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Unformatted text preview: ny disagreeable event. True,
these sensitive folk are creators of beauty and the esthetic, but also they are the victims of the malady we are
Aside from this temperament, training plays its part. I think it a crime against childhood to make its joys
complex or sophisticated. Too much adult company and adult amusements are destructive of desire and
satisfaction to the child. A boy or girl whose wishes are at once gratified gets none of the pleasure of effort
and misses one of the essential lessons of life.--that pleasure and satisfaction must come from the chase and
not from the quarry, from the struggle and effort as well as from the goal. Montaigne, that wise skeptic, lays
much homely emphasis on this, as indeed all wise men do. But too great a struggle, too desperate an effort,
exhausts, and as a runner lies panting and motionless at the tape, so we all have seen men reach a desired
place after untold privation and sacrifice and who then found that there seemed to be no energy, no zeal or
desire, no satisfaction left for them. The too eager and enthusiastic are exposed, like all the overemotional, to
great recessions, great ebbs, in the volume of their feeling and feel for a time the direst pain in all experience,
the death in life of anhedonia.
After an illness, particularly influenza, when recovery has seemingly taken place, there develops a lack of
energy feeling and the whole syndrome of anhedonia which lasts until the subtle damage done by the disease
passes off. Half or more of the "nervousness" in the world is based on actual physical trouble, and the rest
relates to temperament.
When a great purpose or desire has been built up, has drained all the enthusiasm of the individual and then
suddenly becomes blocked, as in a love affair, or when a business is threatened or crashes or when beauty
starts to leave,--then one sees the syndrome of anhedonia in essential purity. A great fear, or an obsessive
moral struggle (as when one fights hopelessly against temptation), has the same effect. The enthusiasm of
purpose and the eagerness of appetite go at once, in certain delicate people, when pride is seriously injured or
when a once established superiority is crumbled. The...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11