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I have lost all my feelings of pleasure due to anhedonia which is a negative symptom of schizophrenia and also due to depression.  It really gets to me when people tell me that there are other good things I can live for in my life besides my pleasure because there aren't any.  I am not selfish in saying this and I still have full respect and compassion towards others even when saying this.  I have every reason to believe that my feelings of pleasure are the only things that can define my personal life as being good.  I wish to talk this out with someone who is fully compassionate and respectful who will listen to me and not just dismiss the things I'm saying, tell me that my writing is offensive, have disappointment or scorn towards me, etc.  Therefore, I am going to begin by saying this:

 

As for the idea of me solely living for others if I could never recover my pleasure, we all have personal good lives of our own we need to attend to and need to have. For example, I do things for my own self and my own life such as playing videogames which doesn't involve helping others. But the only thing that could make those sort of things I do for myself (my hobbies) anything good in my personal life is if I can derive feelings of pleasure from them. Therefore, it is like taking away all my personal hobbies and my own personal life and then telling me to just accept that, to just forget my personal life, and to instead just live for others and for other things instead. Therefore, do you not see why that would obviously make me psychotic? It would make any innocent and caring person psychotic. Feelings of pleasure are the only reward message to the brain and are the only things that tell us that our lives are good and worth living. Therefore, my feelings of pleasure are the only things that make my life and hobbies worth doing and pursuing. Don't believe me when I say that feelings of pleasure are the only "good" messages to the brain and are the only things that genuinely encourage us in life and encourage our survival? Then go ask an intelligent scientist or an evolutionary biologist. Sure, we could tell ourselves that our lives are good and worth living without our feelings of pleasure. But that is nothing more than just some thought. It is not that "good" message (feelings of pleasure). We could recognize certain situations as being good or bad and we could very well choose to help others and such without our feelings of pleasure. But the fact still remains that they are nothing more than just thoughts. They are not that "good" message as I said before. They are just simply thoughts of good and bad and not the actual messages of good and bad. The message of good obviously being feelings of pleasure while the message of bad obviously being feelings of suffering.

When we do something good or bad, then that gives us actual feelings of pleasure and suffering. Why is that? It's not just because they are just feelings that "just happen." They are messages to the brain that tell us that what we are doing is good or bad since that is how we evolved. Therefore, to not have any feelings of pleasure due to depression or anhedonia, then there is no message telling you that your life is good and worth living and you would only be fooling yourself by thinking that your life is good and worth living through your thoughts and such alone without your feelings of pleasure. Same thing applies for feelings of suffering in that you would not be having any message telling you that what you are doing in life is bad or that your life is bad.

 

There is a feeling version of good and bad and there is the thought version of good and bad. The thought version of good and bad without our feelings of pleasure and suffering are fake. They are not the true good and bad. Only our feelings of pleasure and suffering give us the good and bad message.  Then there is empathy and compassion here as well.  Those things also come in the form of feelings of pleasure or feelings of suffering.  If you help someone out, then you feel good and that is a form of empathy and compassion.  If you feel bad from hurting someone, then that is a form of empathy and compassion as well.  Those feelings are what tell us what is good and bad in life.  But without our feelings of pleasure or suffering, then there is nothing giving us the good or bad message.  Therefore, you choosing to live for others anyway and to help them out in life despite your absence of pleasure wouldn't make your life anything good at all and wouldn't be any perceived good message at all.  It would only be just a thought as I've said before.  It's the thought of a good message towards others, but isn't the actual perceived good message.

Edited by MattMVS7

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I don't think anyone here said that you must simply accept anhedonia. You shouldn't. But anhedonia is usually a temporary state, and with the right meds and time, hopefully it will pass.

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I don't think anyone here said that you must simply accept anhedonia. You shouldn't. But anhedonia is usually a temporary state, and with the right meds and time, hopefully it will pass.

 

Thank you for your understanding.  If anyone here has scorn or any form of disrespect towards me here as they did in my previous topics, then just "cast these people out" for me, would you?

