"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Apathy: symptoms, causes and treatment

Apathy is while you lack motivation to do something or just don't care about what's happening around you. Apathy could be a symptom of mental health problems, Parkinson's disease, or Alzheimer's disease. It often takes a protracted time. You may lack the need to do anything that involves pondering or emotions. The term comes from the Greek word “pathos,” which suggests passion or emotion. Apathy is an absence of those feelings.

Empathy vs. apathy

Empathy is your ability to grasp and relate to other people's experiences. It is believed to have two parts: cognitive and affective. Cognitive empathy is your ability to see things from one other person's perspective. Affective empathy is the power to share one other person's feelings or imagine yourself of their situation. Apathy is greater than just an absence of empathy. It's a general lack of interest or motivation. Apathy as a disease is something you can not control. You don't decide to feel this manner.

Apathy and depression

Apathy isn’t the identical as depression, although it will probably be difficult to differentiate the 2 conditions. With each illnesses it is usually the case that life is “blabla”. It's not sadness or anger either. Instead of feeling these emotions, you don't feel much. Things that used to make you completely satisfied not excite you. You not feel motivated to realize your goals. You can have apathy and depression at the identical time.

Everyone loses interest in things in some unspecified time in the future. But when it happens often, it will probably affect your relationships, your job, and your ability to enjoy life.

Avolition can look much like apathy, but is more intense. Avolition is a whole lack of motivation that makes it difficult to get anything done. They can't even start or finish easy, on a regular basis tasks. Getting up from the sofa to scrub the dishes or driving to the supermarket can feel like climbing Mount Everest. Might not:

  • Respond when friends call, text, or email
  • Make an effort at work or school
  • Pay bills or complete other on a regular basis tasks
  • Wash or groom yourself

Avolition isn’t a state in itself. Most often, it’s a symptom of schizophrenia, a mental disorder that affects the way in which you’re thinking that, feel, and act. It will also be an indication of severe depression or a side effect of certain medications. Some of the antipsychotic medications you could take for treatment schizophrenia may cause it.

Avolition may be a symptom of:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PDD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • traumatic brain injury
  • Alzheimer's disease

People who don't get enough mental stimulation can even experience avolition. For example, you may get it should you sit alone in bed all day due to an illness. It could also occur to inmates in solitary confinement.

If you don't get the issue that's causing it treated, running away can impact every a part of your life, out of your relationships to your job.

You could consider avolition as more of a behavior and apathy more of a sense (although it will probably influence behavior). The American Psychological Association (APA) defines apathy as “a lack of motivation or goal-directed behavior and indifference to one’s surroundings.” It defines avolition as “the failure to engage in goal-directed behavior.”

Sometimes you can identify and change things in your life that make you apathetic, such as an unsatisfying job or relationship. But with avolition, you may not even notice the symptoms. A friend or family member may need to point this out to you. And you may not be able to change your behavior even if you want to.

A doctor may diagnose apathy if you are no longer motivated and:

  • You lack effort or energy to do everyday things
  • Rely on others to plan your activities
  • Don't feel like learning new things, meeting new people, or having new experiences
  • Don't worry about your own problems
  • Don't feel emotions when good or bad things happen

To be considered apathy, your symptoms must be severe enough or occur frequently enough to interfere with your social life, job, or other areas of your life. And they may not be due to drugs, alcohol, or other substances you have taken.

A problem with areas in the front part of your brain that control your emotions, goals, and behavior can cause apathy. It is often one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia that damage the brain. Up to 70% of people with dementia suffer from this loss of interest.

Apathy can also be a symptom of other brain disorders, such as:

  • Brain injury caused by a strong blow to the head
  • depression
  • stroke
  • Parkinson's disease
  • schizophrenia
  • Huntington's disease
  • Cerebral small vessel disease
  • Corticobasal degeneration
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Tumors in certain parts of the brain

Most often, doctors detect apathy in people with dementia, depression or stroke . But you can have apathy without having another illness.

Before you can treat apathy, see your doctor for a diagnosis to be sure what the cause of your symptoms is. Your exam may include:

  • Complete medical history, including any neurological or psychosocial conditions you have had
  • Questionnaires that measure your motivation level, personality and behavior
  • Imaging tests such as MRI, CT or PET scans to look for changes in your brain
  • Check what medications you are taking, including antidepressants like SSRIs, which can cause apathy as a side effect
  • Exclusion of other psychiatric disorders whose symptoms could resemble apathy

Although apathy can be difficult to diagnose and treat, there are ways to deal with it. Some people with Alzheimer's disease feel more motivated when they take drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors, such as donepezil (Aricept), galantamine (Razadyne), or rivastigmine (Exelon). Antidepressants don't seem to help and can actually make apathy worse. Stimulants including methylphenidate, the main ingredient in Ritalin have shown positive effects in some cases.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is also being studied for the treatment of apathy. TMS is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in your brain. A coil is attached to your scalp and sends magnetic pulses to your brain. TMS has already been approved by the FDA to treat major depression, migraines, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as to assist in smoking cessation.

You can also try these tips to help you or a loved one deal with apathy:

  • Push yourself to go out and spend time with friends, even if you don't feel like it.
  • Do things you used to love, like going to concerts or watching movies with loved ones.
  • Take a music or art therapy class that has been proven to help with apathy.
  • Try to exercise every day.
  • Break big tasks into smaller ones so you feel like you've accomplished something.
  • Reward yourself whenever you finish an activity.
  • Get enough sleep every night.
  • Join a support group for people with apathy.

Apathy is an absence of motivation or interest within the things around you. It could be a symptom of neurological problems comparable to Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's disease. It will also be the results of a psychological problem comparable to schizophrenia. Although the symptoms may look the identical, apathy is different from depression. When you have got apathy, you don't feel much. Avolition is a more intense version of apathy. You may not have the ability to finish the best tasks. Treating your underlying condition may help with apathy and lack of will. Some individuals with Alzheimer's may profit from medications called cholinesterase inhibitors. Stimulants can even help some people.

What is an example of apathy?

If you suffer from apathy, you could sit for long periods of time, expressionless and bored with the things around you.

How do you fix apathy?

It is significant to grasp that apathy could also be a symptom of a medical problem and never a behavior of your selecting. The first step is to see a health care provider to seek out out if you have got an underlying medical or mental health condition that’s causing apathy. If your apathy is resulting from Alzheimer's disease, some medications may help. Stimulants could also be helpful in case your apathy is attributable to certain neurological problems. You and your family members can use self-care suggestions to assist manage your symptoms.

What medications treat apathy?

If you have got Alzheimer's disease, a medicine called cholinesterase inhibitors could also be helpful. Ritalin-like stimulants have shown promise in individuals with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and other types of dementia. Antidepressants may help some people, but they can even make apathy worse.

What is an example of avolition?

If you suffer from avolition, you could be unable to perform easy on a regular basis tasks comparable to showering and getting dressed.