What is apathy

Apathy and How to Determine if You Actually Have It

Friday 08th Dec 2023 |

The reasons for apathy are diverse. They depend on external circumstances and characteristics of a particular person, as well as their adaptation to these circumstances. In fact, there is no single universal way to cope with apathy. Here are various options for dealing with this symptom.

Is Apathy a Disease?

Apathy isn’t a recognized separate disease. It’s usually considered either as a symptom of the natural mental reaction of a healthy person to the circumstances of his life, or as a syndrome of severe mental illness. In the usual definition, apathy is indifference and lack of emotion. As a result, a person’s intellectual and behavioral activity is reduced. It’s because of this definition in everyday life others say that someone is just lazy about a person with signs of apathy.

So Do I Actually Have Apathy?

The key difference that is important to understand is that laziness is an action/behavior. Laziness is a habit. The habit of choosing the easiest and most enjoyable action. For example, you still have energy but spend it on going out with friends or playing games at the website nationalcasino.com instead of completing your work duties. Whereas apathy is a state, a feeling in the body. It manifests as a lack of tone, increased lethargy, not wanting to do anything. Comparing the two is like comparing completely opposite things.

Apathy as a Reaction to Stress 

Everyone remembers cases when after experiencing stress, emergency or extreme situations, they feel like deflated balloons. It comes either immediately after the end of the situation, or the next day. After experiencing stress, there is a sharp decline in strength, manifested by lethargy in the body and the absence of any desire. In such situations, apathy acts as part of the norm. It performs the role of psychological anesthesia. Its duration depends on two main factors:

  • The speed of translation of the emotional experience into experience (when the event will be perceived separately from the emotion). For example: you remember your first broken knee, but you no longer cry when you remember.
  • Recovery of physical resources and spent energy.

Simple Self-Help Actions

  • Healthy, uninterrupted sleep of 6-8 hours.
  • Write out all your thoughts on a piece of paper for an hour (you can throw away the written sheets afterwards).
  • Allow yourself to rest or at least reduce your usual activity for the next 24 hours;
  • Choose a day free of social media and TV.

Achievers and Apathy

So, for active, accustomed to acting and moving people, the cause of apathy is the lack of purpose; the lost meaning of habitual actions and the loss of understanding of “What I want”. In practice, such patients describe their situation as: “Everything seems to be fine. Everything important is there, needs are closed, but why do I feel so bad?”. They are in search of the meaning of their life (mission).

The situation can be aggravated by the fact that there is no one in the environment who understands them. Since there is a lot of energy, but the goal is lost, when closing on such thoughts, one may even think of suicide. Therefore, it’s important to maintain moderate physical activity at this stage.

When Apathy Isn’t a Symptom but a Syndrome

There are cases when apathy is no longer a symptom, but a syndrome of a more severe mental illness. In such situations, it’s manifested by severe lethargy and lethargy. A person’s speech will be slow with long pauses. There will be so little interest in themselves and others that the person won’t pay attention, even if they are seated in an uncomfortable posture. 

In such cases, only specialized help can help. Such assistance is provided at the request of the person themselves or at the request of a close relative.