 

As for recovery, I'm not quite sure because I heard that stress perpetuates anhedonia.  I have fears as a part of my constant daily life and, even though the actual feelings of fear are turned off along with my feelings of pleasure, I need to know if just me still having the actual fears still there counts as the fear stress response perpetuating my anhedonia. My mind has turned off my feelings of pleasure and fear in order to try and recover itself and I'm wondering if my mind would also turn off the fear stress response in addition to the actual feelings of fear themselves.  Having the feelings of fear would perpetuate my anhedonia.  Therefore, this is why my mind has turned off my feelings of fear.  However, since the fear stress response itself would also perpetuate my anhedonia, then did my mind also turn that off as well? Or can't it?

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I've not heard that stress perpetuates anhedonia. Everyone has stress to some degree.

 

People recover from anhedonia. You shouldn't view it as a permanent state. It might take time, but you will eventually recover.

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I've not heard that stress perpetuates anhedonia. Everyone has stress to some degree.

 

People recover from anhedonia. You shouldn't view it as a permanent state. It might take time, but you will eventually recover.

 

Actually, stress does perpetuate anhedonia since scientists and one intelligent member on another depression forum who helped many others said the same thing.

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I don't doubt that stress is a factor, but it's not going to be THE deciding factor whether you will recover from anhedonia or not.

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I've had anhedonia. It sucks. It went away with meds and therapy. It took a while to get the right combo. I found Wellbutrin helped. Meds like Ritalin can help, too. I can't prescribe, I'm not a doctor, and even if I were, I couldn't practice over the internet, but these are things in my experience that have helped me.

 

Stress makes everything worse, I find. I can imagine in stressful times it would kick the anhedonia into high gear and make it worse, and harder to overcome.

 

Talk to your pdoc, or tdoc. There are ways to get out of this hell. Very rarely is anything permanent. Do what you can that you still find pleasure from, anything, to try and keep a grasp at it. Having experienced anhedonia, from negative SZA symptoms, I know this is very difficult, almost impossible. But you have insight, which is a bonus, you know whats going on inside, so you can work with your treatment team to try and end this symptom.

 

Are you currently on any meds? In any form of therapy?

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I've had anhedonia. It sucks. It went away with meds and therapy. It took a while to get the right combo. I found Wellbutrin helped. Meds like Ritalin can help, too. I can't prescribe, I'm not a doctor, and even if I were, I couldn't practice over the internet, but these are things in my experience that have helped me.

 

Stress makes everything worse, I find. I can imagine in stressful times it would kick the anhedonia into high gear and make it worse, and harder to overcome.

 

Talk to your pdoc, or tdoc. There are ways to get out of this hell. Very rarely is anything permanent. Do what you can that you still find pleasure from, anything, to try and keep a grasp at it. Having experienced anhedonia, from negative SZA symptoms, I know this is very difficult, almost impossible. But you have insight, which is a bonus, you know whats going on inside, so you can work with your treatment team to try and end this symptom.

 

Are you currently on any meds? In any form of therapy?

 

I am not taking medication since medication such as SSRIS cause excess serotonin to linger on in the brain.  This excess serotonin then becomes neurotoxic and damages nerve cells and such.  This damage can only serve to perpetuate anhedonia.  Therefore, medication would only serve to likely perpetuate/worsen my anhedonia.  You claim that these medications have helped you.  However, your brain might of recovered on its own and that it had nothing to do with the medication.  Although medication does help some people, for the most part, it only does more harm than good.  

 

I believe that I should just let the brain recover on its own while taking natural supplements that might help such as licorice root that I have yet to try.  I am seeing a therapist as well.

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This is a pro-treatment site. For many people, this includes meds. Where is your evidence that SSRIs damage the brain? Can you provide a citation? It's just flat out wrong, and it is giving out very bad information. If you don't want to take meds, fine. But making such sweeping incorrect statements will not be tolerated here.

 

What is the source of your anhedonia? Negative symptoms or depression?

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I have anhedonia and understand how you feel. All the things I used to love to do like cooking, knitting, playing with my kids, and reading I have no interest in any longer. It is actually one of the worst things about my schizophrenia. Just getting a little bit better with medication slowly, very slowly. Lots of love to you.

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This is a pro-treatment site. For many people, this includes meds. Where is your evidence that SSRIs damage the brain? Can you provide a citation? It's just flat out wrong, and it is giving out very bad information. If you don't want to take meds, fine. But making such sweeping incorrect statements will not be tolerated here.

 

What is the source of your anhedonia? Negative symptoms or depression?

