Anhedonia

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by Obsessive, Mar 29, 2011.

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  1. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    I've felt little joy from anything for many years. I'm struggling just to be able to find one meal to eat for the day. What little I can even stand to eat is just so I don't feel hunger pains.

    Gaming has been my only hobby my whole life, but got sick of it long ago. How is it possible to cultivate new interests with anhedonia? Hell, I don't understand how it's even possible to break out of anhedonia when, by its very nature, you can't possibly get pleasure no matter what you try.

    One of the things that keep me depressed is that I'm socially isolated due to disabilities and just not having any interests at all. Doesn't help having no way to cope with pain either.

    Pisses me off that I can't find anything specific online for beating anhedonia, it's always the same basic recommendations - psychotherapy, medication, exercise, diet. I'm on like my 7th or something therapist with no sign of success; I pretty much just continue to go so that I'll have at least someone I can talk about my issues to. I've been on dozens of meds and had ECT. Again, no sign of improvement whatsoever. Exercise I'm trying to get back into, I saw no improvement while I was doing it and its frustrating just struggling to maintain the motivation for it. Any change of diet really isn't an option since, as I said, I'm just forcing myself to eat at this point.

    So I don't get it, if those things don't work for me am I screwed for life? Am I to just decide between ending the pain now and sleepwalking through life, just surviving until my pointless existence expires? Anyone with any experience or know anyone or even know a book I can read to learn about how people actually beat this?
     
  2. icequeen

    icequeen Well-Known Member

    i didnt know what this condition was till i googled, and i what little i read, i dont think you are out of choices, it may be so simple as finding the right
    combo of meds, therapy...my mum loves to tell me "Where there is life there is hope" and whilst at times i disagree i hope you continue to try alternatives and not give up. books are available if you look at the likes of amazon, only you will know which one is best for you. hang on in and keep fighting the fight :hugtackles:
     
  3. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    Well that's the problem, I can't find any book available on it that's relevant. On amazon the only books that come up on a search are matter-of-fact psychological books that just focus on technical details and studies of the inner workings of the brain, and some fiction novels; nothing I could use to draw some insight on what I could be doing other than hoping that someday doctors just randomly throwing pills at me will cure it. =/
     
  4. jasel

    jasel New Member

    I know where you're coming from. I was diagnosed with Anhedonia in the 60's and never heard the word used before, and rarely since.

    They now prefer to call it chronic refractory depression.

    I'm pushing 60 and no better off than I was in my teens. Been through all the anti-depressants, and lots of therapy. The only thing that ever worked was either illegal or temporary (most likely both).

    The few times I've felt joy in my life where in a couple of relationships that ultimately dissolved and left me back in my misery.

    Photography helped a lot. It gave me something to do, and helped me observe the things that made people feel better or worse. Not a solution, but at times it has helped.

    I mostly sit in bed all day, sleeping as much as my body allows, and living vicariously through watching television.

    Sometimes I will just go outside on a sunny day and try to realize that I have a roof over my head, enough money to buy food, heat, a computer with internet service, and whatever cameras I want. And I realize how many people in the world can't.

    Does it bring me joy? Rarely, and when it does, something usually comes along to ruin it.

    I have ZERO friends, and have no interest in actively searching any out. No family left (except a sister I don't communicate with).

    But I have two parrots. And they depend on me to survive. So in some ways they provide me with a joy that nothing else does. So I also depend on them to survive.

    Do you have a pet, or ever thought of getting one? They are extremely good listeners, and they will rarely dispute anything you say to them.

    Other than that, I keep trying to remind myself that the past 58 years will never change, but there is nothing that says I am forbidden from experiencing any joy in the future. And maybe sometime in the days to come, there will be something that, however brief, that will make me glad I hung on.

    I don't know what your pain is, or where it's coming from, but new meds are being developed all the time, and hopefully you can find one that will help you.

    I wish you the best. If I can hang on through all my pain (both physical and emotional), I figure anyone can.

    James
     
  5. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the way I've seen the word used is as a description of one of the symptoms of depression rather than a diagnosis itself. I have many problems other than my major depressive disorder from Asperger's Syndrome to ADHD, but out of all my issues it's the lack of pleasure aspect that keeps me trapped in a hopeless situation.

