In this blog guide, we will try to answer the question ‘What is it called when you have no interest in anything but not depressed?’ In addition to this, we will look in-depth at the term anhedonia. We will look at the different types of anhedonia, causes, and symptoms of anhedonia as well as the treatment for anhedonia. We will also look at a few reasons why a person may have no interest in anything and how to counteract it.
What is it called when you have no interest in anything but not depressed?
Psychologists have a term called anhedonia for having no interest in anything but not depressed. Anhedonia simply refers to the fact that we lose interest in all those things that once gave us pleasure. For example, you may love dancing and suddenly have no motivation left for it.
Anhedonia is a core symptom of a major depressive disorder. However, it is not necessary that everyone who faces anhedonia is depressed. A person may or may not have any mental health disorder but have lost interest in anything.
Anhedonia and depression are two completely different things yet have a very close connection. Depression is a clinical disorder, with a strong feeling of sadness caused by the combination of biological, social, and psychological factors. Depression is a feeling, where a person has no hope for the future, lacks interest in everything, loses energy, etc.
While, anhedonia, on the other hand, is a complete loss of motivation and no interest in anything. However, anhedonia is not considered as a specific disorder, by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health. Rather, it is usually seen with depression.
Types of anhedonia
There are two important types of anhedonia. They are
Social anhedonia is the inability to show interest in any form of social interaction. One may suddenly have no interest in going out with friends, or just talking to someone.
Physical anhedonia on the other hand is the inability of the person to show interest in tangible things like hunger, thirst, sex, etc. a person dealing with physical anhedonia, will not have interest in eating food, or going for a walk, etc. however, these tangible things mentioned must be of great interest to the person in the past.
In addition to this, there is also sexual, musical, appetitive or motivational, consummatory, and anticipatory anhedonia.
Musical, social, and sexual anhedonia are characterized by having no sense of pleasure in these particular areas.
Appetitive or motivational anhedonia is having no motivation or desire to do something, while consummatory anhedonia is not enjoying the activity itself.
Anticipatory anhedonia is the inability to experience any excitement about the future.
Total or complete anhedonia is having all of them together where there is no positive emotion or interest in any area of life, which is referred to as emotional flatlining.
What are the symptoms of anhedonia?
- social withdrawal
- an absence of connections or withdrawal from past connections
- negative sentiments toward yourself as well as other people
- diminished passionate capacities, including having less verbal or nonverbal articulations
- trouble acclimating to social circumstances
- an inclination toward indicating counterfeit feelings, for example, imagining you’re glad at a wedding
- a deficiency of drive or an absence of interest in actual closeness
- industrious actual issues, for example, being wiped out regularly
Anhedonia is not the mere loss of interest in anything. It comes with a few more signs and indications that are mentioned above.
Why do you lose interest in everything?
In this section of the blog, we will look at the main causes of anhedonia.
As we know that anhedonia is the core symptom of certain mood disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. There are high chances that you lose interest in everything because you may have one of these disorders.
In addition to this, it is also seen that extreme stress and anxiety, make a person lose interest in everything without showing any other sign of mental disorders. Furthermore, substance abuse is also associated with a lack of interest. At times, it can also be trauma-induced.
The part of the brain affected by this condition is complex because it involves a variety of functions. Philip Gorwood in his book, Neurobiological Mechanisms of Anhedonia (2008), suggests that “The severity of anhedonia is associated with a deficit of activity of the ventral striatum (including the nucleus accumbens) and an excess of activity of the ventral region of the prefrontal cortex (including the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the orbitofrontal cortex), with a pivotal, but not exclusive, the role of dopamine.”
Can anhedonia be treated?
Yes, it can be treated. However, the treatment for anhedonia will be similar to the treatment of depression. Once you visit your doctor or mental health professional, they may provide you with some antidepressants that can regulate your mood and make you more active.
Reasons you may have no interest in anything but not depressed
- You are stuck with a mundane routine
- You are not doing things you are good at
- Subconscious beliefs
- Aim for higher goals
Apart from the various causes of anhedonia, here are a few emotional and behavioral reasons why you may have no interest in anything but not depressed.
