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From the archives :

I still have residual symptoms after remission from depression, most prominently apathy and anhedonia. I have continued doing CBT, as I have found it helpful in the past and still do find it helpful, and about a week ago it struck me that my thinking still might be quite distorted. I have trouble enjoying stuff – I don’t play video games anymore and generally don’t know what to do in my free time as all activities somehow lack reward. On bad days I can’t seem to enjoy music, food or sex. But in doing CBT I discovered that my thinking regarding reward, enjoyment and anhedonia itself might be distorted: I have the believe that some things are supposed to be enjoyable. But I do not have evidence for that. And the belief is not helpful.

Since I was a kid I somehow felt cheated on an existential level, things I looked forward to never were as bright, fun, tasty, pleasant as i imagined them to be (This includes sex and drugs). I was constantly underwhelmed, but I only recently realized that it may not be the shortcoming of the world around me, and maybe not even defects in my mesolimbic dopamine pathway, but distortions in my thinking.

Building on this I have started doing stuff I want to do (and thought I ought to enjoy, but don’t), and while I can’t say that I’m happier or that my residual symptoms are improved, at least I’m more functional now.

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