Anhedonia definition : the Greek word hedone means pleasure, and therefore an-hedonia is a lack of pleasure. In psychology, anhedonia is defined as a person's inability to derive pleasure from normally pleasurable life events such as walking, listening to music, looking, eating, exercise, social encounters and /sexual interactions. Almost everyone experiences a mild degree of anhedonia at sometime in their life. Anhedonia may occur partly starting in middle age when our senses of vision, hearing and touch become less with age. For instance, older individuals do not derive as much pleasure from listening to music as teenagers do.
Anhedonia medication and natural supplements
I personally have experienced anhedonia at times in my life, particularly when I have been out of balance, for instance working too many months or years at a time with little travel or social interaction. I find yoga and physical activity, along with deep sleep, restore the ability to experience pleasure and they can help relieve depression.
Mucuna pruriens is an herb that raises dopamine levels and many people notice improve mood and a sense of peacefullness and magic of life returning.
For mood elevation, SAM-e supplement and Mind Power Rx are quite helpful.
St. John's wort is a nice mood booster that works within days.
To reverse visual anhedonia, Eyesight Rx is excellent. For overall vitality, yoga is an excellent choice. For a book on how to increase happiness, see Be Happier Starting Now.
To reverse sexual anhedonia, I find the use of certain sex herbs to be quite potent.
Anhedonia natural treatment
Q. I must say that I really like your website, its a great source of information. Here is my question. I actually suffer of anhedonia and I have a lot of trouble to experiment pleasure/emotions in what im doing. I also suffer of anxiety/depression but its not that bad. So my main concern would be the anhedonia. My guess would be to boost my dopamine level which is in my opinion the cause of my reward system dysfunction. So I tried with L-tyrosine without success, it worsened my anxiety and did nothing to the anhedonia. Im now willing to try maybe Nadh or Alcar but my question is : Can those nutrients cause anxiety as a side effect like l-tyrosine? Do you think it may help with anhedonia?
A. Anhedonia can be due to many reasons, and focusing on one brain chemical is not necessary the best approach. A comprehensive approach with diet, exercise, yoga, purpose in life, closer ties with others, travel, career goals, etc are the first to try. Afterwards one can explore other options such as supplements. SAM-e, ALC and nadh which do not cause as much anxiety as tyrosine.
Q. Is there a way to break the anhedonia (from
antidepressants) with tyrosine? The
prescription antidepressants caused emotional numbness. I am just
wondering if this is reversible. Is there a possible chance that
natural mood lifting supplements could bring back some emotion? Because I am really, really empty.
A. Yoga practice and SAM-e are good options.
I was wondering, in general what supplements /
medications are a good starting point with a depressive state that is almost
completely centered around anhedonia and apathy rather than sadness,
hopelessness, and the like.
SAM-e seems to be a good option, used in low dosages every other day. Carnosine and carnitine may be helpful, perhaps acetyl l carnitine also.
Following a rapid detox from clonazepam and alcohol, some
legal trouble, I developed anhedonia. I don't know if this is stress-induced,
part of a personality disorder, or depression. Are there any supplements that
you know of that could help with upregulation of these receptors. It's tricky,
because I've developed some delusions which could point toward overactivity of
dopamine. I'm on 600 mg of Seroquel, and along with the anhedonia, I'm
emotionally blunted, am empty, have depersonalization, etc. Some thoughts would
be to upreg the dopamine receptors for the negative symptoms. CDP choline, fish
oil, inositol, vitamin e, Acetyl L carnitine, NADH, etc are some of my
considerations. I think the hpa axis has gone haywire so some of this may be
regulating GABA as well.
It is not easy to predict how Seroquel would influence the response to nutraceuticals and one has to be very cautious with mixing.
J Abnorm Psychol. 2014. Anhedonia as a Component of the Tobacco Withdrawal Syndrome. Animal research suggests that anhedonia is a tobacco withdrawal symptom, but this topic has not been addressed definitively in research with humans. This research sought to determine whether anhedonia is (a) an element of the tobacco withdrawal syndrome in humans and (b) an impediment to successful tobacco cessation. Results suggest that anhedonia is a unique and motivationally significant element of the tobacco withdrawal syndrome in humans.