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foghlaim

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didn't know ( as usual) what to put as a header to this.

i'm wondering if others feel as i do. ( maybe at times for others)
since i came out of hospital, i feel , hard to describe.. right word just isn't there for me,
i think flat might be it, don't know.
i'm not as low as i was, but then i don't feel up or really down, somwhere in the middle i think. i get no joy out of anyting i do, no sense of acomplishment, nothing. it's like everything is just automatic.. i do something, take a rest then do something else. my thought are still much the same as they always were, tho i try and distract myself..

i'm fed up with this feeling.. and don't know if it's the meds or me.

foghlaim
 
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Re: what am i feeling

That sounds like anhedonia. It might not be that. I'm sure it could be other things as well. But anhedonia is part of depression.

I found this article: Anhedonia: when life loses its bite

Written by: Colin Brennan, medical journalist

Anhedonia, the inability to gain pleasure from normally pleasurable experiences - a concept first identified in the 1890s - is throwing new light on depression in ground breaking research at the Institute of Psychiatry, London.

Anhedonia was largely ignored throughout the 20th Century in favour of more obvious symptoms of depression, which include 'low' mood, poor concentration, tiredness, disturbed appetite and sleep, feelings of guilt and suicidal thoughts. But since the late 1980s, anhedonia has been recognised as a core symptom of depression, and is also present in schizophrenia and other mental disorders.

It is best described by examples. An anhedonic mother gains no joy from playing with her baby, a footballer is no longer excited when his team wins, a teenager is left unmoved by passing their driving test.

Anhedonia and depression

Not everybody suffering from depression has anhedonia, according to Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Tonmoy Sharma of the Maudsley Hospital, London. Many people who go into mild depression can be cheered by 'tea and sympathy'. But in severe depression anhedonia becomes a serious problem.

'It's worse than not being able to get any joy from life,' says Dr Sharma. 'People in this state have an incredibly flat mood. They can't react properly or feel anything. There is no modulation of mood at all. They can't take things forward.'

more here
 
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Re: what am i feeling

I found too, that coming out of the hospital was almost disorienting. It's hard to explain, but everything seemed so different and I wanted even more to retreat within myself.

And I wonder if some medications could cause that feeling?

I just thought that article about anhedonia was interesting. It could be that or something else. Hopefully Dr. Baxter will have more insight.
 

Halo

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Re: what am i feeling

Hi foghlaim,

I can completely relate to what you are saying and feeling...or is it not feeling.

Anyway, Janet that you for that post as I had never heard of anhedonia before. I read the article and wow did it resonate with me. It was like reading how I felt on a page. Too many times there are good things going on in my life and things that I "should" be happy about or things that I am about to do but I just don't feel that inside excitement. Like there can be great jokes or stories being told and I just stare at the person with not much of a reaction. Another example is knowing that I am going on vacation or going on a roadtrip (these things use to be very exciting for me)....I don't even get excited, not a flicker. I always thought that it might be the medication dulling my senses. I do have to admit that I have moments (very brief) were I will have something witty and intelligent to say or I hear something funny and I will laugh but not a seriously good laugh, just a chuckle and even at that most times it is forced.

I don't know if this relates at all to what you are describing foghlaim but I felt like it could be.

Take Care
Nancy
 
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foghlaim

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Janet: thanks for the article, and yes it's very interesting.. could be describing me there. and i can't even pronounce the word.


I don't know if this relates at all to what you are describing foghlaim but I felt like it could be.
Nancy: I could just copy every word you have written... but suffice to say that yes it really relates big time!.
most of my responses to anything are learned responses, from yrs of practice, that is my responses out herein the real world. at least here i can be honest and say what i feel.
and i'm glad that others share the same\similar feeling.

thank ye both for responding, appreciate it.


Dr. B have u any insight to offer, comment maybe?
 
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just mary

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Hi foghlaim,

Sorry to hear you're feeling this way. When I read your post I was reminded of dysthymia, kind of a low grade depression. Anyway I found the following information on the web site:
Mood Disorders Society of Canada (http://www.mooddisorderscanada.ca/depression/dysthymia.htm).

