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Complete anhedonia (loss of feelings) as a ME symptom. Anyone else who has it?

Discussion in 'Cognition' started by redo, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    @xks201
    There is an account here of someone with depression who got "improvements in concentration, energy, anhedonia and libido" from taking human growth hormone (HGH).

    I have tried the hormone IGF-1 (which is found in deer velvet antler supplements like this Nutronics Labs product), but have never tried HGH injections.

    IGF-1 is released in the body in when HGH is secreted, and so increased IGF-1 is one of the results of taking HGH. But I understand that HGH has a wider span of activity, compared to IGF-1 on its own.

    In my tests of taking IGF-1 from deer velvet antler for a week or so, I found that IGF-1 improved my sleep a lot, and improved libido, but made me very aggressive and irritable, so I had to stop taking IGF-1, because I became too short tempered.

    The dosage I used was around 700 to 1400 nanograms of IGF-1 per day, from a Nutronics Labs deer velvet antler product.
     
    amaru7 likes this.
  2. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    By the way, the symptoms of adult human growth hormone deficiency are:

    Adult Human Growth Hormone Deficiency Symptoms

    Psychological and Cognitive symptoms
    Anxiety, apprehension, nervousness.
    Shyness, withdrawal from others, feelings of social isolation.
    Sadness, hopelessness, depression.
    Labile emotions.
    Poor memory and impaired concentration.

    It is unknown whether this impairment in psychological well being is associated specifically with GH deficiency or is due to another factor associated with hypopituitarism.

    Sexual
    Decrease in sexual function and interest (low libido). This is associated with hair loss and baldness in men.

    Energy Levels
    Fatigue, tiredness, and reduced vitality.
    Decreased energy due to decreased metabolic rate.
    Lower tolerance to exercise (due to decreased cardiac output), decrease in strength and stamina.

    Metabolic
    High levels of LDL (the "bad") cholesterol.
    Changes in blood cholesterol concentrations (increase in LDL and decrease in HDL).
    Low blood sugar (dizziness or fainting weakness or tiredness, headaches).
    Insulin resistance.
    Elevated triglyceride levels.
    Increased sensitivity to cold or heat.

    Heart and Circulation
    Increased arterial plaque and blood pressure.
    Increased vascular wall thickness.
    Weakened heart muscle contraction and heart rate.
    Heart problems.
    Cool peripheries (cold hand and feet).
    Poor venous access.

    Muscles
    Decreased muscle mass (muscle size) and strength.
    Reduced exercise performance.
    Decrease in lean body mass (muscle).
    Increase in weight and fat deposition all over the body, particularly, about with waist.


    Body Weight and Body Fat
    Decreased lean body mass.
    Weight gain, especially around the waist and trunk.

    Bones
    Decrease in bone density, making the bones brittle and weak.
    Increase in rate of fracture in middle age and beyond.

    Skin
    Dry, thin skin.
    The texture and quality of the skin becomes poor.
    The skin becomes thinner, it looses its elasticity and fine lines and wrinkles make an appearance.

    Hair
    Baldness (in men).

    Sleep
    Sleep problems.


    Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.


    There is also this questionnaire to determine whether you are affected by low growth hormone. The questions are:

    I have to struggle to finish jobs
    I feel a strong need to sleep during the day
    I often feel lonely even when I am with other people
    I have to read things several times before they sink in
    It is difficult for me to make friends
    It takes a lot of effort for me to do simple tasks
    I have difficulty controlling my emotions
    I often lose track of what I want to say
    I lack confidence
    I have to push myself to do things
    I often feel very tense
    I feel as if I let people down
    I find it hard to mix with people
    I feel worn out even when I’ve not done anything
    There are times when I feel very low
    I avoid responsibility if possible
    I avoid mixing with people I don’t know well
    I feel as if I am a burden to people
    I often forget what people have said to me
    I find it difficult to plan ahead
    I am easily irritated by other people
    I often feel too tired to do the things I ought to do
    I have to force myself to do all the things that need doing
    I often have to force myself to stay awake
    My memory lets me down
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  3. xks201

    xks201 Senior Member

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    It is wrong to assume that these deer antler products have standardized IGF-1. You can't compare it to true IGF-1 or GH. I've tried the deer antler products - multiple brands. No comparison. Most GH deficient patients with fatigue take months of GH therapy to improve physically. Whatever small amount they have is no comparison to the amount you would get from a GH shot.

     
  4. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Which velvet deer antler IGF-1 product did you try? I tried various, but most have very little IGF-1 in them, so most did not produce very noticeable results.

