We all have a sense of pleasure when we enjoy doing things that make us happy. Anhedonia is a condition where one loses the ability to feel pleasure. People, who have a sense of pleasure, know what makes them happy. This can be an evening stroll or a day off at the beach. But the anhedonia mental health makes you vulnerable, and you fail to enjoy feelings.
Anhedonia can be of two types: social and physical. Social anhedonia is when you don't feel like making any social interactions or spending time with people. At the same time, physical anhedonia is when you stop enjoying physical sensations like a hug. Imagine feeling empty after a hug; isn't that terrible? That's exactly what a person suffering from anhedonia's mental health condition goes through.
Several people relate to anhedonia and depression, but there is a slight difference here, which can only be understood if one understands anhedonia better. Today, we will be discussing everything about anhedonia. From what causes anhedonia to anhedonia symptoms and its possible treatment, we will discuss all the details. So, let’s first begin with what causes anhedonia.
What Causes Anhedonia?
People often mention depression as the prime cause of anhedonia. Nevertheless, schizophrenics and bipolar may experience it too. Usually, people who have a history of mental health are prone to encounter anhedonia.
Still, research and study have shown that people with unrelated diseases like diabetes, coronary artery disease, and Parkinson's disease have experienced anhedonia in mental health too.
Anhedonia is mainly associated with changes in neural activity. It affects the part of your brain that helps you comprehend how you see and experience rewards. It even alters the way your brain helps in releasing dopamine, eventually affecting the way you feel.
What Are the Symptoms of Anhedonia?
People with anhedonia are socially inactive and feel an increased disinterest in all sorts of social interactions and interpersonal relationships. Some of the common symptoms of anhedonia include social withdrawal, lack of pleasure from daily chores, and a noticeable decrease in the interest in your previous hobbies.
People suffering from anhedonia do not find physical intimacies interesting anymore. So, a loss of libido is common in them. Overall, such people start losing interest in all sorts of daily activities which they previously enjoyed. This is one of the most prominent symptoms of anhedonia, and if someone is experiencing such symptoms, they should look for the right treatment.
The challenging part, however, is that some people believe anhedonia is the same as depression. So, it is crucial to draw a comparison between anhedonia and depression first to get the right treatment.
Anhedonia Vs. Depression
Anhedonia is a symptom of depression; that's why it can be said to be closely related to depression but is not the same. It is not necessary for a person suffering from anhedonia to be depressed too. You don’t have to feel sad necessarily to confirm that you are suffering from anhedonia.
Since anhedonia is an inability of a person to feel pleasure, it is not necessary that you feel sad. You might find yourself dull and blunt, but feeling sad is related to depression, and you might not necessarily feel that way if you have anhedonia. In addition, the two require different treatments in some cases.
Some medications that might be good for treating depression are not recommended for anhedonia. There are medications that possibly work for depression but make you feel blunter if you have anhedonia. So, knowing that the two are different can help us better understand how to overcome anhedonia.
How to Overcome Anhedonia?
Since we have covered the rest, it's time to understand how you can overcome anhedonia. The following are three common ways to overcome anhedonia.
Modify Your Habits
Modifying your habits can do wonders in overcoming anhedonia. A dull and monotonous routine often makes people feel a lack of pleasure too. So, think of bringing in some new activities that are more exciting and are newer than what you usually do.
One thing you can do is start with the basic Yoga poses to elevate your energy levels and endurance. However, if you spend most of the day at your workstation, you can take inspiration from some standing desk exercises. In addition, you can exercise while sitting at a computer too. In the best case, you may adopt a new hobby like running or swimming that will make you comparatively more active.
Start Doing Strength Training
Activities like strength training and aerobics increase the adrenaline rush and release dopamine in your body. Although adrenaline and dopamine provide temporary relief from anhedonia, it is also known to have long-term effects if you continue strength training. So, make it a part of your new routine. You can think of fetching some affordable exercise equipment online to kick-start your strength training sessions.
The last thing you can do is consult a physician and start taking medications to treat anhedonia. One of the best ways of treating anhedonia and depression is to learn their root cause and then treat it. You can consult a physician in this regard as that will help you get the right treatment.
To conclude, we hope that you have understood all the basics that you should know to understand and treat anhedonia. Office workers may encounter anhedonia too, but if it is at its early stage, you can treat it by modifying your habits and getting the right fitness equipment the way we guided above. We hope all your queries regarding anhedonia symptoms and treatments are answered too.
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