2019 - down to 1.05 Paxil / 5mg Prozac and continuing

8) October 2019 - down to 0.2mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac

9) November 2019 - down to 0.1mg Paxil / 3mg Prozac 

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nicolantana

Hey folks,

 

Just got pointed towards this thread

 

Anhedonia! what a beast, never heard of her until I met her.

 

So throwing my story out there as this website is the only place where one can find validation on this topic.

 

I had a mild depression last July....to put thing in perspective I was training for a marathon in may, on an enjoyable hoilday in Amsterdam, working daily, dating girls, etc....

 

A couple of situational factors happened to knock me a bit.......I was put on lex 10 initially. This did not go welll. Then I was put on seroquel 25. Combination led to hospitalization.......In hospital was fed with meds.....seroquel 125, zyprexa 20, lex 20, mirt 30.....I was on this mix for over four months. The moment seroquel entered my body, I felt nothing. no emotion, no memories, no imagination, no creativity. I was like a zombie with literally no window until I realised that the meds had done this to me....

 

The doc reduced the meds at the end of november.......instantly, I felt slightly more human

I was off all drugs by christmas which I know is an outrageous taper

 

However, I was not psychotic or anywhere near it.

 

I am better without the meds, and I have no real withdrawal symptoms.

 

However, I'm still largely anhedonic.

 

since dropping meds completely I've had maybe 5 windows in 8 weeks. Windows lasting 36 hours max.....where I feel a bit alive, emotional, creative,stimulated etc......so that's maybe two or three weeks in zombie mood......a day of life....back to zombie,etc......

 

it's pretty scary and challenging......it's impossible to connect with people, impossible to work, impossible to enjoy life (95% of time)

 

Feedback welcome......I'm scared that the mix I was on really damaged me and that I may never return to pre med self.....


late July...lexapro 10 seroquel 25.....due to mild depression......adverse reaction, suicidal thoughts, hospitalization

August....felt that meds were ripping stomach apart....docs didn't believe me..upped meds to seroquel 125, lexapro 20, mirtazapine 30, olanzapine 20....stayed on these drugs unitl mid november......severe anhedonia all the time...mid novemeber 2016 , began taper.....very small windows of emotion...Christmas....off everything by Christmas day......last six weeks, cried and laughed on a number of occasions for first time since taking initial meds....8 occasions of strong emotion over 6 weeks in ealry 2016.......doubting recovery......

BIG WINDOW IN july 2017, felt incredible, lasted a month or so, felt close to recovered...window left, september to Chrimstas 17 was anhedonic hell.....Turn of the year, January 2018, some very strong days (a window) offering renewed hope

back to hell until late February 2018, strong 10 day window....followed by anhedonic wave for 7 months straight! not a flicker of normalcy

September 2018 ...incredible window...followed by three month wave.January 2019.... a strong window

window subsided, but new baseline was higher.....life since January 2019 ( 9 months and counting) has been far better. Complete anhedonia is gone!! God, I've tears writing that. I am far from recovered, but far from hell...to use a scale, if life is rated out of a hundred, I was about minus 50 for the majority of 2 years..I know feel about 30 per cent of self, experiences intermittent flickers of normal life regularly....My days have more quality and I am optimistic of recovery. 

 

 

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raven530

Man this thread was crazy depressing. Anhedonic for a year, really don't think I can keep moving forward, it's just a living hell.


PSSD, Anhedonia, Loss of Imagination and creativity, physical pressure in head all from taking 50mg Sertraline for a month back in February 2015. Not seen much improvement (if any). Time of writing this signature - 01/02/2016 (UK date format)

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nicolantana

hey hey...anybody else notice or experience an INABILITY TO YAWN when in this anhedonic/zombie state....like I never yawn!!!


late July...lexapro 10 seroquel 25.....due to mild depression......adverse reaction, suicidal thoughts, hospitalization

August....felt that meds were ripping stomach apart....docs didn't believe me..upped meds to seroquel 125, lexapro 20, mirtazapine 30, olanzapine 20....stayed on these drugs unitl mid november......severe anhedonia all the time...mid novemeber 2016 , began taper.....very small windows of emotion...Christmas....off everything by Christmas day......last six weeks, cried and laughed on a number of occasions for first time since taking initial meds....8 occasions of strong emotion over 6 weeks in ealry 2016.......doubting recovery......

