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Inability to experience pleasure


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My therapist has said that he finds it puzzling that I can never seem to experience pleasure. Pretty much every time I'm feeling good, the next meeting I'm crying and feeling worse than ever. If things are going well in my life, I find a way to screw things up. If people act warmly toward me, I don't really know how to react or enjoy it. If people leave me alone, I feel lonely and unlovable. There are few things I truly enjoy.

It makes me feel bad because it seems that the capacity to be happy comes from within...and it's just not coming from within me right now! On one hand, there are a lot of things in my external life that I would like to be different, but even when something good happens, it usually gives me no real pleasure.

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It's called anhedonia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anhedonia

and I can't believe a therapist would be puzzled by this! Duh. I have a pdoc who makes me feel bad for being med sensitive so I'm switching (admittedly among other reasons).

My depression has been getting worse and I feel less and less pleasure from anything. People say you should do something you enjoy every day but it's getting harder and harder to find something. I know how you feel. And why is it that when something good does happen, or something feels good, it immediately turns the other direction.

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My case is pretty extreme. For instance, I usually feel that I'm "dumb" and "unsuccessful." So I applied to graduate school and got into all of the schools I applied to--yet, I barely felt one iota of happiness.

I feel that no one will love me. I can't help being this way. I think a lot of it stems from childhood. But who wants to be with someone who's almost never happy?

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I can't believe a therapist would be puzzled by this! Duh.

Indeed. Anhedonia is a classic and common symptom of depression, and to my mind one of the most insidious. As hard as you may try to find ways to elevate your mood, nothing brings any pleasure at all. Even things that send people around you into ecstacies of delight don't even register. It's like being served the most mouth-watering dish of your favorite dessert that you've ever seen

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Being dysthymic, I've had mild anhedonia a lot. The happiness from within is maybe valid IF they mean biochemistry when they say within. I have found that when my anhedonia is at it's worst, I'm also much more fearul, at least of certain things. It's not consistent, tho. I get afraid of climbing trees but not of riding around on my bike with cars going by.

I can't believe a therapist would be puzzled by this! Duh.

Indeed. Anhedonia is a classic and common symptom of depression, and to my mind one of the most insidious. As hard as you may try to find ways to elevate your mood, nothing brings any pleasure at all. Even things that send people around you into ecstacies of delight don't even register. It's like being served the most mouth-watering dish of your favorite dessert that you've ever seen

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depression has such varied symptoms i guess. my bp depression is very different than what you describe yours to be like.

my ex husband was like that though. i could never understand him. why didn't he enjoy himself? even feeling like shite i could get happy over happy things, like getting a new job or being accepted to grad school. he'd just mope around and cry all the time when something good happened. i think it made him even worse. i never understood.

i'm saying this because i understand now, and feel like i was a total bitch to him. i just complained to him that he needed to grow up and stop being a jerk and stop ruining things for us! and me, a bipolar person- i should have understood that and been sympathetic, me of all people. he understood my weirdo manic sprees and all that went with them- why did this symptom of depression totally allude me?

i was in the dark about this one too. now i know. thank you for sharing. i feel like total slime for treating him badly, but at least i know now and won't be evil to anyone in the future. gosh, i feel terrible ;)

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Loon,

I used to tell people that as long as they felt guilty, everything would be all right. A bit tongue in cheek, perhaps, but the true core of New England Gothic existence. All those nutty farmers growing rocks in New Hampshire, getting nuttier. And having progeny. Which eventually led to me.

Ahem.......

Please don't feel bad. It won't help anyone, so feel as ok as you can. Ok? We know you'll understand better if it happens again.

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