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    Default Phenibut/GHB induced damage to pleasure pathways

    Hello everyone

    I've found out about a staggeringly odd condition apparently emerging from long-term phenibut/GHB use. In some rare cases, the excess use of phenibut and/or GHB has caused an unique condition featuring the following unique symptoms:

    1) pleasure doesn't occur anymore in response to pleasurable stimuli: consummatory anhedonia* (scroll down to the bottom of this post)

    2) opioids do not function anymore: diminished or zero response to exogenous opioids in terms of all effects including euphoria, analgesia and respiratory depression

    3) rewarding drugs lose their euphoric and pleasurable effects: stimulants, benzos etc.

    4) high tolerance to GABA-B agonists persists especially in terms of the pleasant effects: the threshold for phenibut and GHB remains at many grams and pleasant effects may be impossible to induce regardless of the dose

    The evidence for this is very limited as it's apparently an extremely rare condition and phenibut/GHB abuse is much less prevalent than that of other recreational drugs, however here are reports from three people (a GHB, a GBL and a phenibut user). I will post links later when I can (10 post limit), the first two come from a thread at Bluelight and the third from a thread at Longecity.

    So here's how the GHB user described his withdrawal syndrome:

    Extreme anhedonia

    --

    I have also personally experienced a MARKED (almost complete) reduction of the euphoric effects of dopaminergic drugs.

    --

    A speedball made me feel "high" but not as blissful as a speedball should be.

    Here's what had happened to the GBL user:

    Think i've experienced this, was using GBL uh probably "too often" heh, and some benzo's as well, after stopping both suddenly, I found that I could eat 30mg hydrocodone, and feel almost 'nothing'... no opiate tolerance..

    And here's the phenibut user from Longecity:

    For a period of time after my withdrawal from Phenibut last year I experienced consummatory anhedonia in that I really anticipated and wanted to experience pleasure but I never got the response. Pretty sure I would have been immune to opioid drugs.

    There were a couple of other threads too, can't find them at the moment but I'll try to dig them up.

    The point is that apparently excess use of GABA-B agonists can damage the brain's pleasure pathways in such ways that the four symptoms I mentioned occur. The questions are: what is the culprit, what's happening in the brain? What could help? Has anyone of you experienced this?

    I think I will post about the possible neurochemical mechanisms behind this on the Advanced Hypothesis & Theory forum, here I'd like to discuss about the more down-to-earth side of this, like have you experienced this etc.

    So what's my story? I never used phenibut or GHB. But I seem to have these symptoms! They started to occur some years ago and have been really strong for a long time now. I feel I have complete consummatory anhedonia (yet zero normal anhedonia): I have ZERO response to opioids (morphine, codeine): I get very little if any pleasure/euphoria from recreational drugs (stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens): and I have extremely high threshold for phenibut and GHB. Note that I never used drugs prior to self-medication experiments that I recently began. I'm rather convinced that my pathology shares the mechanisms of phenibut/GHB abuse induced CA due to the strikingly similar symptoms and that's why I'm approaching the topic via phenibut/GHB use.

    Whatever you've got in your mind, say it loud, I want all the ideas and thoughts no matter how silly they might be. I need fresh perspective. Thank you.



    *Consummatory anhedonia is a completely distinct phenomenon from the typical anhedonia which may more accurately be described as anticipatory anhedonia. In essence, consummatory anhedonia (CA) means the inability to experience pleasure in response to pleasurable stimuli such as music, sugar or sexual stimulation, whilst in the typical anhedonia, also called anticipatory anhedonia, the pleasure pathways themselves are intact and the problems lie in "mental energy", emotions and motivation. The CA concept is explained in a freely accessible article called "Reconsidering Anhedonia in Depression: Lessons from Translational Neuroscience"


    (can't post links)

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    I think that anticipatory anhedonia is a psychological and not a physiological phenomenon.
    http://mindandmuscle.net/forum/showt...850#post669850

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    Well, it can be caused by SSRIs for example so it can be physiological too. But in many cases psychology is strongly implicated. Too bad anticipatory anhedonia is not a problem of mine so I can't tweak my condition with psychological tricks. Any ideas regarding my problem?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vieno View Post
    Well, it can be caused by SSRIs for example so it can be physiological too. But in many cases psychology is strongly implicated. Too bad anticipatory anhedonia is not a problem of mine so I can't tweak my condition with psychological tricks. Any ideas regarding my problem?
    I meant that I think the whole idea of 'anticipatory anhedonia' as described by modern psychiatry is total bull shit and doesn't even exist. The concept makes no sense.

