Anhedonia, notion that comes from the French word anhédonie, is a term that is used in the field of psychology to refer to the lack of ability to experience pleasure. Anhedonia is thus associated with lack of satisfaction in the activities that are developed.
We have to establish that anhedonia is a neologism that was coined in the last bars of the 19th century, specifically in 1896, by the French psychologist Théodule A. Ribot. More exactly, he used it for the first time in his work entitled “Psychology of feelings.”
He shaped it by making use of certain Greek components such as the following:
-The prefix “an-”, which can be used to indicate negation.
-The noun “hedoné”, which can be translated as “pleasure”.
-The suffix “-ia”, which is used to establish a quality.
Anhedonia can be said to be a classic symptom of depression: the person no longer finds positive elements in actions that, in general, were pleasant to him. Beyond depression, anhedonia also appears in the Schizoid personality Disorder and in certain types of dementia.
There are several causes that can cause anhedonia in a person. Among those are from depression to drugs, schizophrenia or even that the brain interrupts the production of dopamine, which is responsible for the human being to have pleasant sensations.
In order to make the diagnosis of anhedonia, it must be established that there is what has been called Chapman scales. There are two types of questionnaires that come to diagnose this disorder and even the degree of it or the causes that may be generating it.
We can determine these scales that they are based on questions related to the capacities of the individual to have satisfaction at a social level, the possibility of suffering from schizophrenia or depression …
Also, it should be noted that there is no single treatment for anhedonia. Specifically, based on the causes that have originated it, the psychologist will proceed to determine one or the other.
Experts usually distinguish between two phases of anhedonia. That linked to dissatisfaction with the result of a action (that is, the enjoyment it provides) is called consummatory anhedonia. The motivational anhedonia, for its part, is associated with a lack of motivation to carry out the action in question.
It is also possible to differentiate between physical anhedonia and the social anhedonia. Physical anhedonia arises from the lack of pleasure in the face of typical physical stimuli: the individual does not enjoy sexual relations or food, for example. Social anhedonia, on the other hand, is related to the absence of jouissance in relationships with other persons, as in a conversation.
Anhedonia, in short, obeys a lack of reaction or response of the subject before positive stimuli. The human being It blocks the normal reception of these stimuli and, in this way, does not manage to feel the pleasure that they should provide and that, even, previously experienced.