BIG WINDOW IN july 2017, felt incredible, lasted a month or so, felt close to recovered...window left, september to Chrimstas 17 was anhedonic hell.....Turn of the year, January 2018, some very strong days (a window) offering renewed hope

back to hell until late February 2018, strong 10 day window....followed by anhedonic wave for 7 months straight! not a flicker of normalcy

September 2018 ...incredible window...followed by three month wave.January 2019.... a strong window

window subsided, but new baseline was higher.....life since January 2019 ( 9 months and counting) has been far better. Complete anhedonia is gone!! God, I've tears writing that. I am far from recovered, but far from hell...to use a scale, if life is rated out of a hundred, I was about minus 50 for the majority of 2 years..I know feel about 30 per cent of self, experiences intermittent flickers of normal life regularly....My days have more quality and I am optimistic of recovery. 

 

 

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brassmonkey

Went trough that for several months.  Sometimes I could trip one off by forcing my mouth wide open.  It cleared up after a while then rebounded the other way for a while, couldn't stop yawning.


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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raven530

I can still yawn. Weird how it manifests itself in different ways in different people


PSSD, Anhedonia, Loss of Imagination and creativity, physical pressure in head all from taking 50mg Sertraline for a month back in February 2015. Not seen much improvement (if any). Time of writing this signature - 01/02/2016 (UK date format)

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Julz82

Hey!! 

 

About yawning... now that you mention it... I don't think I ever yawn in spite of being so "tired" (understand drugged)...

 

I know it is so incredibly difficult it is to stay somewhat positive when in such a debilitating state - I find Dalsaan's post spot on:

 

I had anhedonia/emotional anaesthesia on drugs and in withdrawal.   I think we have to keep gently testing where we are at with these symptoms and given them opportunities to diminish.   I say this because I think we can get into a habit of low expectations and thus are not looking for change.  When changes occur slowly they can be easy to miss.   If we miss changes in our emotional capacities then we extend the effect of the drug/withdrawal.   

 

I remember one day something happened that made me feel happy and I was surprised by that but then when I looked back there were other clues that change was afoot.   Withdrawal is painful, tedious and drawn out.  It has very real negative effects that necessitate very real ways of being, knowing and doing that can themselves be habit forming.  Recovery means recovering from negative effects and then developing habits that reflect and support our expanding capacities.     We need to look for, identify and enact our abilities as much as we do our disabilities.

 

D

 

...the balance between "routine" and trying something different every now and again is not easy to get as routine can shield us from suffering - to a certain extent, and probably moreso when you're tranquilised by drugs. We have to learn to cope in this chaotic environment which is that of withdrawal and recovery... trust that recovery is happening!! 


2004: Anorexia & Depression -> polydrugged as a result  :wacko:

- Venlafaxine(MR): 75mg

- Escitalopram: 60mg ...
- Diazepam: 10mg bedtime prescribed, no c/o
- Clonazepam: 4mg
2010: New Life in the UK - psychologically much better
GP wants to lower Escitalopram (side effects on heart) -> 2011 to 2014: come down from 60 to 15mg in 5mg steps (I had no idea) - January 2014: after dropping from 20mg to 15mg Esc. plagued with debilitating exhaustion... December 2014: I decide to taper off Benzos... and everything else.
29 May 2017: Drug Free after 13 years!! 
Varied balanced diet, no processed/refined foods. Plenty water. Yoga & Mindfulness.

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Bobo32

Has anyone experienced cognitive issues of any kind following AD treatment that did not subside even following years off medication.

