By Marcus Hoo

Apathy indicates the absence of passion. This is the etymological meaning of the term that makes passion coincide with everything concerning the affective sphere, that is: emotions, feelings and desires.

On one hand, the economic and political crisis extinguishes all motivation in looking for work or making investments, on the other hand the development of social networks offers fictitious images of a very active life that collides with a reality that appears to be poorer in stimuli. We also risk deluding ourselves that we have many friends, while we are secluded on our sofa, but when we want to leave the house we no longer know who to call or we all seem not very available, and this can generate apathy.

Woman sleeping at table with laptop. cartoon illustration

Symptoms of Apathy

The symptoms of apathy are characterized by the lack of desire to commit,  which manifests itself both towards concrete activities, such as hobbies, and towards planning one’s own future; from the lack of enthusiasm for the small and big things in life and a sense of emptiness.

Sure it may resemble a lack of laziness, apathy should not be confused with it since laziness can be a side of the individual character that is rarely associated with psychological suffering as it happens in apathetic people.

Lazy depressed woman resting in couch with smartphone after making mess at home.

Similarly, apathy should not be confused with depression , which can itself be one of the many symptoms.

“But apathy and depression don’t necessarily go hand in hand.”

Causes of apathy

Why don’t you feel like doing anything? Why does one remain in a state of generalized passivity? To answer this question, we need to distinguish at least three categories of apathy, which have precisely different origins.


Apathy of an imitative nature

It is a type of indolence that connotes the personality of an individual who grew up in a context where family members were devoid of enthusiasm, and who therefore are structurally led to imitate the apathetic behaviours learned from an early stage. They are those people who have nothing to say or do because they believe they feel nothing or think it makes no sense to communicate their thoughts.

Apathy following a disappointment

It is the most frequent form, it is apathy that occurs shortly after a disappointment. Some people become apathetic as a reaction to disillusioned expectations: within themselves they feel a great anger that they do not know how to express except by suffocating it with the lack of motivation.

“What’s the point of life if I haven’t got what I hoped for?”

Apathy related to depression

In this case, apathy is a symptom that accompanies the emotional state of profound depression: it has more serious implications and more negative meanings. It differs from the first type of apathy because it is associated with self-depreciation, repressed hostility, low energy and rather intense emotional blocks.

What to do against apathy

  • Set yourself goals, starting with the most feasible ones, so we also talk about small gestures, but we must actively engage in pursuing them.
  • Try to regain an old interest, starting to follow it little by little.
  • Finding the creative side even in seemingly boring situations, such as repetitive work or housework

How to get out of apathy

It is important that the apathetic person realizes that he/she has slipped into a vacuum of actions and emotions, and that he or she has a minimum of will to regain energy.

The treatment against apathy depends on the degree of severity: if it is an aspect of the character, it is difficult to expect a change. On the other hand, when apathy is one of the symptoms of depression, it is advisable to contact a therapist or, in more serious cases, a psychiatrist who can decide whether to prescribe specific drugs.

You can contact a therapist here at Aventis Wellness to talk more about apathy:


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