pleasure pathways

4 Jan

Let’s face it, I’m not exactly a ray of sunshine.  I have depression.  I’m down a lot.

But, even when I’m not depressed I don’t seem to take a lot of pleasure from things that are supposedly fun.  Even when I’m not miserable, I’m not really happy either.  My therapist has a theory about this.  My brain might not be wired correctly to experience pleasure.  There’s research being done on the endorphin system.  Endorphins, as you probably know,  are those nice good-feeling chemicals that get released in our brains when we do something pleasurable.

Yeah, I don’t get that.  When the therapist asked me to make a list of things that I find enjoyable or times when I really felt good I couldn’t think of any.  I don’t really have a lot of hobbies because nothing is fun to me.  I don’t like to exercise because I don’t get the endorphin rush, in fact I often feel worse afterward like a crash without a high.  Coffee just makes me jittery.  These signs, among many others, have led my therapist to think that I may be one of the people whose endorphin system doesn’t release the right chemicals in the right ratio at the right time.  My reward center doesn’t pump the good stuff when it should.  And, when there is no reward there is no motivation. It kind of puts a damper on your joy.

Nobody really knows what to do about this.  There are theories about using micro-doses of opioid antagonists to treat it, but there’s no hard evidence that it works.  I’ve been started on one of these drugs but we don’t really know what kind of dosage to use.  It’s a crapshoot.

I really hope it changes something.

I want to be capable of being happy.

I want to feel good.

I want to be a real boy.

Er, girl.


One Response to “pleasure pathways”

  1. Robert January 4, 2010 at 20:59 #

    I’ve always thought Anhedonia was a pretty name.

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