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How to cure Anhedonia/Emotional Numbness guide

anhedonia no emotions treatments cure emotional numbness how to cure anhedonia emotionally numb

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#1 Deaden

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 03:21 PM


Here I am going to discuss the issue of anhedonia, or more specifically emotional numbness. This post will be relevant to individuals who got blunted either from chronic stress, the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, SSRIs or toxic drugs like accutane. If you have regular depression, coming with a reduced ability to feel pleasure, you do not have anhedonia. If you are numb simply due to a hormone or vitamin problem, fix it. For people that abused stimulants like amphetamines and meth, BPC-157 should restore you. 
Now... I will mention some different approaches to relying on anti-depressants that are not a long term solution, although still better than having to stay numb for years and years with only short periods of relief from dopamine boosting stimulants that ultimately lead to further desensitization if taken regularly. If after reading all this you still wish to put your hope on anti-depressants, I highly suggest you read Jahio's posts or contact him. He is the guru of anti-anhedonia meds.
 

I haven't found much information on how to cure emotional numbness, although I know from a fact it's possible. No there isn't any magic potion for that, but I believe I found some good answers recently which I'm going to put in use. 

 

I do not think there is much importance to what triggered the emotional bluntness, in the end we seem to benefit from similar substances, whether it's stimulants or anti depressants. There is this person who got anhedonic from accutane and is getting great improvement from NAC + Sarcosine, a few other non schizophrenics have as well. My theory is that our reward center is affected the same way in all of us. 

From this link below, we learn the core of what's happening in our brains that prevents us anhedonics from feeling pleasure or emotions: (anhedonia isn't a disorder in itself anymore and is included in the criterion of MDD which I personally think is stupid considering relentless depressed mood and apathy are different in many major ways...)

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm...es/PMC5070048/ 

 

Consistent with the goals of the research domain criteria initiative, our study provides new insights into the neurobiological basis of anhedonia and highlights its unique relationship with emotion- and reward-processing systems. More specifically, we show that anhedonia in MDD is associated with disrupted communication between the pVMPFC and reward- and emotion-related regions during the processing of positively valenced stimuli. Our results also indicate that in adults with MDD, anhedonia reflects a lack of engagement between the pVMPFC and reward-related functional circuits when contextually appropriate, rather than a constant deficit in connectivity. Thus, probing resting-state connectivity of the pVMPFC may be inadequate for assessing anhedonia-specific effects. Our findings also support the notion that specific psychiatric symptoms in MDD can be linked to distinct neurophysiological pathways. Finally, our results show that connectivity patterns related to anhedonia and general distress vary between VMPFC subregions, demonstrating the importance of anatomical specificity. In summary, the identification of specific anhedonia-related circuits can facilitate a better understanding of psychopathology and heterogeneity in MDD, as well as more effective tracking of one of the core MDD symptoms.

 So abnormal connectivity between specific regions of our brain accounts for the emotional numbness, as opposed to inactivity.

 

Worth noting:

In MDD, pleasant music evoked significantly greater pVMPFC connectivity with left pallidum extending into caudate and thalamus, right frontal pole and supramarginal gyrus (Table 1). In contrast, healthy controls showed significant pVMPFC connectivity with bilateral superior temporal gyrus and right lateral occipital cortex. Comparisons between groups revealed that controls did not show greater connectivity in comparison with MDD patients, but MDD patients showed greater pVMPFC connectivity with right frontal pole in comparison with healthy controls. Thus, MDD patients showed greater pVMPFC connectivity with frontal lobe regions implicated in planning and higher-order cognition

 

I do recall staying in my head too much before my anhedonia started. I used my emotional self less and less. This combined with chronic stress was what made lose my capacity to feel progressively until I reached the baseline of 95% anhedonia. 

So how could we use the information from this study to restore our ability to feel? Well it might be indeed a matter of staying out of our heads the most possible. Living life paying the least attention possible to anhedonia, limiting thoughts like: "oh man life sucks right now, it would be so much better if I could feel". Of course it's true, but it's also counter productive. Yeah... if I'm right, the way of getting out naturally really wouldn't be something intuitive, it would be a plan you need to follow. It's normal to be negative with anhedonia, normal to not care about going out and stay home. Well be positive, go out, stay active and act like anhedonia isn't even there. Live like you're emotional even though you feel close to nothing, you are strengthening the brain connections you need. Stress not even is toxic on a neurochemical level, but it will also make you stay in your mind analyzing everything, often it will induce negativity so it should be avoided. I find socializing to be a great way to stay out of your mind. Really good if you get a girlfriend, if you already have one and is regularly socializing, then other step is to keep active and avoid staying in your thoughts. Well, if you are thinking too much and are feeling numb it's best you find an occupation. If your thoughts are negative, you want to avoid that the best you can, if they are positive (comfortably numb), embrace them. Mood can fluctuate for no reason with anhedonia so it won't always be up to you. If mood is at your lowest, I found cold showers to be a savior. Give yourself a small goal that you can find motivation out of. Too much of big one will most likely not be productive as it would just stress you, doesn't matter if you were a highly ambitious and motivated person before the anhedonia came. Apart from that, you should reduce intake best you can of food high in sugar and stimulants (for coffee I'm still not sure), and cut sex/porn all together. They are not worth the increase in numbness and irritability you'll get after the boost. We get tolerance to substances much faster than the norm, it's not a sustainable option. If you can get yourself to meditate daily and exercice regularly, that's great. So yeah, that would be the natural route to cure anhedonia. It needs to be given time and dedication, but you will find yourself much more patient to recover if you follow the rule of living in the present and acting like anhedonia isn’t there. It's possible to heal naturally, a few have including "Itstrevor". Yes, him who for years was so medically oriented in his search for a way out, but then decided he was going to cut on any kind of medication (which wasn’t working for him anyway, although I wasn’t too keen of his choices, except Parnate, but he had an adverse reaction to it).  One of my favorite quote from him: “Instead of thinking of the anhedonia as inherently bad, think of it as the brain resting and like being in a "bubble bath" or "cotton sheet" without any cares. If you have experiences extreme anxiety you will appreciate this. Obviously, it would be difficult to appreciate if it was permanent, but it really is not in all of the reading I've done.” Oh and just going to add…it’s been shown that some anhedonics from the negative symptoms of schizophrenia can hit remission from CBT. Which kind of surprised me at first that this genetic condition could also heal naturally, but actually it confirms my theory.

 
Right now I’m one week into N-acetylcysteine + Sarcosine with daily dosing of 2g each. These two are synergistic and act on NMDA receptors, most likely the ones responsible for blunting me as they enhance toxic glutamate release with prolonged stress… but just saying. My stress is relatively low right now, and does it mean I’m not anhedonic anymore? Nope. Still, low stress is one ingredient to the cake. But the reason I’m on these two amino acids is that they may aid in neuroplasticity (making easier to remodel brain networks—> more facility to correct our disrupted brain circuits communication), supports NMDA receptor function and… well random reports that it helped some with anhedonia.

 

Here I need some help. So I just yesterday started supplementing on Ubiquinol CoQ10:

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm...pubmed/23928691

 

Several recent studies suggest a close link between mitochondrial dysfunction and depression. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a mobile electron carrier in the mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) with antioxidant and potential neuroprotective activities. This study investigated the effect of chronic administration of CoQ10 (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg/day, intraperitoneally, for 4 weeks) on anhedonia and on the activities of MRC complexes and creatine kinase in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of Wistar rats subjected to chronic restraint stress (CRS, 6 h × 28 days). Exposure to CRS-induced anhedonic-like behavior (decreased sucrose preference), reduced body weight gain and food intake, increased adrenal gland weight, and altered the activity of the MRC complexes in the brain areas tested. CoQ10 dose-dependently antagonized CRS-induced depressive behavior by increasing sucrose preference (reversal of anhedonia), body weight, and food intake and reducing adrenal gland weight. CoQ10 also enhanced the activities of MRC complexes (I-IV) and creatine kinase in the frontal cortex and hippocampus. Thus, the reversal of CRS-induced anhedonia may be partially mediated by amelioration of brain mitochondrial function. The findings also support the hypothesis that brain energy impairment is involved in the pathophysiology of depression and enhancing mitochondrial function could provide an opportunity for development of a potentially more efficient drug therapy for depression.