 

Here is the link:

 

http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/09/things-your-doctor-should-tell-you-about-antidepressants/

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My anhedonia is moderating thanks to meds. Took a while to find something that works, but I'm glad I didn't give up. I hope to get another med bump tomorrow and be rid of it completely.

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I apologize for what I said about the medication and I didn't realize that link was made my someone who might not know what they are talking about.  Therefore, I will continue on with explaining some things here.  It is regarding how I can still find good value in this life because, honestly, I don't think I can without my feelings of pleasure.  Therefore, I am now going to explain and others can give me their input:

 

I know a part of Buddhism is about letting go of the things we want in life and accepting our losses and accepting a new life.  But, let's pretend, that there was someone who only wanted to live a particular style of life.  This is his/her one and only life of good value to him/her and all other styles of life to him/her are of no value to him/her.  It would be no different than if someone had a particular style in music and all other styles of music to him/her don't hold any good value to him/her.  Therefore, if someone had only one style of life he/she found good value in such as going out and walking in nature, but then developed cancer and was bound to a hospital bed, then this new life of being in that hospital bed would be of no good value to him/her at all since this new life is not his/her style at all.  It would be no different than if he/she was listening to music he/she likes (in this case, him/her going out and walking in nature), but then that music he/she likes was taken away from him/her and he/she is now listening to music he/she finds no value in (in this case, him/her being bound in a hospital bed with cancer and living a new life in which he/she can no longer go out in nature anymore).  As a matter of fact, it would be him/her now listening to music he/she hates since this is a new life he/she utterly detests.
 
This person would have every right to end his/her life rather than to just accept it since this life is not his/her style at all as I said before and wasn't the life he/she wanted to live at all.  For other people to tell him/her that he/she should just accept this lifestyle and that, even though he/she no longer has the life he/she wanted to live, that he/she should instead live for others, then that would be utterly selfish of these other people to tell him/her so.  It says to him/her that only these other people matter now and that he/she should just instead have all the attention, value, and just cater to these people.  The fact is, he/she is just as important as any other person and he/she deserves his/her good life that he/she wanted to truly live.  He/she has every right to live that life.  Therefore, for others to just tell him/her to accept this new life of cancer and just live for others would be denying, demeaning, and restricting of this person's value as a human being which would be his/her right to have his/her good life he/she wants.  Therefore, balance is key here.  We must have our own good lives we want to live while also living for others and bringing them good lives as well.  We must have our good lives and others must have their good lives.  Otherwise, we should end our lives and we have every right to end our lives if we could never get our good lives back.  We have every right to have our good lives we want to live as long as these are lives that don't harm and demean other innocent people.
 
You choosing to end your life in the event that you could never regain your good life would not make you selfish at all.  For example, with Robin Williams, the good value that he has invested towards the message of living for others, that good value has been redirected towards a new message of value towards his family and other people when he has decided to end his life due to his depression.  This new message of value says to his family and other innocent people that he just can't take his depression anymore and that it is just simply time for him to go.  That he still has full value towards them anyway even though he knows very well that he will cause them grief in his act of suicide and that he wishes for them to find their own strengths in life without him.  Therefore, Robin Williams didn't have any less value towards others in his act of suicide.  Instead, his value has been switched over to a new message.  The message he has had before was him choosing to live for others.  But that message has changed over to that new message I just mentioned here.
 
I have lost all my feelings of pleasure 24/7 due to anhedonia (absence of pleasure) which is a negative symptom of schizophrenia and I'm not sure I will ever regain my pleasure back.  My feelings of pleasure are very profound to me, are the only things that make my personal life good and worth living and nothing else, and are more important than my beating heart and the air I breathe to stay alive.  My heart and air keep me physically alive.  But my feelings of pleasure keep me alive in the sense of giving my life a sense of good value and worth.  Nothing else gives my life a sense of good value and worth.  Therefore, I must have my full feelings of pleasure back to me in my life up and running as a full function in my life to keep my life up and running with good value and worth.  I am not selfish or anything of the sort when saying that my feelings of pleasure are the only things that give the things I do a sense of good value and worth.  I still have full value and compassion towards others and I still help others out.  It's just that what makes my own personal life good and worth living is my feelings of pleasure and nothing else.  If I have decided to end my life due to my pleasure never recovering, then I would not be having any less value towards others (as demonstrated in my example with Robin Williams).  It is only my feelings of pleasure that give my life a sense of good value and worth.  Not any other form of pleasure that is so claimed to come from our thoughts and everything else in life alone without our actual feelings of pleasure.
 
