I Actually Used to Enjoy Things…

three women sitting on a bench laughing
Pexels on Pixabay

One of the depression symptoms that’s had a big impact on my life is anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure).  I used to enjoy doing various things, but now they just don’t interest me and seem like just a vague memory.  Summer is a time of year that tends to be strongly associated with pleasure, but it also tends to remind me of what’s just not there in my head/heart right now.

Some of the things I used to enjoy:

  • Going to the theatre, especially musical theatre and outdoor theatre like the local Shakespeare on the beach productions.
  • The local Fringe Festival.
  • Dance performances like ballet
  • Going to the symphony
  • Going out for food/drinks on sunny patios
  • Eating out in general
  • Wine festivals
  • Writers festivals
  • Weekend getaways
  • Playing beer league softball
  • Being part of a book club
  • Wandering around shopping and eating at the funky public market

Do you ever find it difficult to enjoy things that were once fun?

book cover: Managing the Depression Puzzle by Ashley L. Peterson

Managing the Depression Puzzle takes a holistic look at the different potential pieces that might fit into your unique depression puzzle. It’s available on Amazon, he MH@H Store, and other online retailers.

This post contains affiliate links that let you support MH@H at no extra cost to you.

42 thoughts on “I Actually Used to Enjoy Things…”

  1. I’m sorry you don’t find those things fun lately!! I hope they seem fun again soon!!

    I can’t read anymore, not without great difficulty. I read voraciously as a child (you and I both read Anne of Green Gables, for example), but for the past ten years or so, I’ve been unable to read. Like, my mind just will not focus on it. I’m mostly fine with it, because I CAN focus on writing. (Go figure.) So I just write a lot.

    1. I used to read a lot of fiction, but I find it’s harder now to follow along, so now I mostly stick to non-fiction, preferably with short chapters.

  2. I don’t find anything fun anymore although I consider myself in recovery. I attribute that to my medication. The only pleasure I receive is from blogging and trying to create some art but that mostly frustrates me because I am a perfectionist. It leaves me feeling so lost lately. Summer used to be my fave too but now I really dislike it. I can’t remember the last time I actually had fun. It’s sad.

  3. I’m not experiencing anhedonia all the time and I feel very lucky that I still have my passions and things that I generally can enjoy despite being dysthymic, but I do have times when I’m significantly more depressed than normally, sometimes shorter, sometimes longer, when things just aren’t fun, no matter what I’d do and how enjoyable they could normally be. It can be frustrating. I think in comparison to people who don’t experience any kind of depression, even when I’m not anhedonic I can’t enjoy things at the same level as them, but I try to keep as much enthusiasm as I can about the things I genuinely like. I hope you’ll sometime in the future be able to enjoy things again, at least more, if not fully. 🙂

  4. We all experience depression in some stages of our life..
    Try to think of things that bring about some sort of positive emotion if possible (family, friends, activities, memories etc) and try to evaluate how and why you felt that way.

  5. I used to do so much stuff with friends, friends I no longer have. Cookouts, movies, vacations, events,camping,theatre, and going out to eat. I think most of what holds me back now (in addition to lack of friends) is my anxiety. I get periods of anhedonia, but often I actually miss these things. It’s frustrating that I’m just not capable of them anymore.

  6. Yes I understand this. I have more pleasure out of being at home creating than going out. I have got my sense of humor back though and enjoy laughing with my YouTube friends. I do feel more content now though with my quieter way of life but it’s taken five years to reach this stage. I’m hoping things keep on improving.

  7. I’m working on a CBT method of tracking my activity which helps get me more able to do things – and actually being able to get yourself to do activities is a good start to being able to enjoy said activities! Each activity I log is giving an achievement an a pleasure rating out of 10. The more I log, the more I realise that although most activities have a pleasure rating of ~4, the odd thing comes up that scores a 9 or 10 😀 Having fun with someone helps – activities that score the highest for me are always ones where I’m having fun with my partner 🙂

  8. It’s not that I can’t enjoy activities, but I have trouble being in the moment while doing them. There’s been so many times I’ve looked forward to something and then when in the moment, it’s almost like sensory overload and I have trouble just letting it happen. Too much thinking going on clouds my ability to engage.

  9. I don’t really enjoy anything very much. Part of the reason I think I was depressed long before my official diagnosis, way back into adolescence and maybe childhood is that I can’t really remember having strong feelings of pleasure with anything for years. I can enjoy writing a bit, albeit more my Doctor Who writing than the depression blog. Depression blog is more off-loading and stress-relief than something I do for actual enjoyment.

    1. It’s good you’ve got the Doctor Who writing that you enjoy. I think being able to enjoy something, no matter what it is, is probably a good thing overall in trying to manage depression.

  10. I use to love Summer’s being on the boat, camping, hiking, outdoor concerts, and going to the beach. Because of my physical issues, It’s entirely too painful on my back and knees. My ex-fiance’ also stole a lot of the fun away from the things I enjoyed doing by being Mr. Misery. Now, I’m just content being left alone for the most part. I still have my little group of friends, and we plan on little day things to do.

  11. This is really interesting … thinking about it now (you’re good at making me do this) for years I didn’t enjoy anything much at all because I’d work myself up about it prior to the event, not be able to ‘live in the moment’ and actually enjoy the moment and therefore the only bit was looking back on it, when I’d in my head I’d be patting myself on the back for having gone to the party or whatever it was, but the reality was that I loathed every minute of it. Moving to Glasgow with no expectations, no friends and no gardening to keep me sane and I have never had so much fun and enjoyment with a new sport (tennis), new friends, new hobby (baking) … weird. Totally weird. And I can’t really explain it but I’ll try to work out why. I do hope you find your joie de vivre back soon. It’s probably just hiding round a corner waiting for you to dig it out … keep us posted. Thinking of you. Katie

  12. For me, enjoying stuff comes really easily. Except for when I get disassociated. Which used to happen every three months or so. But has gone up to either once, or few times a week. But, definitely every month. It’s been a pain but eh, as long as I can write

  13. I found you running a search of “musical theatre.” But I just want to say; yes, I do find this difficult. There are some things I used to enjoy quite a bit, but nowadays have a very hard time motivating myself to indulge. I didn’t know the term “anhedonia” — and now I do. Thank you for this post.

Leave a Reply