Thursday, 23 February 2012

Uh oh, Anhedonia just turned real

From reading back over a couple of journals, I have come to the conclusion that the anhedonia that I had assumed without a second thought was due to olanzapine, has actually, most likely, been an ongoing process over the past two years or so. Or maybe longer, considering how my ability to feel pleasure seems to have been constantly declining anyway, but my journals don't really extend back that far.

You see, before anhedonia I thought I could maybe live through life. Sure I thought of suicide a lot of the time, but that was just a temporary measure. If I could make it through these adolescent/young-adult wading-through-thick-viscous-faeces years, then I'd have an easy life. I'd just socially isolate myself, stock up on video games and the like, get a freelance job so no contemplating of the world necessary,  and traverse foreign escapist lands until I die, alone, but unaware. Dreams don't often come true, but this dream I thought was probably possible. I mean, freelance work is easy if you know how to programme. Or write essays, or translate, etc. Escapism is easy, given my great affinity for it. And social isolation is quite often easy because the reason I wanted to isolate myself in the first place was to do with how I have been constantly shut out or shat upon in this world - people naturally avoid me, so it's not hard to avoid them either.

But as with most of my fantasies, this has come crashing down in recent years. For one, I've learnt that rain is like urine: it never stops pouring down on you until you're dead and buried. It's not honest saying "A few more years, then things'll be fine, you'll see". It may have helped me get through life once upon a time, but it's not in any way true. I can't stop bad things happening, to me or to anyone else. This is horrifying, but this is life. Moreover, I've become addicted to social-ness. Or, if I'm being completely honest with myself, I guess I've always needed people, despite how they more often than not haven't been there. Sitting alone everyday, 'escaping' - I know what summer holidays are like. I have most psychotic breakdowns then, generally from the loneliness and the boredom. As for freelance working, it's possible, but I'm really not going to be able to motivate myself for any real length of time to do it. Better a tyrant flagellating you everyday than having to be that same tyrant, flagellating yourself.

But the final nail in the coffin of my humblest of dreams was simply my eventual loss of pleasure. I feel nothing now, but slight 'tingles' of comfort. I know this blog post would make me happy if I could feel something, but as it stands, I only really keep up with my posting schedule because my mind feels the phantom limb of emotion itching and the tingling suggests to me that I carry on. Besides that too, there's the fact that not doing anything leads me back to horrible depressive boredom, but that's beside the point.* I am barely a human being. I don't feel MUCH pain, I certainly feel a lot more pain than most people, but it's not all that much relatively compared to what I usually have. So while the future looks like a bleak, endless and gray expanse of meaningless nothingness, and while I fear a bit for the fact that this boring, annoying situation won't end for another couple of decades, I at least don't have a great big dollop of suffering added on top of this mess.

One thing I really do fear however is that because my new medication has been shown to relieve anhedonia, it'll just bring me back to the same old situation of pain, escape, pain, escape, until I die, as I described at the start of this post. Still, my old mood stabiliser made me into that kind of human unbreakable zombie, so I'm guessing this new one COULD potentially have the effects of simultaneous anhedonia relief and mood stabilisation. But I'm really not counting on it. I am generally a rational person. But bad luck tends to follow me around, and the pessimistic view rarely lets me down.

Why am I writing this? Well I think for anyone out there who, like me, is annoyed at how little there is about anhedonia on the internet, a fellow depressive ranting about how he has become a suffer-bot may help things out a bit. Also, I really like to talk about myself. This is a serious character flaw but it is really the least of my worries as far as I'm concerned.

*Painful boredom should have its own word, methinks. Not because it crops up so frequently in the human condition, but because it is so unbelievably distinctive that one just feels the need to describe it as something more unique than "painful boredom" or "chest pain boredom", or "stabbing knives in my belly boredom with added self-hate".


  1. On a palliative note, I have legal access to marijuana but lately I often prefer this for anxiety/anhedonia relief. Sometimes works for hours/days.

    "Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a physical sensation characterized by a pleasurable tingling that typically begins in the head and scalp, and often moves down the spine and through the limbs." Indeed!

  2. Hmmmmm. I used to use a lot of binaural beats/isochronic tones, but as soon as the anhedonia kicked in they tended to just put me into a trance state with no real pleasure coming out of it - and I much prefer following my phantom desires than meditating for such a long time, feeling nothing rather than ghostly snippets of emotions that should be there. But I'll check this out, thanks.