    Anyways, regarding your problem.

    I've had the same exact thing for over a month, and it was from quitting Lexapro too fast (tapered 10mg over a couple weeks).

    Whereas previously, amphetamine and hydrocodone got me sky-high, they now did NOTHING whatsoever, except for the physical effects.

    You can find me freaking out about it here: http://www.mindandmuscle.net/forum/s...l=1#post648389

    Haha, good times, good times.

    JUST KIDDING.

    I had no idea that that sort of hell was even possible.

    At the time, I didn't find anything that could help me in the least, and I had to endure it.

    However, this is over a year later, and I've found something that is speeding up my progress: Licorice Root.

    I have no idea if this will help you situation because by the time I found licorice root, I was feeling MUCH better.

    EDIT: I just re-read your post, and it looks like you are saying you have this condition and it just came randomly, and NOT because of drug use!?
    http://mindandmuscle.net/forum/showt...850#post669850

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    The whole anhedonia concept is very badly formulated and I think most of the researchers and psychiatrists have no idea of what they're talking about. But the anticipatory anhedonia (AA) concept is not mindless. I can see how it appears psychological but it can very well be physiological. Maybe you can't distinguish the AA symptom but SSRIs commonly cause it. People who have used SSRIs retain their ability to experience pleasure when presented with pleasurable stimuli, yet they fail to anticipate it, they don't get excited. I think it's unnecessary to focus on the anticipation as all emotions, not just the anticipatory ones, are blunted in the normal anhedonia, but the AA concept nevertheless is not bullshit. Just very badly worded.

    As for the consummatory anhedonia (CA), it's also a badly worded concept and I hate to use it but I have to because that's the only at least somewhat known term that I can use to describe my symptom.

    FYI, my emotions are all intact. My only problem is that I get zero pleasure. I can be cheerful, there's just no pleasure. I can be cheerful when anticipating a pleasurable event: the event itself then just fails to produce pleasure.

    SSRIs apparently fucked you up in an unique way but let's talk about that in your thread more. Yeah, I never used drugs, this just started to occur some years ago. My brother's got this too so genetics must be strongly implicated. Me, my brother and a couple of GHB/phenibut abusers are the only ones with exactly the four symptoms I mentioned in the OP (CA, lack of opioid response, lack of GABA-B agonist response, lack of drug euphoria), and then I know one person who had severe CA and lack of opioid response yet not the other two symptoms, and as for you - I don't know yet, more details need to be discussed.

    I will check out licorice root, thanks for the suggestion, however I'm generally extremely non-responsive to drugs and megadoses of herbs like SJW, Ginseng and Gotu Kola had pretty much zero noticeable effects. Whatever it is that I need, I'm pretty sure it's something strong. I've tried 29 drugs so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vieno View Post
    The whole anhedonia concept is very badly formulated and I think most of the researchers and psychiatrists have no idea of what they're talking about. But the anticipatory anhedonia (AA) concept is not mindless. I can see how it appears psychological but it can very well be physiological. Maybe you can't distinguish the AA symptom but SSRIs commonly cause it. People who have used SSRIs retain their ability to experience pleasure when presented with pleasurable stimuli, yet they fail to anticipate it, they don't get excited. I think it's unnecessary to focus on the anticipation as all emotions, not just the anticipatory ones, are blunted in the normal anhedonia, but the AA concept nevertheless is not bullshit. Just very badly worded.

    As for the consummatory anhedonia (CA), it's also a badly worded concept and I hate to use it but I have to because that's the only at least somewhat known term that I can use to describe my symptom.

    FYI, my emotions are all intact. My only problem is that I get zero pleasure. I can be cheerful, there's just no pleasure. I can be cheerful when anticipating a pleasurable event: the event itself then just fails to produce pleasure.

