Anhedonia When Nothing Gives You Pleasure

One of the most telling signs of depression is a loss of interest in activities that used to excite you, enthuse you, or give you pleasure. This is known as anhedonia, derived from the word hedonism (meaning the "philosophy of pleasure"); a hedonist is a person who indulges his or her every pleasure without considering (or caring about) the consequences. Anhedonia simply means "no pleasure."

Different people have different ways of expressing anhedonia. You might tell your friends, for example, that you don't "have any desire" to do X or Y, you can't "get motivated," or X or Y just doesn't "hold your interest or attention." You may also notice that the sense of satisfaction from a job well done is simply gone, which is particularly debilitating in the workplace or in a place of learning. For example, artists (photographers, painters, writers, and so on) may find the passion has gone out of their work.

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