What is anhedonia, symptoms and how the treatment is done

Anhedonia corresponds to the loss of satisfaction and interest in carrying out various activities, such as going out with friends, going to the movies or walking on the beach, for example, which were previously considered pleasant.

This type of change is very common in depressive states and some psychiatric illnesses caused by substance abuse such as drugs. Thus, it is important that the cause is identified so that the treatment can be more targeted and capable of promoting the feeling of well-being, and psychotherapy sessions may be recommended or the use of antidepressant drugs prescribed by the psychiatrist, for example, maybe recommended. .

Anhedonia symptoms

Symptoms may vary according to the type of anhedonia identified, and there may be:

  • Social anhedonia : In this type of anhedonia, there is a lack of interest in contact with society or in carrying out activities with other people, so difficulty in the relationship with other people, negative feelings towards oneself and others, difficulty in showing affection can be identified, difficulty in adapting to social situations and tendency to show false emotions;
  • Physical anhedonia : This type of anhedonia is characterized by the inability to feel pleasure in touch, intimate contact or eating, for example.

Anhedonia is one of the main symptoms of depression, however, not everyone who has depression suffers from anhedonia. In addition, diseases such as schizophrenia, psychosis, Parkinson’s disease, anorexia nervosa, drug abuse and the use of medications such as antidepressants and antipsychotics used to treat depression, can also cause anhedonia.

Some risk factors can also lead to the development of anhedonia, such as the occurrence of traumatic or stressful events, a history of abuse or neglect, diseases that have a major impact on the person’s quality of life or an eating disorder.

How the treatment is done

Anhedonia is curable, but it can be very difficult to treat. It usually consists of treating the underlying disease, such as depression or another psychiatric illness.

The first option is psychotherapy with a therapist, who evaluates the person’s psychological state and if necessary refers him to a psychiatrist, who can prescribe medications such as antidepressants or remedies for the person’s psychiatric problem.

Medical follow-up should be done regularly, in order to identify possible side effects caused by the drugs and in order to adjust the dose, so that better results are obtained.

Since anhedonia is, in most cases, one of the symptoms of depression, it is important that this condition is identified and treated. 

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