    SSRIs apparently fucked you up in an unique way but let's talk about that in your thread more. Yeah, I never used drugs, this just started to occur some years ago. My brother's got this too so genetics must be strongly implicated. Me, my brother and a couple of GHB/phenibut abusers are the only ones with exactly the four symptoms I mentioned in the OP (CA, lack of opioid response, lack of GABA-B agonist response, lack of drug euphoria), and then I know one person who had severe CA and lack of opioid response yet not the other two symptoms, and as for you - I don't know yet, more details need to be discussed.

    I will check out licorice root, thanks for the suggestion, however I'm generally extremely non-responsive to drugs and megadoses of herbs like SJW, Ginseng and Gotu Kola had pretty much zero noticeable effects. Whatever it is that I need, I'm pretty sure it's something strong. I've tried 29 drugs so far.
    My only advice is this: think out of the box; e.g. maybe drugs aren't the answer. I tried many powerful substances (as you already know) and the only thing that improved my symptoms recently has been licorice root, and I think it's because of hormonal changes... but I have no idea.

    Also, people have reported that Royal Jelly has brought back emotions, but tolerance develops quickly and must be cycled.

    I recommend you google it. I've never tried it, though. Also, lamictal may be useful. Careful though.... you don't want to make your situation worse.
    http://mindandmuscle.net/forum/showt...850#post669850

    Visit the above link to find cures to PSSD, brain fog, energy problems, and more!

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    Your Gaba pathways are shot. Both Gaba A and B I'd like to think since Phenibut, in higher doses effects both receptors and perhaps the dopaminergic pathway as well. I'd start on a mood stabilizer and an SSRI. Are you also experiencing, alongside the anhedonia, fatigue, insomnia, agitation and sporadic anxiety? Can you sleep solidly? I'm guessing here, but I'm thinking your glutamate/gaba balance is also skewed dramatically since the body is always playing both to keep some sort of equilibrium. NMDA antagonism may play a helpful role in your recovery. Along with Lamictal, Lyrica and/or Gabapentin are both calcium channel blockers, but they also block excessive glutamate. I'd consider CILTEP with a dopamine precursor like NALT in the morning if you can handle it and the Gaba mimetics as needed. I'm afraid time will be the true meter of recovery but there are things you can use to help you recover. Intense exercise 5 days/week, adequate nutrition, and supplementation including those that may help upregulate Gaba and dopamine even if they exhibit weak affinity for the receptors. A chelated magnesium supplement, Suntheanine (upto 2 grams/day), Taurine (2 grams per day), Sulbutiamine and Bacopa. Amongst others..http://www.mindandmuscle.net/forum/s...021#post670021

    Much info is available in the above thread.
    "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom; for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough". ~ William Blake

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    I wonder if a GABA antagonist would be helpful here? I feel I now have a deficit in declarative memory and an overall reduction in dopaminergic function due to 3 months of phenibut use (2-3 grams per day). This is the avenue I'm considering since the side effects haven't abated in a months time post pheny.

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    Hello,

    I am wondering... none of you know if there is no problem to bring phenibut in my luggage in plane ?
    I am going to China tomorrow and I wish I could take some there but I don't know if it's legal or not to bring it with me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Fairbanks View Post
    I wonder if a GABA antagonist would be helpful here? I feel I now have a deficit in declarative memory and an overall reduction in dopaminergic function due to 3 months of phenibut use (2-3 grams per day). This is the avenue I'm considering since the side effects haven't abated in a months time post pheny.
    Taking a Gaba antagonist may exacerbate all negative symptoms IF you're having side effects linked to glutamate flooding. You could always start with caffeine, a known, and well tolerated Gaba antagonist.
    "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom; for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough". ~ William Blake

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reykan View Post
    Hello,

    I am wondering... none of you know if there is no problem to bring phenibut in my luggage in plane ?
    I am going to China tomorrow and I wish I could take some there but I don't know if it's legal or not to bring it with me.
    Capsule it in an L-theanine bottle. Other than that, I wouldn't risk it in China, even though it's produced there.
    "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom; for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough". ~ William Blake