Thanks in advance for sharing


2004-2007 paxil

2015- zoloft 3 months zyprexa 3 months lexapro 3 months xanax

Med free since Feb 28th 2017

Mostly experiencing PSSD

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Bobo32

In my days pre drugs I used to be passionate about life excited about things and loved to do stuff. Post drugs and many years of withdrawal I'm not passionate about anything. I struggle with things that used to be normal for me especially socializing or interacting with others I need to think everything over nothing comes spontaneously. Anyone experience that even many years post withdrawal?


2004-2007 paxil

2015- zoloft 3 months zyprexa 3 months lexapro 3 months xanax

Med free since Feb 28th 2017

Mostly experiencing PSSD

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Bobo32

I feel every symptom of anhedonia too. Totally relate.

Has anyone recovered from this?

Please help!!!


2004-2007 paxil

2015- zoloft 3 months zyprexa 3 months lexapro 3 months xanax

Med free since Feb 28th 2017

Mostly experiencing PSSD

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oskcajga

I've had anhedonia now for roughly 4 years, and well over 3 of those years consisted of me not taking any antidepressants whatsoever.  I have had some small improvements but I have not felt too many emotions whatsoever.  I am also very stressed out because I don't have much money or security and I KNOW this adds to the problem.  The entire period of antidepressant withdrawal has been marked by financial stress in one way or another - either that or work related stress - but stress in general has been high since this started, and there's no way to alleviate it because you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

 

I really do envy those wealthy individuals who can just chill out and hire meditation experts and go to retreats and **** like that - that definitely will give you a MUCH better chance at recovery.

 

Every day working class people probably have a 50% lower chance of recovery compared to someone who's retired or someone who has a shitload of money and no mortgage to worry about.

 

I have actually had a couple of short lived windows, but they usually ended when something sh*tty related to my situation came back and hit me.

 

My next move here is to say "**** it" and just give up all my stress and just go out on my own and wish for the best, or meet my demise.  True freedom may be my only shot at this point, as it's been 4 years and I'm still trapped and it's not a good way to live.  I've been patiently waiting and holding onto the chance of success and recovery, but I don't think it's going to come so long as I am not out on my own and living my own life, regardless of how stressful and improbable my survival in such a situation.  Sometimes it's better to thrive for a short period of time than it is to survive for many decades.

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music321

I'm concerned (to the extent that I'm able to be concerned about anything).  After having been on SSRI meds for 20+ years, I am currently on 11.6mg of prozac, and can feel very little.  The heights of joy, aesthetic appreciation, sorrow, etc. are not accessible to me.  I cry about three times a year.  Music means nothing.  Sex means nothing.  Occasionally, I'll get faint glimpses of these emotions.  I can really only exist in two states:  "emptiness" or "not emptiness".  

 

I wonder if I'll ever feel again.  After being anesthetized for so long, I'm worried that this is a permanent state.  Does anyone have any words of wisdom?


various SSRI for years

 

20 mg Lyrica 2010

30 mg to 0 mg Prozac 2012

Reinstate 20 mg Prozac 2012

Drop to 19 mg Prozac 2013

Reinstate 20 mg Prozac 1 month later (2013)

Gradual decrease of Prozac dosage starting in late summer of 2015, currently at 11.2 mg/day

 

use of vitamin D3, fish oil, and magnesium at various times

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PapayaShake

Reading similar exeriences from all of you gives me some kind of hope, that all thos will pass.

 

In my experience, I started tappering becuse I was getting emotionally numb. Now that I am reaching smaller doses the anhedonia I'm experiencing if far whorse that the numbness I was trying to run away from, but going back is not even somenthing I want to consider.

 

Right now is like my life is just a big lie, or a carfully acted set up in the best case. I fake I'm myself so I wont loose my girlfriend, and whats left of my relationships. I fake I care, I fake laughing, I fake loving or kissing. actually I just want to be alone, I don't want to be around anyone or do any or the thigns I used to enjoy. But I keep on faking because I hope I will wake wake up one day and enjoy the things I suspect I love and like. My favorite song turned into just another song, same goes with my favorite food or TV show. And I dont want to do this in a I-don't-want-to-do-anything depressive way, but rahter I-couldn't-care-any-less-about-anything way.

