Anhedonia Shock?

I have anhedonia. Part of me wanted to be shocked into action when I learned of this word, anhedonia.. But, as with anything I do, it's like this big soft bubble which holds me from action stops my care factor from mounting enough energy to take a step.

It's like, anytime I even think about what I need to do, the big soft bubble is there to turn me back. Intelectually I know what I should do, I know all the consequences of not doing what needs doing. I just can't raise enough care, desire, vitality or whatever is needed to be bothered.

Many would call me lazy (and for the longest time I let that be my guilt), but to me laziness is a choice. If I could choose, I wouldn't be this way.

I once saw a psychologist, before learning about this anhedonia thing. She suggested that old gem of breaking things into smaller tasks, and to some degree that works, if I can be bothered. That's just it, there are lots of practical things someone can do to get through tasks and lists and calendars and gatherings, but this "thing" doesn't seem easily dented by "practical" means.

Whenever I try to put my mind to a task, a fugue comes over me, a fogginess that significantly weakens any resolve. Like right now, I have several pressing matters that I should be attending to, but I'm doing this instead. "This" writing is almost enjoyable. But if I had to write a book on it, I'd soon lapse into coma.

In my better moments, I try to make a list, then concentrate on one task. Try. Lists are somewhat easy - they're not "do". Come the "do", and it all collapses.

When I think back, I realise I've been this way all my life. And at 52, I need to unwind it - the habits, the brain chemistry, the prompts, the triggers, the patterns, the whatever. And omg what a daunting thought. Maybe I'll start next week.

narrator narrator
51-55, M
14 Responses Oct 3, 2009

do you literally mean lapes into a coma?

no, of course not literally.. ;)

do i have it? read a story of mine please

Anhedonia is a word that can be broken into its 2 parts. The prefix "an" means against, opposite, not. The hedonia part is from the word hedonism, which is the pursuit of pleasure. So anhedonia is actually the inability to experience pleasure, especially in things you would ordinarilly enjoy. I enjoy flying, writing and sexual contact. But when suffering anhedonia, none of those things give me pleasure. Anhedonia is indicative of depression, which is why it can go on for months or far longer. From what I've read of you, I think you have it. The first step is to go and see your doctor (your GP) and discuss it with him/her.

thanks man

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I heard about this today when i Googled " all I want to do is sleep" and following the yellow brick road I ended up here. I see some of you work, The VA decided that I had PTSD and made it 100 percent because at the time I was a danger to myself because my job required alot of driving and i found myself drifting into oncoming traffic whenever a big truck was coming not what I did consciously so no more driving hence no more job. I tried several times after weeks of inpatient care to go back to work but I developed another fun problem severe panic attacks, so at the age of 43 I was now a disabled veteran and even social security agreed after one visit I knew most people are turned down so when i was found meeting the criteria through me into a major depression. I think that anhedonia fits me to a tee as i have an income with good health benefits from VA so I now just do nothing unless my wife is not able to do it, I am blessed in that respect I have been able to muster up the energy to at least do the household chores that she hasn't time for. When asked by my family to get together I agree then cancel the day of the event I have no need for get together. Sleep is my best way to avoid feeling so useless, thanks for listening

Re: Doing things (obligation-type things).<br />
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What works for me (most of the time) is when I wake up, I think of one thing I want to get done that day. Not a list, not a bunch, but one. Then I try my best to get that one thing done that day. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Usually I can get myself to do something if I keep it to only one thing per day. One constructive thing.

I like that... a lot. Thank you Mimi.

Holy crap... 570 pages in Word? So far? In a single file??<br />
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I think I've hit over 50 at the moment, and I haven't even started my thesis yet :/<br />
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I hadn't heard of anhedonia before either, though I'm aware that it's considered a symptom of depression. It sounds like me on occasion, and it usually takes a while to kick. It's why I think my EQ would be almost single digit, because while you know what to do about any given situation, doing it can be another story entirely :/

Yep, all in one file.. lol - and just hit 600 pages. Funny thing about EQ... with this condition, emotional intelligence is high in contrast to the low level of emotion. I need a new source of vitality - the old source has sold out. ;)

I write. It's the only thing (apart from my job) that I do half consistently. Sometimes i get a little inspired and spend time on forums like this one. The intellectual stimulus seems to take hold for a while. And then it goes again. <br />
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I recently started writing a novel. I've tried to before, but through some miracle I've stuck at this one. 570 pages in Word, so far. It's funny, within that fantasy world of writing, I can actually feel... well some shades of feeling anyway. It's no wonder I do that to the exclusion of chores and being with people.

Hello to all. I have been on every med from a-z over the past 9 yrs. They may help my depression, but not anhedonia. I always went to the Psch MD, but never to a therapist. I finally did 2 weeks ago, and the therapist told me that I was punishing myself. (Not Physically). I have lost several years of enjoyment after a divorce with 2 children (50/50). I have a great job, money, home, etc. but nothing brings me joy anymore.<br />
I just do the mininum required to keep my home organized. The children and I live out of the dryer or a stack of clean wrinkled cloths on a couch or floor. No energy to fold and put them away. I can sleep all weekend and put everything on hold. I am sick and tired of meds, and feeling this way. Life has got to be as good as it was for my first 35 yrs. Looking for some help or others who feel the same way. Thank You

Sorry I haven't revisited this page in some months. Anhedonia is as good an excuse as any hey.. lol. As for help, the only thing I can point to is a psych. and perhaps some hypnotherapy as well. I keep saying I'm going to try the latter, but I never get around to arranging it. If you see a psych, they'll give you some general help and some help specific to you. The general help will probably include things like getting you to break down big tasks into small so the care factor isn't such a hurdle. They may also get you to start a CBT diary. Cognitive Behavior Therapy gets you to record your inner dialogue when faced with different situations, and strategies for turning that inner dialogue more positive. It has helped me a little, when I can be bothered doing it.

Isn't that what they used to call an intellectual?

I'm curious on if you had the condition your whole life and how it has evolved with age. At 21 it has only recently gotten bad enough to seek help.

It got worse with age (for me). The more you fail to do in life, the more that weighs on you, and the more numb you feel. When you're young, vitality is easier to tap into - it's something you don't think about until the tank gets low later in life. I wish I'd sought the right kind of help at 21.

Hi all,<br />
<br />
I've been seeing a psychologist who said that anhedonia is a part of depression and have seen this backed up in other articles. It describes more how I feel than depression does. I'm not sure my antidepressants do more than balance the highs and lows. My GP says they help balance serotonin levels. Apparently anhedonia may also be related to a lack of stimulus and communication between two parts of the brain, so I'm considering hypnotherapy to see if that will offer some useful stimulus.<br />
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You and I who have this affliction can at least be comforted that we're not oddities. I know we don't feel like it, but smile for me and for you.<br />
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Thanks for your comments, much appreciated.

Has anyone found medication that permantely aids this condition. Any fixes are temporary and the body seems to just adopt.

I've been suffering from anhedonia for two years now. It has robbed me of my life and my future. Doctors have not been able to treat my condition.

Wow, that's exactly what I do. Like, I know there are so many things I should be doing but I just don't do them. I know in my mind that it's stupid not to do them and the consequences and such but I just don't do them for some unknown reason. Maybe I should get that checked out.

What exactly are you supposed to do to work on it? I had never heard of the term before so I looked it up. It was a definition of myself.

Thanks for sharing your experience with this. I don't think I've ever heard of anhedonia before, but it certainly sounds overwhelming.