Those who have had COVID: did you experience anhedonia afterwards (reduced ability to find enjoyment from activities)?

Hip

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Has anyone found they are suffering from increased anhedonia after getting COVID?

Anhedonia is defined as a reduce ability to derive pleasure or reward from activities that you previously found enjoyable. Anhedonia is caused by a dysfunction in the pleasure circuits of the brain, so that these circuits no longer "light up" in response to enjoyable activities.

The main pleasure circuit is the mesolimbic pathway, and this pathway involves the prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, and ventral tegmental area.


Anhedonia has been found to follow COVID: for those who have had a COVID infection, the most common long-term symptoms after recovery are fatigue and anhedonia, one study determined.

Anhedonia is common in ME/CFS to begin with: 42% of adolescents with ME/CFS had anhedonia or subclinical anhedonia, according to one study.

Anhedonia is not to be confused with depression (although anhedonia can sometimes appear alongside depression, and this often results in treatment-resistant depression).

Anhedonia is also not to be confused with blunted emotions (blunted affect), which is also common in ME/CFS. Although anhedonia and blunted emotions often come together.


Since getting mild COVID two months ago, in addition to increased fatigue, I am also experiencing increased anhedonia. This means less enthusiasm for things, more ennui, and difficulty in finding anything to do during the day that interests.

Note that the activities that lead to pleasure do not have be spectacular ones: you can get pleasure or reward just from tidying up your desk, or reading a newspaper.


Just wondering if anyone else developed more anhedonia after COVID.
 
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BrightCandle

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I definitely developed more Anhedonia with Covid but also lost a lot of emotional range generally. Some of it has returned for spits and spurts and I have been almost manic in how I was pursuing pleasurable activities and then it would disappear. I didn't really have this problem before Covid at all, my emotional response was just fine and I was struggling with my disability but Covid kind of removed that layer and its not really returned much. I can do more and I am not unhappy or depressed because I do all I can in a day but its not enjoyable to do things, I am indifferent to the activity and assess them based on their energy expense! I have found doing chores a lot easier, they aren't fun or unfun they are just an energy expense which makes other people happy.
 

hapl808

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Since getting mild COVID two months ago, in addition to increased fatigue, I am also experiencing increased anhedonia. This means less enthusiasm for things, more ennui, and difficulty in finding anything to do during the day that interests.
Interesting. I hadn't heard of this, but a friend of mine got COVID six months ago (practically asymptomatic). He always had a bit too little enthusiasm and too a bit too much ennui, but it seems to have been exacerbated. Never occurred to me that it might be connected.
 

Treeman

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As a comment, the more energy I have the more naturally happy I get.

This has been improving in the last few years (with my health in general) but it can also vary from day to day if I use too much energy and slip towards PEM.