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My theory that could help find a cure for depression

Locke

Hegemon
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Location
Redmond, Washington
It sounds to me like you're suggesting drugs.


Also, I don't believe that "moral good" is entirely separate from "scientific good". Doesn't living your life according to your values trigger pleasant emotions?
 

Beauts

Rock and roll will never die
Joined
Jun 15, 2012
Location
London, United Kingdom
I understand what you're saying and agree with you to some extent. I do believe that, and in fact we pretty much already know, that depression/adhedonia are both a cause and effect of a breakdown in our ability to process experience. As in, yes, reward system is severely affected and as a result it makes it extremely difficult and/or impossible to feel happy or rewarded about anything. However, I also believe from my reading and personal experience that depression is cyclical. You don't feel happy so things that would usually make you happy don't work anymore and so you are unhappy. But I don't think that negative experiences or lack of feeling rewarded is necessarily bad or makes something worthless in the long run.

You don't feel rewarded when you study really hard for an exam and just about fail, but if you get the chance to retake and that time you pass with flying colours and get top of the class or whatever, clearly you feel some reward later on for having failed the first time and thus having the chance to improve next time. This might be a terrible example of what I'm trying to say but I hope you see what I mean by that. But that also ties in with what you say about optimism because you do have to believe things will get better or that there is a reason for it, even if you can't feel it inside yourself.

I also think that there is no cure for depression. It's an extremely difficult thing because it's an internalised problem which originates from internal reactions to external things. What makes one person depressed won't do the same to another and so on. It's the same with happiness. As you rightly say, a lot of it is to do with reward systems and things like that. But there are many things that can help, and I don't doubt that one day it will be as easy to get rid of as any other disease. I don't think the answer comes in pill form though. Anti-depressants for example help to control the imbalances that cause you to have a really low point and thus make it easier to carry on, but I don't think there is a medicine or a science that can fix what breaks in our brains when we can't be happy. I honestly think it's about finding the easiest way to push through depression, not to get over it or get better. Some people are more disposed than others so it may not be as simple as applying science so bluntly to the issue, though obviously it plays a part.
 

Beauts

Rock and roll will never die
Joined
Jun 15, 2012
Location
London, United Kingdom
Well, first off, during that given moment where you failed the exam, that disrewarding moment would have no good value and worth to you. But it is only later on when you get a rewarding experience from that would it then be of good value and worth to you. Even though I am living for a future recovery, that is just my brain's way of fooling me into thinking that gives my life good meaning when it never did since I am not having any rewarding experience (optimism) from that since I don't have my pleasant emotions.
I understand that, but I don't think anybody feels instant reward from everything like that. Sometimes it really is about the long haul and though it can be disheartening, and maybe it is a trick, that is still meaningful. I don't think emotions and feelings are always tied up with meaning. I don't think anybody's brain is trying to fool them on purpose, it is just doing what it is supposed to which is give you a reason to carry on and to do that you have to have meaning. Why is that meaning any worse than if you felt really happy in that first instance? If you think about it from an evolutionary perspective, all living things exist to survive and continue producing more of the given species. For animals with less complex emotion and less intelligence, that just means eating, having babies, and not getting eaten itself. But for humans, who have natural curiosity, we have evolved to apply meaning and reason to everything because it helps us to sustain life and to see a reason to carry on. But deep inside, who knows if that meaning is actually real or is just there because of evolution? If the universe is completely random, so maybe is our need to understand, and we are pre-wired to think something is significant when it isn't. In that case, the meaning might not be instantly apparent or have anything to do with feeling.
 

Satan

chunky plant goop
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Well, I'd say considering that you have found an interest in video games (I mean, I'm just assuming this because you're on a forum for a video game series), that there is something about them you must like, yeah? People like things because they make them feel good. I could be wrong, and please don't be mad at me if I am, because I obviously don't truly know what your life is like or anything, but I feel that... the fact that you like things such as video games means you are experiencing some level of pleasure. Maybe it's not that much, but you might not be as pleasure-absent as you think you are. Are there any other interests of yours you think that you might be able to try for coping/therapy? I don't want to say enjoyment, but for the lack of a better word, you might be able to increase your enjoyment of these things over time, which may help you experience pleasure in other things.

Again, I might be completely off. And I apologize. I'm just trying to help.

--Just in case my suggestion is stupid and not gonna work, I did a quick google search and there appears to be someone who developed complete anhedonia from an antibiotic that she was taking, and made a site about how she overcame it with the intention of helping others overcome theirs. Might be something worth looking at. http://www.anhedoniatreatmentplans.com/

I suppose the worst thing you could do is become convinced you've been defeated by this. That mindset will make you not even want to look for ways to get better. I can only imagine what incredible strength you must have as an individual to persevere though all of this so far and I have a lot of respect for you.
 
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Joined
Sep 17, 2015
A few things:

1)Good and bad aren't scientific terms, they're entirely relative and extremely differing on an individuals basis.

2)I don't see anything in your solution that can help lithium deficiency and other chemical imbalances, which can be a leading a cause of medical depression, to go back to normal levels.
 

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