 

https://www.wellness...th-coenzyme-q10

"Anhedonia, or the inability to experience pleasure in life, is a concern seen with mental and physical exhaustion. When this occurs, things look bleak and uninteresting and the zest for life leaves. It may cause a loss of enjoyment with social interaction, hobbies, exercise, music or even eating favorite foods. Anhedonia is often seen with depression, but is actually a symptom of stressed mitochondrial function within the brain. To understand how to resolve anhedonia, researchers gave stressed, depressed rodents four weeks of high dose coenzyme Q10. Symptoms markedly improved. The rodents went back to eating and doing their favorite activities. Due to the study, the authors recommended coenzyme Q10 as a more efficient drug therapy for depression. Consider using 300 – 600 mg per day for a month or two to see if this gets you back into the game."

 

I believe it should be perfectly safe to supplement CoQ10 with Sarcosine and NAC, but if anyone thinks otherwise, please do not hesitate to notify me about it.

Also CoQ10 is an anti-oxidant... I kind of have been unable to exercise this last year, I have been forced to give up on the gym and stopped completely a couple months ago. I'm watching my diet and still do light cardio here and there, but can barely push myself anymore or I get dizzy and overly short of breath. The EKG didn't show anything... Maybe it's due to biological lack of oxygen? If I have that it might not be so good to supplement on something with anti oxidant properties...  I don't know honestly when I type over shortness of breath and dizziness while exercising there's so many stuff that pop up. I got referred to a cardiologist after the EKG and all he did was check my pulse and after I mentioned my symptoms and that the cardiogram results came up normal was tell me that there's the possibility. Then he revealed the price of checking that, 700dollars. Hmmm...I'm still young and live in the US so my insurance is s***, and pretty sure my parents are fed up with all the doctor visits they payed for over the year period since I had lost my emotions. Don't think it's worth annoying them again for more testing that might just come up negative. Well, to be honest in the beginning I did a lot of random testing, along with clueless psychiatrists and neuro psych assessment I wasn't dealing with anhedonia the way it should be dealt with and was kind of hypochondriac. Hmmm I do get strong confusion when I'm drunk, high on weed or psychedelics, I have to avoid those psychoactive substances. Maybe this is related to my shortness of breath or anhedonia somehow? Don't expect an answer for all this, but can't hurt to try... Anyhow, CoQ10 definitely seems promising and I'd recommend people who are also emotionally numb to take a look into it.

 

Now for my final point. Again, something that seems very promising in restoring emotions: Vagus Nerve Stimulation ---> directly zapping our brain's reward center

Until just yesterday I only knew about the invasive neurosurgery of VNS, the price being in the same range of Deep Brain Stimulation (50k) except your insurance most likely won't cover it, and the results aren't instant. One thing for sure is it's effective.

 

https://www.quora.co...n-in-depression

"2) If you have 23-70 thousand US$, time (say 6-15 months) to let it work and can endure a surgery, the Vagus Nerve Stimulator, is unquestionably the best available treatment. It is scandalous the treatment is not covered for severe depressives by most insurances, but its data is hard to prove because the effect develops slowly. I personally, testify it has mostly restored me from near-complete anhedonia, a rare and absolutely horrible condition, according to a doctor from Harvard/McKlean who consulted with me on the subject in 2007."

 

Well, turns out there is some much much cheaper and safer alternatives to this:

 

https://www.engadget...rvana-hands-on/

 

https://www.elsevier...reat-depression

-"In this new study, Drs. Peijing Rong and Jiliang Fang at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, collaborating with Jian Kong’s research team at Harvard Medical School, investigated a new, modified form of VNS called transcutaneous VNS, which instead stimulates the vagus nerve through electrodes clipped onto the ear, similar to how headphones rest inside the ear."

-"Compared to patients who received sham VNS, the patients who received real VNS showed significant improvement of their depressive symptoms. This improvement was associated with increased functional connectivity between the default mode network and precuneus and orbital prefrontal cortex, an important network in the brain known to be altered in depression."

 

Wow... I just informed myself on the Vagus Nerve and turns out meditation stimulates it, explains why It's been said to help with anhedonia. Well, I guess it's also that it's good for stress and promotes a more positive outlook in life. 

 

http://www.pacificco...ted-vagus-nerve

"Any kind of GI distress can put pressure on the nerve and irritate it, with a hiatal hernia being a frequent culprit. Poor posture along with muscular imbalances canalso cause the vagus nerve to misfire, as can excess alcohol or spicy foods. Stress can inflame the nerve, along with fatigue and anxiety."

 

(... ) I'm learning everyday. I happen to have a terrible terrible posture when I'm on my bed and use my computer. I stand up straight as soon as I'm out of my it, and especially when with people, but my neck and lower back will still burn or feel uncomfortable for a while. So I'm going to add that on my list on what caused my anhedonia to set in I guess: chronic stress, staying in my head too much and poor posture.

Well, there goes an habit I can easily fix which can potentially benefit my anhedonia :)

 

Feel free to comment. You can also message me here on Longecity or "Hellboy_ez" on reddit.


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#2 Kinesis

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 06:27 PM

If you have regular depression, coming with a reduced ability to feel pleasure, you do not have anhedonia.


This is a common misconception that needs to be addressed. In fact anhedonia is considered a hallmark of depression:

https://www.psycholo...n-and-anhedonia

"Anhedonia is one of the main symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD)."
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#3 Deaden

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 11:51 PM

 

If you have regular depression, coming with a reduced ability to feel pleasure, you do not have anhedonia.


This is a common misconception that needs to be addressed. In fact anhedonia is considered a hallmark of depression:

https://www.psycholo...n-and-anhedonia

"Anhedonia is one of the main symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD)."

 

Hmmm I believe it's important to make a clear distinction between regular depression and anhedonia. People that feel "depressed" on a regular basis may have a reduced inability to feel pleasure, but they still feel human. They still have emotions and are still physically able to manipulate their ability to feel pleasure, it's just a matter of if the intensity of the stimulus is strong enough. A mother with regular depression might not appreciate participating in previously enjoyable activities, but she will look at her new born child and tears might come out. A mother with anhedonia/emotional numbness will not be able to, even forcing herself. Also with how persistent low mood and apathy differ so much, why are they under the same diagnosis of major depression? Getting a diagnosis of schizophrenia marked only by the negative symptoms makes more sense in my opinion, even if it's not the route cause of the anhedonia. If we're going to start labeling any disorder that affects a person well being, why don't we start calling anxiety depression? The fact that today if you complain about anhedonia to a psychiatrist, you will a lot of times get a diagnosis of major depression may play a role in them often prescribing SSRIs as first line treatment. Let's be real here, there must be a 100 to 1 ratio of anhedonics reporting taking an SSRI alone was useless or made them worst compared to getting improvement from it. We don't treat someone with ADHD the same way we treat someone suffering from the positive symptoms of schizophrenia don't we? A line must be drawn.


Edited by Deaden, 24 September 2017 - 11:54 PM.


#4 Kinesis

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 03:39 AM

 

 

If you have regular depression, coming with a reduced ability to feel pleasure, you do not have anhedonia.


This is a common misconception that needs to be addressed. In fact anhedonia is considered a hallmark of depression:

https://www.psycholo...n-and-anhedonia

"Anhedonia is one of the main symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD)."

 

Hmmm I believe it's important to make a clear distinction between regular depression and anhedonia. People that feel "depressed" on a regular basis may have a reduced inability to feel pleasure, but they still feel human. They still have emotions and are still physically able to manipulate their ability to feel pleasure, it's just a matter of if the intensity of the stimulus is strong enough. A mother with regular depression might not appreciate participating in previously enjoyable activities, but she will look at her new born child and tears might come out. A mother with anhedonia/emotional numbness will not be able to, even forcing herself. Also with how persistent low mood and apathy differ so much, why are they under the same diagnosis of major depression? Getting a diagnosis of schizophrenia marked only by the negative symptoms makes more sense in my opinion, even if it's not the route cause of the anhedonia. If we're going to start labeling any disorder that affects a person well being, why don't we start calling anxiety depression? The fact that today if you complain about anhedonia to a psychiatrist, you will a lot of times get a diagnosis of major depression may play a role in them often prescribing SSRIs as first line treatment. Let's be real here, there must be a 100 to 1 ratio of anhedonics reporting taking an SSRI alone was useless or made them worst compared to getting improvement from it. We don't treat someone with ADHD the same way we treat someone suffering from the positive symptoms of schizophrenia don't we? A line must be drawn.