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    I don't have that kind of bottle and it's too late to buy it on the net.
    Well I will just take like 1g just before going there so feel the effect for the plane and a few hours after I arrive there.. still better than nothing.
    Thanks for the answer though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XSIV8 View Post
    Your Gaba pathways are shot. Both Gaba A and B I'd like to think since Phenibut, in higher doses effects both receptors and perhaps the dopaminergic pathway as well. I'd start on a mood stabilizer and an SSRI. Are you also experiencing, alongside the anhedonia, fatigue, insomnia, agitation and sporadic anxiety? Can you sleep solidly? I'm guessing here, but I'm thinking your glutamate/gaba balance is also skewed dramatically since the body is always playing both to keep some sort of equilibrium. NMDA antagonism may play a helpful role in your recovery. Along with Lamictal, Lyrica and/or Gabapentin are both calcium channel blockers, but they also block excessive glutamate. I'd consider CILTEP with a dopamine precursor like NALT in the morning if you can handle it and the Gaba mimetics as needed. I'm afraid time will be the true meter of recovery but there are things you can use to help you recover. Intense exercise 5 days/week, adequate nutrition, and supplementation including those that may help upregulate Gaba and dopamine even if they exhibit weak affinity for the receptors. A chelated magnesium supplement, Suntheanine (upto 2 grams/day), Taurine (2 grams per day), Sulbutiamine and Bacopa. Amongst others..[LINK]

    Much info is available in the above thread.
    Your suggestions don't make very much sense in the context of my condition. I think you should carefully re-read the whole OP. This is not to bash your ideas but to get the thinking to the right track.

    As for the GABA A, benzos and alcohol have normal effects on me (aside from pleasure/euphoria) so at least allosteric modulation of the site seems to work. I haven't done muscimol.

    Quote Originally Posted by James Fairbanks View Post
    I wonder if a GABA antagonist would be helpful here? I feel I now have a deficit in declarative memory and an overall reduction in dopaminergic function due to 3 months of phenibut use (2-3 grams per day). This is the avenue I'm considering since the side effects haven't abated in a months time post pheny.
    Why do you think a GABA antagonist would help? By what mechanism?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vieno View Post
    Your suggestions don't make very much sense in the context of my condition. I think you should carefully re-read the whole OP. This is not to bash your ideas but to get the thinking to the right track.

    As for the GABA A, benzos and alcohol have normal effects on me (aside from pleasure/euphoria) so at least allosteric modulation of the site seems to work. I haven't done muscimol.



    Why do you think a GABA antagonist would help? By what mechanism?
    I believe James was asking on his own behalf. My apologies as I did misread your post and while on my phone and on a recumbent didn't help. It was the central thematic that I completely missed and perhaps the title of the thread through me for a loop. The fact that you haven't even used phenibut nor GHB prior to your condition manifesting itself is most certainly the most important point. Sorry about that!

    I have to ask a couple things about you if you don't mind. How old are you approximately? What's your physical condition like and do you have any illnesses or diseases that you know of, like diabetes, diagnosed mental pathology, anything that may be pertinent. Any virus symptoms that were of long duration? Have you been on any medications/supplements, rec drugs for a sustained period of time? Any traumatic events occur in the last decade? What's the earliest memory you have of feeling this way given that you can still experience emotion... I know you stated some years ago but you do remember a time when things were pleasurable correct? Also, I'm sure you have the doctors baffled assuming you've been wise and sought help. Have they went through the whole gamut of anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and other atypical treatments? Answer or don't answer whatever you feel comfortable with, but all are important questions if your intent is to get any kind of fruitful response.

    The Gaba A part was in reference to abusing Phenibut and not pertinent to this. :banghead:
    "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom; for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough". ~ William Blake

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    Quote Originally Posted by XSIV8 View Post
    I believe James was asking on his own behalf. My apologies as I did misread your post and while on my phone and on a recumbent didn't help. It was the central thematic that I completely missed and perhaps the title of the thread through me for a loop. The fact that you haven't even used phenibut nor GHB prior to your condition manifesting itself is most certainly the most important point. Sorry about that!

    I have to ask a couple things about you if you don't mind. How old are you approximately? What's your physical condition like and do you have any illnesses or diseases that you know of, like diabetes, diagnosed mental pathology, anything that may be pertinent. Any virus symptoms that were of long duration? Have you been on any medications/supplements, rec drugs for a sustained period of time? Any traumatic events occur in the last decade? What's the earliest memory you have of feeling this way given that you can still experience emotion... I know you stated some years ago but you do remember a time when things were pleasurable correct? Also, I'm sure you have the doctors baffled assuming you've been wise and sought help. Have they went through the whole gamut of anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and other atypical treatments? Answer or don't answer whatever you feel comfortable with, but all are important questions if your intent is to get any kind of fruitful response.

