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Annafairlady

Anhedonia and Depression

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There is definitely some overlap, but the words "depression" and "anhedonia" do not mean exactly the same thing.

My understanding is that anhedonia is a symptom of depression. While some people with depression have anhedonia, it is also very possible to be depressed and not be andedonic.

LIterally, "anhedonia" translates as "without pleasure". A person with anhedonia is unable to experience pleasure.

To give an example: someone who is depressed might be crying and having low moods too often but their mood lifts when they are doing something that they usually enjoy - like taking a vacation or watching a favorite movie. For this person, their lows are lower than they should be (and perhaps too frequent), yet they are still able to enjoy some good moods under the right circumstances.

A person with anhedonia does not experience this lift in mood, even under ideal conditions.

To give another example, I'll often hear people with depression say something like "when I'm depressed I love to listen to music - I have so many favorite songs that express how I feel".

But a person with anhedonia would not be able to honestly make a statement like this, since even listening to music  provides no true pleasure for them.

 

Edited by Tilted

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I've experienced both and while they do seem really similar and I do agree that they go hand in hand. Oftentimes it feels like one kind of leads to the other & vice versa. Tilted's explanation is really well put, it really is a general absence of pleasure. However I can often tell when I'm feeling the depression versus anhedonia. I don't mean for this next comment to sound as though I'm minimizing how terrible depression is, but when you're depressed and sad you're at least feeling some kind of emotion, whereas with anhedonia it's almost like being numb to the world around you. I've had times when I can't stop crying, but I'm still able to find contentment/ relief in a favorite tv show. But I've also had days--sometimes weeks-- when nothing excites me: I recently went to a rap concert for one of my favorite artists and I felt about as excited as I would have if I'd been sitting at the DMV. And it could be different for everyone! But in my experience they do feel pretty distinct.

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3 hours ago, Annafairlady said:

Thank you all for your contributions and insights. I do think I have both. It's no way to live.

Of course Annafairlady...most people here are happy to try and answer any questions you might have.

And yes...it is NO way to "live".

Hope you feel better soon.

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2 hours ago, Annafairlady said:

Thank you Tilted. I'm hanging in here but it's so very hard.

I started scouring the internet for some ways to counter anhedonia & discovered an old thread on this forum that I thought was pretty interesting & helpful, so I thought I'd share! I hope you start to have brighter & brighter days, and in the meantime we're here for you!

 

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This was most useful to read and made a lot of sense to me, especially the efficacy of methylphenidate (Ritalin). Thank you so very much for sharing. I wish everyone grace and Peace.

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On 8/29/2017 at 2:00 PM, LifeDream777 said:

Sorry to hear that.
I'm going through a bit of slump as well. Not emotionally, but physically. I don't have much to eat, just bread and butter. And I think I have enough shampoo for one more shower, than I have to wait a few more days for money.
Not sure how to help you out other than to say I'm here for you.

I'm sorry and disturbed to learn of your physical situation. In fact I find it heartbreaking. Are you receiving a social grant? Are there soup kitchens and the like in your area? How can we encourage members of this forum to help you with small amounts of money that will all add up? I'm so very upset. 

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1 hour ago, Annafairlady said:

I'm sorry and disturbed to learn of your physical situation. In fact I find it heartbreaking. Are you receiving a social grant? Are there soup kitchens and the like in your area? How can we encourage members of this forum to help you with small amounts of money that will all add up? I'm so very upset. 

I'm OK! Thanks though. I am receiving ODSP and there are soup kitchens, I just don't want to go.

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On 9/27/2017 at 5:19 PM, Annafairlady said:

This was most useful to read and made a lot of sense to me, especially the efficacy of methylphenidate (Ritalin). Thank you so very much for sharing. I wish everyone grace and Peace.

@Annafairlady just thinking about you...any change in your situation?

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16 hours ago, Tilted said:

@Annafairlady just thinking about you...any change in your situation?

