What Is Apathy: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
A person may completely want to avoid any kind of activity, interaction with others and show lack of interest in happenings around them. This can be because of absence of emotions within them, generally called as Apathy. The term apathy could be used in a number of contexts but the individual may not be able to maintain personal, interpersonal as well as professional relationships.
What Is Apathy All About?
We all experience apathy from time to time and do not wish to show interest in anything. It could be due to lack of motivation or because of no interest in day to day activities. However, the degree can vary amongst people and sometimes can be a symptom of depression, stress or mental health disorder.
Interestingly, the term apathy or feeling pathetic can also be described as lack of concern for the loved ones or losing interest in what was always loved before. A number of types could be seen to understand the depth of apathy.
- Emotional apathy- Where the person doesn’t feel any kind of emotions, positive or negative.
- Behavioral apathy- It shows lack of self initiated behavior
- General apathy- No motivation or no interest in social behavior
Apart from the above ones, other forms of apathy include Bystander apathy (When the person finds out the one in distress but still avoids helping them) and Compassion fatigue (When people care at the beginning but become emotionally exhausted due to overwhelming nature).
What Are The Symptoms Of Apathy?
One facing apathy could show symptoms like:
- Not able to complete everyday tasks
- Doesn’t show any emotions to anyone
- Low energy levels
- There is no motivation to make or achieve goals
- No response to positive or negative events of life
Although there are some related symptoms of apathy like Anhedonia and Lethargy. In this, anhedonia is a state when the person loses interest in enjoying the activities that they usually do. At the same time, lethargy consists of slowness, drowsiness and tiredness.
What Are The Causes Of Apathy?
If you are wondering how can a person become apathetic towards life and what could be the conditions under which it happens then find it here! Let us still repeat that every human being could feel apathy at a certain point of time but if it prevails for a longer period of time, it causes issues in life.
- Depression: Because of depression, an individual could not concentrate on anything or take part in pleasurable activities. Depression and apathy have a direct connection within.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: People with OCD may feel that a certain habit or compulsion is taking over their lives and causing apathy.
- Dementia: Diseases like Alzheimer or Parkinson’s could directly affect your behavior and may create the vacuum of apathy within.
- Schizophrenia: People with schizophrenia can have hallucinations, delusions and trouble in concentrating in one single place.
What Are The Treatment Options For Apathy?
Treatment for apathy is provided by assessing if it is present because of any other condition or mood disorder. Sometimes people are able to manage their condition by making lifestyle changes and becoming mindful of the present moment.
However, if it is because of psychiatric conditions then it must be treated with the help of a therapist or psychologist. It starts with the diagnosis where physical examination takes place as well as a questionnaire is given to you. If the physician recommends then the therapist asks you to undergo psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy: To treat symptoms of apathy, therapies like Talk therapy and Cognitive behavioral therapy are applied. These therapies help a person to express their thoughts, helps therapists to identify negative thinking patterns and alter it with constructive discussion.
Coping strategies: There are some self coping strategies if the person recognizes that he or she is dealing with apathy like:
- Making smaller goals in life so that they can be finished in time and you can still keep yourself motivated for further goals.
- Even if the task is bigger, make sure that you break it into smaller steps to cope with apathy.
- Figure out if you can change your routine as a similar kind of routine only makes you feel low and leave you unmotivated.
If you or your loved ones are facing apathy symptoms then you must consult a therapist to find ways to overcome apathy. In case you want us to connect you with a therapist, drop us a message at email@example.com.