Psychomotor retardation
and anhedonia in depression

by
Lemke MR, Puhl P, Koethe N, Winkler T
Department of Psychiatry,
University of Kiel, Germany.
Acta Psychiatr Scand 1999 Apr; 99(4):252-6


ABSTRACT

Anhedonia, the inability to experience pleasure, and observed changes in psychomotor performance are frequent psychopathological phenomena in major depression with possible common neurobiological mechanisms. Interest, pleasure and reactivity to pleasurable stimuli contribute to movement generation and observable behaviour. Therefore the relationship between anhedonia and psychomotor retardation was studied in 48 depressed patients. Subjectively experienced anhedonia correlated with self-rated but not with observer-rated global severity of depression. There was a significant correlation between anhedonia and psychomotor retardation assessed with the Widocher Retardation Scale. The results suggest the existence of an empirical relationship between reduced ability to experience pleasure and observable psychomotor retardation in depression. Specific measures of psychomotor phenomena may provide further insights into the relationship between observable behaviour and self-experienced symptoms in depression.
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