Originally Posted: Jan. 25, 2019
Can’t find pleasure in any aspect of your life? Researchers studying a treatment
If you’ve never heard of anhedonia, it’s the inability to find pleasure in life—any part of it—and it’s a core symptom of major depression and other mental health disorders.
Now, researchers from Southern Methodist University and a colleague from UCLA will use a roughly $4 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to study the effectiveness of their treatment in 168 who suffer from this symptom. The study is being conducted by professors Alicia Meuret and Thomas Ritz of SMU and Michelle G. Craske of UCLA.
According to SMU, individuals who have depression often say they feel down or blue, have a loss of appetite, and have difficulty sleeping or concentrating. It’s a “negative feeling.” Meuret said there is another other side to depression, and that is the reduction of everything that’s positive.
People experiencing anhedonia may not feel overly anxious or depressed but often report that nothing gives them joy anymore, SMU said.
“They don’t feel motivated to do anything, and when they do things that formerly gave them pleasure, they just don’t enjoy them anymore,” Meuret said. “We call that a deficit in the reward system—a reduction to reward sensitivity.” READ MORE