Apathy is a psychological condition which is described as being a condition in which an individual experiences a lack of feelings, interest, emotions, or any sort of concern for other people or activities. There are also many experts who define apathy as being a state of suppression of emotions or a state of indifference which occurs consistently with a lack of excitement, concern, passion, or motivation. From this, it can easily be said that an apathetic individual would experience a lack of interest or concern in terms of social factors, emotions, philosophical concerns, spiritual concerns, or the physical life or world in general. Most apathetic individuals lack a sense of worth, purpose, or meaning in their lives. It is also common to observe that apathetic individuals also exhibit sluggishness and insensibility. In this academic writing piece, readers will be able to learn more about this psychological condition, its common causes among young adults, and how apathy can be diagnosed and treated.
An Introduction to Apathy and its Symptoms
As it was mentioned above, apathy is a psychological condition in which an individual lacks a sense of worth, passion, or meaning in his or her life. Apathetic individuals often feel some sort of sluggishness and indifference for almost all things in his or her life. According to many experts of positive psychology, apathetic individuals often suffer from a thought that they do not have the right kind of resources which will allow one to face and clear the challenges which are usually presented in life. It can also be a condition which can be caused due to an individual perceiving no challenge whatsoever in his or her life. It is further important to remember that apathy can also be a sign of other psychological issues such as dementia or schizophrenia.
Apathy can also be considered to be a natural response to stress, disappointment, and dejection. This is why it is important for an individual to remember that apathy is a cause of concern when one suffers from this psychological condition over a long period of time. At that time, it is important for an individual to seek out appropriate medical help or treatment. It is further vital for an individual to remember that apathy is quite different from the psychological condition of Reduced Affect Display. In this condition, an individual is able to feel all emotions but lacks the ability to express those emotions. This is why one must be aware of some of the most common symptoms of apathy. And some of those symptoms are:
- One of the most common symptoms of apathy is that an individual feels a lack of motivation and passion
- You are unable to complete some of the most common daily activities and have observed a change in your overall behavioral patterns
- You lack the motivation to do, complete, or accomplish anything at all in your life
- You often observe low energy levels within yourself
- You suffer from an unwillingness to act, diminished emotions, and motivation
- Little or no response is created by activities or events which used to excite you earlier
- You feel disinterest in most aspects of your life
- You often feel indifferent when you meet new people in your life or try new things in your life
- You lack any sort of concern in trying to deal with your personal problems or concerns
- Your facial expressions seem rather consistent
- You often exhibit a lack of emotional response, effort, or planning
- You tend to spend a lot of your time alone
- You are unable to maintain personal relationships and are not able to perform well at work or school
The Different Causes of Apathy among Young Adults
There are three main causes behind why an individual might end up suffering from the psychological condition of apathy. And those three main causes among young adults of apathy are:
- The Presence of Mental Health Conditions
One of the most common reasons why an individual might suffer from apathy is because he or she might be suffering from some sort of mental health condition. Some of the mental health conditions which often accompany apathy include Alzheimer’s disease, chronic mild depression, frontotemporal dementia, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Schizophrenia, Stroke, Vascular Dementia, or Depression.
- The Presence of Physical Medical Conditions
Another main cause of why an individual might suffer from apathy is because that he or she might be suffering from some sort of physical medical condition. For example, according to a study which was conducted in 2011 it was found that individuals who had lesions in their frontal lobe of the brain often suffered from apathy or apathy related symptoms. This is one of the reasons why the front side of the brain is often associated as being the apathy center. A stroke can also result in an individual suffering from apathy. This is also one of the most common reasons why young adults might suffer from apathy. It is also common for young adults to suffer from period of apathy as they often pass with time. However, it is important to remember that long-term emotional detachment and apathy is not normal and is a cause for concern.
- Apathy Without any Underlying Medical Condition
Sometimes there can be scenarios in which an individual might not suffer from any sort of physical or psychological medical condition and still suffer from apathy. In most of those cases, the cause is apathy is often associated with emotionally taxing experiences or responses.
How Can Apathy be diagnosed?
Since there is no one single cause of apathy, medical experts actually use a number of criteria to diagnose apathy. And the four main criteria for an individual suffering from apathy are:
- A decreased sense of motivation
- Emotional, thinking, or behavioral changes
- Significant effects on the quality of life
- Marked changes in behavior which have no known causes
How to Treat Apathy?
Health professionals actually determine the treatment of apathy depending upon the causes of apathy. And some of the common treatment methods of apathy are:
- The Medications
Medications such as antidepressants, antidementia agents, and dopamine stimulants are often prescribed to individuals suffering from apathy. The appropriate type of medication is only determined after ascertaining the exact cause of apathy.
- Home Care Treatment Options
Certain home care treatment options can also be employed by an individual for treating apathy. And one of the most important home care treatment options is that of providing a supportive network for the patient by friends and family members. Therapies can also be sought to gain more interest in life.
- The Future Treatments
When it comes to chronic apathy then research is still being done for finding a proper treatment method. However, currently, it is believed that cranial electrotherapy stimulation can be of great help.
Apathy is a psychological condition in which an individual lacks any sort of concern and is not able to feel any purpose in his or her life. Young adults often suffer from periods of apathy and that is not a cause for concern as those periods often go away. However, when apathy results in long term emotional detachment and marked behavioral changes then it is important to get the help of a trained medical professional. There can be different causes of apathy and some of those causes include due to a psychological condition like schizophrenia, due to a physical condition like brain lesions, and due to emotional causes.