These activities may include eating, walking, or listening to music. Almost every human being experiences the condition of anhedonia at some point in his or her lifetime. It develops mostly in the middle age phase of a person when the organs for hearing or seeing become less sensitive with the growing age.
This condition is very often present in people suffering from depression and can be one of the most important symptoms of people suffering from severe depression.
Symptoms of Anhedonia
The common symptoms are:
• Patient cannot at all experience happiness from any kind of activity, physical or emotional.
• People suffer from an incredible degree of flat mood. There is absolutely no variation in the mood irrespective of the happenings around the patient. They are emotionally empty.
• Anhedonia is also been linked to depression. This condition creates mental illnesses such as mood disorders, or schizophrenia.
• Patients who are alcohol addicts or are addicted to some kind of particular drug exhibits this condition.
The anhedonia condition most commonly occurs during the alcohol or the drug withdrawal process when the mind is under tremendous stress. Anhedonia also causes strain on relationships and the patients suffer a loss from sex drive.
What Causes Anhedonia
The causes for anhedonia may be both physical and mental. Social learning triggers this mental condition. Normally, children develop by picking up the behaviour and activities of people around them. However, a child with a mental disorder will not be experiencing new things as a normal child would because of the impairment in their development. This may lead to anhedonia in a child.
Moreover, research undertaken in London in the Institute of Psychiatry proved that the brain of a person diagnosed with anhedonia functions differently from other healthy people. The prefrontal cortex of the brain which deals with empathy and negative emotions, had difficulty in processing feelings of happiness and there was minimal activity in the ventral striatum which is used for signal rewards. This kind of disruption causes the patient not to gain any kind of pleasure from the activities he or she performs. Thus, treatment for anhedonia becomes necessary.
Treatment of Anhedonia
Common forms of anhedonia treatment are:
• Using antidepressants
• Undergoing psychotherapy sessions
• Milieu therapy
Some patients suffering from anhedonia have also found relief from the following treatments:
• Increased level of physical activity
• Activity such as increasing time spent with family and friends
• Taking in fresh air as well as sunlight
Thus, whatever may be the degree of severity, timely treatment of anhedonia reduces the seriousness of further health and body damage.