Question - Does anyone have any info on the subject of treating anhedonia with psychedelics?

Discussion in 'Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybe & Amanita)' started by Uncle Squeebs, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. Uncle Squeebs

    Uncle Squeebs Silver Member

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    This is just personal experience and i would like to see if anyone has more info on this:
    On the subject of anhedonia, i am wondering if certain psychedelic drugs can help one recover from it.

    I had a meth addiction a few years ago that lasted a couple of months. My prefered ROA was smoking it. After i got off the stuff, i have been experiencing lethargy and apathy ever since. It has been at a level that had me concerned that i was narcoleptic. Sometimes i cant sit down for more than 20 mins without falling asleep.

    But to the point, i have had several experiences with LSD and psilocybin mushrooms since then. They didnt really make the lethargy go away, but they definitely helped alleviate some of the apathy. This leads me to believe that if one experiences anhedonia, one may benefit from entheogens (if one uses them in a responsible manner). LSD may not be the best choice but it seemed to help me. I could see one benefiting more from mushrooms (which also seem to help me), mescaline, or even MDMA (be careful with that one, as one with a meth addiction may find it easy to slip into and MDMA addiction).

    So does anyone have any info on the subject of treating anhedonia with psychedelics?
     
  2. TheBigBadWolf

    TheBigBadWolf Chicxulub Impactor Gold Member Donating Member

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    These days it seems that everyone is expecting new things from psychedelics in weeks' frequency.
    we are sadly at the long end of fifty years of no studies at all.
    What I want to say is - we are too fast with asking to yet have answers. But it sure is the best thing to wait for what results will come out on this kind of questions posed.

    we need to be a bit more paitient ( yes I know, society should have made available tests long ago, but that didnt happen..)

    BBW
     
  3. Shampoo

    Shampoo entity of sorts Staff Member

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    Actually @TheBigBadWolf there is quite a bit of research published on this subject.

    In the past several years alone there has been a great deal of attention paid to the potential for psilocybin and LSD to be used as a therapeutic tool for depression and anxiety. Looking at end-of-life anxiety and depression in particular, Grob et al 2011 (PMID: 20819978) and Ross et al 2016 (PMID: 27909164) both showed great success in double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on single-dose psilocybin administration while Griffiths et al 2016 (PMID: 24594678) showed remarkable success using a single-dose LSD regimen.

    Psilocybin has also shown to be quite effective in treatment-resistant depression (see Stroud et al 2018 for some interesting mechanistic discussion on this) including at a six-month follow-up in patients with unipolar depression who were given to oral doses of psilocybin on subsequent weeks (Carhart-Harris et al 2018 PMID: 29119217). That same group had published an open-label study (as opposed to the above-referenced blinded study) for treatment-resistant depression which also included a 3 month follow-up showing significantly reduced symptomology in the depressed patients (Carhart-Harris et al 2016 PMID: 27210031).

    Some evidence has also been gathered showing reductions in anhedonia in microdosing (recent PLoS One article from Polito and Stevenson, PMID: 30726251) though those results are self-reported.

    The biggest complication here is that depression (and anhedonia, as a symptom of depression) arises from a huge variety of causes at both a behavioral and pharmacological level. Thus, treatments are likely to be successful or ineffective across patients who, though their symptoms overlap, have differing underlying causes. This, coupled with the fact that psychedelics have the potential to cause great psychological distress under certain conditions, mean that psychedelics as a treatment for depression/anhedonia will likely remain an off-label or last-measure option, even if they are considered safe and effective in controlled environments.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  4. TheBigBadWolf

    TheBigBadWolf Chicxulub Impactor Gold Member Donating Member

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    @Shampoo, thank you for the completion of what I tried to explain.
    I am aware of most what we have gathered in the last few years -
    What I meant to say is that we do not have official, proven treatment options yet, as much as we see promise for some substances, I would feel bad to talk about actual possibilities for treatment.
    I think that we need twenty years to catch up on what was forbidden since Nixon's times.

    And yes, I see that big problem that behavioural issues should be addressed mainly behavioural.
    To me the general question behind this here thread seems to be:
    What psychedelic will heal me from XY.

    I'm completely with you in that psychological issues need to be addressed with behavioural therapy rather than trying to use a substance as a 'switch-off' means. We know too well that human mind doesnt work that way.
    There sadly is still a big idea hovering over general public that says: take my pill you get cured.
    We do not have this opportunity now, nor will we have it in some (few) years.

    even if we wish so.
     
  5. Uncle Squeebs

    Uncle Squeebs Silver Member

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    Thanks for the speedy replies. My hands are shaking from too much caffeine so i will keep this short.