    The Gaba A part was in reference to abusing Phenibut and not pertinent to this. :banghead:
    No worries, I understand how the thread title can be misleading, I just figured it's better to approach this problem by the context of phenibut/GHB as a lot of people are familiar with that.

    I am about 20 yo. I'm in good shape and health and I don't have any illnesses. No virus shit. Also my brother has this and we've been living separate lives for years so it's clearly genetic, not environment-induced. No medications or drugs or supplements, no trauma.

    This became a problem in the very early 2011 so it's been about 2,5 years. It started gradually but it didn't take very long for it to become full-blown. I have consulted numerous doctors and professionals, no help from them. I haven't really done antidepressants or anything like that, there has never been any reason.

    As of now I'm trying to quickly test a lot of different drugs to learn from my reactions. I don't know what's going on in my brain but it seems that the GABA-B system is dysfunctional and this is causing all the other problems including CA and opiod dysfunction.

    I do have sleep issues too but I don't know if they're connected. I basically have difficulty sleeping due to feeling hot and alert. My circadian rhythm is fucked up, I tend to be unable to fall a sleep until morning. I suppose dysfunctional GABA system could easily induce symptoms like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vieno View Post
    No worries, I understand how the thread title can be misleading, I just figured it's better to approach this problem by the context of phenibut/GHB as a lot of people are familiar with that.

    I am about 20 yo. I'm in good shape and health and I don't have any illnesses. No virus shit. Also my brother has this and we've been living separate lives for years so it's clearly genetic, not environment-induced. No medications or drugs or supplements, no trauma.

    This became a problem in the very early 2011 so it's been about 2,5 years. It started gradually but it didn't take very long for it to become full-blown. I have consulted numerous doctors and professionals, no help from them. I haven't really done antidepressants or anything like that, there has never been any reason.

    As of now I'm trying to quickly test a lot of different drugs to learn from my reactions. I don't know what's going on in my brain but it seems that the GABA-B system is dysfunctional and this is causing all the other problems including CA and opiod dysfunction.

    I do have sleep issues too but I don't know if they're connected. I basically have difficulty sleeping due to feeling hot and alert. My circadian rhythm is fucked up, I tend to be unable to fall a sleep until morning. I suppose dysfunctional GABA system could easily induce symptoms like this.
    Well since the dopaminergic pathway is, in most part, responsible for pleasurable experience, I'd say it'd also have something to do with that and perhaps norepinephrine. By the sounds of it, your Gaba system also doesn't allow you the relaxation/calming effect that it's intended to do. Since glutamate and gaba are always kept in balance in healthy individuals (gaba is formed from glutamate), something is pointing to an imbalance there but I suspect it's further reaching than any of this. Your sleep is almost definitely related to your condition in some form. The reason an antidepressant may be a viable treatment is simply because some are intended to treat the very symptoms of anhedonia. You ever consider Agomelatine? Simply because of the fact that it's intended to correct circadian rhythm dysfunction which could help you some. Problem with it is that it seemingly doesn't affect adrenergic, histaminergic, cholinergic, dopaminergic and benzodiazepine receptors, nor other serotonergic receptors according to Wiki. Truly a unique condition and I'd probably take the same course of action as you, first trying melatonin in varying doses to see if it can help correct your sleep patterns. I'm assuming you keep caffeine and naps to a minimum. Since your brother is also experiencing the same things, I'm inclined to believe it's, for the most part, a genetic condition. I'd believe most psychiatrists would label this some sort of major depressive disorder with the umbrella-like diagnoses they often have to resort to. I'm simply surprised none of them have prescribed one or two - again, to see how you'd react.
    "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom; for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough". ~ William Blake

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    Dopamine has nothing to do with pleasure. Dopamine is implicated in wanting, motivation, reward seeking and emotions. Hypodopaminergia causes anticipatory anhedonia but not consummatory anhedonia. Occurrence of pleasure often correlates with dopamine release but so does wanting. Dopamine release does not induce pleasure. An introductory to this is given in the article I referred to in the OP: Reconsidering Anhedonia in Depression: Lessons from Translational Neuroscience

    I have used melatonin and other things to correct circadian rhythm. Antipsychotics completely cure my ciracidian issues, however they do not help CA.

