Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lexicon of Madness -- Anhedonia

Anhedonia: Diminished hedonic capacity, i.e., a reduced ability to experience pleasure. A loss of interest in activities that previously had been considered pleasurable. Most commonly associated with Major Depressive Disorder (clinical depression) but also a symptom of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Also a common Negative Symptom of Schizophrenia. A depressed man finds that he no longer enjoys golfing with friends or watching sports on television. For many people, eating is a primary source of pleasure. For the anhedonic person, even favorite foods can taste "like wet clay, or like ashes in my mouth." Loss of such a central source of pleasure can quickly lead to hopelessness and thoughts of suicide.

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