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Have you found anything that helped with Anhedonia?

Z

Zarathustra

New member
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
1
Hi

I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia 8 years ago. Recently I was put on different meds and have been clean of psychosis for about a year. This is supposed to be good news, but now I face a different problem. I have total anhedonia, social and physical. This is probably due to being a symptom of schizophrenia and being on max dose Clozapine and Geodon for 3 years.

While in a psychosis the anhedonia doesn't feel so bad, because you know you are supposed to be miserable, but now that I am clean it is hitting me pretty hard. I am supposed to be happy and looking forward to life, but i cant. I talked to my doctor about it, but he said all he can do is lower my dose a bit. The thing is, I know this won't work, since I went of all my meds for about a year and still experienced the anhedonia. At least in a psychosis I could imagine that being clean would be better, but now that I am, I am in some sort of limbo. Nothing negative, but not even the possibility of anything positive, since my brain cant process joy or satisfaction. The last year I had a really good year on paper, I finally finished my degree, got my drivers licence and even got my anxiety under control, but I cant get any pleasure or satisfaction from it. It makes me think about the point of achieving anything if all I can do is bounce between misery and neutral.

Has anyone else experienced total anhedonia and found anything that helped with it? I could really use some help.

Thanks
 
boudreauj4

boudreauj4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
859
I also have near total anhedonia. Life feels so meaningless when nothing seems to give me pleasure. I don't get the sense of satisfaction when I complete a difficult or simple task. I stopped doing all the hobbies I used to do because it seems pointless to do them when I get no pleasure from doing them. It appears that there is nothing I can do to resolve this. I think the last thing I used to enjoy was eating and having a really good cup of coffee, but now the pleasure from that has even mostly disappeared. I still have to eat because I still feel hunger, but I don't feel pleasure from eating good foods anymore. I just eat to stop the hunger.

One book that might help you, but didn't really help me is Living With Schizophrenia: An Holistic Approach to Understanding, Preventing and Recovering from Negative Symptoms.....by John Watkins. Sorry, but I don't remember much in the book except that it deals with negative symptoms. Maybe avolition (another negative symptom) prevented me from initiating any of the things this book suggested to combat the negative symptoms.

I also take Geodon but the anhedonia started many years before this when I was on risperidone. It wasn't until I started Geodon that I suddenly started becoming more active and started getting home projects done that had been piling up for the last 7 years.
 
M

mexxem

Active member
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
42
Hi

I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia 8 years ago. Recently I was put on different meds and have been clean of psychosis for about a year. This is supposed to be good news, but now I face a different problem. I have total anhedonia, social and physical. This is probably due to being a symptom of schizophrenia and being on max dose Clozapine and Geodon for 3 years.

While in a psychosis the anhedonia doesn't feel so bad, because you know you are supposed to be miserable, but now that I am clean it is hitting me pretty hard. I am supposed to be happy and looking forward to life, but i cant. I talked to my doctor about it, but he said all he can do is lower my dose a bit. The thing is, I know this won't work, since I went of all my meds for about a year and still experienced the anhedonia. At least in a psychosis I could imagine that being clean would be better, but now that I am, I am in some sort of limbo. Nothing negative, but not even the possibility of anything positive, since my brain cant process joy or satisfaction. The last year I had a really good year on paper, I finally finished my degree, got my drivers licence and even got my anxiety under control, but I cant get any pleasure or satisfaction from it. It makes me think about the point of achieving anything if all I can do is bounce between misery and neutral.

Has anyone else experienced total anhedonia and found anything that helped with it? I could really use some help.

Thanks
hi, i also have majour anhodenia - all i can suggest is what i do - keep up with excersices and your hobbies you pick day after day after day till they become habiit - probably the best we can wish for with bad anhodenia but hey its better than doing nothing all day.... and especially i must push for exercise - it is easy and habit forming and while it doesn’t give pleasure it gives your body a pleasurable feeling....
 
K

KS12

New member
Joined
Oct 9, 2019
Messages
1
Location
london
Hi

I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia 8 years ago. Recently I was put on different meds and have been clean of psychosis for about a year. This is supposed to be good news, but now I face a different problem. I have total anhedonia, social and physical. This is probably due to being a symptom of schizophrenia and being on max dose Clozapine and Geodon for 3 years.

