Quick question about Anhedonia

SunsetDawn83

Confident
I don't know if this is the right place for this question.
But do I need to be medically diagnosed with anhedonia or is it something I might have due to PTSD??
I have all the symptoms of it and the one of the causes is PTSD.
 

coraxxx

Sponsor
I don't know if this is the right place for this question.
But do I need to be medically diagnosed with anhedonia or is it something I might have due to PTSD??
I have all the symptoms of it and the one of the causes is PTSD.

Technically you don't "need" to be diagnosed with anything.

But generally for more restrained things like this... I do think anhedonia is a symptom more than a diagnosis of its own. PTSD can cause anhedonia, as can do depression or psychosis, or even just a boring job without much perspectives. So, many very different things causing the same symptom.

So in short no, you don't need to be diagnosed with it, but it's something that deserves attention.

A diagnosis is meant to identify a path of therapy, not to put a stamp. Anhedonia caused by a break up might be very very different to treat than anhedonia caused by schizoaffective disorder.

It doesn't mean it's unimportant, it means the therapeutic strategies won't be the same.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
this is the first i've heard of anhedonia, but my mini surf on the subject sure sounds like one of the many symptoms of my own ptsd.

appreciation exercises were the tool i used to begin opening that door. ecstasy is still quite beyond me, but i am opening myself to joy more and more.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
As others have said - anhedonia is a symptom, most commonly identified in depression - but depression is easily recognized as a symptom within PTSD.

Anhedonia can look like dissociation, especially to those observing it in someone experiencing it. There's a deadness about the experience of anhedonia - and the feeling of numbness is quite close to some experiences of dissociation.

It's the clinical term for the inability to experience pleasure/happiness/joy. And it's why you'll sometimes see the question, "are you unable to enjoy activities you've enjoyed in the past?" in different diagnostic tools. The only way to know from the inside if it's happening is to have a baseline comparison of something that used to give you a positive feeling, but now you have the absence of that feeling.

It's much easier for it to be observed by someone else, than it is to identify it within oneself; we tend to come up with rationalizations for why it's not an enjoyable thing, or we think of it as an inability to focus, or a shift in values, etc. But once you have a good idea about what your own anhedonia feels like, and how you can notice that it's happening - then, it becomes pretty easy to always be able to identify it.

I'm sorry that it sounds like something you're going through, @SunsetDawn83. If it helps - try and think of it as information, rather than a permanent state. It's a way to measure where you're at.
 
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