Depression can be complicated. There may be good days and bad days. There may be days of sadness and tiredness and days of anxiety and stress. You may have insomnia or, depending on the type of condition, days where you sleep for hours on end and still do not feel rested.
Depression is a treatable condition. Right Path Counseling offers therapy and support for all different types of depression, and our therapists here on Long Island understand how to address your needs as an individual and help you work through your depression symptoms.
One of those symptoms that we’re going to talk about today is also one of the least understood. It’s known as “anhedonia,” and it translates directly as “inability to feel pleasure.”
What it Means to Be Without “Joy”
In media, depression is usually shown as a type of sadness, with people crying or miserable and showing a high amount of negative emotion. While it’s true many people with depression feel “down” or “sad,” many others feel “anhedonia.”
With anhedonia, a person may or may not feel “down” at all. In fact, a person with anhedonia can, if they want, go through the motions of the day without feeling sad, “depressed,” and without any negative self-talk.
But, when a person has anhedonia, they cannot feel the sensation of happiness or joy. It’s not just that they struggle to be happy. It is as though the pleasure is not an emotion that exists to them, and instead things feel dull, bland, boring, or uninteresting. This can cause people to:
- Miss work.
- Miss out on time with friends/relationships.
- Lose interest in sex, hobbies, or previously pleasurable activities.
When nothing feels pleasurable, things that used to be motivating are typically not motivating anymore. Without joy from touch, play, humor, and other previously enjoyable activities, a person with anhedonia may feel as though they are a going through the motions for no clear reason. Anhedonia can also cause people to withdraw from the world, because putting in effort offers them no reward.
Anhedonia is Treatable
One of the challenges that those with anhedonia struggle with is seeking help, because when someone cannot feel pleasure, it is also difficult to feel motivated to seek out and receive help from others. But anhedonia, like depression, is a treatable condition. With the right support, it is possible to address the causes of depression, learn to manage it, and regain the ability to feel joy again.
Contact Right Path Counseling today to learn more about our depression therapy services on Long Island.