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Loss of appreciation for music


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I'm the type of person generally led by feelings, but lately (the past few years) it seems my emotional life has lost its "color" - I feel somewhat empty inside. The depth of feeling that once led me to naturally apply language like "beautiful" or "refreshing" to music that I enjoy, is absent. And has been for a very long time. I can't share my appreciation of music on an equal level with like-minded people. On my end it just turns into a more cerebral appreciation. I'm jealous of them. Music is becoming less of a refuge for me and it makes me feel helpless.

It's affecting my motivation to practice which could be a solution in itself, except it's not. I've tried listening to nostalgic songs but that only partially pulls me back.

FYI I don't feel depressed but then maybe I am and don't know it. I'm inclined to think that it's the meds I know that's kinda a cop-out but they ARE powerful mind altering agents. Plus having gone through ECT a few years ago is probably a factor too.

What's replaced my interest in music is an undesired obsession with psychological health and therapy.

I don't want to fixate on therapy I just want to feel whole.

Edited by j.evang
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sorry you are experiencing this. I experience this same thing when depressed (including now) and it totally sucks. losing appreciation for music (which I find normally to be sort of a transcendent experience) is actually one of my biggest indicators of depression. and it's not really a sadness, exactly, just something like what you were describing, empty, numb, emotional life losing its color....and the most obvious sign of that is that music just doesn't do its thing anymore.

 

depressed but not knowing it does seem very likely. it seems very much like a form of anhedonia (not sure I spelled that right). could be meds too, I don't think that sounds like a cop-out, just a reasonable concern. maybe a med adjustment would help. it sounds like you are having more problems than just a loss of appreciation for music....but losing appreciation for music is actually pretty damn sucktacular and a pretty big deal at least in my mind. but I think that it can definitely return. I have had this happen for very long periods of time and eventually the enjoyment does come back.

Edited by starship_subaru
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i feel the same way and it's awful.  music has always been such a great mood-lifter for me, and now it registers as just *nothing* or annoying.  if it is sentimental, it makes me cry.  but there's no enjoyment of music, for months and months now.  i miss it terribly.  i used to write lyrics for a friend who performs and now, i can't even do that anymore.

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Cerebral appreciation is pretty well my state as well. It sucks, because music is one of my main refuges. I'm sorry. I get the loss of incentive to practice, too, but I've been at singing so long that it's habit now, even when I'm just doing housework. I'd have to make a concentrated effort to stop at this point.

Negative symptoms are the cause, I'm pretty sure, but for me it got worse subtly over time. It wasn't until I took a look back and pieced together what I remembered that I saw the arc of it. Do you know when it started? Maybe that would help pinpoint the cause.

Edited by Mim
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  • 1 year later...

I have had exactly the same thing, I used to compose electronic music addictively with success since i was 16 yrs old, then about 5 years ago inspiration seemed to ebb away and the places music used to take me in my head seemed to get less powerful. I still enjoy music but no way to the same extent as before. I dont know why this has happened for sure, could be depression connected, i definately get depressed sometimes but not all the time.  Maybe related to long term brain damage due to cocaine abuse? i stopped regularly taking it 4 years ago. Does anyone else with loss of appreciation of music think it could be related to cocaine use?

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  • 3 weeks later...

go on youtube and listen to 2 steps from hell - heart of courage, if you don't feel anything, its anhedonia for sure....

Other thing I found, when I was in your state, I became an audiophile, having Grados and a headphone amp or really good speakers can really increase the joy of music, and if that doesn't work then I am sure its anhedonia (which sucks, I came out of it in July ...)

 

L

Edited by Veli Veli Ruckas
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I've had this happen in response to medication. Lamotrigine for sure, and my last round of Seroquell and Cymbalta. I love music, and have strong emotional reactions -- positive and negative -- to music. But it would suddenly just become noise, lacking in any meaning. The experience would come and go -- I might be fine for awhile, and then nothing. Dead. It was tremendously frightening and traumatizing. One of the reasons I've given up on meds. Off the meds, for better or worse, I still experience strong emotions -- generally for the worse. But I'd rather feel something, even painful, than nothing. When it happened, it made me wonder if I'd died, and this was what death was like...moving through the world, not feeling anything.

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I noticed this when I first started taking Strattera. Music had never sounded so bland before, and it was a very sudden change. I have been able to enjoy music somewhat more at times since then, but I haven't been listening to music a lot lately and I am not always very good about taking the medication, so it's possible those better times were days when I hadn't taken it.

Edited by cara23
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Yep, anhedonia , that's what it is. Love medical terminology... I wonder if there's such a thing as psychiatric induced anhedonia.

I am not NOS, so I apologise for bumping in, but I saw this obsession with health and medical terminology etc... I am a painter, but my subject is always my lifelong obsession with medical history. You should have a peruse into it, fascinating and it's not relevant to your own treatment or to therapy so it's a safe thing to read without drawing personal connections all the time. Right now I'm really interested in syphilis because it had an extensive impact on human history as a whole. Every devastating infectious disease has carved our present in one way or another.

Try Gresham College lectures, youtube (BBC docos and Frontline are especially good), NLM, Wellcome Library, internet archive for scans of old medical texts, and if you have access to databases via a University then try the medical ones (Ovid, PubMed, Jstor, Medline etc...).

Dunno if it will help, but it's sort of close to what you are obsessing over without being destructive to your personal health. 

Oh, and have a study of archaic medical terminology. Bills of Mortality are a place to start for that. Fascinating stuff.

 

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