What to do if you don’t want anything: advice from a psychologist

 Perhaps each of us has come across such a period in life when we don’t want anything. Today, with an expert psychologist, we will consider how these sensations are scientifically called and whether it is possible to fight them.

Perhaps each of us has come across such a period in life when we don’t want anything. Today, with an expert psychologist, we will consider how these sensations are scientifically called and whether it is possible to fight them.

“The state is when you don’t want anything ... I thought that I would lie down and pass. But no. It only got worse: not only do you still not want anything, you also want to cry all the time, it's hard to get out of bed. Familiar? Then read on.


What is the name of the state when you do not want anything, what is characterized by

The state when everything is tired and you don’t want anything is called apathy. A person suffering from it is indifferent to what is happening around, does not want to do anything, weakly shows his emotions, both positive and negative, becomes distracted, inattentive.


The further, the worse: he does not go to work, refuses to take care of the house and himself, cook for himself and even eat. He can't choose clothes, make a shopping list. Memory worsens , reactions, constant general weakness is felt.


An apathetic woman, on top of the above, refuses to communicate with others and friends, to engage in hobbies. She is emotionally devastated. In men, the problem goes more into refusing hygiene procedures, playing sports, eating.


Please note that Do not confuse apathy with banal laziness. When we are lazy, we refuse to perform activities that do not promise us pleasure. With apathy, complete emotional paralysis sets in, and even what used to please, now does not cause emotions.


What does apathy mean?

Apathy itself is not considered a separate disease. Rather, it is a kind of reaction to a stimulus. For example, stress , in response to which the brain starts inhibition processes, preventing excessive nervous tension and depletion of mental energy. Moreover, Not stress itself affects a person, but his attitude to stress.

Let me explain. When we interpret certain external events as dangerous/undesirable/negative for ourselves, a stress reaction appears in the body. We may think that our stress is caused by a rude conversation with a partner, a stressful job, a child who is always rowdy, an unpleasant trip on public transport when we crushed our foot, but this is not entirely true.

We regard the external situation as negative, and in the body it is because of our internal negative assessment that the body reacts with a stress reaction. Stress is created in our body with you, as a response to what is happening around, so it is also called “stress reaction of the body”.

We have a similar mechanism in place to deal with difficult situations, if not for one “BUT”. When the stress response kicks in, most of us are often less able to cope with stress. They may turn on one of the defense mechanisms - hit, run or freeze (DO NOT feel / suppress your feelings).

The most common option is the third one. Most likely, this behavior was formed in childhood, when the greatest threat to the child was the conflict between him and the significant adult. The child, having tried different models of behavior, realized for himself through feedback from an adult that feeling is painful, almost unbearable.

It was at this point that the response to the stress response became the “DO NOT feel” response as a pain reliever. Indeed, no pain - no problem.

Everything would be fine, but this painkiller acts on all emotions at once, both positive and negative. In the future, an apathetic type of response has formed in a child who has already grown up. Periodically comes apathy. He looks at all the events of life, as if through a dirty glass, good and bad events become equally “dim”.

Life is shrouded in a veil of despondency, melancholy. But the stress response, nevertheless, increases, along with it, apathy grows. A person works, marries, gives birth to children, and everything would be fine, only the “do not feel” anesthetic works, but the feeling of dissatisfaction and apathy remain.

After all, a question that requires a different reaction, meanwhile, will be burdensome, disturbing. Such painful thoughts can again be perceived by the body as another stress, thereby strengthening it and apathy.

Why is it sometimes difficult for a person to get out of a state of apathy

A question is brewing. It turns out that the saving reaction “freeze” for a person does more harm than good? If only a person knew what to give up. It is very difficult for such people to indicate their feelings, they simply do not understand them.

At consultations, they talk about heaviness in the body, about a lump in the throat, about inner longing, about the fact that there is no interest in life. It is really difficult for them to understand the difference between anger and rage, it is impossible to recognize what they bring to communication with the environment.

