Do we have any word to describe the situation wherein you lose interest in life not due to tragedies but boredom and you want to quit life because nothing mundane or spiritual brings joy to you?

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    That sounds like depression to me.... – Hellion Feb 14 '19 at 16:34
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    @Hellion Depression is an umbrella terminology which describes all suicidal thoughts. I want something very specific to what i hv asked. – chemophilic Feb 14 '19 at 17:01
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    Life. Don't talk to me about life... – MikeTheLiar Feb 14 '19 at 20:13
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    Cheer up, always look at the bright side of life... no, seriously, please seek professional advice if this is your true feelings. – Stefan Feb 14 '19 at 20:49
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    Is the part about wanting to quit life mandatory? None of the answers so far include that. – WGroleau Feb 15 '19 at 3:25


a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
Oxford Dictionaries

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    You're quoting from a dictionary so your answer must include attribution and use quote formatting to indicate it is a direct quote. – Laurel Feb 14 '19 at 18:32
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    @jpmc26: Really? Though originally a loanword, I’d have thought most moderately well-read English-speakers would understand ennui — certainly many more than would recognise anhedonia or acedia, and probably more than would know weltschmerz either, to compare with a few other answers. – PLL Feb 14 '19 at 22:13
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    @jpmc26 Well, if the bar is that low, the written word itself is going to confuse people. "Grok no idea what do. Bored" – Stian Yttervik Feb 14 '19 at 22:16
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    @jpmc26 I have to agree with PLL here. Ennui is marked as formal or literary to me, but it is certainly not a word I would expect to be unfamiliar to a general adult audience. I probably wouldn’t be likely to use it in children’s or YA literature, but in fiction aimed at adult readers, I would use it with no qualms. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Feb 14 '19 at 23:02
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    +1 It's the word that jumped to mind immediately, and is quite appropriate. – Noldorin Feb 15 '19 at 2:29

In psychology, the specific symptom of depression that you describe is anhedonia.

Anhedonia is the inability to feel pleasure. It's a common symptom of depression as well as other mental health disorders.

WebMD link

The link has more specifics.

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    add a citation to enhance your answer – lbf Feb 14 '19 at 17:42
  • That is only half of the question. The OP specifically described, "you want to quit life", and such suicidal thoughts are not implied by the "inability to feel pleasure". – WhatRoughBeast Feb 14 '19 at 22:10
  • @whatroughbeast True, but anhedonia is a symptom of major depression for which suicidal ideation is also a symotom. Anhedoni is much more severe and pervasive than just not enjoying things in the way that depression os more than just a little down. It is the word that jumped into my head, especially after the OP’s comment on his question. Of course this is not Medical SE. – Damila Feb 15 '19 at 0:06

world-weary(adj.) or world-weariness(noun)

Tired of or bored with life, often with a negative or jaded attitude.
American Heritage Dictionary

Feeling or indicating feelings of weariness, boredom, or cynicism as a result of long experience of life.
Oxford Living Dictionaries

feeling or showing fatigue from or boredom with the life of the world and especially material pleasures
Merriam-Webster Dictionary

no longer finding pleasure in living; tired of the world
Collins Dictionary


The Germans always have the best words in such cases (here in a literary context)

Weltschmerz, (German: “world grief”) the prevailing mood of melancholy and pessimism associated with the poets of the Romantic era that arose from their refusal or inability to adjust to those realities of the world that they saw as destructive of their right to subjectivity and personal freedom—a phenomenon thought to typify Romanticism.


By the way, Schmerz can be translated as "pain", so "world pain" is a direct translation.

Edit: see also http://mentalfloss.com/article/58230/how-tell-whether-youve-got-angst-ennui-or-weltschmerz

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    I don't quite agree. Weltschmerz as used in English refers to disenchantment, an impatience with the world as it is as opposed to how it might be. It is dejection, not boredom, arising from sentimentality, not jadedness. – choster Feb 14 '19 at 23:52
  • @choster: ennui might be a better word for the OP but I think Weltschmerz could be considered. – Stefan Feb 15 '19 at 5:36

You could be describing acedia or accedie.

A host of psychological symptoms can signify the presence of acedia, which affects the mental state and behavior of the afflicted. Some commonly reported psychological signs revolve around a lack of attention to daily tasks and an overall dissatisfaction with life. The best-known of the psychological signs of acedia is tedium, boredom or general laziness.


  • Why are you answering questions which don't meet the clearly defined community standards? What's the point of having any if even the mods don't adhere to them? I really don't understand. – curiousdannii Feb 15 '19 at 5:35

"Malaise" is a bit stronger in negative connotation, almost to the point of sickness, but could also act nearly as a synonym to ennui in @james-m answer.



lack of interest, or the attitude of not caring resulting from it

Cambridge Dictionary


showing no interest or energy and unwilling to take action, especially over something important

Cambridge Dictionary

  • "lose interest in life" : depression. "due to boredom" : apathy – Mazura Feb 15 '19 at 3:08

Anomie. It refers to a failure of the external “norms” that guide a person’s life, as opposed to their internal emotional or intellectual state.

You are without joy, for example, because the actions that you previously took to achieve a joyful state are no longer working. Your spiritual practice does not bring you to an emotional state of transcendence.

At the same time, there is still the possibility that other actions or other practices might succeed. You have failed, perhaps, but it’s not just you. The people around you that should be providing the norms for you to follow have also failed. Or perhaps the failure is one of connection as opposed to a failure of individuals.

Anomie is not a commonly used word. However, that can be an advantage, since better-known terms like apathy or ennui tend to come with meanings already established in the reader’s mind.

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