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Definition: inability to experience pleasure or joy

Pronunciation: en-hi-DO-nia

Synonyms: Depression


Coined by the French psychologist Theodule Ribot in 1897, anhedonia borrows the Greek privative prefix a and conjoins it with hedone meaning pleasure.

Why this word?

Anhedonia and hedonism are the roots to all evil.

What is it that we strive for? What is the main feature, the main breaking point between human beings and animals? I would say that is it our striving for happiness. Everything we do results in either positive or negative feedback in our brains; if an action proved positive- we will do it again, if it proved negative- we will probably try to avoid it in the future. So where is the root of evil you ask?

Hedonists are those who chase pleasure (I will not call it happiness). They will stop at nothing at the pursuit to satisfy whatever that is that they currently believe will prove pleasurable. When you are blinded by the chase, it becomes pleasure, especially if real pleasure is eventually found. Being a hedonist necessarily means significantly less care for those who surround you, their needs and they’re wants. Being a hedonist is caring for no one but yourself; I believe that selfishness and egoism are the roots of all evil.

So what about the word in question, anhedonia? When individuals strive for nothing, don’t look forward towards anything, their present begins to lose its core. What is there to live for if there’s nothing I find enjoyable? And when are minds lost? Exactly at the point when balance is lost. Both hedonism and anhedonia violate the balance at the human being’s most important place- his pleasure.

Keep your balance, be happy 🙂

How to use the word anhedonia in a sentence?

“She knew her anhedonia is taking over the person she used to be when she could no longer find pleasure in any of her hobbies”.


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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.


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