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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] ; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Pratik Bahekar, MBBS [2]


Anhedonia is defined as the inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable, e.g. exercise, hobbies, music, sexual activities or social interactions. (/ˌænhiˈdniə/ Template:Respell; Greek: ἀν- an-, "without" + ἡδονή hēdonē, "pleasure"). While earlier definitions of anhedonia emphasized pleasurable experience, more recent models have highlighted the need to consider different aspects of enjoyable behavior, such as motivation or desire to engage in an activity ("motivational anhedonia"), as compared to the level of enjoyment of the activity itself ("consummatory anhedonia").[1] While anhedonia can be a feature of such mood changes, they are not mutually inclusive.

Anhedonia can be a characteristic of mental disorder including mood disorder, schizoaffective disorder, schizoid personality disorder and schizophrenia. For example, people affected with schizophrenia often describe themselves as feeling emotionally empty.[2] Mood disturbances are commonly observed in many psychiatric disorders, often precipitated by stressful life events and physical illness.[3]


  1. Treadway MT, Zald DH (2011) Reconsidering anhedonia in depression: lessons from translational neuroscience. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 35:537-555.
  2. Hales R., Yudofsky S., Talbott J. 1999. Textbook of Psychiatry 3rd ed. Washington DC: The American Psychiatric Press.[page needed]
  3. Gelder, Michael G.; Mayou, Richard; Geddes, John; Geddes, John (2005). Psychiatry (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 2, 99. ISBN 978-0-19-852863-0.

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