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Recovery holds a promise for most people. Leave behind the problematic thought processes, behaviors, emotions, addictions, or self-harming behaviors and you will find great relief in your life. For those who develop a chemical dependency on drugs and alcohol, the idea of pleasure becomes intrinsically associated with mind altering substances. In those living with various mental health disorders, the ability to feel pleasure can also be impacted. Pleasure is created by the production of a chemical in the brain called dopamine. A neurotransmitter, dopamine creates and carries signals of pleasure throughout the brain, allowing the brain to interpret, make sense of, and make use of pleasure accordingly. However, many people recovering from addiction, living with depression, eating disorder, trauma, and other psychiatric disorders may not be able to feel pleasure at all- emotionally or physically.

Anhedonia is not always chronic. Many people who live with anhedonia are able to find brief moments of pleasure, enjoyment, and a desire to be near others. However, those moments are brief in passing. People lead themselves to believe they will find a “cure” for their inability to feel happiness and when a passing moment comes, they are quickly let down by the nature of anhedonia.

There is no one way to experience Anhedonia. The inability to experience pleasure can be isolated to one area of life like music, sex, social interactions, consummation, appetite, and motivation. Total or complete anhedonia is the rare case of not being able to experience any kind of pleasure in any area of life.

Most often, anhedonia is a symptom of major depressive disorder. “Emotional flatlining” is another term used to describe the experience of anhedonia. Emotional states are experienced in flux, on a continuum. Some emotions are higher energy and other emotions are lower energy. Anhedonia is aptly described a flatline because it sinks to the lowest energy point and does not fluctuate any longer.

Thankfully, long term treatment and recovery can reduce anhedonia and oftentimes reverse the effects. Some people may experience anhedonia long term, but treatment can help to heal the mind, the body, and the spirit, turning someone into an open vessel for all of life’s experiences.

The Guest House Ocala warmly invites you to experience premiere private residential treatment for recovery from trauma and related addiction or mental health issues. Our concierge style programming delivers completely customized programs of treatment to support each individual and the unique story they bring with them to treatment. Call us today for information:  1-855-483-7800