While in a psychosis the anhedonia doesn't feel so bad, because you know you are supposed to be miserable, but now that I am clean it is hitting me pretty hard. I am supposed to be happy and looking forward to life, but i cant. I talked to my doctor about it, but he said all he can do is lower my dose a bit. The thing is, I know this won't work, since I went of all my meds for about a year and still experienced the anhedonia. At least in a psychosis I could imagine that being clean would be better, but now that I am, I am in some sort of limbo. Nothing negative, but not even the possibility of anything positive, since my brain cant process joy or satisfaction. The last year I had a really good year on paper, I finally finished my degree, got my drivers licence and even got my anxiety under control, but I cant get any pleasure or satisfaction from it. It makes me think about the point of achieving anything if all I can do is bounce between misery and neutral.

Has anyone else experienced total anhedonia and found anything that helped with it? I could really use some help.

Thanks
You should read "The Latch Key Kid", by M J Hughes. This kids view on Anhedonia completely helped me put my thoughts into perspective. The things the poor thing has to go through and how he actually uses Anhedonia to cope, it completely blew me away and changed my life for the better, I hope it can help others too. Just search Amazon for Anhedonia and scroll down to 'The Latch Key Kid'. I've even joined a gym now ;) xx
 
S

sarathornton

New member
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
1
Location
London
Hi Katie, I am a professional psychologist and I can second your recommendation. I use 'The Latch Key Kid' as a reference book for my students and it explains Anhedonia in action very well. From a CBT perspective, the book is saying that thoughts are like clouds and when you latch onto a thought/cloud it evolves into a feeling/emotion, the author is saying that people with Anhedonia do not have the ability to reach the clouds and just helplessly watch them float by. Excellent recommendation Katie, to help others is the ultimate reward.
 
boudreauj4

boudreauj4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
859
I have begun to read Living With Schizophrenia by John Watkins for the second time, because my negative symptoms have really gotten me into a slump lately. Since I have difficulty reading and adsorbing what I read, this time I am outlining the book in a notebook to help me remember what I read. I have finally finished the first section of the book this morning which explains negative symptoms and explains all the different things that can cause them. Section 2 goes into specific detail and explains how to help avoid and relieve them. The 21 specific strategies for this are:
1. Understand the nature and causes of negative symptoms
2. Cultivate hope and positive attitudes
3. Create a safe environment
4. Create a safe and supportive family atmosphere
5. Learn to appreciate silence
6. Use Meuroleptic Medications Wisely
7. Work for Recovery
8. Gradually increase activity and responsibility
9. Maintain a structured routine of activity
10. Find a balanced level of stimulation
11. Cultivate patience and persistance
12. Practice gentleness
13. Adopt a healthy lifestyle
14. Utilise councelling or psychotherapy
15. Learn effective coping skills
16. Cultivate self esteem
17. Find a meaning and purpose in life
18. Confront new situations and responsibilities
19. Beware of depression
20. Guard against the "Seduction of Madness"
21. Respect and nurture spirituality
 
J

Jules5

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
1,967
Location
Florida
I have had Anhedonia for two years-every since starting Risperidone. I recently decreased my risperidone down from 4mg to 1mg. I have found that my push to do more is getting healthier and I get out of the house more now. The Risperidone kept me from feeling any emotions at all. I was not angry nor happy just dull. I planted some flowers outside the other day and I really did not get satisfaction from it. This morning I fertilized the flowers and enjoyed the water going into the ground knowing the plants have a good chance of surviving.

I am hoping my life will improve soon and at least start feeling emotions. I totally can relate to anyone with Anhedonia and know it is awful. Lots of hugs Jules
 
albie

albie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2013
Messages
171
I used to drink every day to feel pleasure but the dr says I have something up with my liver and have had to cut down. MISERY!
 
R

Ray

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Northern California
Came out of the fog of the ECT after a couple weeks, with no benefit, and something significant, simply gone. Took a good while to understand the extent of it, what it meant, as I had no previous knowledge of the concept, certainly no experience. Originally I thought it a complication/side effect of the ECT, and hoped it would pass in time as I healed, as I had read that ECT complications tend to do. It did not.