 

It sounds like your confusion is based on different meanings of the word "depression".  In ordinary vernacular people refer to sadness or melancholy as "depression".  People will say things like "he's depressed because his girlfriend just dumped him".  But in a medical context the word has a specific technical definition.  Clinical depression does not necessarily involve sadness or melancholy.  This distinction is important to medical and psychological professionals because sadness or melancholy can be a perfectly reasonable response to circumstances.  They don't consider for example being sad because of a death in the family a disease state.  So they focus on symptoms that can be separated from circumstances.  And one of the key indicators they look for is anhedonia.

 

Whether or not you agree with this practice, it nevertheless is the state of the art.  Anhedonia is considered a symptom of clinical depression just like a fever is considered a symptom of the flu.

 

I happen to agree with you that if you complain of anhedonia to a psychiatrist, you're likely to be treated for depression - that's just another way of saying what I just said.  And that often the treatment doesn't work.  You may not get better; you may even get worse.  But that doesn't mean the diagnosis was wrong, it just means the treatment wasn't very good.  If you had cancer there's no guarantee the treatment for that will cure you either, and it might even make you sicker, but that doesn't mean the diagnosis was wrong.

 

This is important for readers to understand because if they are experiencing anhedonia they may have a condition for which there are established treatments, not something new that psychiatry just hasn't glommed onto yet.  Again, we could criticize the effectiveness of those treatments, but that's a completely separate question from how the field chooses to define clinical depression or assign the symptom of anhedonia.  You are not 'not depressed' if you are experiencing anhedonia, and you are not suffering from a novel condition that is waiting to be discovered by the medical profession.  If anything, you're very much in the mainstream of what doctors diagnose as major depression, as pointed out in the article I linked above.

 

This is also not to say there isn't value in the alternative strategies you propose, just that to suggest that medicine has nothing to offer anhedonia sufferers subtracts more than it adds and could actually mislead them into not seeking treatment and possibly prevent them from getting the help they need.
 


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#5 Deaden

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 04:16 AM

 

 

 

If you have regular depression, coming with a reduced ability to feel pleasure, you do not have anhedonia.


This is a common misconception that needs to be addressed. In fact anhedonia is considered a hallmark of depression:

https://www.psycholo...n-and-anhedonia

"Anhedonia is one of the main symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD)."

 

Hmmm I believe it's important to make a clear distinction between regular depression and anhedonia. People that feel "depressed" on a regular basis may have a reduced inability to feel pleasure, but they still feel human. They still have emotions and are still physically able to manipulate their ability to feel pleasure, it's just a matter of if the intensity of the stimulus is strong enough. A mother with regular depression might not appreciate participating in previously enjoyable activities, but she will look at her new born child and tears might come out. A mother with anhedonia/emotional numbness will not be able to, even forcing herself. Also with how persistent low mood and apathy differ so much, why are they under the same diagnosis of major depression? Getting a diagnosis of schizophrenia marked only by the negative symptoms makes more sense in my opinion, even if it's not the route cause of the anhedonia. If we're going to start labeling any disorder that affects a person well being, why don't we start calling anxiety depression? The fact that today if you complain about anhedonia to a psychiatrist, you will a lot of times get a diagnosis of major depression may play a role in them often prescribing SSRIs as first line treatment. Let's be real here, there must be a 100 to 1 ratio of anhedonics reporting taking an SSRI alone was useless or made them worst compared to getting improvement from it. We don't treat someone with ADHD the same way we treat someone suffering from the positive symptoms of schizophrenia don't we? A line must be drawn.

 

It sounds like your confusion is based on different meanings of the word "depression".  In ordinary vernacular people refer to sadness or melancholy as "depression".  People will say things like "he's depressed because his girlfriend just dumped him".  But in a medical context the word has a specific technical definition.  Clinical depression does not necessarily involve sadness or melancholy.  This distinction is important to medical and psychological professionals because sadness or melancholy can be a perfectly reasonable response to circumstances.  They don't consider for example being sad because of a death in the family a disease state.  So they focus on symptoms that can be separated from circumstances.  And one of the key indicators they look for is anhedonia.

 

Whether or not you agree with this practice, it nevertheless is the state of the art.  Anhedonia is considered a symptom of clinical depression just like a fever is considered a symptom of the flu.

 

I happen to agree with you that if you complain of anhedonia to a psychiatrist, you're likely to be treated for depression - that's just another way of saying what I just said.  And that often the treatment doesn't work.  You may not get better; you may even get worse.  But that doesn't mean the diagnosis was wrong, it just means the treatment wasn't very good.  If you had cancer there's no guarantee the treatment for that will cure you either, and it might even make you sicker, but that doesn't mean the diagnosis was wrong.

 

This is important for readers to understand because if they are experiencing anhedonia they may have a condition for which there are established treatments, not something new that psychiatry just hasn't glommed onto yet.  Again, we could criticize the effectiveness of those treatments, but that's a completely separate question from how the field chooses to define clinical depression or assign the symptom of anhedonia.  You are not 'not depressed' if you are experiencing anhedonia, and you are not suffering from a novel condition that is waiting to be discovered by the medical profession.  If anything, you're very much in the mainstream of what doctors diagnose as major depression, as pointed out in the article I linked above.

 

This is also not to say there isn't value in the alternative strategies you propose, just that to suggest that medicine has nothing to offer anhedonia sufferers subtracts more than it adds and could actually mislead them into not seeking treatment and possibly prevent them from getting the help they need.
 

 

No I didn't get confused... I experienced depression for about a year total in the past before hitting remission completely. I had very low energy, my mood was low pretty much all the time and had no interest to do anything, but was I anhedonic because I didn't feel like doing anything? No. 

 

Listen, I get where you're coming from but honestly I've heard it all before. In the end I don't care about the diagnosis, I care about effective treatment. If you want anhedonia so much to be in the criterion of major depression then cool for you. Let's just assemble people that got anhedonia from a stroke, thyroid dysfunction, hormone/vitamin problems, the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, chronic stress, abuse of amphetamines and put them in the major depression bag. For me it's irrelevant.

 

Not going to lie, it triggers me that you believe in any way this post could prevent them from getting the help they need, actually it's the opposite. Did I rule out anti depressants? No I did not, but I think there's better alternatives obviously and you'd know that if only you've read as many defeatist comments as I did from anhedonics saying no ADs helped them. Do you know the number of people with emotional numbness who've had anhedonia for years and tried dozens of the random meds their psychiatrists prescribed them with no success? Not a minority. I didn't say anti depressants are a bad idea, but I highly suggest they inform themselves on meds that are known to specifically be effective for anhedonia before they choose AD route. That's why I mentioned Jahio, and his knowledge comes a lot from Dr Gillman's work. Also, everything I mentioned is medicine technically. 

 

If you want to keep on with this discussion, I'd rather you Inbox me, don't really want to spam my post. I know how long this can go...


Edited by Deaden, 25 September 2017 - 04:20 AM.


#6 Kinesis

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 06:43 PM

No I didn't get confused... I experienced depression for about a year total in the past before hitting remission completely. I had very low energy, my mood was low pretty much all the time and had no interest to do anything, but was I anhedonic because I didn't feel like doing anything? No.


According to which meaning of "depression"? You are confused if you can’t/won't distinguish between the popular meaning and the one used in psychiatry. Depressed in the sense of having low mood is not the same thing as being diagnosed as clinically depressed by a doctor. The former is considered a state of mind, the latter a medical condition.
 

Listen, I get where you're coming from but honestly I've heard it all before. In the end I don't care about the diagnosis, I care about effective treatment. If you want anhedonia so much to be in the criterion of major depression then cool for you. Let's just assemble people that got anhedonia from a stroke, thyroid dysfunction, hormone/vitamin problems, the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, chronic stress, abuse of amphetamines and put them in the major depression bag. For me it's irrelevant.


It’s not because I "want" anhedonia to be in the diagnostic criteria for major depression, it’s because it is. I’ve already cited one reference above: https://www.psycholo...n-and-anhedonia

Here’s a fuller quote:
 

What's anhedonia? you ask. If you're depressed, you know.

Anhedonia is one of the main symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD). It is the loss of interest in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities.


Here’s another. Note Item A.2. in the following: http://images.pearso...iveDisorder.pdf
 

DSM-5™ Diagnostic Criteria ... Major Depressive Disorder ...

Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day
(as indicated by either subjective account or observation.)


The point is that psychiatry is not just casually tossing people with anhedonia into a major depression bag ... it is one of the defining symptoms. It’s one of the ways they distinguish between low mood that may be due to life circumstances and a medical condition that warrants treatment.
 

