The Apathy Epidemic: How Society’s Shifts Impact Mental Health and Engagement

Are you feeling a lack of motivation and avoiding social contact with others for no reason? This might be an instance of you experiencing a feeling of apathy. It is an emotional state where you lose interest in everything or lose the emotion of desire. This feeling may occur from a particular situation or life in general, but the exact cause is still unknown. While occasional apathy is normal, if you develop persistent apathy then it can occur from severe neurological or mental health disorders. Learn what causes apathy and its treatment options in this article. Visit the best Mental Health Clinic in Brooklyn at Doral Health & Wellness or log on to www.doralhw.org.

 

Causes

Most people may experience the feeling of apathy from time to time, however, when this feeling gets persistent and starts affecting many areas of life, it becomes a significant problem.

Research from 2018 shows that apathy affects two critical brain regions – the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (the part that helps with cognition and movement control) and the ventral striatum (which helps in social behaviors). It also affects other areas of the front and middle parts of the brain (such as the frontal lobe). However, the real cause is still unknown.

These areas of the brain play a crucial role in processing emotions, goals, and behavior. Any problem in them causes apathy. Apathy most commonly occurs with the following neurodegenerative conditions:

  • Alzheimer’s disease (AD): Apathy is usually the first symptom of AD, and it affects around 49% of people.
  • Parkinson’s disease (PD): In people with PD, apathy can range from 25% to 60% as the disease worsens over time.
  • Pick’s disease: It is a type of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), that specifically affects the behavioral variant of the frontotemporal part of your brain. Around 54% to 96% of people with Pick’s disease experience apathy.

Apathy can be a symptom of some other brain conditions as well, which include:

  • Corticobasal degeneration
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD)
  • Tumors in certain parts of the brain
  • Vascular dementia

Psychological conditions such as mood disorders and PTSD can also cause mild to short-term episodes of apathy.

Apathy can occur in response to challenging life circumstances, especially from trauma or stress. These types of events create a sense of emotional detachment and disinterest. It is a self-preservation mechanism that allows us to distance ourselves from overwhelming emotions and situations momentarily.

When apathy is severe, it can affect your everyday life activities such as your work, social relationships, and even the simple tasks of self-care. Most doctors see apathy in people with dementia, depression, and stroke. But it can occur even without having another medical condition along with it.

Symptoms

Apathy creates a lack of motivation to do anything at all. Its symptoms include:

  • Lost/no interest in new activities and projects.
  • Having no or low motivation to engage in daily activities.
  • Feel emotionally flat or subdued.
  • Avoiding meeting friends and family.
  • A sudden drop in personal grooming or self-care routines.
  • Reduced social interaction.
  • Limiting their responsiveness to positive and negative events.
  • Losing the desire/curiosity for exploration/learning new things.
  • Decrease in concentration and focus.
  • A decline in productivity and engagement in work or studies.

Apathy only happens if these symptoms are serious enough to affect your social life, job, and other parts of life and not happen because of drugs, alcohol, and any other substance you take. It may occur as a symptom of depression, but these two are not the same thing.

If you are experiencing any mental health problems, then visit our mental health clinic in Brooklyn. Our mental health professionals make sure you get the right treatment on time so that you won’t suffer from any mental health problems.

“Your mental health is the key to a good life, don’t let problems affect them.” Call us on +1-347-384-5690 to get a consultation. We have some of the finest experienced psychiatrist doctors who listen to your concerns, examine your symptoms, and create a treatment plan to improve your condition as soon as possible. If you need help learning coping methods, register your information and make direct contact with our doctors and psychiatrists to learn those methods, log on to www.doralw.org. Visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212.