    For example, the NOW Foods IGF-1+ Liposomal Spray has only 27.5 ng of IGF-1 per serving.

    The VesPro IGF-1 MAX product is a little better with 200 ng per serving.

    But the strongest product I took was the Nutronics Labs IGF-1 Plus Maximum (100,000 nanograms), which has a massive 1666 ng per serving.


    This very potent Nutronics Labs product I took caused powerful aggression side effects. These effects were blatant and very noticeable. I mean, it was pretty much like "roid rage". But I did not get this aggression from the NOW Foods product, nor the VesPro product. Ergo, the IGF-1 doses quoted on these various product labels would seem to be roughly correct.

    Have you ever tried this highly potent Nutronics Labs product?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  5. xks201

    xks201 Senior Member

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    I have not but I have done massive amounts of GH (10+ius) per night which would translate to an IGF-1 level far greater than from a nutronics lab dose of that and definitely experienced no aggression from GH. I think the aggression could be from something else hormonal found in the deer antler honestly because I have never once heard anyone getting aggressive on GH or even synthetic actual lab made IGF-1. lol I'm not saying it didn't happen to you but most likely it was from something else in the deer antler.

    I have also taken pretty much every popular anabolic steroid - even the ones that supposedly make you extremely aggressive and that also depends on the individual. Roid rage is kind of a myth really - there are tons of people that can take lots of roids and not get any more aggressive than normal.
     
  6. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    A couple of other hormonal supplements have also given me "roid rage" side effects when I took them. DHEA in doses of 50 mg or above causes these strong aggression side effects in me. And Tribulus terrestris, a herb which is thought to boost testosterone levels, creates strong aggression side effects in me. So perhaps I am just susceptible to this aggression side effect from hormones. Normally I am very laid back, so this "roid rage" side effect is out of character.
     
  7. IcyBlue22

    IcyBlue22

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    Even after low doses of 60mg or so of NOW brand Fo-ti (he shou wu) I get bit yellow skin on the face about 3 hours after ingesting.

    It's a shame because I had bit more vigilance and dedication last night. And few years ago when I took it I noticed very real improvement to my mood. Unfortunate the skin on my face would keep getting more yellow. And that was a different brand.

    I've had some history of substances making my face yellow. Happens on and off a lot in the past few years. Wish I knew why. Even without He Shou Wu some yellowness is evident most days.

    My anhedonia and CFS are pretty severe :(. I wish I could just enjoy things again. poor physical and mental energy are serious problems. Royal Jelly used to help but lot of initial worsening of brain fog. brand may be a factor. NOW royal jelly used to work okay in restoring some emotions. Other brands that I have tried have made it harder to think.
     
  8. IcyBlue22

    IcyBlue22

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    Tramadol has some very real anti-anhedonic effects but causes horrible side effects. I'd feel very sick for days after but boy did it allow me to genuinely be a bit engaged in House Of Cards for a night. Priceless experience. Lot of people report problems w opaite substances so I guess can't be safe :(.
     
  9. Dobri

    Dobri

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    Hi everyone.
    It was about 2 and a half years ago when the following happened:
    I woke up one day with this feeling of tightness/numbness in my head plus a weird feeling of warmth around my face, kind of like a hangover but without the headache (all of the above have been present 24/7 since day 1). The very first changes i noticed right away was that i didn't feel the very bad case of anxiety nor my gastritis anymore, both disappeared overnight as if i was touched by a magic wand. The next major change i noticed was that i didn't feel hunger or thurst anymore and i decided to go to my family doctor. He sent me for an MRI ( without contrast) and that came back fine, just minor sinus problems so i left it alone and went forward with my life happy that i wasn't feeling that anxiety anymore, untill about a year into this when the real problem started. Last spring my tightness/numbness/warmth started getting worse and little by little i started loosing emotions and feelings. It is very hard to describe, mentally i am just fine, no suicidal thoughts or signs of depression. The problem is that i can't feel the possitive like love or happiness nor i can feel the negative like hate or sadness. When i drink i no longer get that buzzed feeling a normal person would get after a couple of glasses of wine. I have lost that gut feeling l would get when feeling excited, happy, in love, or nervous, or stressed out or anxious. I go through life as if i am programmed like a robot , i do what i got to do to get through life but i can't feel a thing. Once in a while i'll have a few days where i get my emotions and feelings back and every time i pray to God that i don't go back to being a robot, unfortunately it always comes back. I have noticed that the tighter and warmer my head and face feel(again this is 24/7 since day 1) the worse my emotions and feelings get and i can't figure out what triggers it to get worse and i little better but sporadically in the last year i've had about 15-20 days with feelings and emotions and the rest was robot-like life:-(
    I will add on later if i remember something else that i have missed but for now i am looking into seing a neurologist as soon as i get a chance. If anyone has any comments, info or advice please post , your help is appreciated!
     