Not going to lie, it triggers me that you believe in any way this post could prevent them from getting the help they need, actually it's the opposite. Did I rule out anti depressants? No I did not, but I think there's better alternatives obviously and you'd know that if only you've read as many defeatist comments as I did from anhedonics saying no ADs helped them. Do you know the number of people with emotional numbness who've had anhedonia for years and tried dozens of the random meds their psychiatrists prescribed them with no success? Not a minority. I didn't say anti depressants are a bad idea, but I highly suggest they inform themselves on meds that are known to specifically be effective for anhedonia before they choose AD route. That's why I mentioned Jahio, and his knowledge comes a lot from Dr Gillman's work. Also, everything I mentioned is medicine technically.


I appreciate your good intentions, and even think you offer some good advice. The only thing I objected to was the suggestion that anhedonia is distinct from clinical depression. I suspect we agree on most of the rest; conventional treatments leave a lot to be desired. Antidepressant meds currently on the market don’t help everyone. But they do help some, and it’s important that no one is deterred from seeking professional help due to a misconception that they don’t have clinical depression just because they have anhedonia.

Is it unusual that medical treatment for chronic disease leaves something to be desired? Not at all - it’s par for the course. Diabetes, cancer ... and yes, depression treatments are all known to be not uniformly effective. But it’s not as if psychiatry doesn’t already know that. Better treatments are under intense investigation; all you need to do to see that is check out some of the many threads on research like NSI-189, ketamine, transcranial magnetic stimulation, etcetera.
 

If you want to keep on with this discussion, I'd rather you Inbox me, don't really want to spam my post. I know how long this can go...


I’m challenging your statement here because this is where it was made. Say anything you want privately with no risk of disagreement from me. Tell you what - if you stop insisting that anhedonia is not a symptom of clinical depression in this thread then I will stop posting in this thread. Deal?

That would be a good outcome, because you posted some interesting and potentially helpful observations. It was just marred by one misstatement that needed to be corrected on the record. Let that go and you have a good thread.

#7 YoungSchizo

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 07:41 PM

I think, at least for me, is the part to force myself to socialize while suffering from negative symptoms and/or being anhedonic/depressed. Small talk is OK for me to handle and I do sometimes feel it helps with uplifting my mood a little. However, after so many psychosises and a history of years of total social isolation it's hard for one to force yourself to get into new, fresh relationships. And if I like it or not, my turbulent past is sometimes dragging me down and draining my energy to socialize. I tried getting back in the "social-game" many times, contacting old friends and/or try making new friends but all those relationships didn't payed of to what I expected from it. In other words, it was not "rewarding" as I hoped it would be and I always fell back to avoiding socializing eventually. I've never been "emotional numb", quite the opposite, I guess I'm rather too emphatic/sensitive compared to regular "healthy" people. I've always been sensitive and one thing someone needs to "successfully" socialize is some sort of emotional layer/cloak (don't know a word for it) because, at least, in my experience/environment, most regular people even can't stand each other (unless there's alcohol involved).

 

With the relieve of depression (thanks to Parnate) I'm slowly shifting/thinking about forcing myself to socializing again but have no idea how, with whom and/or where... Anyone a successful "guide" to socializing? (I don't consider hanging out with family, on forums, social media, spending my day at the gym and/or work as a form of socializing).



#8 Deaden

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 12:46 AM

According to which meaning of "depression"? You are confused if you can’t/won't distinguish between the popular meaning and the one used in psychiatry. Depressed in the sense of having low mood is not the same thing as being diagnosed as clinically depressed by a doctor. The former is considered a state of mind, the latter a medical condition.

Hmmm yeah I guess my bad on that one. I'm originally from France and there we have the same term, except it can be used to mean you're suffering from clinical depression as opposed to just feeling down.

 

I’m challenging your statement here because this is where it was made. Say anything you want privately with no risk of disagreement from me. Tell you what - if you stop insisting that anhedonia is not a symptom of clinical depression in this thread then I will stop posting in this thread. Deal?

 

It may be characterized as a symptom of clinical depression, and I guess there's some sort of relevance to it, but the fact and the matter is that as of today psychiatrists rarely offer effective treatments for anhedonia. A lot of times, antidepressants commonly known to have a good rate of working against someone who describes symptoms such as feeling low, sad, having no energy etc.. will also be prescribed to someone who suffers from apathetic symptoms. So what is the difference between someone with a diagnosis of major depression on antidepressants that has persistent low mood and someone that is anhedonic? It might take something like five times more trial and error to get improvement from an antidepressant for the person who is anhedonic, to the person who has regular depression. It doesn't matter if these two mental conditions have some neurobiological similarities, by labeling these two completely different symptomatic manifestations as depression, it leads to confusion on how to appropriately treat someone with anhedonia. There's probably a 100 to 1 success rate ratio of anhedonics who got improvements from their symptoms by taking SSRIs which are considered first line treatment for depression. Now let's take a look at the definition of depression google has to offer: 

"feelings of severe despondency and dejection. a mental condition characterized by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep." Nope, that's not even close to anhedonia. Just reinforces my point, defining anhedonia as major depression apparently confuses today's mental health professionals too much to treat emotional numbness with appropriate medication. The reason a lot of individuals got no improvement in their apathy after trying dozens of antidepressants isn't because they're "in a more severe form of depression" no... they didn't get treated appropriately. 

Someone's opinion on the matter who had a period of suffering from regular depression in the past, and is now dealing with anhedonia... similar to me (watch until 2:15) :

By the way let's just not forget to add that some actually get anhedonia as a result of taking SSRIs (often report they rather be depressed because at least they felt human), wow seems like a great idea to treat anhedonia and persistent low mood with SSRIs because they are "first line treatments for depression"

 

Anyway doesn't matter, I found some better and sustainable solutions to having to rely on antidepressants. Today's psychiatry is unreliable. Sorry but I'm not going to waste my time and money for ineffective treatments. I have a life to live. Well, Dr Gillman's algorithm for treating anhedonia still remains on the table. 



#9 Deaden

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 12:57 AM

I think, at least for me, is the part to force myself to socialize while suffering from negative symptoms and/or being anhedonic/depressed. Small talk is OK for me to handle and I do sometimes feel it helps with uplifting my mood a little. However, after so many psychosises and a history of years of total social isolation it's hard for one to force yourself to get into new, fresh relationships. And if I like it or not, my turbulent past is sometimes dragging me down and draining my energy to socialize. I tried getting back in the "social-game" many times, contacting old friends and/or try making new friends but all those relationships didn't payed of to what I expected from it. In other words, it was not "rewarding" as I hoped it would be and I always fell back to avoiding socializing eventually. I've never been "emotional numb", quite the opposite, I guess I'm rather too emphatic/sensitive compared to regular "healthy" people. I've always been sensitive and one thing someone needs to "successfully" socialize is some sort of emotional layer/cloak (don't know a word for it) because, at least, in my experience/environment, most regular people even can't stand each other (unless there's alcohol involved).

 

With the relieve of depression (thanks to Parnate) I'm slowly shifting/thinking about forcing myself to socializing again but have no idea how, with whom and/or where... Anyone a successful "guide" to socializing? (I don't consider hanging out with family, on forums, social media, spending my day at the gym and/or work as a form of socializing).

 

You might want to take a look at sarcosine + NAC, those two together are known to help with the positive symptoms, and the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. And hum... personally I can get myself to enjoy socializing with cute girls. Also dating works a bit for me as anti-anhedonia CBT I think... And I don't know how to help motivating you into socializing, that may be something a therapist could help you on actually. 



#10 mateusbrasil

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 02:56 AM

Eu acho que, pelo menos para mim, é a parte a forçar-me a socializar enquanto sofro de sintomas negativos e / ou a ser anedônica / deprimida. Pequena conversa é OK para mim e eu às vezes sinto que ajuda a aumentar meu humor um pouco. No entanto, depois de tantas psicossias e uma história de anos de isolamento social total é difícil para alguém se forçar a entrar em relacionamentos novos e novos. E se eu gosto ou não, meu passado turbulento às vezes me arrastando e drenando minha energia para socializar. Eu tentei voltar no "jogo social" muitas vezes, contatando amigos velhos e / ou tentando fazer novos amigos, mas todos aqueles relacionamentos não pagaram o que eu esperava disso. Em outras palavras, não era "gratificante", como eu esperava, seria e sempre recusei para evitar socializar eventualmente. EU' nunca foi "emocional entorpecido", pelo contrário, acho que eu sou bastante enfático / sensível em comparação com pessoas normais "saudáveis". Eu sempre fui sensível e uma coisa que alguém precisa socializar "com êxito" é algum tipo de camada / capa emocional (não conhece uma palavra para isso) porque, pelo menos, na minha experiência / ambiente, a maioria das pessoas regulares pode mesmo 't ficar um ao outro (a menos que haja álcool envolvido).

