People who develop clinical depression can suddenly find that all their hobbies and pastimes provide them with little or no pleasure. Hamlet may have been experiencing anhedonia when he said:
'I have of late - but wherefore I know not - lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises, and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goody frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air - look you, this brave o'erhanging firmanent, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire - why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors.'
Anhedonia can be devastating. When I became ill, I lost interest in the following activities at a stroke :
- mountain biking
- church crawling
- being on the beach
- comedy (stand ups/sitcoms)
- social life
However, anhedonia can go away. It is tied in very tightly with depression and if you can shift one then you can potentially shift the other. One of the best approaches is to try to rediscover a child-like innocence and interest in the world. Try to learn new things or new ways of doing things. Do your best to keep you brain active. Neuroplasticity may be our best hope.