 

I'm just like a dead body that is still breathing.

 

In ocassions I experience little windows, but they are so quick and weak that I cant tell If they were real or not.

 

 

as I said thanks for sharing your experiences, I don't know if i could make it if i didn't know that this is happening to others and that there is healing on ther other side.


  • Started Taking Cymbalta on Dec 31 2015. Went from 30 mg, up to 120 mg until Oct 2016
  • Oct 2016:  fast tapered per doctor's instructions,  in just 2 weeks went from 120 to 90 to 60 mg 
  • CT from 60 mg to 0 and then reinstated after 3 days, then found the 10% method.
  • Tapering since October 2016, lowering by 10% of dose reductions (of original dose which was too fast)
  • May 2017: 7.2 mg/day
  • Nov 2017: 2.7 mg/day  tapered to fast, took a rest
  • Jan 2018: started reducing 2 pellets per month (took more than a month if needed)
  • August 2018: 1.8 mg/day  (10 pellets left)
  • September 2018: 9 pellets left
  • January 2019: 5 pellets left(reducing 1 pellet per month)
  • June 25 2919: last bead taken
  • Forever Free!!!

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PapayaShake

I'm concerned (to the extent that I'm able to be concerned about anything).  After having been on SSRI meds for 20+ years, I am currently on 11.6mg of prozac, and can feel very little.  The heights of joy, aesthetic appreciation, sorrow, etc. are not accessible to me.  I cry about three times a year.  Music means nothing.  Sex means nothing.  Occasionally, I'll get faint glimpses of these emotions.  I can really only exist in two states:  "emptiness" or "not emptiness".  

 

I wonder if I'll ever feel again.  After being anesthetized for so long, I'm worried that this is a permanent state.  Does anyone have any words of wisdom?

 

I can totally relate to this, I used to turn up the volume in the car and sing shamelessly loud, Feeling as if i was giving a concert. I used to enjoy drawing, and would get lost in wordls of imagination to run away from reality and it fueled me to keep on living. Now Im like dead inside.

 

Sex means nothing, and most of the time I'm in the emptiness state.

 

I really dont have any words of windsdom since I'm in this state myself and still can't say Im out of it, but reading tat other people went throug it gives me hope that I will get better to. Thos glimpses of myself remeind me that I'm sill somewhere to be found


  • Started Taking Cymbalta on Dec 31 2015. Went from 30 mg, up to 120 mg until Oct 2016
  • Oct 2016:  fast tapered per doctor's instructions,  in just 2 weeks went from 120 to 90 to 60 mg 
  • CT from 60 mg to 0 and then reinstated after 3 days, then found the 10% method.
  • Tapering since October 2016, lowering by 10% of dose reductions (of original dose which was too fast)
  • May 2017: 7.2 mg/day
  • Nov 2017: 2.7 mg/day  tapered to fast, took a rest
  • Jan 2018: started reducing 2 pellets per month (took more than a month if needed)
  • August 2018: 1.8 mg/day  (10 pellets left)
  • September 2018: 9 pellets left
  • January 2019: 5 pellets left(reducing 1 pellet per month)
  • June 25 2919: last bead taken
  • Forever Free!!!

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nicolantana

Hi Papayashake,

 

Getting some solace from your post. I'm going thorugh the exact same stuff as are many others.

I need daily reminders that I'm not going mad, that this is a chemically induced state which will pass eventually


late July...lexapro 10 seroquel 25.....due to mild depression......adverse reaction, suicidal thoughts, hospitalization

August....felt that meds were ripping stomach apart....docs didn't believe me..upped meds to seroquel 125, lexapro 20, mirtazapine 30, olanzapine 20....stayed on these drugs unitl mid november......severe anhedonia all the time...mid novemeber 2016 , began taper.....very small windows of emotion...Christmas....off everything by Christmas day......last six weeks, cried and laughed on a number of occasions for first time since taking initial meds....8 occasions of strong emotion over 6 weeks in ealry 2016.......doubting recovery......

