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August 29, 1925

When Life Loses Its Zest.

JAMA. 1925;85(9):698. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02670090054027

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The key word of Dr. Myerson is "anhedonia," a complex condition with three factors: (1) loss or diminution of energy feeling; (2) loss or diminution of desire and satisfaction, and (3) restlessness of body and mind; in other words, what the man on the street would call a lack of "pep." Dr. Myerson discusses the relative importance of various factors in the development of this complex, which, by the way, is also called neurasthenia, psychasthenia and other asthenias. He blames it for all sorts of excesses, including drug addiction and sexual perversion. He considers it responsible for big game hunting, the fear of crowds and what not. The book is interesting, but somehow gives one the impression that everything has been sacrificed to the building up of the author's case. The term "anhedonia" seems to be utilized as a sort of general catch-basin for the inclusion of every mental abnormality

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