is a word introduced by Greek Stoic philosophers to describe a condition of being free from emotions such as fear, pain, desire,
and pleasure. Nowadays the term “apathy” primarily refers to a loss of motivation, interest, and concern
Do you lack
motivation, enthusiasm and spontaneity? Do you feel listless, passive, unenthusiastic, indifferent or unmoved by events surrounding
you? Have you lost interest in things that are happening around you? Is socialising
a chore and/or have previous hobbies lost their meaning. Is your lack of interest frustrating your family and friends? Are
loved ones feeling neglected or left out? Do you care? You are probably experiencing apathy. Apathy
can be depression linked – or, could be a symptom of changes in the brain. Stroke victims often experience
Sufferers may also develop emotional symptoms including sadness or hopelessness. Physical symptoms, could include
lethargy and/or insomnia. Another fairly common symptom could be a loss of confidence in their own abilities and people may
feel unable to experience pleasure. This being so it not surprising that people may become uninterested in worldly concerns
and be unwilling to do things.
Generally speaking, apathy is a short-term problem frequently related to depression.
It often improves when the depression is diagnosed and treated. This being so, early diagnosis is desirable. Especially if the condition shows no sign of improvement. If
the apathy is depression linked and shows no sign of lifting then antidepressant drugs for a short period and counselling
may prove beneficial. Support groups are always a good idea. As the recovery process ‘kicks in’ or the effects
of the depression begin to lift; the ‘treated’ individual can regain his or her former interest in their previous
A word of warning
Apathy frequently occurs in something called neuropsychiatric conditions - both as a symptom and as a syndrome. People
with a syndrome of apathy can show significant progress through pharmacological treatment (medication to you and I) Possible
causes are thought to include non-alzheimer's frontal lobe dementia. Cerebral Infarction. Intercranial Hemorrhage. Alcoholism
and traumatic brain injury. Given that apathy can be linked to a biological cause and could indicate brain injury or even
a stroke. It would be wise to obtain a professional diagnosis asap.
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