 

Com o alivio da depressão (graças ao Parnate), estou me mudando lentamente / pensando em me forçar a socializar novamente, mas não tenho idéia de como, com quem e / ou onde ... Alguém um "guia" bem sucedido para socializar? (Não considero sair com a família, nos fóruns, nas mídias sociais, passar o dia na academia e / ou trabalhar como uma forma de socializar).

I think the same "brain process" that makes socialization rewarding also stimulates us to sociallize.
so if there is no desire to socialize, and we force socialization-even if we succeed it will not be rewarding.
 
every time I forced myself to socialize was never rewarding.
 
but it may be different with you, I did not write this with the intention of discouraging you.


#11 mateusbrasil

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 03:10 AM

with your current treatment regime of your anhedonia, how much better is your anhedonia now? on a scale of 1 to 100%.



#12 Mind_Paralysis

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 01:26 PM

I don't really want to get involved in the debate in the thread, but I still feel compelled to say that after some closer reading up on it, I agree with Kinesis that anhedonia is an aspect of Major Depression.

 

I think an easier way for you, Deaden, to understand and accept this, is to join those of us whom look at depression as MULTIPLE, related diseases - there's a reason there are so many antidepressants, some with small differences between them, and others with wildly varying modes of effect - take a look at my recent post on Atypical Depression for instance - that's a disease that seems to be related to dysfunction of the reward-systems, and appears to be more connected to a state of inflammation than neuro-atrophy.

(this was recently proven, when Atypical depressed patients EASILY outmatched the Typically depressed patients in cognitive testing - in short, they weren't as brain-damaged as those with typical or burnout depression)

 

In essence, it's not that the classification of Depression and anhedonia is incorrect, but that the classification of Depression merely needs more nuancing into sub-groups. Some steps and measures have been taken towards this, and neuroimaging will help immensely here, but we have merely just begun touching on this.

 

As such, what you're describing in this thread, would, in an ideal world, be classified like this:

 

"Depression - of predominantly anhedonic representation".

 

 

 

I think, at least for me, is the part to force myself to socialize while suffering from negative symptoms and/or being anhedonic/depressed. Small talk is OK for me to handle and I do sometimes feel it helps with uplifting my mood a little. However, after so many psychosises and a history of years of total social isolation it's hard for one to force yourself to get into new, fresh relationships. And if I like it or not, my turbulent past is sometimes dragging me down and draining my energy to socialize. I tried getting back in the "social-game" many times, contacting old friends and/or try making new friends but all those relationships didn't payed of to what I expected from it. In other words, it was not "rewarding" as I hoped it would be and I always fell back to avoiding socializing eventually. I've never been "emotional numb", quite the opposite, I guess I'm rather too emphatic/sensitive compared to regular "healthy" people. I've always been sensitive and one thing someone needs to "successfully" socialize is some sort of emotional layer/cloak (don't know a word for it) because, at least, in my experience/environment, most regular people even can't stand each other (unless there's alcohol involved).

 

With the relieve of depression (thanks to Parnate) I'm slowly shifting/thinking about forcing myself to socializing again but have no idea how, with whom and/or where... Anyone a successful "guide" to socializing? (I don't consider hanging out with family, on forums, social media, spending my day at the gym and/or work as a form of socializing).

 

Not to sound patronising or negative, but, are you sure you need to socialize?

 

If it puts a strain on you, or gives you little in return, then that may actually be the natural Schizoidal way of your existence - this is a known phenomenon with some Schizophrenia-spectrum individuals - in fact, one variation on the disease, Schizoid "Personality Disorder" * is even DEFINED by the lack of interest in socializing, and many with the disorder often feel that socializing means nothing but pain and discomfort for them.

 

And it's not like social dysfunction is unique to that form of the disorder - Schizotypal "PD" * is also accompanied by this, albeit somewhat different - the people with that disorder have more social anxiety caused by paranoia, thought-disorder really, from believing that people are inherently thinking badly about them.

 

I've seen multiple classic Schizophrenics mention how socializing is painful or non-rewarding, so I would say this is actually a Schizophrenia-spectrum trait, and not something that necessarily can or needs to be trained and corrected - this may simply be the way you are.

 

I'm not sure if it would help, but perhaps it might be rewarding for you to interact with others whom have Schizophrenia, but have most of their symptoms under control? To sort of get the feeling "it can be done", some positive inspiration, and to perhaps socialize with others whom you know will understand precisely what you're going through.

 

Are there any groups for people with mental illness in your area? Try and contact one of them and see if they can get you in touch with some Schizophrenics.

 

 

 

*Bullsh*t - I wish the PD-label would be removed - newer data does indicate that it's a form of Schizophrenia, a milder type, the equivalent of atypical threshold autism, but for Schizo-spectrum.



#13 Hip

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 06:10 PM

Note that anhedonia is a distinct condition from blunted affect (blunted emotions).

 

Anhedonia is defined as a lack of sense of pleasure or reward from life's normal activities. The reward circuits of the brain are inactive or less active in anhedonia, so the experience of pleasure and reward on anticipating activities or completing tasks is weak or absent. 

 

By contrast, blunted affect is slightly different to anhedonia. With blunted emotions, the normal emotional responses (love, sadness, compassion, surprise, guilt, shame, anger, joy, etc) are weak or absent. So for example, if you watch an emotional movie on TV or in the cinema, you will tend to experience the drama in a cold, often cynical way, as you don't really engage with the emotions in the story. So blunted affect can be quite dehumanizing, in that it can cut you off from the normal emotional currents of humanity. 

 

It is not unusual to experience both anhedonia and blunted affect at the same time, which may be why these conditions are confused and conflated. 

 

 

I suffered from severe anhedonia and blunted affect which was caused by a chronic and very pro-inflammatory viral infection (from this virus). The same virus, as it transmitted to my friends and family by normal social contact, also seemed to trigger some anhedonia and blunted affect in these other people, although not as severe as the anhedonia I experienced. This virus also triggered anxiety, some mild depression, and later unfortunately also myalgic encephalomyelitis. 

 

The mild depression comes and goes, and a lot of the time I am not depressed. However, my anhedonia symptoms were far more severe that the depression, and the anhedonia was ever-present. So I tended to see the anhedonia + blunted affect I had as a distinct condition on its own, rather than as a sub-symptom of depression.

 

In recent years my anhedonia has improved, possibly due to my use of supplements that reduce brain inflammation, which I suspect may be the cause of my anhedonia (brain inflammation driven by chronic active viral infection).

 

 

 

Decades previously, I also suffered from a bout of major depression lasting around 2 years (triggered by life events, not by infection or disease). I would say that major depression was a walk in the park compared to severe anhedonia and blunted affect. I know that anhedonia can be a sub-symptom of depression (as well as schizophrenia), but in my case, the major depression I had decades ago did not appear to involve anhedonia or blunted emotions (in fact my emotions were heightened and intensified under that major depression, even though they were usually negative emotions such as melancholy).

 

I have read that if you compare depression which does not involve anhedonia to depression where anhedonia is present, it is the latter type of depression that has a higher risk of suicide. Ref: here. Suicide risk probably relates to the fact that with anhedonia, you subjectively feel that life is not worth living, as nothing gives any pleasure or enjoyment, and so life tends to seem meaningless. 

 

 

 

 

This is also not to say there isn't value in the alternative strategies you propose, just that to suggest that medicine has nothing to offer anhedonia sufferers subtracts more than it adds and could actually mislead them into not seeking treatment and possibly prevent them from getting the help they need.

 

To a point you are right that one does not want to discourage seeking standard medical help. However, it is a fact that anhedonia is a very difficult to treat symptom, and there are no drugs that can directly address and ameliorate anhedonia. This contrasts sharply to depression, which often responds to drug treatment. And there are dozens of different drugs that work well for depression, so if one drug does not work, there are plenty of others to try. No so for anhedonia: there are more-or-less no drugs that directly target anhedonia.