From the side, this condition is very clearly visible. For example, when a person furiously shouts “yes, I’m not angry, it’s okay that you pester me.” But others read the tone, emotional coloring of speech, posture, facial expression, frequent breathing and recognize aggression in them. It turns out that the environment can recognize the emotions in such people, but the person himself lives his life outside of her consciousness, with an anesthetic called "apathy".

Also, apathy is a harbinger of very serious physical disorders and psychological illnesses.

It is a symptom of such severe diseases as PIKA disease, Alzheimer's disease , in which degeneration of biological tissues and degeneration of the psychological signs of the body are observed.

Apathy or depression

I also note: many ignorant people believe that when you don’t feel like doing anything, this is depression. Yes, anxiety is a symptom of depression. For those who don't know depression is a mental disorder that affects the somatic state, including the state of the human brain.

Prolonged depression is dangerous because, regardless of the causes and factors of its occurrence, the result will be the same: organic brain damage. Therefore, it is very important to pay attention to your apathetic state or the state of loved ones.

But it is impossible to make such a diagnosis for yourself or relatives by the presence of only one symptom in the form of apathy. Only a specialist can talk about the presence and form of the disorder, and even more so, only he can prescribe treatment.

In addition, apathy, as a side effect, can occur with prolonged use of alcohol and certain drugs (tranquilizers, antidepressants, sleeping pills, oral contraceptives, antibiotics).

What to do if you don't want anything

How to deal with apathy? First you need to eliminate the impact of stress factors. Then let the body recover - provide yourself with a good sleep, a balanced diet, minimize experiences, mental stress.

If you don’t have all of the above, but it seems that you are living a boring life, try to diversify your life in order to cheer up, revive, somehow change your settled way of life. Dependent, infantile and apathetic individuals need to learn to take responsibility for everything that happens to them. Pull yourself together, as they say.

If this does not help, severe apathy lasts seven days or more, negatively affects the quality of life of the patient - he cannot do it on his own. You should consult a psychologist, psychiatrist or neurologist.

A qualified psychologist, with the help of a diagnostic conversation, will find out the causes of apathy, and the impact will be directed precisely at the source of the problem, at what causes a stress reaction and why the body perceives such events as negative.

Triggers, habitual ways of responding are identified, and with the help of cognitive-behavioral therapy, work is carried out with the cognitive, emotional and behavioral sphere of a person. Specialists will diagnose, find out the duration and severity of apathy, provoking factors, and prescribe treatment.

It is useless to talk with severely apathetic people, so the anamnesis is collected thanks to relatives or friends, that is, people who are close to the patient.

Treatment may include:

Psychotherapy, individual or in groups. At the initial stage, the first one will do. Alone with a psychologist, a person discusses the probable causes of apathy, ways to overcome it, learns to better feel and accept their emotions, set goals.

Then you can try attending group trainings - interaction with other people increases interest and motivation. Taking pharmacology medications is possible in some cases, but only under the strict supervision of a doctor.

Minimal medical support (vitamin-mineral complexes, herbal adaptogens, for example, tincture of ginseng or eleutherococcus ) will help the body recover faster. With severe apathy, more serious pharmacological drugs are prescribed: psychostimulants, antidepressants.

It is important to involve close people in the rehabilitation process, since a person in the fight against apathy will need help and support in a new way of life, since at first it is their will that is the main organizing and stimulating factor.

What certainly should not be done with apathy is to ignore your condition or the condition of your loved ones, brush it off or neglect it, attack them or yourself with accusations of laziness. It is time to turn to a psychologist for help.

This applies to Alzheimer's and PIK - not to apathy. By the way, a number of studies suggest that with the right complex effect, you can maintain a more or less acceptable quality of life even in the case of severe organic changes.

That is, you can help patients with Alzheimer's and other unpleasant diseases, which apathy indicates, live better. With the help of complex therapy, new synoptic connections are built, healthy parts of the brain and neural networks are involved, which will redistribute functions.

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