    Dichotohmy likes this.
  10. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    To me you're explaining classic depersonalization. Its a dissociative symptom where you become seperated from yourself, i describe it as feeling like you dont have a soul.
    Its a symptom of anxiety. When anxiety gets bad your body actually protects you by dissociating so you don't feel the anx anymore. Considering you can lead a normal life and can drink etc, it certainly doesn't sound like you have an illness, especially not M.E
    That's great!

    You're best bet is to look into the source of your anxiety, maybe talking to a therapist who is versed in dissociation can help. You'll be fine, there's no damage going on, just your brain protecting you
     
  11. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I think @Dobri's symptoms sound more like anhedonia and blunted affect (= blunted emotions). Anhedonia and depersonalization are sometimes confused, but they are different.

    Depersonalization is where your thoughts and feelings seem unreal, or seem not to belong to you. You still have emotions with depersonalization, but you do not identify with them.

    Whereas in blunted affect, you don't have much feelings to start with, because your emotions are weakened. And in anhedonia, you don't get any reward or enjoyment from the daily activities that you normally find pleasurable.

    Anhedonia and blunted affect often come together.
     
  12. Dobri

    Dobri

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    Thank you for your replies.
    All this info is very new to me but it sounds like i have anhedonia and blunted affect(what Hip is describing) and not so much depersonalization. Aerose91 i am glad this doesn't sound like M.E. Btw, have you guys heard of anyone else complaining from this tightness/numbness/warmth in the head which in my case seems to be directly related to my anhedonia and blunted affect assuming these are the 2 conditions i have? Could that be a sign of brain damage (i've had a motorcycle accident when i was 18 and i had hit my head and i had past out with a possible concussion-now i am 37), or could it be brain inflammation or virus related or somekind of autoimmune disease? Should i start with seeing a neurologist and take it from there, how do i go about it?
     
  13. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    @Dobri
    Emotional flatness (blunted affect) is one of the ME/CFS symptoms listed in the CCC. Anhedonia however is not mentioned in the CCC.

    Many ME/CFS patients, myself included, have an inflammatory feeling constantly in their heads, often in the back of the head, just behind the nape of the neck.

    I found that my anhedonia improved quite a bit when I started taking anti-inflammatory supplements such as N-acetyl-glucosamine, flaxseed oil, turmeric, vinpocetine.
     
  14. Dobri

    Dobri

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    I understand Hip. The feeling in my head is didferent, it feels like there is a weight on top of my head and it is pressing down and the heavier and tighter it gets the warmer my face feels and consequently the worse i feel. When this weght/tightness/ warmth lifts i feel a little better. When i get my feelings and emotions back once in a while i berely feel that weight/tightness-it almost disappeares. I was taking 1000 mg of turmeric and i don't think it helped much but i never took it with the cocktail you are recommending, i'll give it a try. I think i should see a neurologist, i don't know where else to start? Any idea what could possibly cause anhedonia? Should i consider Amisulpride?
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
  15. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    @Dobri
    Anhedonia and blunted affect are very hard to treat, much harder than depression, which can often be improved with antidepressant drugs. Very low dose amisulpride I found helped a little, but not much. See my amisulpride thread here.

    My anhedonia and blunted effect were caused by the suspected enterovirus I caught in 2003 (and I was not th only person who developed some anhedonia from this virus after it infected 30+ friends and family).

    When I observed sudden significant improvements to my ME/CFS in summer 2012, this was after I started taking high dose selenium and N-acetyl-glucosamine (and I was also doing a leaky gut protocol). At the same time as these ME/CFS improvements, I noticed my anhedonia and blunted affect also started to improve quite substantially.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
  16. Dobri

    Dobri

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    Thank you Hip. I will start experimenting with the supplements you recommend and i will post my results, hopefully possitive:)
     
    panckage likes this.
  17. Dichotohmy

    Dichotohmy

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    North State, CA
    I used to believe I had anhedonia and blunted affect back when I still had faith in psychiatry's ability to help me. Indeed, I have had almost no luck in trying to solve these problems with stimulants, anti-depressants, or other psychoactive drugs and supplements. I now realize these symptoms, perhaps more than any others, are a complete dead end for me in terms of treatment and its best not to identify with those labels.