    I have been thoroughly evaluated for depression and I scored zero.

    In essence, I do not have anhedonia. I just have to use the term consummatory anhedonia as there is no good term in the literature for what I'm experiencing. Why would there be, this is so rare!

    Like I said GABA-A appears to function normally so I suspect the GABAergic dysfunction is not that universal. Also there may be issues with glutamate but modulating glutamate with drugs hasn't produced any results of interest, good or bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vieno View Post
    Dopamine has nothing to do with pleasure. Dopamine is implicated in wanting, motivation, reward seeking and emotions. Hypodopaminergia causes anticipatory anhedonia but not consummatory anhedonia. Occurrence of pleasure often correlates with dopamine release but so does wanting. Dopamine release does not induce pleasure. An introductory to this is given in the article I referred to in the OP: Reconsidering Anhedonia in Depression: Lessons from Translational Neuroscience

    I have used melatonin and other things to correct circadian rhythm. Antipsychotics completely cure my ciracidian issues, however they do not help CA.

    I have been thoroughly evaluated for depression and I scored zero.

    In essence, I do not have anhedonia. I just have to use the term consummatory anhedonia as there is no good term in the literature for what I'm experiencing. Why would there be, this is so rare!

    Like I said GABA-A appears to function normally so I suspect the GABAergic dysfunction is not that universal. Also there may be issues with glutamate but modulating glutamate with drugs hasn't produced any results of interest, good or bad.
    I'm not sure how depression was not indicated as a potential pathology since one of it's key markers includes the fact that you no longer experience pleasure during activities you once did find pleasurable. Also, perhaps we are playing a game of semantics here. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them. Reward inherently implies something pleasurable to me...and others. Because pleasure correlates with dopamine release, perhaps it's not a causal link that dopamine=pleasure as one can attest by simply taking NALT so I digress. Your issue is beyond me and I'm going to assume many a medical professional. Drugs that affect dopamine typically mediate or influence some sort of pleasure. Several drugs of abuse are also stimulants of dopamine release in the brain, http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/i/i_...03_cr_par.html particularly in areas such as the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex and can manifest themselves as euphoria. Strangely enough, the very same dopamine mediating compounds can also be Gaba A and/or B agonists, much like Phenibut and even alcohol. Research from McGill University suggests that people who are vulnerable to developing alcoholism exhibit a distinctive brain response when drinking alcohol, according to a new study by Prof. Marco Leyton, of McGill University's Department of Psychiatry. Compared to people at low risk for alcohol-use problems, those at high risk showed a greater dopamine response in a brain pathway that increases desire for rewards. These findings, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, could help shed light on why some people are more at risk of suffering from alcoholism and could mark an important step toward the development of treatment options.

    I think it's more of a complex issue here than simply Gaba B...but again, this one is beyond me. If I had to guess, it's a cross-wiring (euphemistically-speaking of course) with various parts of the brain and traditionally known pleasure centres. I wish I could have offered some semblance of an answer that may have helped. Good luck Vieno.
    "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom; for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough". ~ William Blake

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    Semantics come in to play often in matters like this because the terminology regarding these things is absolutely horrible. Forget the definitions, think about the essence of concepts. Depression? Hell no! I'm not depressed at all. Anhedonia? Nah. I'm very much capable of enjoying. I can be happy. I can be joyful. I'm on a positive mood right now, thinking of going out there for a nice walk - doesn't sound too bad. I bet it'll be just fine. Then I'm gonna watch TV. I like it. I won't get music euphoria but TV shows are full of emotions - I can receive them. The thing just is that after years of not having - well, to avoid confusion let's say "consummatory pleasure" or "natural euphoria" - I'm getting very tired and thus depressed and anhedonic. But that's just a recent problem.

    I did originally insist I have depression as I believed I suffered from anhedonia, however the shrinks convinced me that I hadn't got depression and after that I realized that even though by definition I seem to have anhedonia ("inability to experience pleasure"), in practice I do not have it. Compare an anhedonic to me and it's like night and day. Simply put, the definition of anhedonia sucks ass.

