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Is this 'normal' DPDR emotional numbness, or anhedonia?

2212 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  ElectricalDirt

so I'm no stranger to DPDR, in fact I had it for about 5 years now, with 2 and a half years being 'cured'. Initially Prozac cured me 100% (I often see people say it never fully goes away, not true for me), in 2018 I had to learn that alcohol binges were a trigger for me, and I've had 3-4 different episodes of DPDR during that time, which always went away on their own after like 2-3 months.

Despite knowing that alcohol is a major trigger for me, I sometimes still lose control / get roped in by friends / what have you. Well, it happened again New Year's Eve, and this episode is very different from the usual ones.

This time, the most prominent symptom is what I can best describe as emotional numbness, but the weird thing is, I feel like the emotions are still kind of there, but also not really. I also don't have the other usual DPDR symptoms like feeling like an observer / automaton / removed entity from my body, because that'd make sense.

The only other symptom is sometimes feeling like I'm in a dream / movie, but I got used to that by now. When it gets bad I also feel removed from my memories, like my achievements aren't really mine. But not constantly, I have good and bad weeks.

I can also still feel the most basic emotions, like some days I'm in a generally happy mood, but nothing that happens will change that mood. Same when I'm sad. I can also still genuinly laugh and cry, without forcing it, but mostly it feels hollow, and sometimes like it's just a reflex. Another very weird thing is that my thoughts don't trigger emotions anymore, or atleast not complex emotions like pride, nostalgia etc. Still get goosebumps and all that, but this also feels more like just a physical reaction. There's also this sensation of feeling empty.

On the outside, I still act completely normal, as if I still had my normal emotions. I still yell when angry for example, but I don't really 'feel' the anger behind, but I act like it's there. Not manually mind you, still out of intuition, it still comes naturally.

What I can still feel is nervousness and agitation / slight anxiety, like when I'm thinking about something distressing. This is also the only thing I can really 'feel' in my body as far as emotions go, it's like this mini-adrenaline rush in the heart area, feels like this has 'replaced' every other emotion. Other than that, I'm not anxious at all.

What leads me to believe that this might be anhedonia is the fact that I can feel little to no joy / excitement about things. Even nicotine doesn't make me happy / euphoric like before, I just feel restless and energized. So again, just a physical sensation. This is not because of developing a nicotine tolerance mind you, I'm not a smoker. I sometimes smoke cigars with friends, or sometimes take snus, something that's similar to chewing tobacco.

Sometimes the joy / excitement in things is there, but the emotion feels distant and diffuse. The rest doesn't seem to match up when it comes to anhedonia though, because I don't feel neutral all the time. It's just like all complex emotions are missing.

Another big thing is that I can still feel the vibes / the atmosphere of things very clearly, like the specific feeling a specific piece of music, movie or even a place has. I'd think that this would be gone also if it were anhedonia.

I'm currently trying out Wellbutrin in order to fix this, even though I'm aware it might just be fixing a symptom and not the cause. Seems to help slightly so far, but just by improving my general mood.

I've gotten used to every other DPDR symptom, but this emotional numbness really makes me feel like the most basic thing was taken away from me, I used to be a very emotional person.

Any insight would be appreciated.
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Heyy, I’m the same like u. I don’t feel more that I’m not alive and the worl is unreal. But I don’t have emotions and feelings. I started now Wellbutrin, if you improve with something tell me please and if someone know that Wellbutrin is good for anhedonia and tell here I would be grateful!
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