I'm not sure how it differs from Anhedonia - maybe dysthymia is less severe??

Dysthymia is a mild form of chronic depression, which leaves a person living a life where objectively they function reasonably but lack a sense of competence and self worth. Dysthmia literally means “ill humoured” and captures well the subjective and objective experience of the disorders. Life lacks color and definition. A person suffering from dysthymia has a marked inability to derive pleasure from events or stimuli previously found pleasurable. Life lacks joy, colour, vibrancy, and pleasure. People with dysthymia tend to be irritable, self-critical, and ruminated about past events, disappointments, or personal slights. Overtime people with dysthymia become socially withdrawn and isolated. This is likely because of their inability to derive or give pleasure within social relationships.

Many people with dysthymia are unaware that they suffer from a treatable condition and will seek relief through alcohol and drugs, which only compounds their problem. This disorder robs people of life’s pleasures and it can steal away their life. Research experts estimate anywhere from 3 to 12 percent of people with dysthymia end their suffering through suicide.

It is estimated that about three to five percent of the general population suffer from dysthymia and is slightly more prevalent among women than men. Children, teens and the elderly can experience dysthymia but their mood will more often be irritable than depressed. For some it has been a life long experience, others report a single or multiple episodes over their lifetime. Some people go on to develop a major depressive disorders or others developing dysthymia following an acute episode of depression. This is important to note because it may be that there has been an incomplete response to treatment.

Dysthymia has been called many things including: neurotic depression, minor depression, intermittent depression, and depressive personality. In the past, it was felt this disorder was fairly fixed part of temperament but research supports the benefits of getting treatment. Getting a diagnosis of dysthymia can now open the door to relief from suffering

How is a diagnosed of dysthymia made?

To receive a diagnosis of dysthymia a depressed mood must be present for over two years, occurring on an almost daily basis, and with at least two of the following symptoms:

Poor appetite or overeating;
Insomnia or oversleeping;
Fatigue or low energy;
Low self-esteem,
Poor concentration
Problems in decision making;
Hopelessness.
What causes dysthymia?

The exact cause of dysthymia is not known. Like other depressive conditions may be precipitated by the interaction of a number of factors:

Research has indicated that individuals can inherit a predisposition to develop depressive conditions. Individuals who have family members who have suffered from depression may have an increased risk of contracting such disorders themselves.

Imbalances or impaired functioning in the brain chemistry is associated with mood and changes in brain neurotransmitters can have an effect on thoughts, emotions and behavior.

Environmental factors may also give rise to depressive conditions. Disappointment, stress and/or trauma resulting from such things as unemployment, personal failure or tragedies, and family breakdown, can all precipitate depression.

Psychological factors may contribute to the development of depression. For example, behavioral explanations have suggested that depression may be a product of "learned helplessness" that arises from a repeated loss of positive reinforcement and a, perhaps, increased rate of negative life events among other things.

The way in which one views the world can worsen depression by maintaining negative and/or unrealistic beliefs and attitudes about one’s self, the people around us and what the future holds.

The success in treating dysthymia with antidepressant medication suggests it may have biological underpinnings. Researchers are currently exploring possible immunology, hormonal and neurotransmitter connections to dysthymia.

How is dysthymia treated?

The treatment for dysthymia is similar to the treatment of major depression and research shows that it requires just as aggressive a course and length of treatment. A combination of treatments is found to have the greatest effect.

Medication: Research shows a positive response to antidepressant medication, especially to the newer generation of drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Effexor and Serzone.

Cognitive Therapy: A unique form of talk therapy, cognitive therapy helps you understand how your thoughts affect your feelings and your feelings drive your behaviour. Research suggests that cognitive therapy can help help to treat depression and prevent illness relapse. Accessing cognitive therapy is difficult in more urban areas and often impossible in rural communities. However there are some excellent self-directed cognitive therapy handbooks available to guide you.

