Carter Lowe Creator, entrepreneur, and self-care advocate
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I don’t want to do anything at all: how to return a happy life

Do you know the state when you lie down, look at the ceiling, do nothing, and don’t feel like it at all? At the same time, nothing brings the former joy, and the existing problems simply do not care. There is and there is, so be it. Most likely, this is due to an apathetic state. But what is it? How does it arise, and most importantly, how to deal with it? To understand all this and regain a full happy life, you will have to study a lot of information.

What is this condition?

Clinical apathy is a common symptom of some mental disorders, and it is expressed in unwillingness to do anything, indifference to everything, lethargy, lack of initiative, lack of any motivation. And these manifestations concern all spheres of life. This is not just a short-term lack of desire, but a persistent emotional state in which a person cannot do anything even with an effort of will. This form of apathy is very serious and it is impossible to cope with it without the help of medicines. Further we will talk about the mild form of this symptom, so the term "apathetic state" will be used.

Apathy is the same as apathy, but with milder and more transient symptoms. It can be dealt with on its own if detected in time. But this state always signals that something has gone wrong in a person’s life, and this problem needs to be dealt with. Even a mild form has a very negative effect on a person’s life, no matter how short-term or mild it may be.

Apathetic people find it difficult to do absolutely everything. Although in a mild form, they can still make independent efforts to get out of their state. But in severe cases, at an advanced stage, a person can no longer help himself, and he needs specialized help. That is why it is so important to recognize the first signs of an apathetic state in time.

How to identify an apathetic state in yourself?

The following thoughts indicate that you are already in an apathetic state, or mild apathy:

“I don’t want to do anything”

You don’t want to work, solve serious problems, communicate with people, do ordinary daily activities? Even walking to the grocery store has become a super task for you? What can I say, you don't want to wash and take a shower in the morning... Of course, you can do all this, you force yourself, but there is no desire and aspiration. This is the very first and clearest sign that you have an apathetic state.

“I don't care about anything”

Whatever happens in your life, you don't care. Threatened with dismissal because your productivity has dropped so much? Spit. The girl is going to break up with you, since you stopped paying attention to her? Well, let him go. He began to look much worse, and others notice it? So what. You no longer worry about how your life is going, where it is heading. This is the second main sign of an apathetic state.

“I don't feel anything”

You stopped laughing even at good jokes, and when watching comedies you sit with a bored look. When they are rude to you, they try to offend you, you do not feel resentment, irritation or anger. You have ceased to please the most positive events, and pleasant little things - even more so. And this is the third important sign of this condition.

Any apathy captures all spheres of life, and because of this, everything around a person is slowly but surely destroyed. You must understand that this state is not a trifle, and it requires prompt intervention. But first, it is worth understanding the reasons for its occurrence.

Why does the apathetic state appear?

As you already understood, an apathetic state sometimes occurs in healthy people, and this does not cause them any terrible discomfort. Everything changes when a bad mood, in which you don’t want to do anything, lasts far from one day. Then thoughts creep in, but is everything really all right? Is it necessary to sound the alarm? To understand these issues, study the main causes of an apathetic state. So you will understand how serious everything is, and what needs to be done to get out of it. The causes of lethargy in adults are as follows.


Stress sometimes helps people gather strength to solve problems. But, unfortunately, this is only one of its sides. More often, stressful situations, on the contrary, take away energy. Many emotional upheavals can lead to the state of “I don’t want to do anything”: the death of a loved one, divorce, attack, disaster, dismissal, etc. When experiencing traumatic events, it is not at all surprising that a person has no desire to do anything.


Oddly enough, but an apathetic state can also be part of the personality. There are people who periodically fall into a state of “I don’t want to do anything.” More often it occurs in specific areas of life. For example, a person does not want to do anything in family life, but at the same time he is very productive at work. Or, on the contrary, he is not at all interested in a career, but he actively makes acquaintances and builds relationships.


Another reason why a person does not want to do anything is the lack of variety and any changes in life. For example, he works at a monotonous and uninteresting job, does routine things from day to day, does not have a favorite hobby, does not make new acquaintances, etc. Boredom and monotony always lead to a loss of interest in life. The person seems to be sinking more and more into the swamp and no longer wants to get out of it.


Laziness is not only the engine of progress, but also the “generator” of many problems. The following mechanism works here: a person does nothing for a long time because of laziness, and then this behavior becomes habitual and consolidated, and then it becomes the cause of an apathetic state.

Lack of introspection

Lack of introspection often leads to the fact that it becomes difficult for a person to set conscious and thoughtful goals, to understand his own priorities, values. Such people do not have an understanding of what they need, what they want, and hence the desire to do something. In other words, they go with the flow and are often in an apathetic state.

Excessively high demands on oneself

Unrealistic and unattainable goals and very high demands on oneself often lead to emotional exhaustion. A person does not achieve what he wants, and his hands simply give up, the desire to do something and strive for something disappears. He feels the futility of his actions, and this can cause an apathetic state.

