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Anhedonia, living without pleasure

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Anhedonia is the inability to experience pleasure in activities that would normally be nice or they once enjoyed. It is as if the person were anesthetized and anesthesia, rather than prevent it felt pain, it prevented recognize positive stimuli that lead to pleasure or blocked them. According to the researchers, the problem may be due to an alteration of the reward system in the brain, a mechanism whereby the dopamine causes satisfaction by eating or sexual intercourse, for example.
More a disorder in itself, the anhedonia is considered a symptom or sign that the individual suffers an emotional or psychiatric, disorder as depression, dysthymia, schizophrenia, or an addiction to drugs or alcohol , which prevents you from enjoying any pleasurable sensation that is not linked to the consumption of those substances. It can also be a side effect of some medications.
The anhedonia can affect all areas of life, or focus on just one aspect; Thus, for example, exists the social anhedonia, when the person does not enjoy the contact with others and his interest in relating is null, what leads to social isolation; or the ejaculatory anhedonia, which is characterised by that ejaculation is not accompanied by the pleasure of orgasm.
Recently, a group of Spanish researchers has identified what has been called 'musical anhedonia', which defines the inability of many people to get excited or enjoy to hear a melody, although other activities if produce you pleasurable sensations.

Treatment of the anhedonia

The diagnosis is made with Chapman scales: one measures the physical anhedonia or inability to experience pleasure from physical stimuli, such as food, & other social type - which prevents the individual to enjoy the outside company. Thus, the severity of symptoms and their impact on the quality of life of the patient are also checked.
To address the treatment of the anhedonia, however, it is necessary first to determine its origin, i.e. the causes that have led to their emergence, and intervene on these. As we said before, this condition is usually a symptom of another disease or disorder, so it is necessary to identify the underlying pathology to establish adequate treatment, allowing that the patient also recovers its ability to feel pleasure.
In some cases, the anhedonia may be due to a difficult labor, economic, sentimental or family situation, which has made that a person temporarily lost the ability to enjoy because the concerns prevent it. Solve these situations, or learn how to deal with them, is the first step so that the person can relax and regain the ability to feel pleasure and see the positive aspects of life.
Article contributed for educational purposes
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