    Its a shame that most of the worlds governments are so prohibition-happy. I would like to see much more research being done for psychedelics in general, but i know that this is a touchy subject for people to study these days.

    A couple quick questions:

    Does the average depression patient typically experience anhedonia? I have just learned about this symptom today, but i could see this being a widely experienced thing.

    What about dissociatives such as ketamine or dextromethorphan? I know that ketamine is much more widely researched and used in medical settings. I know that people have been using single dose IM ketamine to treat depression, addiction and chronic pain, but is there any research of the effects of ketamine to treat anhedonia itself?
     
  6. TheBigBadWolf

    TheBigBadWolf Chicxulub Impactor Gold Member Donating Member

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    @Uncle Squeebs,

    I believe you get further the fastest if you follow the blue highlighted hyperlinks that lead you to DF-wiki articles about the substances/terms in question.
    Do also use our search machine on what keywords you wanna know about.

    I am sure you'll get your answers faster than waiting until someone has the time to address your questions.

    If you lack any knowledge afterwards or you want to discuss a thesis you formed, feel free to post your questions.
    We have a wealth of far over a decade of info and discussion. please use what we already have, first. THank you.

    BBW
     
  7. Uncle Squeebs

    Uncle Squeebs Silver Member

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    Yeah sorry and thanks. I was just digging around and it seems that nobody on this site has written about dissociatives being used to treat anhedonia. Maybe im missing something. Maybe it hasnt been researched yet or maybe nobody is even asking this question because they dont think it will work. Or maybe just nobody has thought to ask this. Whatever the case, i have a feeling that a good dose of a powerful dissociative may help someone with anhedonia since it has apparently helped people with their depression. I couldnt even find much info about anhedonia on this site. Is it a more recently discovered condition?

    Btw, sorry for putting this post in the wrong place originally.
     
  8. Shampoo

    Shampoo entity of sorts Staff Member

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    No, anhedonia was originally defined at the end of the 19th century. It's been a well-known condition for more than 120 years. Most often it is a component of other psychological disorders such as depression, PTSD or schizophrenia (amongst others). This is likely why you are not seeing specific information only related to anhedonia - it does not often occur as a diagnosable condition on its own, but rather as part of a constellation of symptoms.

    There is some research on the use of dissociatives, including salvinorin and ketamine, for the treatment of these conditions which show some alleviation of anhedonic symptoms.
     
  9. Uncle Squeebs

    Uncle Squeebs Silver Member

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    Thank you. That explains my fruitless search. I just learned of this symptom yesterday and have experienced this on and off for most of my life. Most notably after i quit meth. This is why i am interested. I have noticed positive changes with my occasional use of psychedelics. the recent resurgence of my interest in psychoactives has kind of alleviated some of this symptom too. I will be taking some pure dxm tonight and it will be my first dissociative dose in a long time (besides some ketamine containing cream that i rubbed on my back last night lol). I suspect that i experience anhedonia as a symptom of my bipolar and am hoping that this 2nd or 3rd plateau dose will further alleviate this symptom or maybe even help me deal with the disorder as a whole.
     
  10. jazzyj9

    jazzyj9 Titanium Member Donating Member

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    I have lethargy and lack of motivation perhaps one can call it low grade Anhedonia. Ketamine infusions helped. I’m considering low dose/micro dosing on psilocybin or 1p-lsd. The 1p lsd is available on the “grey market “

    I tried 2fluorodeschloroketamine which is also unregulated and available as a research chemical with good effect but very sedating. I’m doing TMS treatment now which also seems to help. If you decide to delve into research chemicals please do though research prior and have a test kit before you take any drug.
     
  11. BirdJungle

    BirdJungle Silver Member Donating Member

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    @Uncle Squeebs I just came across the thread after noticing your detailed posts on the “what drug are you on now” thread. I’ve never been diagnosed with depression or any other mental illness, except recently to get Buprenorphine or suboxone for opiate addiction, but I’ve also experienced the symptom of anhedonia. I find that it is much more pronounced after quitting my drug of choice. I imagine that you would experience the same thing after quitting meth.

    It’s a significant symptom of PAWS and is related to problems with dopamine production in your brain after long period substance abuse. There’s a really good thread here about ways to replenish your dopamine after quitting meth: https://drugs-forum.com/threads/replenishing-your-dopamine.350778/ The advice can be applied to quitting chronic use of any drug that causes unnatural elevation in dopamine levels.

    I noticed that you regularly use a lot of different substances. This might be affecting your natural dopamine level, especially the use of opiates and opioids, which make you feel really good while on them and pretty terrible physically and mentally while off. Weed also tends to make me feel lethargic and unmotivated, but I think that drug affects people differently and there are so many different strains now that my past experience is probably irrelevant.

