What causes apathy and how to deal with it

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

What causes apathy

What causes apathy?
Why do some people find themselves indifferent even if they have important goals?

In order to know the answers to these questions you must first know that a person who experiences apathy is always a person who has important goals and not a person who has no future plans.

A person who has no goals might feel bored or even depressed but he won't experience apathy if doesn't have important goals to go after.

So why do some people experience apathy?

People experience apathy when they lose hope in getting what they want. Loss of hope and apathy are actually two sides of the same coin.

Here are the three most common cases where people experience apathy:

  • If you believed that you will never reach your goals you will experience apathy
  • If you felt that your plans won't work you will experience apathy
  • If you lost faith in yourself you will experience apathy as well

Apathy usually precedes depression. In my book, The ultimate guide to getting over depression i explained how depression happens after the person loses hope in satisfying one of his most important needs. (see also Unmet needs psychology)

Thus apathy should be treated as a warning sign for depression. As soon as you find yourself indifferent try to take actions so that you don't end up depressed.

Dealing with apathy

So how can you deal with apathy?
In order to understand the following lines you must first know how your subconscious mind works. Your subconscious mind can be considered a friend who watches over you and who tries to direct you using emotions. (see Where do emotions come from)

If this friend sent you the emotion of apathy then know that he doesn't trust the plans you are following and so the best way to deal with this friend is to:

  • Find another plan that you trust: Do whatever you can do to find another plan that you trust. Brainstorm with people, read books, learn new skills or consult experts. Be flexible and you will find another way
  • Move Against your emotions: Your subconscious mind won't believe in you instantly or overnight but there will always be a time period where your subconscious mind will be watching you until you prove to it that your new plan will work. In other words you will need to work hard and follow your plan even if you were experiencing apathy until your subconscious mind trusts your new plan and withdraws this emotion
  • Taking actions & dealing with apathy: Most people get personal development wrong. They think that they have to repeat a magical phrase then feel great instantly without putting in mind that the best way to deal with unwanted emotions, including apathy, is taking powerful actions. Do Something! change your plan, make a big achievement or find a creative solution and as a result your apathy will disappear

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