Have you come to believe that pleasure and joy are only for children and simpletons? Does the idea of enjoying life seem about as appealing to you as sitting in a puddle? Would you rather eat tinfoil than attend a party? If so, you may be suffering from anhedonia. Defined as the inability to feel pleasure from what are normally pleasurable experiences, this most treacherous of psychological disorders can suck the joy right out of life.
Derived from the Greek, meaning “without pleasure,” anhedonia was first identified in the 1890s, but over the course of the twentieth century it was relegated to the shadows as the more fashionable “depression” took center stage in the grand theatre of woes and maladies. But unlike depression, it is not characterized by extreme highs and lows, but rather a consistently low mood and the prolonged sense that life is really no more than a flat balloon.
Even laboratory rats lose the pleasure of the pellet when they are subjected to undue stress, so is it any wonder that a frantic lifestyle and a frenzied pace should jangle the nerves to the point of numbness?
The mere existence of such a tragic affliction makes it perfectly clear that leisure and pleasure are essential to ensure mental stability and sanity in general. If you fear you are exhibiting even the mildest of anhedonic tendencies, now is the time to take action.
Indulge and resist!