What is anhedonia?
Anhedonia is the diminished capacity to experience pleasure, first introduced by Théodule French philosopher Armand Ribot. Those who have it lose interest in hobbies, friends, or even having sex.
They can’t sustain happy thoughts. For example, a great dancer loses interest in dancing. In short, the brain’s pleasure circuits are turned off.
Anhedonia can also happen after a traumatic event, neglect, or self-focus. Doctors often mislabel anhedonia as extreme depression or melancholia.
Signs and Symptoms of anhedonia
- Avoids conversation that leads to expressive happy emotions.
- Refuses to join pleasurable activities or attend social gatherings.
- Lack of interest in sexual activity with a partner.
- Recurring depression.
→ Practical discipline to help prevent child depression.
Reward circuits that cause us to feel happy
The nucleus accumbens of the brain is the “reward circuit” that operates two neurotransmitters: Dopamine (promotes desire) and Serotonin (satisfaction or inhibition).
The brain releases them after having a sense of rewards like being loved or shopping. Without these brain chemicals, we feel sad and empty.
Satan can play tricks on our minds
People who suffer from anhedonia are linked to feelings of being “unloved” or having no hope. Since they are purposeless, the brain has no reason to generate a sense of “reward.”
The Bible says Satan is a deceiver (Revelation 20:10) and can blind our minds (2 Corinthians 4:4). He wants to devour us, and the most common lie he tells us is that we have no hope.
What follows is depression and, sometimes, anhedonia.
The only cure for anhedonia, depression, or melancholia
Whether it’s schizophrenia, depression, or melancholia, these mental disorders begin in the brain. No wonder the Bible tells us to possess the “Mind of Christ,” not of carnality (1 Cor. 2:13-16).
Only Jesus can free our minds from the lies of Satan, who wants us to believe we’re condemned (Romans 8:1). The only treatment for anhedonia is His love.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.“
Pray and ask for the ‘peace of God’ that transcends all understanding
Science acknowledges the correlation between prayer and healing (NCBI). The Bible tells us repeatedly that true joy and peace only come from God. Ask Jesus for healing.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.“