Interpersonal Therapy: A relatively new form of brief individual psychological therapy, IPT has been demonstrated to be effective in treating dysthymia. IPT focuses on treating dysthymia by addressing interpersonal relationship problems associated with, or affected by the depressive mood. It is based on the belief that strengthening patients' social support systems enhances their ability to cope. Ultimately, this helps to alleviate the depression.

Peer support- Learning more about your disorder and seeking information and support in how cope with a mood disorders has been found to have a positive impact on recovery and prevention of relapse.
 
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foghlaim

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thank you Mary for the article,, i will be asking my psych about both these conditions and see where exactly i am. altho i have to say i am inclined to go with the 1st one myself. but you could be right also.

thanks :)

foghlaim
 
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David Baxter

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NSA, anhedonia might well be what you're experiencing but it's probably a bit more complex than that. That is one of the symptoms of depression and there's no doubt that one of the things you struggle with is major depression. In your case you're also battling high anxiety, which over time can have an emotional numbing effect. Additionally, you have just started some new medications which will take time for you to adapt to. Any and all of these things can make you feel "blah", numb, distant from yourself and others, lacking interest in or enthusiasm for things that you used to enjoy.

What I'm saying is that this is part and parcel of what you're already being treated for. You may experience ups and downs like this for a while. That isn't unusual and isn't cause for alarm.

As for the difference between anhedonia and dysthymia:

Anhedonia is a symptom of depression, characterized by loss of pleasure or joy, loss of interest in things that used to be pleasurable.

Dysthymia is a disorder - basically chronic mild depression.
 

foghlaim

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thanks David: i'm glad you replied as i didn't really know what was going on with me. Now that u have explained in plain language, i understand a bit more and will have take it as it comes. it did have me worried tho, i thought something else was gone wrong! there seem to be so many elements of depression that we don't hear about until someone talks or posts about them.

so thanks again David, Janet and Mary.
appreciate the time and effort in finding and posting the articles above.

nsa
 

Rosa

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just wanted to say I'm glad your back...I missed you around here.
As always
Rosa
 

foghlaim

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It's been a few days now since i wrote the above, and while i have wanted to "talk" to someone about what's happening with me, i couldn't find the right words.. or even how or what way to say what's on my mind.

even now as i attempt to type this, I'm thinking this is going to sound so stupid or ridiculous..

on the outside, to other people, I'm behaving as if things have returned to normal, why? because for some it's expected, for others it's to stop them worrying about me.
but on the inside i feel horrible, I'm living two lives again, not what i wanted to do at all, but I'm doing it just the same. and i know this is partly what got me into this mess in the first place.. living for yrs denying i had any problems. already I'm on a downer because of what i Know I'm doing. Not feeling anything, happy, joy etc. doesn't help. I still do what needs to be done because it needs to be done, i.e.,.. dinner, fix a drainpipe.. usual stuff..

I was reading an old diary last night and i had a major episode of depression in '91 not that i knew it then, hindsight can be a good thing.. i think. anyway reading through it, all the stuff i have been through in the past couple of months, it's all there, panic attacks, feeling desperately low etc., but back then i had 5 kids to take care of, so didn't seek any professional advice. Once i remember going to a doc about not being able to breath, he told me i had asthma. Anyway point of all this?? i can remember all the joy being gone out of my life and living\existing only because i had the kids to keep me here.

Now I'm back to living two lives and i don't want to... (habit i suppose) but this time the suicidal thoughts are coming up more frequent, because if i can't get any lift, happiness ect. while I'm getting help, what's the point in continuing???
also i have self injured in the past cpl of days, just so i could feel something and maybe release some tension that is building, i know in this respect i have gone backwards.

am i still just depressed or finally gone off me rocker???

sorry this is so long... probably doesn't even make any sense anyway..
but I've been wanting to let say this for a day or two.

thanks for the space
nsa
 

Halo

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Hi NSA,

I can relate exactly. When I was reading your post I was thinking to myself that it could well have been me that wrote that. I understand the not knowing what you feel (if anything) and also about feeling that you live two separate lives. I do the same thing again probably out of habit. I am one person to the rest of the world (i.e. friends, parents, work etc.) and when I am alone with myself or on this forum I am me...good or bad...just me. I only feel safe enough to express my real feelings on here and not with anyone else in real life. I shelter others from the real me because if they really knew who I was then they would either a) worry excessively about me; b) feel sorry for me or c) be scared away and not understand me. Those are the reasons that I don't open up to others and keep everything to myself (and you guys).

