Anhedonia (ElementAurix)

[I’ve been going through a hell of a time lately with something called Anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure or happiness) so I decided to use it as inspiration for a fluffy story. More information at the bottom. Hope you enjoy reading it and that I can give you what I cannot give myself.]


Bradley stoically looked out at the members of his herd, even after everything they had been through it was as if nothing had changed. Mummahs were still singing to their babbehs and the babbehs were returning the affection and then the colts, fillies and fresh-faced adults were running and playing, giggling wildly.

The dark-blue stallion caught himself beginning to smile out of instinct, it was what he knew he would normally do, but now it only felt hollow. He wasn’t in the mood to fake it like he had been the past few weeks, it just felt like too much effort.

He had lost four different mates over the past year and a half and more babbehs than he was able to count. It felt like there was constantly a threat knocking at the door, ready to barge in any time things started to go well, any time it felt like they were making progress.

Maybe it was the extra weight of responsibility and stress on his shoulders, maybe he was too sensitive to be in a position to lead the herd, or maybe, unknown to himself, being a de-winged alicorn just made him more understanding to the situations at hand.

Regardless, he didn’t seem to be getting any joy out of the world around him, he couldn’t remember the last “heart-happies” he experienced. Huggies no longer helped, in fact he started to avoid them because he knew he should love them but because he didn’t it only made him all the saddier. He didn’t want to play, he turned away any advances from the available mares since “special-huggies” didn’t seem appealing, and even when a nummie-finder came back with a giant container of “sketti” just an hour ago it just seemed bland and disinteresting after a single bite to the point he left the remainder of his portion for the rest to eat.

He was broken, there was no other answer in his mind. Fluffies were for huggies and love, so what good is a fluffy that can’t experience or share either?

Through all this he just sat there pondering to himself, trying to look deeper. Did he want to die? He had heard of fluffies that had been through too much, mostly at the hands of meanie-humans, that actively looked for ways to go “forever-sleepies”. The idea of “forever-sleepies” didn’t bother him, but he also didn’t want the effort of doing it. Bradley just more so wanted to just…give up. He was tired of trying and at this point just wanted to drift through the rest of his life no matter how long or short that made be. Though he would rather it be shorter at this point, but did it really matter?

He laid down where he was in the field and just closed his eyes, he always felt so tired and this was as good of a spot as any.


The animal control officers had an easy time securing the group of ferals that were reported. The laced “sketti” quickly put most of the fluffies to sleep, even the smarty who didn’t eat enough to knock him out. They quickly grabbed any that were barely concousius before they could get too far and any that were too young to get a taste of the Italian treat before loading the rest in various containers.


Once scooped up, Bradley looked around bleary-eyed to see what was going on around him. He knew he should hollar and fight to free himself and his herd, but honestly, he didn’t care anymore. Instead he just hung limply until he was placed into a container with a couple other sleeping fluffies.

And there he sat quietly for a few forevers as the van he was in shifted and bounced slightly down the road, listening to the roar of the engine and the cries and peeps of the babbehs that were stored in different boxes.


Grace was quick to begin sorting through the different fluffies as animal control began dropping off and unloading the small herd of fluffies, doing her best to keep foals with the mothers they arrived with.

Thankfully, with the adults still well sedated it was an easy process. As she opened up the final box she was met with the gaze of a blue unicorn stallion staring up at her with lifeless eyes.

“Oh great” she thought, “Another one dead on arrival. Wonder wha…” Suddenly the fluffy blinked before returning to its thousand yard stare.

Poking gently first, Grace scoops Bradley up in her arms before moving him to an exam table to get a better look.

“You awake there little guy?” she asked, looking back into his hollow gaze.

“Bwadwey am wakie, wai wady cawe?” let out after a sigh.

Tightening her lips a moment, Grace says “Well, you startled me. I was expecting everyone to still be asleep. So your name is Bradley?”

Giving the faintest of nods, “Am namesie. Wai meanie-hoomins tak hewd? If gonna gib huwties den jus du and wet Bwadwey gu foweveh-sweepies.”

Lifting a brow in surprise, “Why do you think we are meanies? And why do you want to go “forever sleepies”, are you hurt?”

With a bit of struggle, Bradley lifts his shoulders to give the equivalent of a shrug. “Bwadwey nu hab huwties, jus am bwoken. Nu wan die, but nu wan wib.”

Continuing to question, Grace asks, “Broken, but not hurt? How so?”

Slowly, the fluffy begins to try to explain, “Fwuffies am fow huggies and wub but Bwadwey nu wike, nu hab heart-happies anymowe, dey onwy gib biggest saddies now. Wike dis fow su many fowevehs.”

Pondering a moment, Grace reaches out with open hands, “Things can’t be that bad, they will get a lot better now. Here, now about a hug? Hugs make everything better and fluffies say I give the best hugs”

Bradley just continues to lay on the table limply, a tear forming at the corner of his eyes. “Nu fankies, nu wan.”

Looking worried, Grace offers, “Well, how about I get you a little sketti?”

At this point, the stallion just becomes unresponsive again, staring off into nothingness.

Whipping her cellphone out of her pocket, Grace quickly searches her contact list before making a phone call.

“Hey, Xander. This is Grace over here at the shelter. You told me to call you if we get any fluffies that are out of the ordinary.” Grace says into the phone.

On the other end Xander says, “Oh, what do you all have?”

Unsure, Grace responds, “We have a fluffy here who says he is broken, can’t feel love or happiness. Doesn’t want hugs or even spaghetti, hasn’t even asked for it or its herd to be let go. The officers said he is their smarty but no threats and no demands.”