BIG WINDOW IN july 2017, felt incredible, lasted a month or so, felt close to recovered...window left, september to Chrimstas 17 was anhedonic hell.....Turn of the year, January 2018, some very strong days (a window) offering renewed hope

back to hell until late February 2018, strong 10 day window....followed by anhedonic wave for 7 months straight! not a flicker of normalcy

September 2018 ...incredible window...followed by three month wave.January 2019.... a strong window

window subsided, but new baseline was higher.....life since January 2019 ( 9 months and counting) has been far better. Complete anhedonia is gone!! God, I've tears writing that. I am far from recovered, but far from hell...to use a scale, if life is rated out of a hundred, I was about minus 50 for the majority of 2 years..I know feel about 30 per cent of self, experiences intermittent flickers of normal life regularly....My days have more quality and I am optimistic of recovery. 

 

 

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PapayaShake

Hi Papayashake,

 

Getting some solace from your post. I'm going thorugh the exact same stuff as are many others.

I need daily reminders that I'm not going mad, that this is a chemically induced state which will pass eventually

Hi Nicolantana,

 

Im glad it was helpful.

No, you're not going mad.At our worst times we even forget we were once able to be any different than what we are now. while on windows we ask ourselves how were we so bad. But there's healing, an we will recover eventually.


  • Started Taking Cymbalta on Dec 31 2015. Went from 30 mg, up to 120 mg until Oct 2016
  • Oct 2016:  fast tapered per doctor's instructions,  in just 2 weeks went from 120 to 90 to 60 mg 
  • CT from 60 mg to 0 and then reinstated after 3 days, then found the 10% method.
  • Tapering since October 2016, lowering by 10% of dose reductions (of original dose which was too fast)
  • May 2017: 7.2 mg/day
  • Nov 2017: 2.7 mg/day  tapered to fast, took a rest
  • Jan 2018: started reducing 2 pellets per month (took more than a month if needed)
  • August 2018: 1.8 mg/day  (10 pellets left)
  • September 2018: 9 pellets left
  • January 2019: 5 pellets left(reducing 1 pellet per month)
  • June 25 2919: last bead taken
  • Forever Free!!!

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raven530

My waves are months long at a time. Windows getting clearer all the time but damn... Why do the waves have to last so long. Every time it's enough to sow seeds of doubt over whether I'll see another window again


PSSD, Anhedonia, Loss of Imagination and creativity, physical pressure in head all from taking 50mg Sertraline for a month back in February 2015. Not seen much improvement (if any). Time of writing this signature - 01/02/2016 (UK date format)

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nicolantana

I'm six weeks deep now man. longest yet. next window will be a miracle


late July...lexapro 10 seroquel 25.....due to mild depression......adverse reaction, suicidal thoughts, hospitalization

August....felt that meds were ripping stomach apart....docs didn't believe me..upped meds to seroquel 125, lexapro 20, mirtazapine 30, olanzapine 20....stayed on these drugs unitl mid november......severe anhedonia all the time...mid novemeber 2016 , began taper.....very small windows of emotion...Christmas....off everything by Christmas day......last six weeks, cried and laughed on a number of occasions for first time since taking initial meds....8 occasions of strong emotion over 6 weeks in ealry 2016.......doubting recovery......

BIG WINDOW IN july 2017, felt incredible, lasted a month or so, felt close to recovered...window left, september to Chrimstas 17 was anhedonic hell.....Turn of the year, January 2018, some very strong days (a window) offering renewed hope

back to hell until late February 2018, strong 10 day window....followed by anhedonic wave for 7 months straight! not a flicker of normalcy

September 2018 ...incredible window...followed by three month wave.January 2019.... a strong window

window subsided, but new baseline was higher.....life since January 2019 ( 9 months and counting) has been far better. Complete anhedonia is gone!! God, I've tears writing that. I am far from recovered, but far from hell...to use a scale, if life is rated out of a hundred, I was about minus 50 for the majority of 2 years..I know feel about 30 per cent of self, experiences intermittent flickers of normal life regularly....My days have more quality and I am optimistic of recovery. 

 

 

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