There are ups and downs in life, joys and sadnesses, celebrations and mourning. Emotions can help you know when you might need support. Most people associate joy, happiness, and pleasure with many life experiences. What if you couldn’t feel these things? If that’s happening to you, you may be experiencing anhedonia.
What is Anhedonia?
Hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure. Anhedonia is its opposite — the inability to enjoy something. Anhedonia refers to someone who is unable enjoy the good things in life.
There are two types anhedonia. The first type is physical anhedonia. It is when someone is unable to experience physical sensations, such as touch from another person and taste of food. The second type is social anhedonia. This is when someone is unable to enjoy the company of others. Anhedonia in both types can be a sign of depression, mental health conditions, or side effects of medications.
How common is social anhedonia?
Social anhedonia is more common that its physical counterpart. It is not comparable to social anxiety; it’s not introversion or fear, resentment, or negative feelings about social situations. Anhedonia is a reduced or missing ability to enjoy life.
7 Signs of Social Anhedonia
Social withdrawal is the avoiding, removal, or isolation from social activities. This could mean that you stop attending social events such as family dinners or nights out with friends. Or even engaging in texting and social media with your friends remotely.It is possible.
2. Inadequacy of Relationships
Social anhedonia may make it difficult to have meaningful relationships with others. You may stop wanting to be friends, in romantic relationships or in family relationships. You might decide to end existing relationships or start new ones if interpersonal interaction is not something you enjoy.
3. Reduction in Emotional Response
People with social anhedonia may not be able to smile, hug, or celebrate the lives and news of their loved ones. The symptoms include a decrease or inability to express and feel emotions in social interactions, verbal and nonverbal.
Preexisting depression can cause both social and physical anhedonia. However, this is not always true. If you’re struggling with some form of depression and find yourself withdrawing or preferring solitude, you might be experiencing social anhedonia. Be sure to mention this symptom to your doctor or mental health provider – it will help them help you.
If you are experiencing an inability to enjoy the good in your life and you aren’t already working with a physician or therapist, consider doing just that. A physician can diagnose possible physiological causes, such as an out-of-whack thyroid or certain vitamin deficiencies or medication side effects, and a mental health professional can help you heal. Talk to a therapist today!
5. Poor Social Adjustment
When facing a new situation where you must adjust to the social climate, you might struggle to adapt if you’re dealing with social anhedonia. The skills you’ve acquired and are used to using in this type of setting may no longer be working for you. You might feel like you have to “fake it” in social situations where you’re not feeling genuine pleasure.
6. A decrease in overall positivity
Another sign of social anhedonia can be the inability to feel positive. While the old you might be able to offer support, solutions, or bring hope to a situation, social-anhedonia might make it impossible. You might be more inclined to be negative or indecisive.
7. Monotone or flat vocal expression
Lastly, if you’re feeling no pleasure or joy, you might also use a monotone or flat vocal expression that sounds uninterested or distracted. If you notice a pattern, rather than a few days of feeling bored, blue or tired, it could indicate social anxiety.
Social anhedonia can be more common than you think. It’s a major symptom of depression. If you have any of these symptoms, it is worth speaking with a mental healthcare professional. Click here to learn more about your options.
Are you struggling with depression or anhedonia? Begin your search for a therapist that can help you heal and walk this path with you.
Healthline. (2018, September 17). Anhedonia: Symptoms, Treatment and More. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/anhedonia.
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