My belief now is that the anhedonia was the progression of the treatment resistant MDD, itself exacerbated/caused by decades of an emotionally abusive relationship, and coincidentally became "visible" as I emerged from the fog of the ECT. Not certain the ECT did not contribute, but I've found little to support the idea. At this point cause doesn't much matter, if it ever did.

It has taken my ability to feel ANY/ALL pleasure- not affected, not altered or minimized, but eliminated. I have NO interests, lifelong passions are gone, as well as the creative tendencies and work ethic that were so much a part of who I was. Things that once brought me pleasure now only serve to underline and emphasize its loss, a significant negative, which I actively avoid.

I no longer can offset or counter the bad in life, have no ability to generate energy/recharge/feel better; EVERYTHING is forced, I'm long out of energy. and it continues to get harder. I still feel the bad, very well, but all I can do is avoid as much as possible. Avoiding the bad does not equate to feeling good, and there is significant bad in life, and it cannot all be avoided, regardless. The bad in my life will grow in the new year, as the divorce progresses, and in other ways, all which will need be taken at full weight and force, having no ability to mitigate/minimize.

I have been like this for nearly four years, and was in a poor state prior. Have only continued to fight for the sake of my son, but even that is becoming less and less effective a motivator. My condition is simply not viable. I have no hope/optimism, nor the ability to gain any.

R~
 
Topcat

Topcat

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
3,865
Came out of the fog of the ECT after a couple weeks, with no benefit, and something significant, simply gone. Took a good while to understand the extent of it, what it meant, as I had no previous knowledge of the concept, certainly no experience. Originally I thought it a complication/side effect of the ECT, and hoped it would pass in time as I healed, as I had read that ECT complications tend to do. It did not.

My belief now is that the anhedonia was the progression of the treatment resistant MDD, itself exacerbated/caused by decades of an emotionally abusive relationship, and coincidentally became "visible" as I emerged from the fog of the ECT. Not certain the ECT did not contribute, but I've found little to support the idea. At this point cause doesn't much matter, if it ever did.

It has taken my ability to feel ANY/ALL pleasure- not affected, not altered or minimized, but eliminated. I have NO interests, lifelong passions are gone, as well as the creative tendencies and work ethic that were so much a part of who I was. Things that once brought me pleasure now only serve to underline and emphasize its loss, a significant negative, which I actively avoid.

I no longer can offset or counter the bad in life, have no ability to generate energy/recharge/feel better; EVERYTHING is forced, I'm long out of energy. and it continues to get harder. I still feel the bad, very well, but all I can do is avoid as much as possible. Avoiding the bad does not equate to feeling good, and there is significant bad in life, and it cannot all be avoided, regardless. The bad in my life will grow in the new year, as the divorce progresses, and in other ways, all which will need be taken at full weight and force, having no ability to mitigate/minimize.

I have been like this for nearly four years, and was in a poor state prior. Have only continued to fight for the sake of my son, but even that is becoming less and less effective a motivator. My condition is simply not viable. I have no hope/optimism, nor the ability to gain any.

R~
You sound incredibly depressed :hug: I hope you can find some effective treatment and feel better again
 
R

Ray

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Northern California
You sound incredibly depressed :hug: I hope you can find some effective treatment and feel better again
Have unfortunately never received any benefit. even temporarily, from any of the medicines I tried, repeatedly, any of the therapies, nor from the ECT. My counselor gives me someone to talk to, and to have something on the calendar, but no improvement, per se. My belief is, simply, that I am beyond available help.

I appreciate your reply.

R~
 
Z

Zoe1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
10,931
Location
Nowhere
yes I have had this , I really thought it was hopeless
what made the difference
was getting an independent mental health advocate
which is free of charge in the UK

the organisation is called Pohwer
my advocate comes and sits in
on the clinic meeting with my psychiatrist
and represents my wishes

my medication now is not perfect
but it leaves room for me to feel enough
that I can feel my feelings
the good and the bad ones
 
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