    Also have no friends. The only actual friend I've had in my life is online, but he rarely comes on anymore because he's been busy obtaining everything he could want in life. Plus he doesn't know about my problems. Any other "friends" I've had were just selfish people that I hung with just so I wasn't alone, mostly other social rejects in school. Can't ever picture myself even getting into a relationship.

    I have 5 pets and it's living hell. 4 cats and a puppy. I still live with my mother who is also depressed and alone. Our first two cats were okay, but then as she got moodier she adopted two troublemaker cats without warning and later got a horrible puppy that just makes our lives even more miserable and makes me feel even more trapped because I'm not able to move out on my own to escape this.

    Thanks, but I really can't picture anything ever changing if my only hope is a magic pill. I don't want to hang on if the rest of my life is just watching as I continue to falter and sink even lower. I don't even feel human...
     
  6. icequeen

    icequeen Well-Known Member

    just an observation (unusual for me to notice stuff at the best of times) but just MAYBE you and your mum are feeding off each others depression. i know that if i am physically around like minded peeps it saps my energy even more and makes me feel even worse.

    dont know your circumstances, but maybe even if you took off with the hound from hell for a long walk for a few hours a day, it might give you a
    break. i walk approx 5 miles a day even tho i dont initially want to go, but a friend comes and takes me, and altho i cant say i enjoy it, it gives my brain a
    rest as i focus on my footsteps rather than what is bothering me.

    it might take a lot of effort to actually do it, but you have nothing to lose.
    sorry i cant offer anything more constructive but :hugtackles:
     
  7. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    Eh..... we rarely are together. Most of any interaction with her is just being given orders, daily briefings, and scolding, that's basically it. We are aware of each other's problems already and don't have much to discuss. Occasionally she'll rant to me about something small like increasing gas prices and stupid people, and whenever I do complain to her about the usual problems while I'm upset she'll usually just tell me that she's sick of hearing it. So we stay out of the other's way for the most part. Don't see any difference when I'm away from her. Even when I was on vacation with just my dad I was miserable for the most part. And it's pointless to even discuss my problems with him because he's so optimistic and just can't relate.

    I already walk when I can, but she won't let me take the puppy with. There's a lot of red tape and drama surrounding what can be done with it. For example one of the trainers said to spray bitter apple into his mouth literally every time he bites, but my mother adds the insane qualifier that it has to be within 2 seconds of the dog biting or it becomes too late. Keep in mind that as soon as he sees the spray bottle he goes nuts and you have to attempt to rope him in with the leash and grab the collar so you don't spray his eyes. This is the kind of nonsense surrounding every aspect of this dog - she claims to defer to the trainers, but she'll just pick and choose what to actually apply and put her own insane spin on how to apply it. Due to her poor choice of breed (shiba inu, perhaps the most unruly and challenging dog possible) and her ineffective training methods this situation will continue to suck, but she thinks time will fix things.

    Main problem with her though is I need her too much despite the frustration she causes me. I'm just not smart or strong enough to take care of anything on my own.
     
  8. icequeen

    icequeen Well-Known Member

    even from what you say, you are still feeding off her, things can be so subtle i have found that you dont always notice it happening. maybe before you face the world you try some simple deep breathing that will help calm you ( i learned this from yoga and it can be calming) jog in your room, or anything to burn off energy that would be used stressing and fretting, i know its not always easy, i am just passing on what i have been told...the world is a big black dark place...but you have to fight to find the light, nothing is easy and that includes how we all feel...hang on...battle on...and just maybe things will surprise you :spidey:
     
  9. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    Never understood the appeal of deep breathing, I hate it. Painful for me to breathe so it's just like sticking a finger in a wound.
     
  10. icequeen

    icequeen Well-Known Member

    i understand what you mean about the deep breathing, but under advice i persevered and i have to admit that it does help...not always a great deal but it does...it was just an example..you just have to find something that works for you personally...something that calms you even if just a little, sometimes that is all it takes - that little calming influence - to get you through another day. everyone is different and different things work for different peeps, just keep looking till you find one for you...it buys you time, and just maybe you will come through the other side..if emotions were easy none of us would be here on this forum. keep fighting and keep searching... :console:
     
  11. Obsessive

    Obsessive Well-Known Member

    Fair enough. Have already been doing some meditating and 20 min exercise routine every day anyway. Walk sometimes. Thanks.
     
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