Emotional burnout

Emotional burnout most often occurs in people whose work is connected with constant communication. It is accompanied by specific symptoms:

  • indifference to activities, duties, colleagues and clients;
  • a persistent feeling that everything is meaningless and useless;
  • anxious and negative thoughts (“I can’t do anything”, “I’m not capable of anything”, “it will only get worse”, etc.);
  • a significant decrease in self-esteem;
  • chronic fatigue (no energy);
  • decreased attention and memory;
  • irritability even over small things;
  • health problems;
  • the appearance of addiction (alcohol, drugs, nicotine, etc.).

Emotional burnout leads to the fact that a person has an apathetic state. If nothing is done in time, then sooner or later he will fall into a real depression, and apathy will develop into a clinical form.

Learned helplessness

This is a severe emotional state in which a person does nothing to even improve his life. It usually appears after a lot of failures. A person ceases to believe in his own strength and the ability to change anything. Naturally, this is followed by a state of apathy. Moreover, as in the case of emotional burnout, a “helpless” person may develop depression or other mental disorders.


It is not the addictions themselves that cause apathy, but their consequences. Simply put, it occurs at the moment of "withdrawal" or a hangover. In this state, the addict does not want to do anything, he only dreams of alleviating his suffering. He can lie for hours, not eat, not wash, not talk to anyone. If the addict does not receive a new “dose” during this period, he develops depression (until he gets his high or until he recovers).

Physical illnesses

Quite often various physical illnesses are the cause of lethargy. And this is understandable, because a person is in pain, he feels bad, is weakened and cannot fully live. Of course, it all depends on the severity of the disease. But sometimes, even from the usual ARVI, a person gets so tired that he drops his hands and does not want to do anything.

Mental and neurological disorders

The most common disease in which apathy (and clinical) occurs is depression. But besides this disorder, there are others: schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, dementia, etc. During an exacerbation, it is difficult for people with mental or neurological diseases to “just pull themselves together” and enjoy life, start doing something actively, set ambitious goals and achieve them.

Past illness

During the period of recovery of the body after an illness, many people feel tired, lethargic, unwilling to do anything. This is explained simply: a person lost a lot of strength to fight the disease, health was undermined, the resources of the body were depleted. And in this case, the occurrence of an apathetic state is completely normal.

Side effects of medications

Often, side effects of medications include lethargy, drowsiness, decreased activity. Although such effects are not so common, as they pass many tests, however, no one is immune from them. Therefore, it is not surprising that a person may face the problem of lethargy after taking any drugs.

Causes of lethargy in children

In today's world, children are often exposed to severe stress. A child's psyche, although more flexible than an adult's, is still not able to withstand prolonged stress. Because of this, some kids have serious difficulties in school, relationships with peers, teachers or caregivers. Therefore, be more attentive to the feelings and needs of your child.

So, a child may often say: “I don’t want to do anything” if:

  • there is a tense atmosphere in the family (for example, frequent quarrels between parents, especially with insults or fights);
  • excessive demands are placed on him (he should receive only excellent grades, he must always win);
  • he is constantly found fault with, overly criticized, but there is no praise;
  • his wishes are treated with indifference;
  • He is often compared to other children (always against him);
  • he has serious problems in communicating with peers or educators, teachers.

Naturally, there may be other reasons, because each child is individual. In any case, it is always easier to prevent a problem than to try to deal with its consequences. But don't panic ahead of time. If you are observant, you will still notice changes in your baby, you can help him on your own and bring him out of an apathetic state.

Now you need to learn how to deal with your own mood and behavior if you don't feel like doing anything. And also you will understand what to do if your child or beloved woman / spouse is trapped in an apathetic state.

How to cope with lethargy

As you understand, lethargy can sometimes disappear as if it never happened. But most often it turns into a more serious form, which you can no longer cope with on your own. Before it's too late, try to do everything that depends on you to get rid of this difficult condition:

1. Think about the reason

In general, your further actions depend on the reason. Well think about what preceded your apathetic state? When did you first think: “I don’t want to do anything”? For example, an apathetic state that arose due to mental upheavals does not require any kind of “treatment”. This is a normal defense of the psyche. When you get over your suffering, it will disappear on its own. Another thing is if this condition does not go away for a long time. In this case, it is better to seek the help of a specialist. Only after analyzing the cause will you understand how to deal with this problem.

2. Take care of yourself

First of all, feel sorry for yourself. This means that you must understand and accept your condition. You don't have to beat yourself up for not wanting anything. Stand up for yourself, say encouraging words. You can mentally hug yourself and repeat the phrases: “I can handle it,” “These are temporary difficulties,” “It can happen to everyone, but I can get back on my feet and get my life back on track.”

3. Ask for help from loved ones

Help and sincere support from loved ones can motivate you to start doing something, no matter what. Love often helps to get out of the most critical situations. Try not to alienate those who cherish you and care about you. Do not be rude, do not be silent, speak out and accept their help.

