There was a time that I asked myself how to handle my depression, or more specifically, how to stop feeling apathetic about life.
Apathy is a general sense of indifference, it means not being able to feel emotion or have any interest in anything.
The worst part about depression wasn’t my fatigue or my sadness, it was my inability to feel.
I recall standing in a crowd randomly, and hearing someone tell an absolutely idiotic joke.
I watched as everyone laughed and I could only stare at them.
I tried to copy their reactions, but in that sense, everyone could tell rather easily how I was actually feeling.
Humans are empathic creatures in nature, so it wasn’t very difficult for anyone to point out that I wasn’t as happy as they were.
People didn’t take it well at all, they said I was being “heavy” and that I should lighten up.
This would be equivariant of telling someone with a broken leg to stop walking so slowly and pick up their pace.
Just because you said so doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen.
Words alone aren’t going to accomplish anything, least of all words from someone else.
This particularly became evident in the end of my specialized training in the army (if you could even call it that).
We were called, one at a time, for a short interview of sorts by our commanders.
Among all of the questions in that interview, one stood out in particular – how was it?
What do they mean ‘how was it?’
They stuck me in a room with 7 other people who wouldn’t shut up, resulting in me sleeping less than three hours a night, only to wake us up at 5:00 A.M and make us run out of the building half naked – in the middle of winter.
And that’s just the first 5 minutes of the day.
My training wasn’t hard, in comparison to most combat units it bordered on pathetic, but there was nothing enjoyable in this system that I was shoved into.
Yet when I expressed these feelings my commander actually seemed to be a bit surprised.
According to him, I was the only one who among the recruits who hated being there.
Now this completely blew my mind.
Our training was nothing but a terrible chore, what could have possibly been a redeeming quality in all of that mess?
Then it hit me.
They had each other, and I had nothing.
Yep, it’s really that simple
For all of my preaching about human nature, it seems that I have forgotten about it entirely.
Humans are social creatures, all of our accomplishments are a result of previous success.
The invention of the lamp wasn’t a success of one person, it was a result of many years of successes, leading Thomas Edison to that point.
It was no different for them.
To me, they seemed like nothing but a bunch of idiots telling dumb jokes and talking about unimportant topics.
As it turned out, though, I was the idiot, not them.
I failed to understand what made them strong, the power of the group, and as such I couldn’t even begin treating my problem
It’s all in the brain, but you have to find the behavioral cause
Truth be told, I still have trouble handling my apathy – it’s still there.
Methods may only take you so long, I am, fundamentally, not a caring person.
This isn’t due to any mental issues or anything along these lines, I simply am biologically like that.
A recent research in neurology discusses this issue in depth.
While it was known that some people are more motivated than others, this was the first time that a biological basis for such claims has been established.
Yet life doesn’t work that way, and just because your brain is more inclined to act in a certain way doesn’t mean that it can’t be changed.
So after you find the cause for your apathy (or maybe don’t) there are multiple things that you could do to improve your condition.
Although I am yet to grasp success in the topic, here are a few of the more successful methods that I have tried.
Keep in mind, if you aren’t willing to change your mindset and take action then these methods would do you no good.
Yes, I know that working may seem like a chore, but pull yourself together!
1) Break your routine
It’s kind of in there, to be honest.
If you really look at it, apathy is caused by a lack of interest – to the point where it leaves us “scarred” and sucks away our joy from every other activity.
I sure as heck know that it happened to me before, and it might happen to you as well!
Routines are the bain of all of our lives.
Humans weren’t built for routines since passion is an idea that ultimately dies over time if it remains unkindled for long enough.
The first steps would be to make some major changes in your life.
And by major, I mean major, something that will change your life enough to make the following days unique.
How do you do that? By getting out of your comfort zone.
Easier said than done, but here’s my example:
Before taking action and making changes in my life I would wake up in 8 a.m in the morning, I would sit in front of my computer for a while and do nothing.
Then I went to work, I was very slow and ineffective, getting the job barely done.
I returned home by 20:00 and washed away in front of my computer yet again till bed.
I claimed I had no time for myself, I thought that my life was all about work, but it really has been anything but.
Sure, I worked for like 10 hours a day, which is more than most, but I slept for 11 and rotted in front of my computer for however much time I had left in between sleeping and working.
Then I started losing weight.
I started going to bed much earlier, I woke up anywhere between 5:00-6:00 a.m, I opened this website and started to look for actual inspiration to my life.
In your case, you might want to spend more time with your family, make a major change in your daily routine or just find a new hobby.
You may be forcing yourself through these actions now, but you need to do so to the point where you won’t consider them as chores anymore.
It’s all about your mindset.
2) Challenge your apathy
Ultimately, apathy is nothing but a state of mind.
As such, it can be fought and won over.
Recall the things that made you happy before, things that made you smile, and simply start doing them again.
Sure, it might be bothersome, but you really need to force yourself through these things, your apathy is trying to put you down and you simply can’t afford to let it.
Want to know how to stop feeling apathetic? Set goals, even if you don’t want to, and take action despite it being one of the last things you want to do.
Apathy is a never ending cycle, if you don’t gather any momentum to fight against it then it’s not going away.
It’s important that you understand what makes you function.
We normally don’t take action without a goal before us, which is why so many people have a hard time keeping going to the gym or holding onto their diet.
For someone like you finding this “something” is pretty hard, considering your condition, but this paradox actually goes both ways.
If you are apathetic, yet can be bothered with changing that, are you truly apathetic at all? Now that’s something to think about.
3) Seek professional help
When all else fails you might find yourself turning to an expert.
If, despite establishing a proper mindset and keeping at it, you still see no results – then maybe you are ought to seek some help from a professional.
It is very likely that you are suffering from a deeper case of depression at this point, where your ability to find a driving force to put behind your actions is fundamentally limited by extreme fatigue and depressive thoughts, rather than “mere” apathy.
As such, you either should look into getting help from an expert or solving your own case of depression (A.K.A self-help).
That may prove to be much more difficult than what you may think, however – your brain isn’t letting anything get to it.
Some form of therapy and outside help are inevitably needed in such a case.
Want to know how to stop feeling apathetic? Change
When it’s really all said and done apathy by itself is caused by either a mental disorder or simple dullness.
Nothing more, nothing less.
As such, the answer is similar – Treat your mental condition or make a change drastic enough in your life that you can’t afford not to care anymore.
Here’s a quick question – Do you have things that are worth pushing onward for in life, despite it being hard and dull at times?
Make sure to write down your answer in the comment section below – I read every single one of them!
If you got anything you would like to ask me then simply send me an email, I reply to those quickly!