Going back to my music style analogue.  When I had my full feelings of pleasure in the past, it was like I was listening to music I like since it was me living a life that was my style.  But when I have developed this anhedonia in which there are never any given brief moments of any feelings of pleasure whatsoever, then it is now like I am only listening to music I hate and find no value in since I am now living a life that is not who I am, is not my style at all, is a life I find no good value in whatsoever without my feelings of pleasure, and is a lifestyle I will never accept.  Some might tell me that the act of living for feelings of pleasure makes no sense.  But you must understand here that feelings of pleasure are vital to our survival in life in giving us that genuine sense of joy, motivation, inspiration, bond, etc.  That is how we evolved.  For some people though, feelings of pleasure aren't that important or not that important at all.  But for people like me, you must understand here that they are absolutely vital and life depending for me.  They are the only good and profound experiences for me in my personal life.
Edited by MattMVS7

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If anyone here has scorn or any form of disrespect towards me here as they did in my previous topics, then just "cast these people out" for me, would you?

 

MattMVS7 -

 

The Crazyboards User Agreement prohibits abusive posting, and as this is intended as a peer-support site, moderators and administrators are sensitive to this and take swift action to support senseless flaming.  This does not, however, mean that responses to posts are required to be in agreement, and part of Crazyboards' unique elán is that members sometimes disagree with gusto.  We occasionally encounter members who either do not understand this, or are overly sensitive to it, and encourage them to find fora more suited to their tastes.  A review of past topics started by you does not reveal evidence of abusive posting by other members by the standards of this community.

 

We are, however, concerned by your request above.  In its specific reference to religious texts that call upon individuals to be exiled from their communities, or worse, equated to demons to be cast into herds of swine so that they may be destroyed by drowning, the request suggests a contempt on your part for members who do not echo the mindset you have already established for yourself.  Please be aware that no such request will be granted by the staff of this site - whether or not involving demons.

 

If you ask our opinions here, we will share them freely.  If you speak absurdity, we will take you to task for it.  Be prepared, or go in peace.

 

 

Cerberus

Moderator

Anhedonic since 1980

Edited by Cerberus

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If anyone here has scorn or any form of disrespect towards me here as they did in my previous topics, then just "cast these people out" for me, would you?

 

MattMVS7 -

 

The Crazyboards User Agreement prohibits abusive posting, and as this is intended as a peer-support site, moderators and administrators are sensitive to this and take swift action to support senseless flaming.  This does not, however, mean that responses to posts are required to be in agreement, and part of Crazyboards' unique elán is that members sometimes disagree with gusto.  We occasionally encounter members who either do not understand this, or are overly sensitive to it, and encourage them to find fora more suited to their tastes.  A review of past topics started by you does not reveal evidence of abusive posting by other members by the standards of this community.

 

We are, however, concerned by your request above.  In its specific reference to religious texts that call upon individuals to be exiled from their communities, or worse, equated to demons to be cast into herds of swine so that they may be destroyed by drowning, the request suggests a contempt on your part for members who do not echo the mindset you have already established for yourself.  Please be aware that no such request will be granted by the staff of this site - whether or not involving demons.

 

If you ask our opinions here, we will share them freely.  If you speak absurdity, we will take you to task for it.  Be prepared, or go in peace.

 

 

Cerberus

Moderator

Anhedonic since 1980

 

 

In that case, I won't be abusive and will just simply ignore anyone who disagrees with my mindset and will talk with others here in a non-abusive manner.  Therefore, go ahead and talk about that previous post I just made above.

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Ok. So you say that your anhedonia is a negative symptom of schizophrenia. So, wouldn't it make more sense to try to treat the schizophrenia and see if the anhedonia goes away?

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I'm starting to think that this is giving you pleasure...

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I'm not going to read that long post. I just don't have the attention span. But my question to you is why are you posting on the depression board if the source of the anhedonia is negative symptoms? And, yes, negative symptoms are treated with medications to address the underlying disorder.

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... moved to the appropriate forum.

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I'm starting to think that this is giving you pleasure...

 

It doesn't.  It only gives me thoughts of wanting to type this out and talk about it.  That is not the same thing as pleasure.  It is just some thought that doesn't make my personal life anything good at all.

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