    And yet I often say I have consummatory anhedonia... I just gotta pick some term, I often adjust the terminology I use to the terminology my conversation partners are used to.

    I do understand it's more complicated than just GABA-B related. However there must be a single culprit, some triggering cause. It could be GABA-B related. It's my best bet at the moment. Surely the underlying cause doesn't seem to be any monoamine, catecholamine or opioid related thing. Generig glutamate modulation doesn't seem to help. GABA-A is working, GABA-B is not. GABA-Bergic abuse is the only known cause for this condition. There must be something to it!

    I'm familiar with the relations of dopamine and pleasure. Their often co-exist but it has been proven many times that they do not have a direct link. And even if dopamine would be implicated in euphoria in some ways, it's not relevant for me as I've already manipulated dopamine in many ways and it has been useless. Yeah, 125mg of pure meth induced some pleasure, but that's a lot of meth!!!

    I understand you don't have any ideas. But if anything comes to your mind just say it loud, I'm willing to try a lot of different things Thanks for the encouragement, I'm not about to give up.

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    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3005986/

    Reconsidering anhedonia in depression: lessons from translational neuroscience.
    Treadway MT, Zald DH.
    Source
    Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37240, USA. m.treadway@vanderbilt.edu
    Abstract
    Anhedonia is a core symptom of major depressive disorder (MDD), the neurobiological mechanisms of which remain poorly understood. Despite decades of speculation regarding the role of dopamine (DA) in anhedonic symptoms, empirical evidence has remained elusive, with frequent reports of contradictory findings. In the present review, we argue that this has resulted from an underspecified definition of anhedonia, which has failed to dissociate between consummatory and motivational aspects of reward behavior. Given substantial preclinical evidence that DA is involved primarily in motivational aspects of reward, we suggest that a refined definition of anhedonia that distinguishes between deficits in pleasure and motivation is essential for the purposes of identifying its neurobiological substrates. Moreover, bridging the gap between preclinical and clinical models of anhedonia may require moving away from the conceptualization of anhedonia as a steady-state, mood-like phenomena. Consequently, we introduce the term "decisional anhedonia" to address the influence of anhedonia on reward decision-making. These proposed modifications to the theoretical definition of anhedonia have implications for research, assessment and treatment of MDD.

    Hrm. You're caught between a rock and a hard place especially because the differences are barely acknowledged much less understood. I had to read the definition over a couple of times to actually try and distinguish the two and I'm still seeing crossed lines. The fact that your brother has also experienced the very same phenomenon, and that it has only been within the last few years that it's even manifested itself is even more troublesome. Your last post confuses me even more! lolol. Sooo, you're capable of enjoying things and can be happy and even joyful...so, where does the inability to experience pleasure become a problem or when is it pronounced? Is it when you do drugs like opiates? Or is it when you have sex? Or when? I don't get it. You're not depressed. You can be happy, but most of the time, you're just..well, bored. You sound like me. Im 41, married and have a young family. Busy from 6:20am until 11:30pm each day with weekends off. I'm tired a lot of the time although I'm in good shape. I have important and critical decisions to make at work which involves, well, emergencies. Sometimes the very aspects of what you've described above is what cards a lot of people are dealt. I've heard the same issues around the introvert/extrovert debates and the fact that, as an example, I used to be more of an extrovert. Especially at 16-30 yrs of age. Now, I could care far less to go an actually choose to be pro-social. It's almost wired in me to avoid. Can I explain it? Nope. I wish I could. The key difference is that certain compounds can make me more extroverted whereas, if I'm understanding things correctly...nothing can make you experience pleasure moreso than at baseline. Am I closer to understanding anything here? Lol. I don't mean to minimize your condition..it's not my intent. I'm just puzzled by you right now. It's actually kind of bugging me heh..like a movie you can't remember the name of for the life of you. That kind of buggin'.

    Depression? Hell no! I'm not depressed at all. Anhedonia? Nah. I'm very much capable of enjoying. I can be happy. I can be joyful. I'm on a positive mood right now, thinking of going out there for a nice walk - doesn't sound too bad. I bet it'll be just fine. Then I'm gonna watch TV. I like it. I won't get music euphoria but TV shows are full of emotions - I can receive them.
    "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom; for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough". ~ William Blake

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