Sunday, August 2, 2009

Depression and Anhedonia

One of the most pervasive symptoms of depression is a general loss of pleasure with just about everything. Things you used to enjoy can seem like torture when depressed, which can in turn lead to isolation and withdrawl. The technical term for this loss of pleasure is anhedonia and is very common, almost universal, in those coping with depression.

In my personal journey with depression, anhedonia caused the greatest difficulty. Those close to me couldn't understand why I just didn't seem up to events and activities I previously enjoyed so much. My relationships suffered. As I withdrew from everybody and everything, the world naturally continued, and my inability to actively participate became frustrating and overwhelming.

For a while I forced myself to do things even though the desire was absent, but eventually I just sort of succombed to the anhedonia and isolated myself from everthing and everyone. If the world was a high school, I was a dropout, locked out of all the joy and opportunities associated with membership.

If you share these same types of feelings, take some comfort in knowing you are not alone. Be honest with your loved ones and tell them just how you are feeling and don't hesitate to seek out assistance from a medical professional. This condition will not last forever.


Anonymous said...

I have been experiencing exactly the same thing. Everything I do feels like going through the motions and not experiencing any pleasure or happiness from what I do. I still do things like I use to and I have not withdrawn from family and friends but I get very down for feeling like this. I have been in this gloomy and empty state for almost three years and I feel its time I do something. I am going to see a doctor tomorrow.

This state in my case was brought upon me after panic attacks. I just started to fear everything including things I use to enjoy doing. I was so afraid all the time of getting another panic attack and eventually I stopped feeling any joy in anything.

Kevin have you recovered from this?? What did you do?

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