    What I have discovered instead is that I do feel pleasure and still have emotions, but with a strange estrangement from the cognitive significance of feeling these things. This isn't alexithymia, as I actually realize what and when I feel things. Instead, its almost like I've developed an autistic or sociopathic view of life and the world around me. I realize those two are very different things, which I try to explain below.

    I should preface that I began losing touch and developing these changes about seven years ago, and it has remained with me while ill with more classic ME symptoms, which started 3 years ago. It began with me losing all anxiety or fear, progressed to losing the effortless ability to interact with others like a normal, emotive human, to being able to feel empathy at all.

    More recently, my threshold for feeling pleasure requires significantly more effort for a consumation of reward. I also do not feel reward anymore from passive activities like eating, music, or watching TV. In the past, I very much felt reward from these. Instead, I need active, engaging things like riding a motorcycle, gambling, completing big projects, or otherwise sowing the benefit of energy invested. Its like my motivational/reward circuitry in my brain shifted paradigms from slacker to acheiver. Maybe this is a consequence of getting older and being less awed by the simple things.

    In addition, I have become very inflexible in my views and opinions where once I was very open-minded. I also tend to pour my energy into a narrow range of hobbies and endevours, which might just be a consequence of diminished energy and mental perseverance, but I can be quite obsessed about certain projects that I just never was before. This is while being rather detached from my projects, and not being in touch or even being able to envision the end goal.

    Now, I must repeat I wasn't born autistic and have no suspicion that i'm even on the spectrum beyond having ADHD since late childhood and ADHD being hypothesized to maybe being on the spectrum (something I don't believe). I also understand non-verbal communication as well as ever, and I understand why other people do the things they do - I just can't relate to people or connect on an emotional level anymore.

    - I don't feel fear. Instead, I use rational deterences like the knowledge of probable injury or incarceration to contain myself. I also prefer to make my life less difficult, so I am conscientious. I don't fear the consequences of being irresponsible, more like I am displeased by having to deal with them.

    - My threshold for feeling pleasure is lowered, but not completly anhedonic. I have consistently observed poor sleep quality and whatever neuroimmune/physioligical process that creates PEM are the two biggest killers of hedonic capacity for me. When I acheive a rare combination of getting refreshing sleep and not being in PEM, my mood and hedonic capacity rebound significantly and I feel almost normal in this regard. Partial anhedonia is very much linked to ME symptoms for me.

    - I feel emotions, but they are quite ephemeral and I have trouble retaining them in consciousness. In addition, I tend to only feel positive emotions when I am alone. I become a lot more innatentive towards my emotions while in PEM, and of course have a lower mood while bedbound or otherwise doing nothing. This is partially linked to ME.

    - I don't feel empathy or an ability to connect with other people anymore. If I have to cooperate with others, I assume a very disconnected, utilitarian approach that I realize appears robotic.

    - I am more often than not disgusted by other people and contemptuous of society. I think this is a consequence of losing empathy and having a raised sensory and logical perception. This is linked to ME for me.

    For me, it looks like there's some sort of secondary process that preceded my development of ME symptoms, yet also feeds into and interacts with the consequences of certain ME symptoms. I have suspected that secondary process might be a history of drug and alcohol use, but it doesn't make sence to me how the things I don't link to ME haven't really budged in the last seven years - given that substance abuse doesn't generally result in permanent brain changes.

    The other possibility I have wondered is whether I have experienced some sort of permanent brain change, like amygdala atrophy or something, as things like fearlessness, lack of anxiety, emotional estrangement, and loss of empathy don't ever change for me. Perhaps I developed high-functioning anti-social personality disorder in my late 20s and ME symptoms came along coincidentally.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
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  18. panckage

    panckage Senior Member

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    I hear you @Dichotohmy. I feel this has something to do with a poor memory for me. When I have a 2-3 day period off from work it feels like my job means nothing to me and is not a part of me at all. It feels like it may have been in a different lifetime. When I'm at work though my emotions are usually fine and I do a decent job. I like my work so I enjoy when I'm doing it, but 2-3 days off and it means nothing to me and I feel no connection with it.

    I feel like we need to do things regularly enough to remember them and make them normal but there are very few things that I can do everyday. If I don't do it everyday I won't have a proper awareness of it. If I'm on a good day, I remember, and prepare I can do alright. But if I don't, its not going to work
    :hug:
     

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