Emotional Effects
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Apathy: Anxiety's Unusual Symptom

Micah Abraham, BSc
Apathy: Anxiety's Unusual Symptom

Anxiety is a powerful emotion. It saps away happiness, causing negative thinking, negative emotions, fear, irritability, and more. Anxiety is the type of condition that can make you cry for no reason, and it is the type of emotion that makes you feel completely on edge and desperate for relief.

But even though anxiety is such a powerful emotion, not all of the symptoms it causes are as filled with energy. In fact, one of the most common symptoms of extreme anxiety is apathy.

The Many Ways Anxiety Creates Apathy

Apathy is the absence of caring. It's a lack of desire to engage in activities, make changes, or find crave anything positive. Apathy can affect each and every anxiety disorder, and while is most common with severe anxiety. 

Apathy seems like an "emotion" (if you can call it an emotion) that doesn't seem to fit with what anxiety causes. But there are actually several different reasons that apathy occurs. A small sample of these reasons includes:

On a natural level when you're dealing with anxiety every day, it's hard to imagine having a good day at all. On a chemical level, anxiety may actually change your brain to look only at the negatives and ignore the potential positives. It's easy to see all of the ways/reasons that apathy may occur.

Apathy About Anxiety

For these reasons, many people also develop a behavioral apathy about dealing with their anxiety. We say behavioral because most people still wish they were anxiety free, and may try to wish their anxiety away daily, but they don't actually take the time to find a treatments that work, or commit to those treatments in full.

This type of apathy is actually caused by anxiety. The belief that nothing good will happen represents a very real problem that stands in the way of people committing to their treatments.

How to Prevent Apathy

Anxiety apathy isn't something that someone can really prevent when they have anxiety, since the experience of severe anxiety is what creates the apathy. To truly remove it, you have to reduce your anxiety dramatically.

But it is important that you make sure you correctly deal with apathy when it occurs. If you respond to apathy by giving in, you make it harder for yourself to overcome your anxiety later. So remember the following:

Obviously these are only small, minor fixes. But they're helpful nonetheless, because they ensure that your apathy isn't something that will eventually hold you back from getting the relief you need.

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