Brian says: “I don’t understand it, I have a good marriage, a good job, good health, a stable support system, good friends and family and I don’t feel like anything is fun anymore. I don’t feel suicidal or in any great pain. The point is, I just don’t feel much of anything these days”
Anhedonia- the absence of pleasure or the ability to experience it” is one of the symptoms of depression. Other signs include: insomnia; appetite changes, suicidality, irritability, low libido and social isolation.
Brian’s case could be a signal that something else is occurring that he is not aware of. He may be feeling pressure from work, family, some grief and loss over the idea of aging and “life passing him by”. He may be someone who is overly conscientious and has forgotten about the importance of diversions and fun activities.
He may be dealing with an undiagnosed physical problem such as hypoglycemia, diabetes or other health concerns.
At times, people who have become accustomed to living in a chaotic environment do not notice the effect that stress is having on them due to the fact that, they simply have never NOT had stress.
Someone who suffers from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) may have never treated the symptoms and merely have learned to live with them.
There could be substance abuse going on without acting out behavior which makes it more difficult to identify. Also, multiple losses can add up to a feeling of being overwhelmed and a psychological defense of “shutting down” as a protection. Although Brian’s case does not appear to be serious, it does warrant professional attention, so that he could discern what actually is at the root of his sense of apathy towards life and find out once again, “what makes him smile”.