Anhedonia After Addiction | The Inability To Feel Pleasure After Getting Sober

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Hey everybody this is Rob with Tree House

Recovery and I'm back again and today I

want to teach you guys about anhedonia

one of the major reasons or a bigger

reason why people relapse especially in

early recovery is because of anhedonia

or a lack of knowledge of anhedonia and

the best way I can describe anhedonia

and by no means is it's a clinical term

but the best way I can describe it is a

state of blah okay it's a current

dissatisfaction with sobriety or

somebody's current reality which is

going to be sobriety okay and it

consists of two primary factors the

first is going to be biochemical and the

second is going to be psychological so

first let's focus on the biochemical

when somebody ingest drugs or alcohol

they release dopamine into the brain and

this continues over a period of time for

years sometimes and every time they put

a drug in their body dopamine is

released in the brain and what

eventually happens is the brain says

that's it I'm done I don't need to

produce this naturally anymore

now dopamine if you refer back to my

PAWS video is responsible for a lot of

things it's responsible for a reward

that keeps us safe and alive and keeps

us moving forward as individuals or it's

just a society in general and if we

don't have dopamine or a natural

production of dopamine well we're gonna

feel that blah feeling okay so when

somebody enters a recovery center or any

kind of treatment environment and they

are no longer having a chemically

altered amount of dopamine going off in

their brain throughout the day whenever

they put the drug in their body and what

will happen is if somebody goes through

everyday activities during that initial

phase of sobriety there's not going to

feel very good they're not going to feel

that reward so that's the biochemical

reasons of why somebody's going to feel

anhedonia the second thing that we need

to discuss when really understanding

anhedonia is the psychological effects

that somebody's going to be experiencing

while in early sobriety so to really

understand that let's take a look at

somebody while

an active addiction this is usually a

pretty exciting lifestyle now it's

negative excitement a majority of it but

excitement nonetheless so this is

somebody who might be participating in

illegal activity stealing this is

somebody who's probably putting

themselves in pretty dangerous

situations may be dealing with some

pretty shady people or running from the

police or maybe even just the excitement

provided from being dishonest to the

people around them trying to hide their

stash or just get away with the

substance use or anything involved in

the substance use so what all of these

behaviors do is it well it's the heart

beating okay and it can start to produce

adrenaline and all of these behaviors

will create that excitement now let's

talk about that individual when they

decide to go into treatment well they're

not going to be receiving that same kind

of excitement and what this can do is

lead to a comparison to where yes I

understand those were negative behaviors

but the way I interpreted it while as an

active addiction was this is very

exciting and now that I'm in treatment I

have a schedule I have a routine and I'm

not receiving that same kind of

adrenaline pumping excitement that I'm

used to all right so this can often lead

to other psychological set up behaviors

somebody can now awful eyes sobriety or

even romanticize the past using so with

the biochemical and the psychological

effects somebody will have that

anhedonia now anhedonia can be

consistent during somebody's process at

least the initial phase it can also

spike during different months of their

process it can also get elevated during

activities that maybe somebody has a

relationship with for example if

somebody grew up surfing and they loved

surfing every time they go out surfing

they get that dopamine reward well if

that same individual later on in life

decides to get sober and they go out and

they go surfing well there's a good

chance they're not going to get the same

reward the

there used to do to that dopamine

deficit this can easily lead somebody to

going and awful eyes in their sobriety

or even hyper focusing on things from

their past that would produce that

dopamine for example substance use

alright and this is a major reason why

we see people relapse this is why I'm so

confident in the tree house approach to

treatment we got guys waking up at the

crack of dawn going out to the ocean and

experiencing that joy that excitement

getting the heart beating getting the

adrenaline going as they're out there

they're riding the waves and we're doing

this all and it's structured and

controlled environment but still

creating a new relationship with that

excitement that for a lot of people who

have the disease very much crave and

then from the beach they're going into

the gym and they're participating

intense workouts and when they're doing

that what that's gonna do is kickstart

that natural dopamine production we have

the ability to assist somebody through

that initial phase without the use of

any kind of any kind of medications

anything that's actually gonna do more

harm than good so ultimately what's

gonna happen is we can help somebody get

through that initial phase of anhedonia

and then on our clinical side our guys

are gonna filter into the office they're

gonna get lessons from guys like me or

the other IRT team and they're gonna

learn about anhedonia they're gonna

learn in real time how to use coping

skills all of this works together

well anhedonia is gonna act as a one-two

punch as far as the biochemical factors

the psychological factors well we got

the same kind of recipe combating that

we got the physical we got the mental

all right the problem that we often see

is people making permanent or

life-threatening decisions based on

temporary uncomfortability and that's

why people will relapse from anhedonia

all right so if somebody's able to come

in to our environment and we're they're

given the opportunity to promote brain

healing along with all the knowledge of

why they're

a certain way that set somebody up for

opportunity and the ability to maintain

long-term sustainable sobriety this is

Rob again the treehouse recovery I want

to thank you guys for joining me if you

have any questions feel free to reach

out to us also check out the links below

there's a lot of good stuff down there

and I'll see you guys next time