You are stuck with a mundane routine
Imagine a life where all you did was wake up, eat, work, sleep, repeat. Every single day of the year, you would have such a monotonous lifestyle. With a little binge-watching here and mindless web surfing there, you have caught yourself in a rut. Leading a life with minimum excitement or unable to looking forward to new things, will certainly make you lose interest in everything. It is like you are not living your life, you are merely breathing. If you find yourself in such a scenario, try to take some time out for yourself. If your job is not letting you do that, maybe it is time to rethink, if this is the right job. Go out with friends and families, make new memories, and keep your mental health in check.
You are not doing things you are good at
We usually enjoy things that we are good at, or that catch our interests. If you never wanted to be a pilot instead of a software engineer, there are quite great chances that you may start to lose interest in everything slowly. You need to start doing things that you are good at. Find your strengths or things that you are good at and pursue them. It is never too late to start from scratch.
Humans are usually scared to try out new things. However, they never admit that they are scared, they just say that they have no interest. Oftentimes, it is our subconscious belief that we may fail. With the aim to avoid failure and rejection, we start to show no interest in any new activity, be it a sport skill, new educational knowledge, or making a decision that can decide our life.
Remember to challenge yourself with new skills every now and then, irrespective of the fact that you may fail or succeed.
Aim for higher goals
Life becomes boring and monotonous once you have achieved most of your life goals. however, you should remember that driving life with a sense of purpose can avoid the lack of interest that you may be facing at that particular phase in your life. When we limit the scope of our desire, we put a cap on what we’re willing to do to reach our goals and succeed in life. When that happens, we limit the scope of our motivation and interest in any given activity and a general sense of fulfillment. A lack of exciting and desirable goals easily lowers your motivation and makes you feel like you’re not interested in anything. Make sure no matter what one says, you keep that adrenaline flow constant in your life to avoid any loss of motivation and interest.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
How to counteract lack of interest
Write a list of things that you are good at doing. Maybe these are activities you used to engage in, and it’s okay if it’s been a while since you’ve done them. This may want you to engage in activities again and gain some interest.
Brainstorm little things that make you feel good. Maybe it’s going for a walk or writing in your journal. When you write down your feelings and thoughts, you might discover new things that make you feel motivated and excited. Once you do this, make sure you continue with these activities as they certainly will regulate your mood. Doing things that you like will make you feel happy and release the happy hormones in your brain.
Take your time. You don’t have to discover what makes you motivated right away. It may take some time to get your bearings. Be patient with yourself. You do not have to rush everything. Feel the lack of interest. It is okay to sit for a day and do nothing. Giving yourself the break is a rather important task than gaining back momentum in life.
Talk to a therapist. A mental health professional can help you understand the source of your lack of motivation, and support you in overcoming these issues. There is nothing better than getting a piece of advice from a professional. You can gain the perspective that you were lacking in life.
In this blog guide, we have tried to answer the question ‘What is it called when you have no interest in anything but not depressed?’ In addition to this, we have looked in-depth at the term anhedonia. We have also looked at the different types of anhedonia, causes, and symptoms of anhedonia as well as the treatment for anhedonia. Finally, we have also given a few reasons why a person may have no interest in anything and how to counteract it.
FAQs: No interest in anything but not depressed
Does anhedonia go away?
Yes, lack of interest in everything also referred to as anhedonia certainly goes away. Visit a mental health professional if you are facing a lack of interest in general out of a sudden. They will help you with certain therapies and medications, that might treat the underlying mental disorder like depression, which may cause a lack of interest. Once this disorder is treated, anhedonia goes away.
Is anhedonia a symptom of PTSD?
Yes, lack of interest or anhedonia can be a result of trauma and trauma related stress. According to the DSM, anhedonia is certainly one of the most important symptoms of PTSD.
How long can anhedonia last?
This is a rather subjective question. The experience of anhedonia differs from person to person. Therefore for some, it may last for a few hours or days, while, it may last for months for the others.
What we recommend for depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.