Boredom vs. Anhedonia

Boredom vs. Anhedonia2

Anhedonia is a common symptom of depression, and they often go hand in hand. In the case of anhedonia as a result of removing habitual alcohol consumption, it will likely begin to lift as you allow time for your brain to heal and for your pleasure threshold to return to a normal level. You’ll begin experiencing joy from normal activities again, and it will not have a lasting effect. However, more persistent cases of anhedonia may signal a depressive episode, which could benefit from therapeutic intervention by a therapist or psychiatrist. If you suspect this is the case, or if your anhedonia is significantly impacting your daily functioning, consult with a medical or mental health professional.

Signs you might be experiencing anhedonia:

  • Feeling numb or “flat” all the time - neither feeling joy nor sadness

  • Motivation to do anything is hard to come by

  • Reduced libido

  • Feeling no pleasure when performing actions that use to bring pleasure

  • Feeling like things are  “pointless”

This is incredibly important to differentiate from general boredom, because if we’re experiencing anhedonia and begin thinking there’s no benefit to not drinking, we risk going back to old patterns of alcohol use. Anhedonia will lift, whether on its own or with therapeutic interventions. You will be able to find pleasure in everyday experiences again.

American Addiction Centers. (2020, October.) Anhedonia in Recovery.
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