Anyway so back to you NSA (sorry I rambled on but I just wanted to let you know know that you are not alone at all). I really feel for you and unfortunately I don't have any great wisdom to share as if I did I would probably use it on myself. I do hope that you keep yourself safe and you have at least a few people that you can lean on. And finally, remember that you always have us for support. I am always here for you.

Take Care
Nancy
 

foghlaim

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thank you for identifying with me Nancy... can i ask u, does it bother you that you live two seperate lives.. i understand the reasons as u can see from my previous post, but ifeel it's getting to me more this time than any other.. even tho i will continue to do it. have to do it. I only have this forum where i can speak the truth, to family it's theother me they see and they are so happy to see i'm well again.. one even said about time.

thank you for the support and if i can return it i will.
nsa.
 

Halo

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Hi NSA,

notsureanymore said:
can i ask u, does it bother you that you live two seperate lives.

I have to say yes it does bother me most of the time because I always feel like I am living a lie and being fake. Sometimes even when I get by myself I really don't know who I am because I have to wear this sort of mask to the rest of the world. Most people in my life have no idea that I struggle with depression, take meds, see a psych etc. etc. They all think (or that is what I want them to think) that I am just a happy go lucky sort of person who works 2 jobs and functions well in society. If they only knew......

I too only have this forum on which I can really be myself. Now I have to be honest and say that there are a select few in my life that know bits and pieces of who I am but really nobody (except everyone on here) really knows me. LIke I said, sometimes I don't even really feel like I know myself.

I hope that answers your question and please take care. PM me anytime that you want to talk, I am here.

Take Care
Nancy
 

foghlaim

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thank you Nancy.. sometimes i think we are very alike in ways. parts of your post could be mine.. especially the bit about not knowing yourself.. i haven't a clue who i am anymore... or who i was to begin with, but i hope to find out one day. ( if i can keep suicide at bay long enuff).

thanks again,
nsa
 

Halo

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NSA,

I know the feeling....somedays I feel like all I can do for myself is to try and keep safe. Just making it through the day without SI is tough. Some days I make it through without harming myself and other days I don't. I just keep praying for the day to happen when I wake up and things look bright and I don't have this impending dark cloud hanging over my head.

Take Care
Nancy
 

foghlaim

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thanks Nancy for your post. I like you keep hoping to wake up and feel \think totally differently. But as every one here says, this will take time, and with the right therapist hopefully we both will experience our wishes.

good luck for today
thinking of you

nsa
 

foghlaim

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Today i go over to the psychs i was under in the hospital, hate the thoughts of it, but it has to be done. i'm expecting them to just rewrite the script and say come back in 2 wwks, just like last time. i have taken almost the last of the meds i have here so ihave no choice but to go over to them. i can already feell the anxiety rising.. i really dislike these guys. anyway as i have been encouraged to be honest with my docs, if they ask anything i will be honest with them but if they say nothing, i'm saying nothing. getting script means, get it, go into gp office, leave it with recepton, come back hrs later, go to chemist and wait some more..
sorrry for moaning, i'm just not in the form for all this today.



Nancy: how did you get on yesterday??
 

foghlaim

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i think i put the update in the wrong thread.. sorry.



despite having a more or less positive day in some respects..
i find that i want to cry for what appears to be no reason. the tears keep coming to my eyes and i can't figure it out. they just come up, i feel like crying but don't.
happened a few times today and again a few mins ago..
why?????????????????
 

David Baxter

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This may continue to happen from time to time for a while, nsa. You're still adjusting to your medications and even at that it's only part of your movement toward a better future. Some of that work is still waiting to begin.

When is your appointment with your old psychiatrist?
 

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