After a few moments of silence Xander finally speaks, “I’ve only heard of maybe two cases in fluffies, hell, it isn’t common in humans either, but it sounds like it could be a case of anhedonia. You see it occasionally in people with severe, prolonged depression mostly, but they feel little to no happiness or pleasure. Basically, something is wrong and they either aren’t releasing or receiving dopamine and such…it’s suspected that it might be one reason that leads someone depressed to sui…Well, you know. That’s the gist anyways.”

As Xander speaks, Grace looks down at Bradley with pity, gently reaching out and rubbing his head. After several unresponsive moments from the fluffy, Grace turns back to the phone conversation. “Well, what should we do? Julie’s daughter is a therapist over at the daycare, maybe she can help?”

“Well, therapy won’t do much good at the moment. Sounds like he needs to get his hormones balanced before he can get much benefit from it. I think one or two of the research departments here might have something in the works for depression in fluffies. Not sure if that is exactly what he needs but it could be a start. I’m sure they would love to take him in to get a better idea of what is going on.” Xander spouted, “I’m about to head out for lunch, I’ll swing by and grab him so the guys in the lab can have at him.”

Hesitantly, Grace says, “I don’t know, he seems to have been through a lot. I don’t know if we should subject him to more stress.”

Chuckling lightly, “No worries here. I say research and labs, but Phluffaceuticals is probably the best place for him. We borderline spoil them here and keep the environment as stress-free as possible. Mr Eren pressed hard to push changes here when he bought the company. Hell, come back with me when I pick the fluffy up and I’ll give you a tour.”

Put at ease a bit, Grace relents, “Okay, I’ll come check it out. If what you say is true then I feel for this guy, I just want what is best for him…regardless of what that means in the end.”

After final pleasantries, Grace hangs up and looks back at the fluffy on the table as he drifts in and out of sleep.

Kneeling down to get at eye level with Bradley, Grace says softly, “I know it is hard and it may seem like there isn’t much reason to keep going, but I have a friend coming and we are going to take you somewhere to see if we can use “human magic” to get you feeling better.”

Pausing a moment before continuing, “I’ve had some really rough patches in my life too, depression and anxiety really got a hold of me and I didn’t think there were many options left for me.”

Sighing softly as she instinctively tugs at her left sleeve, “But then I got help because I couldn’t do it alone. I hope you let us help you…

…What do you have to lose?”


End Notes

Mental health is a very serious topic and I don’t mean to use this story as a way of belittling anyone’s experience or use it as an example of how everyone with this condition experiences it. This is just a story of how I’ve experienced things and a therapeutic way for me to have an outlet.

This is something that I didn’t notice was getting progressively worse until I was already at the point of experiencing absolutely no happiness, pleasure, or desire from anything in my life. I completely wanted to give up and stop trying. While it hasn’t gotten any better yet I have reached out and started getting help. All I can do is give it time and hope (or the closest semblance I can manage). Sorry if any of this is a bummer of a topic but I believe in being an advocate for mental health and the best way is to have a conversation about it.

If you are going through anything my biggest form of advice is to reach out and get help by whatever means you can. Things are hard enough to get through, no one ever said you have to do it alone. It is easier to stand strong together than it is to stand alone.


It’s weird, “just fucking do it” is terrible advice. Anyone who tells someone struggling with their mental health to “grit your teeth and get through it” is an idiot at best and a shitheel at worst.

But when it comes from inside? When it isn’t something you will onto yourself, but rather something that springs forth uncontrollably as pieces fall into place? Suddenly it becomes the answer. It wasn’t before, because we COULDN’T.

Then people see you do that and go “see you just had to try” and the whole thing crashes down in a hurricane of self doubt. Fuck that. They don’t know you like you do.

Temet Nosce.


It has a name?!
Also firstly, fuck you, stop reading my mind

Gosh this hit home a bit, but it’s really an interesting take on fluffies! Hope you’re feeling better <3 if you need someone to talk to, me or basically anyone else are available to chat

Take care!


That was my first thought too. But then I remembered that everything has a name nowadays.

And thank you, been counting down the days for my next appointment.


This is heavy stuff, I honestly don’t know what to say.


Fun fact: my body makes all the Good Chemicals, but my receptors to USE the Good Chemicals are blocked up, so I’m cockblocked at a molecular level by my own body, unable to achieve the chemical process for happiness unless I take medicine that unblock those receptors. I’m happily on the pills.


That’s awful, damn our bodies!!!

I’m glad that you know what is causing it and that there is a relatively easy treatment. How long were your receptors blocked before they figured everything out? (I hope it wasn’t a since childhood type of thing)

Just getting the diagnosis and confirmation has been a big help to get a small amount of motivation. Saturday seems so close yet so far away.

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It’s a name for a couple things actually. I first heard it used to refer to a sudden medical inability to orgasm, but IIRC it’s like a broader thing that can manifest in different ways.


Damn our bodies!

Too late.


Don’t think that is part of it now…kinda? One of the ways it can manifest is as losing interest in sex.

But it is definitely possible to orgasm without experience pleasure or happiness, they aren’t mutually exclusive. Just ask a few asexual people (I just happen to be one of them).

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Didn’t know there was a name for it. That… hit a bit too close to home actually.


I noticed that something new was wrong in my mid-20s, but I didn’t do anything about it for several years because it wasn’t “bad enough”. (Brains play tricks on us. I was seriously considering ending it rather than being “a burden” and getting a divorce.) I finally reached out to a therapist in 2015, and I’ve been on medication (mostly) ever since (except for a couple times between jobs/insurance). I cannot quite describe the feeling of the medication taking hold over the course of several weeks in a better way than: it felt like coming back to life.

Keeping it pony related: I really enjoy the abuse trope of “relationship leftovers”, I can’t really imagine anything more cathartic than really ridding yourself of that chapter than a nice cord-cutting and blood sacrifice.