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This thread is dedicated to the specific symptom "Anhedonia" which is the medical term for loss of interest and pleasure, as well as numbness and apathy which go hand-in-hand with this symptom. I'd like to hear everyone's experience with anhedonia, numbness and/or apathy so we can gather information and try our best to find a solution. Please do share your experiences if you have some. First off, i'd like to explain my experience with it and what i've found out about it through research. I was just diagnosed as Bipolar II recently. I have been depressed for a long time, but not anymore. I only have anhedonia now. Which I have had for 5 months. It is the persistant symptom that is still stuck with me since my depression. And I must say that this is much worse than being depressed. This has caused me to be hospitalized for the first time, too. Many psychiatrists opinions is that anhedonia goes hand-in-hand with depression. This is half-true, when i was depressed i was overwhelmed by strong negative emotions such as guilt and fear. I was bedwritten with other heavy depressive symptoms such as crying which gave me intense emotional release, and i was still, to some extend, able to experience pleasure a little bit in activities. I was still playing video games, still listened to music and still watching entertainment media such as movies and cartoons/anime. They still gave me something. As of now, i am unable to feel any these emotions whatsoever. I no longer feel "depressed", i no longer feel much of anything. I get no real emotional response from any activity as of right now. I've lost the ability to feel anything for anyone else, including friends and family too and this scares me, I'm completely disconnected. Since this has lasted so long, and it has gotten worse over the months I think I am treatment resistant and I have no choice but to have to live like this for the rest of my life. If i don't kill myself, as I have very strong urges to do right now. Through research i've found out these pharmaceuticals are effective in treating anhedonia: Atypical antidepressants: Wellbutrin Parkisons Drugs/Dopamine Agonists: Mirapex, Requip, etc. MAOI's: Parnate, Emsam, etc. 5-HT2C antagonists: Remeron, Valdoxan, etc. Tricyclics: Nortryptaline, Desipramine, Doxepin etc. ADHD Stimulants: Ritalin, Adderall, etc. SSRE's: Tianeptine Serotonin Receptor Antagonists: Buspirone, Low dose Fluoexitine, etc Antipsychotics: Abilify, Amisulpride, etc. If i am missing anything, please let me know. Medications i have been on: Abilify, Effexor, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Lamictal and Seroquel Abilify was great in treating my obsessive compulsive thoughts, but also eliminated my creativity, I can not draw or write when I'm on this. No noticable effect on anhedonia. Effexor made me even worse, unable to get out of bed while I was on this because I became even more depressed. Lexapro sent me into a hypomanic episode, after that i crashed hard and I was severely depressed again. Zoloft made me emotionally numb, yes it took away sadness. But the took also away the good feelings. Wellbutrin lifted my anhedonic state and made me better for just one week, after that it went straight down again and felt no improvement after 8 weeks even on the highest recommended dose (450 mg). Seroquel made me very dull and apathetic I've been put on Lamictal. Have been on it for a month, it has taken away the "deep sadness" feeling but I get still no pleasure out of activities. My next step is trying out a tricyclic like Nortryptaline because of it's effects on Norepinepherine and Dopamine. If i get no response from this, i consider adding a MAOI like Emsam to the mix. As several tricyclics go well hand-in-hand with MAOIs, their NE blocking effect stops tyramine from entering the synapse, which means you don't have to follow the MAOI diet as closely. (This thread is inspired by another thread i've been through on depressionforums)
Does anyone else experience depression as a frozen, all-consuming, numbing void? For me it's a complete absence of everything rather than the presence of anything. A void rather than a weight. Numb rather than pain. I've been doing a lot of online research about depression and so many sufferers mention sobbing, crying jags, actual emotional pain. I don't feel that. I don't feel anything. If i felt sad enough to cry it wouldn't be depression. I feel like a zombie or a corpse: nothing. I'm 27 and have struggled with mental problems since adolescence. I've grown up and developed under the influence of meds and these mental issues so at this point I feel like I have developmental, personality problems instead of just a disease. I never experienced full blown depression until about 6 months after being "treated" for depression with Luvox at 14 years old. I was in counseling for legitimate teen angst issues: gay and hated high school and everyone's solution was just pills, no lifestyle changes or anything else. Oddly enough the destigmization of depression by selling it on TV as simple chemical imbalances (remember the bouncing ball cartoons for zoloft?) seemed to stigmitize other more complex causes, at least in my experience. My parents had complete blind faith in doctors and if my moody contrarian weirdness was caused by a medical disease then whoopeee we didn't have to do anything about it but go to Rite Aid. In all the years since I've dealt with mental issues I still encounter this attitude: there's nothing wrong with you or your life, it's simply your brain chemistry. I don't mean to diminish anyone else's experience but I truly believe my depression was a side effect of the medication. I think at that young formative age, pre-FDA black box warning, my meds caused full blown depression and I've been following the same dysfuctional mental patterns ever since. I was later given Depakote with no explanation after telling my "p-doc" about actually experiencing a depressive episode. As a teenager when I should have been developing a personality, coping skills, emotional resiliency, social skills, etc I was completely numbed by meds and withdrawn from the world. I still experience this kind of dysfuntion. Sorry for this rambling jumble but it's hard to write through numbness. What I'm trying to get at is that I experience depression the same as I did when I was mis-medicated at a young age: just complete numbing withdrawal from the world. Has anyone else experienced something similar with developmental issues, growing up under meds?