    By far the worst anhedonia I’ve ever experienced is right after quitting heroin. It’s a primary reason why I keep returning to the drug. It’s tiring to feel like every small task is a major chore and there’s no pleasure in anything. I noticed you sometimes indulge in opiates. If you have problems with anhedonia now, try to avoid getting any sort of dependence on opiates. They’re a pain in the ass long term.

    Oh and to your question about psychedelics, I have definitely felt a significant mood lift from psilocybin mushrooms. I only took LSD once, but I’ve taken mushrooms for years. In my experience, when taken among friends and in the right setting - for me usually nature or a music festival or concert - the positive effects can last for months, especially if I take enough to have good visuals. Unlike a lot of other drugs, psilocybin usually leaves me feeling good afterwards - not the next day necessarily, but in the weeks afterwards. In small doses, they can also just make you feel happy and silly. My opinion is that the psychedelics are among the least harmful drugs and they’re probably also beneficial for most people. I know there can be complications for people with psychosis or other types of mental illness.
     
  12. Uncle Squeebs

    Uncle Squeebs Silver Member

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    @BirdJungle that being the case, looking back i have experienced anhedonia in a few different phases of my life. I was diagnosed with bipolar years ago before i really started taking any serious drugs recreationally. So there is probably a dopamine problem there to begin with. But i have experienced extreme apathy and depression after quitting multiple "drugs of choice" in my past. These days i usually am pretty good with switching up my drug pallet before i get too dependent on anythkng. But in the past i felt extreme dysphoria and other symptoms after quitting prolonged use of synthetic cannabinoids, then i felt it again a few years later after quitting daily use of opioids such as oxycodone and hydromorphone, then i felt it again a couple years later after quitting meth. Id say looking back, quitting opioids daily was the most unpleasant out of them all for me.

    But yea i have actually had major therapeutic, life changing experiences on psilocybin, mdma, mda, lsd and dxm. I feel like a higher dose of ketamine would be good for me. Ive never taken more then probably like 100 mg of ketamine in one night (insuffilated).
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 22, 2019 ---
    Oh yea, i forgot to add: im pretty sure i experienced anhedonia as a kid after being taken off amphetamines after being on them from about age 6 to 11. Those stimulants in my developmental years played a huge part in kind of messing up my dopamine receptors probably. Like maybe in a permanent way, but i hope not. Either way, i think the main chemical answers for me are weed, kratom and psychedelics.
     
  13. BirdJungle

    BirdJungle Silver Member Donating Member

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    Wow. I can’t imagine dealing with such a profoundly uncomfortable and complicated feeling as a child. That must have been difficult. I think that experience would be worse than bearing the death of a friend or somewhat close relative because it would be so hard to explain or pinpoint a cause. It’s admirable that you’ve learned to be in tune with what your body/mind needs and desires and what you can tolerate.
     
  14. Uncle Squeebs

    Uncle Squeebs Silver Member

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    Yea it was pretty difficult, i didnt even know what an amphetamine was back then, and sure as hell didnt know what anhedonia was lol. Looking back, i was very weird and most of the time antisocial all throughout middle and high school. The only things that gave me pleasure or a bit of satisfaction through middle school were video games and skateboarding and masturbation lol and i got pretty addicted to all of those things. But i only got like a slight trickle of dopamine i think each time i did these things, so i would do them obsessively. Things i didnt wanna do, like school, i stopped doing well in. Like i was on honor roll up until i stopped taking amphetamines, then my grades suffered drastically.

    Then when i was 13, i found the joy of music when i got my first guitar and everything changed. Then when i was 16, everything changed again when i started smoking weed. The weed eventually became what i use as medication, but i also started taking dxm, large doses of diphenhydramine, vyvanse, alcohol and cigarettes at age 16 and tried a good many other things then too. So being mainly focused on drugs, i barely graduated high school on time, for a while my GPA was like a 1.6, and even my music skills suffered for a while.

    Even to this day i have lots of problems and vices but im working on coping with them and even trying to cure them (im sure it will be lots of trial and error still). But music, weed, kratom, psychedelics, and good family and friends are all helping me through life.
     
  15. Abbey Lee

    Abbey Lee Silver Member

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    I have a friend in London who’s a Pharmacist. I asked him the other day if he knows anything about psychedelics being used to treat mental illness. To my amazement he said “Yes. Esketamine has just been given approval over here and pretty soon psilocybin derivatives will be following suit.”

    So they have made their way into pharmaceuticals in some places.
     
  16. Uncle Squeebs

    Uncle Squeebs Silver Member

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    Thats really cool. Here in the US, I remember reading recently that John Hopkins just opened a psychedelic research facility of some sort. If i remember correctly they specialize in medicinal use of psilocybin and possibly lsd.