 

This paper says that:

Anhedonia is a particularly difficult symptom to treat, as accruing evidence suggests that current first-line pharmacotherapies (e.g., SSRIs) do not adequately address motivational and reward-processing deficits in depression

 

And just to drive this point home: it has also been found that those who have anhedonia as a sub-symptom of their depression tend to have the treatment-resistant variety of depression (treatment-resistant depression = depression that does not respond to drug treatment). Ref: here.

 

So when anhedonia is involved in depression, you find that this depression becomes harder to treat, which again shows that anhedonia is a treatment-refractory condition. 

 

 

 


Edited by Hip, 26 September 2017 - 06:16 PM.

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#14 MichaelTheAnhedonic

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 07:05 PM

Note that anhedonia is a distinct condition from blunted affect (blunted emotions).

 

Anhedonia is defined as a lack of sense of pleasure or reward from life's normal activities. The reward circuits of the brain are inactive or less active in anhedonia, so the experience of pleasure and reward on anticipating activities or completing tasks is weak or absent. 

 

By contrast, blunted affect is slightly different to anhedonia. With blunted emotions, the normal emotional responses (love, sadness, compassion, surprise, guilt, shame, anger, joy, etc) are weak or absent. So for example, if you watch an emotional movie on TV or in the cinema, you will tend to experience the drama in a cold, often cynical way, as you don't really engage with the emotions in the story. So blunted affect can be quite dehumanizing, in that it can cut you off from the normal emotional currents of humanity. 

 

It is not unusual to experience both anhedonia and blunted affect at the same time, which may be why these conditions are confused and conflated. 

 

 

I suffered from severe anhedonia and blunted affect which was caused by a chronic and very pro-inflammatory viral infection (from this virus). The same virus, as it transmitted to my friends and family by normal social contact, also seemed to trigger some anhedonia and blunted affect in these other people, although not as severe as the anhedonia I experienced. This virus also triggered anxiety, some mild depression, and later unfortunately also myalgic encephalomyelitis. 

 

The mild depression comes and goes, and a lot of the time I am not depressed. However, my anhedonia symptoms were far more severe that the depression, and the anhedonia was ever-present. So I tended to see the anhedonia + blunted affect I had as a distinct condition on its own, rather than as a sub-symptom of depression.

 

In recent years my anhedonia has improved, possibly due to my use of supplements that reduce brain inflammation, which I suspect may be the cause of my anhedonia (brain inflammation driven by chronic active viral infection).

 

 

 

Decades previously, I also suffered from a bout of major depression lasting around 2 years (triggered by life events, not by infection or disease). I would say that major depression was a walk in the park compared to severe anhedonia and blunted affect. I know that anhedonia can be a sub-symptom of depression (as well as schizophrenia), but in my case, the major depression I had decades ago did not appear to involve anhedonia or blunted emotions (in fact my emotions were heightened and intensified under that major depression, even though they were usually negative emotions such as melancholy).

 

I have read that if you compare depression which does not involve anhedonia to depression where anhedonia is present, it is the latter type of depression that has a higher risk of suicide. Ref: here. Suicide risk probably relates to the fact that with anhedonia, you subjectively feel that life is not worth living, as nothing gives any pleasure or enjoyment, and so life tends to seem meaningless. 

 

 

 

 

This is also not to say there isn't value in the alternative strategies you propose, just that to suggest that medicine has nothing to offer anhedonia sufferers subtracts more than it adds and could actually mislead them into not seeking treatment and possibly prevent them from getting the help they need.

 

To a point you are right that one does not want to discourage seeking standard medical help. However, it is a fact that anhedonia is a very difficult to treat symptom, and there are no drugs that can directly address and ameliorate anhedonia. This contrasts sharply to depression, which often responds to drug treatment. And there are dozens of different drugs that work well for depression, so if one drug does not work, there are plenty of others to try. No so for anhedonia: there are more-or-less no drugs that directly target anhedonia.

 

This paper says that:

Anhedonia is a particularly difficult symptom to treat, as accruing evidence suggests that current first-line pharmacotherapies (e.g., SSRIs) do not adequately address motivational and reward-processing deficits in depression

 

And just to drive this point home: it has also been found that those who have anhedonia as a sub-symptom of their depression tend to have the treatment-resistant variety of depression (treatment-resistant depression = depression that does not respond to drug treatment). Ref: here.

 

So when anhedonia is involved in depression, you find that this depression becomes harder to treat, which again shows that anhedonia is a treatment-refractory condition. 

 

Where I can find what u used against brain inflammation?


Edited by MichaelTheAnhedonic, 26 September 2017 - 07:14 PM.


#15 Deaden

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 12:03 AM

Updated the guide: http://www.longecity...nia-cure-guide/



#16 Hip

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 05:43 PM

Where I can find what u used against brain inflammation?

 

The most important anti-brain inflammation supplement I took I think is N-acetyl-glucosamine 700 mg once or twice daily. I also took 1000 turmeric (do not confuse this with curcumin, which is not the same thing), flaxseed oil 13,000 mg (15 ml of oil) daily, vinpocetine 20 mg daily (take with food).

 

As well as these anti-inflammatories, I also took very low dose amisulpride 12.5 to 25 mg daily (more info on this effective drug here). There is some indication that at these very low doses, amisulpride can help anhedonia. So this may have also played a role in improving anhedonia. 



#17 YoungSchizo

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 06:50 PM

 

I think, at least for me, is the part to force myself to socialize while suffering from negative symptoms and/or being anhedonic/depressed. Small talk is OK for me to handle and I do sometimes feel it helps with uplifting my mood a little. However, after so many psychosises and a history of years of total social isolation it's hard for one to force yourself to get into new, fresh relationships. And if I like it or not, my turbulent past is sometimes dragging me down and draining my energy to socialize. I tried getting back in the "social-game" many times, contacting old friends and/or try making new friends but all those relationships didn't payed of to what I expected from it. In other words, it was not "rewarding" as I hoped it would be and I always fell back to avoiding socializing eventually. I've never been "emotional numb", quite the opposite, I guess I'm rather too emphatic/sensitive compared to regular "healthy" people. I've always been sensitive and one thing someone needs to "successfully" socialize is some sort of emotional layer/cloak (don't know a word for it) because, at least, in my experience/environment, most regular people even can't stand each other (unless there's alcohol involved).

 

With the relieve of depression (thanks to Parnate) I'm slowly shifting/thinking about forcing myself to socializing again but have no idea how, with whom and/or where... Anyone a successful "guide" to socializing? (I don't consider hanging out with family, on forums, social media, spending my day at the gym and/or work as a form of socializing).

 

You might want to take a look at sarcosine + NAC, those two together are known to help with the positive symptoms, and the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. And hum... personally I can get myself to enjoy socializing with cute girls. Also dating works a bit for me as anti-anhedonia CBT I think... And I don't know how to help motivating you into socializing, that may be something a therapist could help you on actually. 

 

 

If I could meet up with cute girls or date everyday, my socializing problem would be solved m8!  :cool: Those type of things are still rewarding for me (luckily). But I meant in general sense, like meeting up with (male) friends (have a talk, hang around, go to a bar etc), go out (to the club, cinema, events or whatever), make new friends.

I had much success with Sarcosine but it has stopped working for me (used it for 5 years straight), and I probably don't really need it anymore because I think the damage to the GlyT-1 receptors has been reversed (link). However, I initiated Sarcosine again since a week together with Parnate, I'm still testing and at this point am not really sure if it affects some of my symptoms. NAC I used for a long time but it made my positive symptoms worse, why? According to @Stinkoninjor (I think it was he who said it years ago) it also up-regulates CB1 receptors.

As for CBT, I got "kicked out" of her office because according to her I don't need therapy or CBT but something useful to do, she's right but at the same time not. I can't do (useful) shit if I'm unable enjoy shit (for instance, I can't think of new hobbies that does not involve socializing). 

