Anhedonia: A Personal Story

The connections to mental health and everyday thinking
Anhedonia: A Personal Story

Anhedonia, according to Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio: “Anhedonia is the lack of interest, enjoyment or pleasure from life’s experiences.” Common side-effects include not wanting to find time to hang out with friends or family or do previously loved hobbies.

Though common, many struggle with this as they grow older. Their interests and hobbies change over time, with their bodies, relations, and friendships. Many who struggle with depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, substance use disorder, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) would see this as a common symptom.

There are two types of anhedonia: social and physical. Social anhedonia includes not wanting to be around people, or simply not enjoying it. Physical anhedonia includes not wanting to do the things one normally would, physically. If people normally enjoyed going outside, writing, and going on car rides, they would stop having joy in those everyday activities they once took an interest in.

As someone who shows multiple signs of anhedonia and struggles with mental health, it can be hard to find the motivation for anything I want to do or need to get done. When it comes to school, I have had a hard time finishing assignments on time or even starting them at all. Though I am a great student academically, it has become harder for me to focus and therefore I go down the rabbit hole of education. I eventually get caught up in a reasonable time for most of my missing assignments. Depending on how I feel on a certain day, I would not want to do anything specific for that class but rather try to focus on doing something else I am behind on, ultimately leading to me being behind on more classes and continuing the cycle for a short while before it becomes bearable. I am at where a good spot for me is.

There are also a ton more problems connected to my poor mental health, things such as eating too much, anxiety, a deep sense of loneliness, and others I wish not to share. It is hard for me to explain everything I struggle with, since most of the time, it is not exactly anything in specific that makes me feel this way. The everyday burden of life gets me down and makes me feel as if I cannot do different things. It takes me out of my positive mental state and pushes me down into a deep pit that I believe I will never make it out of.

Education, understanding and support are key to mental health.

Anhedonia can lead to many different things, and it is best to get the care needed. No matter who needs the help, get the help that matches the problem they are struggling with. If the time comes, one can use these resources:

  • contact the Suicide Helpline, by calling or texting the number 988
  • text HOPELINE to the number 741741

Stay safe out there; it is a big and dangerous world.

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