Hi there. Amazingly, yes! My psychiatrist sensed the dire need for fast and effective medical intervention. He switched up my Rx to a combination of a Tricyclic and a SNRI A/D and I kid you not I noticed an improvement the very next day after my first dose of Thaden (Prothiaden) the night before. This is known as rocket fuel. My meds are as follows: Thaden 75mg and Etomine 20mg at bedtime and Cymgen 60mg upon wakening. He is wanting to titrate me up but I feel as long as the dose I’m on is effective, I’d prefer to stay with it. I also have the option of using Rivotril as needed. Oh yes, and Calciferol twice a week - despite living in a year round sunny country. I hope this can be of some help to someone else suffering from refractory severe depression. PS: a previous diagnosis of BP2 proved to be false as I was unresponsive to the meds. Best and lots of love and healing to all.

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3 hours ago, Annafairlady said:

Hi there. Amazingly, yes! My psychiatrist sensed the dire need for fast and effective medical intervention. He switched up my Rx to a combination of a Tricyclic and a SNRI A/D and I kid you not I noticed an improvement the very next day after my first dose of Thaden (Prothiaden) the night before. This is known as rocket fuel. My meds are as follows: Thaden 75mg and Etomine 20mg at bedtime and Cymgen 60mg upon wakening. He is wanting to titrate me up but I feel as long as the dose I’m on is effective, I’d prefer to stay with it. I also have the option of using Rivotril as needed. Oh yes, and Calciferol twice a week - despite living in a year round sunny country. I hope this can be of some help to someone else suffering from refractory severe depression. PS: a previous diagnosis of BP2 proved to be false as I was unresponsive to the meds. Best and lots of love and healing to all.

Thanks for the update: that sounds impressive! Keep us posted...

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Huh, I just stumbled across the Anhedonia section of DF.

Having had major depression since I was 7 (so for 33 years now) and reading up on it tons and doing lots of therapy, I'm always astounded to still learn new things about it.

I think in part that's because a) depression is so exhausting and so complex that I don't manage to mentally focus on all aspects of it and b) I often feel lost in my depression and don't always see things as clearly as I would wish.

The concept of Anhedonia seems blindingly obvious to me and I know I've heard of it before and read about it multiple times and thought "Yup, this is part of my depression" but I've never been able to give it much headspace.

Now that I am thinking about this topic clearly, I am shocked to realise to what degree I grew up being labelled lazy by an abusive parent because of depression and anhedonia and to what degree that has become stuck in my subconscious.

Every single day that I struggle with motivation and (thankfully mild) anhedonia (mild when compared to the absolute anhedonia horror some people here describe), internally I am chiding myself for being lazy and for being an under-achiever and for lacking willpower and for being a crap person.

I struggle with that and try to fight it - trying to tell myself that no, I'm struggling with depression, but the internal dialogue that I am lazy and a crap person for not achieving things and for feeling numb is much louder.

I need to let this sink in and give it some thought - that anhedonia is just another crippling symptom and that it is not my fault and that it doesn not make me a crap person.

And I need to find a way of dealing with it appropriately. Obviously I can't just magically get "rid" of it, so I am going to have to accept that it is part of my life to some degree.

(Given it is relatively "mild" I find that it is worse some days and better other days. It is not always the same level of intensity.)

So I will have to accept that it is part of my life/ my journey but try and find smart ways of coping with it and minimising its negative impact on my life.

And I am dumbfounded to be learning new things about depression after 33 years of it and grateful that this forum exists and that people post intelligently and compassionately about their experiences with depression so we can learn from each other.

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I have zero motivation right now. I've been that way for months. I should be in an absolute panic over the pile of work that needs to get done.

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I don't have any motivation either.  I don't do anything extra.  All I do is what I have no choice but to do today.  I put everything off to the last second and sometimes just blow things off completely.

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Posted (edited)

Hi there!

I have schizophrenia and Treatment resistant depression for 35 years.

I have noticed that I don't feel motivated or content for anything including money.

I just don't care about things that cause pleasure in others

I have tried tons of medications and have been hospitalized approximately 10 times in the last 5 years.

I feel like a vegetable, numb, no facial or physical expression of moods.

The only things that make me get out of bed for a few hours is Adderall XR 30mg + Wellbutrin 300 XL 60mg.

The upper effect lasts about 5 hours, then, back to bed again.

Note: I was recently diagnosed with Andropouse and I am in severe pain and horrible state of mind.

Besides that, I suffer from Fribromyalgia and Severe Diabetic neuropathy which is unbearable amount of pain.

Can anyone relate?

Thanks and many blessings...

Edited by renatto
forgot to mention something

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