 

 

 

Eu acho que, pelo menos para mim, é a parte a forçar-me a socializar enquanto sofro de sintomas negativos e / ou a ser anedônica / deprimida. Pequena conversa é OK para mim e eu às vezes sinto que ajuda a aumentar meu humor um pouco. No entanto, depois de tantas psicossias e uma história de anos de isolamento social total é difícil para alguém se forçar a entrar em relacionamentos novos e novos. E se eu gosto ou não, meu passado turbulento às vezes me arrastando e drenando minha energia para socializar. Eu tentei voltar no "jogo social" muitas vezes, contatando amigos velhos e / ou tentando fazer novos amigos, mas todos aqueles relacionamentos não pagaram o que eu esperava disso. Em outras palavras, não era "gratificante", como eu esperava, seria e sempre recusei para evitar socializar eventualmente. EU' nunca foi "emocional entorpecido", pelo contrário, acho que eu sou bastante enfático / sensível em comparação com pessoas normais "saudáveis". Eu sempre fui sensível e uma coisa que alguém precisa socializar "com êxito" é algum tipo de camada / capa emocional (não conhece uma palavra para isso) porque, pelo menos, na minha experiência / ambiente, a maioria das pessoas regulares pode mesmo 't ficar um ao outro (a menos que haja álcool envolvido).

 

Com o alivio da depressão (graças ao Parnate), estou me mudando lentamente / pensando em me forçar a socializar novamente, mas não tenho idéia de como, com quem e / ou onde ... Alguém um "guia" bem sucedido para socializar? (Não considero sair com a família, nos fóruns, nas mídias sociais, passar o dia na academia e / ou trabalhar como uma forma de socializar).

I think the same "brain process" that makes socialization rewarding also stimulates us to sociallize.
so if there is no desire to socialize, and we force socialization-even if we succeed it will not be rewarding.
 
every time I forced myself to socialize was never rewarding.
 
but it may be different with you, I did not write this with the intention of discouraging you.

 

 

Me neither m8, I have some ideas, some new hobbies I might want to try, but already know the socializing part may be difficult to handle or won't be satisfactory. While I'm sorting out my new med-combo I avoid all sorts of social activity because right now it's just to much and I'm keeping it simple with forums, social-media and stuff.



#18 Deaden

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 07:36 PM

Youngschizo:

 

I don't care about socializing with anyone except cute girls either so that's what I've been doing ^^ There's nothing wrong in going for the rare activities you can still sort of enjoy, actually this would probably be the thing to do. How can we use neuroplasticity to fix our reward center progressively if we get absolutely no pleasure response from anything? Aim in spending the most time taking part in the few things you might still like doing to some extent. Progressively you will become slightly and slightly more sensitive to pleasure and then you might start enjoying things like being with your friends etc. In theory... 

 

I guess if you're not in a social setting, you can use dating apps, just avoid b******* if your libido is dead like mine. 

 

Oh and when I mention CBT I don't mean it in the way that you need a therapist for that... more like applying your own anti-anhedonia mindset and lifestyle. I feel like you'd need to be very lucky to find one that'd even know emotional numbness was a thing. 



#19 Deaden

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 07:49 PM

 

Where I can find what u used against brain inflammation?

 

The most important anti-brain inflammation supplement I took I think is N-acetyl-glucosamine 700 mg once or twice daily. I also took 1000 turmeric (do not confuse this with curcumin, which is not the same thing), flaxseed oil 13,000 mg (15 ml of oil) daily, vinpocetine 20 mg daily (take with food).

 

As well as these anti-inflammatories, I also took very low dose amisulpride 12.5 to 25 mg daily (more info on this effective drug here). There is some indication that at these very low doses, amisulpride can help anhedonia. So this may have also played a role in improving anhedonia. 

 

Just have a question about amisulpride... Are you still taking it? If not, have you noticed the improvements from small dosing staying even after discontinuation?



#20 YoungSchizo

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 07:52 PM

 

 

I think, at least for me, is the part to force myself to socialize while suffering from negative symptoms and/or being anhedonic/depressed. Small talk is OK for me to handle and I do sometimes feel it helps with uplifting my mood a little. However, after so many psychosises and a history of years of total social isolation it's hard for one to force yourself to get into new, fresh relationships. And if I like it or not, my turbulent past is sometimes dragging me down and draining my energy to socialize. I tried getting back in the "social-game" many times, contacting old friends and/or try making new friends but all those relationships didn't payed of to what I expected from it. In other words, it was not "rewarding" as I hoped it would be and I always fell back to avoiding socializing eventually. I've never been "emotional numb", quite the opposite, I guess I'm rather too emphatic/sensitive compared to regular "healthy" people. I've always been sensitive and one thing someone needs to "successfully" socialize is some sort of emotional layer/cloak (don't know a word for it) because, at least, in my experience/environment, most regular people even can't stand each other (unless there's alcohol involved).

 

With the relieve of depression (thanks to Parnate) I'm slowly shifting/thinking about forcing myself to socializing again but have no idea how, with whom and/or where... Anyone a successful "guide" to socializing? (I don't consider hanging out with family, on forums, social media, spending my day at the gym and/or work as a form of socializing).

 

Not to sound patronising or negative, but, are you sure you need to socialize?

 

If it puts a strain on you, or gives you little in return, then that may actually be the natural Schizoidal way of your existence - this is a known phenomenon with some Schizophrenia-spectrum individuals - in fact, one variation on the disease, Schizoid "Personality Disorder" * is even DEFINED by the lack of interest in socializing, and many with the disorder often feel that socializing means nothing but pain and discomfort for them.

 

And it's not like social dysfunction is unique to that form of the disorder - Schizotypal "PD" * is also accompanied by this, albeit somewhat different - the people with that disorder have more social anxiety caused by paranoia, thought-disorder really, from believing that people are inherently thinking badly about them.

 

I've seen multiple classic Schizophrenics mention how socializing is painful or non-rewarding, so I would say this is actually a Schizophrenia-spectrum trait, and not something that necessarily can or needs to be trained and corrected - this may simply be the way you are.

 

I'm not sure if it would help, but perhaps it might be rewarding for you to interact with others whom have Schizophrenia, but have most of their symptoms under control? To sort of get the feeling "it can be done", some positive inspiration, and to perhaps socialize with others whom you know will understand precisely what you're going through.

 

Are there any groups for people with mental illness in your area? Try and contact one of them and see if they can get you in touch with some Schizophrenics.

 

 

 

*Bullsh*t - I wish the PD-label would be removed - newer data does indicate that it's a form of Schizophrenia, a milder type, the equivalent of atypical threshold autism, but for Schizo-spectrum.

 

TBH, no, at this age I actually don't need socializing anymore. But at the same time, since I'm not married, have a family of my own or have a girlfriend, I do need (some sort of) socializing. Going everywhere always on my own sucks, equally to sitting at home on my own (with my thoughts). And I guess the urge to socialize is also because that's what I was used to and is somewhat imprinted in my foundation.. In my teenage years till I got schizophrenia I also didn't have a family/girlfriend but was always outside socializing, I always had ideas that involved (a certain amount) of socializing. 

And as for socializing with another fellow schizophrenic, it's too complicated and too scary for me from my end. I've tried hanging around schizophrenics in my local hospitals and some of their symptoms scare the shit out of me. I'm also active at schizophrenia.com ever since having schizophrenia and I haven't met one schizophrenic that has similarities to what I had gone through, or I haven't met one schizophrenic that has the "same" symptoms as I have. Compared to a "real" schizophrenic I do not have schizophrenia according to my last and current psychiatrist. They both said I do not show signs of a prototype schizophrenic, meaning I'm quite "normal". 

I always identified myself with healthy people but after re-trying to socialize with them over the past years I came to the conclusion even they show more signs of schizophrenia then I do (believing in government conspiracy's, illuminatie, aliens, being extremely religious, having a certain unfounded suspicion or paranoia against people or whatnot).

 

Blah.. this whole socializing issue.. Right now it's too complicated.. I don't know.. Right now the most important thing for me is to get myself as stable as possible, look for some hobbies that do not involve too much socializing and meanwhile focus as much as I can on women.. That's one thing that has my priority  :)



#21 YoungSchizo

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 08:17 PM

Youngschizo:

 

I don't care about socializing with anyone except cute girls either so that's what I've been doing ^^ There's nothing wrong in going for the rare activities you can still sort of enjoy, actually this would probably be the thing to do. How can we use neuroplasticity to fix our reward center progressively if we get absolutely no pleasure response from anything? Aim in spending the most time taking part in the few things you might still like doing to some extent. Progressively you will become slightly and slightly more sensitive to pleasure and then you might start enjoying things like being with your friends etc. In theory... 

 

I guess if you're not in a social setting, you can use dating apps, just avoid b******* if your libido is dead like mine. 

 

Oh and when I mention CBT I don't mean it in the way that you need a therapist for that... more like applying your own anti-anhedonia mindset and lifestyle. I feel like you'd need to be very lucky to find one that'd even know emotional numbness was a thing. 

