Social anhedonia is defined as a trait-like disinterest in social contact and is characterized by social withdrawal and decreased pleasure in social situations. This characteristic typically manifests as an indifference to other people. In contrast to introversion, a nonpathological dimension of human personality, social anhedonia represents a deficit in the ability to experience pleasure. Additionally, social anhedonia differs from social anxiety in that social anhedonia is predominantly typified by diminished positive affect, while social anxiety is distinguished by both decreased positive affect and exaggerated negative affect. This trait is currently seen as a central characteristic to, as well as a predictor of, schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, as it is seen as a potential evolution of most personality disorders, if the patient is above age 24, when prodromal schizophrenia may be excluded.
Decreased ability to experience interpersonal pleasure
Decreased need for social contact
Lack of close friends and intimate relationships, and decreased quality of those relationships
Poor social adjustment
Decreased positive affect
Social anhedonia is trait-related, meaning it remains stable throughout life, independent of diagnosis, treatment, or symptom remission.