Within the purview of psychology, anhedonia refers to a particular disorder whereby the patient becomes unable to feel any pleasure or experience any joy from normal day to day stimuli. The patients suffering from anhedonia cease to feel happy in normal social interaction, eating, sexual activities and even exercise. The term “Anhedonia” is a Greek word that originates from the original term in Greek meaning “inability to experience joy”.
Anhedonia is a commonly documented symptom of mood and anxiety disorder and the associated depression. Both the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition (DSM IV) hold a concurrent view in this context. Other than anhedonia the other commonly held symptoms of mood and anxiety disorder is an acutely depressed mood. Symptoms of anhedonia are also commonly found in patients suffering from schizophrenia and individuals having schizoid personality or schizoaffective disorder and many of the other mental disorders.
The critical psychological disorder of Anhedonia which causes acute anxiety and depression was for the first time identified during the 19th century. However, anhedonia continued to remain rather unacknowledged and under-studied as late as until the 1980s. This was so because during this time, psychologists were busy focusing on other obvious symptoms of anxiety and depression including poor concentration, depressed mood, tiredness, insomnia and loss of appetite along with suicidal thoughts as well.
Symptoms of Anhedonia
Individuals suffering from anhedonia are observed to develop a mood that is exceptionally flat and characterizes anxiety. Anhedonia makes people lose the ability to properly feel anything or react to any situation. Anhedonia features a non-variant mood syndrome which hinders patients from moving ahead with anything. A person suffering from this condition spends a good portion of his or her life in constant procrastination, unable to take decisions on everyday situations. Anhedonia makes the process of moving ahead with life rather difficult.
To give a sound idea of the various symptoms of anhedonia, apt examples would work the best.
- A mother who suffers from anhedonia tends to find no pleasure in playing with her baby.
- A footballer if suffering from anhedonia and anxiety disorder doesn’t feel even the least excited on scoring a goal.
- A teenager if suffering from anhedonia and anxiety and depression is left untouched even when he/she manages to pass the driving test.
- As far as relationships are concerned, Anehdonia is an anxiety disorder that puts a lot of strain on them. Moreover, Anhedonia also leads to a lessening of the sex drive which creates further gap in a marital relationship.
Anhedonia and anxiety and depression
Anxiety and depression are common symptoms that affect one in every five grown up individuals at one point in their lives. The disease of anhedonia along with schizophrenia can often worsen the situation to such an extent that the patient under anxiety and depression may even try suicide. Anxiety and depression is often triggered by a particularly sad event like a physical injury or the loss of a loved one or even due to chemical imbalances in the brain.
But that doesn’t mean that everyone who suffers from anxiety and depression will have anhedonia. Anhedonia is in fact rather rare in cases of mild depression. But for cases of serious anxiety disorder and depression, anhedonia may surface as a common symptom.
Once Anhedonia surfaces as an anxiety disorder, it may continue to persist even when the anxiety and depression ceases. But more often than not anhedonia may also go away as well. As far as the treatment of anhedonia and the symptoms of anxiety and depression are concerned they are often treated with antidepressant medicines only to heal partially.
Anhedonia causes a kind of anxiety and depression that affects an individual’s daily life significantly and he ceases to feel pleasure in any events of daily life. In such circumstances treating the anxiety disorder as soon as possible becomes all the more necessary to restore a normal and happy life for the patient.
Some of the effective and natural elements that help ease the severity of anhedonia and thereby do away with the condition itself are:
- Yoga is an immensely effective treatment for anhedonia
- Regular physical activity.
- Deep and sound sleep for an extended period of time
- In case of sex anhedonia in particular, consumption of a few special herbs can be a potent solution.
- The Mind-Power-Rx and the SAM-e supplement can help lift spirits and elevate depressed moods
- There are certain homeopathic treatments as well that deal with Anhedonia in an effective way.
In order to treat conditions of anhedonia in an effective way, physicians suggest a wholesome approach to a sound health which includes yoga, physical exercise, a healthy diet, keeping a sound goal and aim in life, maintain closer ties with friends and family, traveling on regular intervals, etc. All of these together can help deal with anhedonia in a more focused manner.