 

So basically you are saying, the more you get in contact with attractive women, the more you are re-wiring your brain and ultimately curing (total) anhendonia?



#22 Deaden

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 08:32 PM

 

Youngschizo:

 

I don't care about socializing with anyone except cute girls either so that's what I've been doing ^^ There's nothing wrong in going for the rare activities you can still sort of enjoy, actually this would probably be the thing to do. How can we use neuroplasticity to fix our reward center progressively if we get absolutely no pleasure response from anything? Aim in spending the most time taking part in the few things you might still like doing to some extent. Progressively you will become slightly and slightly more sensitive to pleasure and then you might start enjoying things like being with your friends etc. In theory... 

 

I guess if you're not in a social setting, you can use dating apps, just avoid b******* if your libido is dead like mine. 

 

Oh and when I mention CBT I don't mean it in the way that you need a therapist for that... more like applying your own anti-anhedonia mindset and lifestyle. I feel like you'd need to be very lucky to find one that'd even know emotional numbness was a thing. 

 

So basically you are saying, the more you get in contact with attractive women, the more you are re-wiring your brain and ultimately curing (total) anhendonia?

 

Yeah, realistically it's possible although not easy either. We are very deep into the pit, but we can climb out progressively, and using cheating tools like t-VNS, meditation etc


Edited by Deaden, 27 September 2017 - 08:33 PM.


#23 Hip

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 05:35 PM

Just have a question about amisulpride... Are you still taking it? If not, have you noticed the improvements from small dosing staying even after discontinuation?

 

 

I am still taking it, as it has a number of positive effects on various symptoms (I detail these benefits in this thread). I have stopped amisulpride for a few days now and then, but apart from that I have been taking it continuously for several years. I think its effects on anhedonia are slight, and my guess is that the anti-brain inflammation supplements like N-acetyl-glucosamine probably had a greater effect on improving anhedonia than anything else. However, it took many months if not years for these benefits to manifest, and I can't be sure the improvements were due to the anti-inflammatories.

 

By contrast, I found N-acetyl-glucosamine had potent and very rapid effects for treating my severe generalized anxiety disorder: the anti-anxiety effects of NAG kicked in within an hour or two of taking this supplement. More info here.


Edited by Hip, 28 September 2017 - 05:39 PM.


#24 YoungSchizo

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 08:07 PM

 

Where I can find what u used against brain inflammation?

 

The most important anti-brain inflammation supplement I took I think is N-acetyl-glucosamine 700 mg once or twice daily. I also took 1000 turmeric (do not confuse this with curcumin, which is not the same thing), flaxseed oil 13,000 mg (15 ml of oil) daily, vinpocetine 20 mg daily (take with food).

 

As well as these anti-inflammatories, I also took very low dose amisulpride 12.5 to 25 mg daily (more info on this effective drug here). There is some indication that at these very low doses, amisulpride can help anhedonia. So this may have also played a role in improving anhedonia. 

 

 

I read your thread on Phoenixrising, interesting.. Off course I have longer known about Amulsipride being somewhat effective against negative symptoms in lower dosages but was always reluctant in considering it as a option because of it's potent Prolactin issues. I guess, the Prolactin damage would be minimal on a dosage of 12.5/25mg but am wondering, will I be able to benefit from it's anti-anhedonia/dopamine agonism effect even though I'm taking two potent D2 antagonists (Zyprexa and Latuda)..?



#25 Hip

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 05:11 PM

I read your thread on Phoenixrising, interesting.. Off course I have longer known about Amulsipride being somewhat effective against negative symptoms in lower dosages but was always reluctant in considering it as a option because of it's potent Prolactin issues. I guess, the Prolactin damage would be minimal on a dosage of 12.5/25mg but am wondering, will I be able to benefit from it's anti-anhedonia/dopamine agonism effect even though I'm taking two potent D2 antagonists (Zyprexa and Latuda)..?

 

 

I don't know, but amisulpride is an interesting new type of drug which is classed as a dopamine system stabilizer, as well as an atypical antipsychotic. 

 

A dopamine system stabilizer boosts dopaminergic activity at low dopamine levels, but reduces dopaminergic activity at high dopamine levels. So amisulpride is kind of like an "intelligent" dopamine modulator. 

 

Amisulpride also has different effects, depending on dose level. At very low doses, it activates dopamine D2 and D3 receptors (by an autoreceptor mechanism). But at normal doses (the doses used in schizophrenia and psychosis), it antagonizes these same receptors. 

 

The only other atypical antipsychotic with this dopamine system stabilizer action that I am aware of is aripiprazole (Abilify).

 

After my viral infection, I developed some mild psychosis symptoms, as well as the anhedonia and anxiety symptoms, and I found very low dose amisulpride helpful in combating them. Incidentally, I also found (by accident) that the diuretic drug amiloride (5 mg once or twice daily) helped reduce these mild psychosis symptoms. I later discovered that some diuretics are beneficial for schizophrenia, see here .


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#26 jaybird10 2

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 06:09 PM

I read your thread on Phoenixrising, interesting.. Off course I have longer known about Amulsipride being somewhat effective against negative symptoms in lower dosages but was always reluctant in considering it as a option because of it's potent Prolactin issues. I guess, the Prolactin damage would be minimal on a dosage of 12.5/25mg but am wondering, will I be able to benefit from it's anti-anhedonia/dopamine agonism effect even though I'm taking two potent D2 antagonists (Zyprexa and Latuda)..?


I don't know, but amisulpride is an interesting new type of drug which is classed as a dopamine system stabilizer, as well as an atypical antipsychotic.

A dopamine system stabilizer boosts dopaminergic activity at low dopamine levels, but reduces dopaminergic activity at high dopamine levels. So amisulpride is kind of like an "intelligent" dopamine modulator.

Amisulpride also has different effects, depending on dose level. At very low doses, it activates dopamine D2 and D3 receptors (by an autoreceptor mechanism). But at normal doses (the doses used in schizophrenia and psychosis), it antagonizes these same receptors.

The only other atypical antipsychotic with this dopamine system stabilizer action that I am aware of is aripiprazole (Abilify).

After my viral infection, I developed some mild psychosis symptoms, as well as the anhedonia and anxiety symptoms, and I found very low dose amisulpride helpful in combating them. Incidentally, I also found (by accident) that the diuretic drug amiloride (5 mg once or twice daily) helped reduce these mild psychosis symptoms. I later discovered that some diuretics are beneficial for schizophrenia, see here .


Have you tried abilify Hip? I would be curious to know the differences between the two drugs in effectiveness. Ive always wanted to try a low dose of abilify to help with my mood but am afraid of side effects.

#27 Hip

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 01:16 AM

Have you tried abilify Hip? I would be curious to know the differences between the two drugs in effectiveness. Ive always wanted to try a low dose of abilify to help with my mood but am afraid of side effects.

 

Yes I did try Abilify, at a low dose of 1.25 mg. I found its effects were very similar to amisulpride, except that Abilify has this stimulatory effect which I did not like (with ME/CFS you tend to feel "wired but tired", so anything that increases the "wired" feeling as stimulants do is not desirable).

 

So I went back to amisulpride, which does not have this stimulatory action.

 

Abilify has a long half life of 3 days, so if it does something you don't like, like in my case over-stimulate, you have to wait around a week for this drug to wear off.



#28 Deaden

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 08:32 AM

Hip you have CFS, Youngschizo you have schizophrenia... You both should look into stem cell therapy to cure your illnesses, read studies about it. 



#29 YoungSchizo

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 06:01 PM

Hip you have CFS, Youngschizo you have schizophrenia... You both should look into stem cell therapy to cure your illnesses, read studies about it. 

 

What (symptoms) do they treat, where do they offer it? The people over at schizophrenia.com keeps the community updated over any news about schizophrenia which I read daily.. I haven't seen a study, article and/or news that schizophrenics can be treated with stem cell therapy. Afaik, I know they're investigating it but it's not slightly close to advanced stem cell treatment for example Parkinson's. I guess they don't even know "what" to treat with schizophrenics, they're still not even close to understand it and what exactly is wrong. 


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#30 Deaden

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:09 AM

>https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC5613125/

>http://schizophrenia.com/?p=401

>https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC5290293/ "Here we demonstrate that interneuron transplants into the vHipp alleviate not only positive, but also negative and cognitive symptoms in the MAM rodent model"

 

>http://www.gulfcoast...-cfs-sufferers/


Edited by Deaden, 12 October 2017 - 12:10 AM.






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