4. Do something

If you can't bring yourself to do something important, then make a list of your normal daily activities. Promise yourself that you can complete them in a day. However, it is not necessary to do them for a long time. Set aside at least 5 minutes for each session. After some time, you will develop lost habits again, and you will become more active.

5. Change your lifestyle

This is a global restructuring of thinking and behavior. You probably won't be able to do everything at once. But try to change at least something in life is worth it. To do this, heed the advice:

  • establish a sleep and wakefulness regimen (go to bed before 12 am and wake up after 6-8 hours);
  • do at least morning exercises through “I don’t want to” (this will help you become more active and cheerful);
  • Eat a balanced diet (with all the vitamins) even if you have no appetite, at least a little.

Now these rules may seem too complicated to you, because you do not want anything. But the mild form of apathy differs from the severe one in that you can still force yourself to do something. Especially if you realize that there is a problem and it needs to be solved.

6. Take a vacation

If you work all day long and demand the impossible from yourself, then the appearance of an apathetic state is a natural result. So take a vacation from work, try to relax and have a good rest. Perhaps, without daily hassles, tense environments and endless deadlines, you will come to your senses.

7. Set a goal for yourself

If the lethargy is due to a lack of diversity in life, then it's time to introduce it. This means that you will have to push yourself and find yourself a hobby, set achievable goals (even if they are insignificant at first glance). Perhaps you need to change jobs if it does not bring you any positive emotions. You must feel the taste of life, get out of the swamp into which you dragged yourself.

8. Find a job

If laziness is the cause of mild apathy, then you should find a job. It can be anything, any activity. The main thing is that you do something, despite the reluctance. You need to enter a new rhythm of life, learn to be responsible, start interacting with different people. You will get used to regular activity and “come alive”.

9. Learn to see the good

Even the darkest days are filled with something bright. You need to learn to see the good even in the worst. It is very difficult at first, but the skill will develop over time. For example, you can wake up every morning and notice some pleasant little things (coffee was well brewed, the shower cheered up, it’s warm outside, etc.).

10. Meet active people

If you surround yourself with lazy and depressed people, then sooner or later you adopt their thinking and lifestyle. Start to get acquainted with those who have specific goals, are constantly developing and reaching heights. You may have to go to some events or seriously play sports for this. Again, do it through “I don’t want to” if you want to change your life and come to a normal emotional state.

11. Change your image

Changing your image does not require any special effort. You will only need money to buy new things, go to the hairdresser, join the gym. Perhaps, after all the changes, you will want to move on and change your life more dramatically. In any case, a fresh look at yourself will definitely not hurt you.

12. Contact a psychotherapist

If you notice that you do not want to do anything every day for more than two weeks, this is a reason to contact a psychotherapist. After all, there can be many reasons for an apathetic state, as you already know. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to independently identify the main one and deal with it on your own. Remember that the longer you stay in an apathetic state, the more serious the consequences will be.

These recommendations will help you overcome a difficult emotional state on your own if you use them regularly. Perhaps you are also interested in the question - how to support loved ones who do not want to do anything?

How to help a child

What should you do if your child has become lethargic, inactive, inactive, or he often says: “I don’t want to do anything”? Use a few psychological recommendations:

1) Do not scold

In no case do not scold the child, do not raise your voice at him, do not insult if you notice that he has not changed for the better. Childhood apathy is a serious problem that must be treated with all caution. You, on the contrary, need to take a break and calmly think over a further plan of action. Scandals and quarrels will only aggravate the situation.

2) Reconsider the children's daily routine

Quite often, the cause of this condition is the heavy workload of the child. If he does not have a single free minute, then it is not surprising that one day he will not want to do anything. Even an adult needs rest and entertainment, let alone a baby.

3) Talk frankly

If changing the daily routine does not help, ask the child directly about his condition. What does he want? What are you tired of? What would he like to change? Of course, you should not indulge all children's whims, but this way you will have more chances to hear his desires. Perhaps he simply does not like the numerous sections and circles in which you enrolled him.

4) Support

Be sure to praise and support the child. Don't focus on his mistakes and failures. He must understand that he is loved, no matter what. Moreover, it is normal to make mistakes, and even more so for children who are just learning and getting to know the world.

If you follow the recommendations, there is a chance that your child will gradually enter the usual rhythm of life and stop being lethargic and lack of initiative. If none of the above help, take him to a child psychologist.

How to help a loved one

You can also help your girlfriend / spouse on your own if her condition has not gone too far. To do this, look at the following tips:

1) Do not close your eyes to the problem

Do not deny the very existence of the problem. Your loved one may not notice the changes, but you must be careful. If a beloved woman has all the signs of an apathetic state, then most likely she has it. And this means that the problem must be solved, and as soon as possible.

2) Be patient

Don't lose your temper. It is enough that your woman feels bad. Any process takes time. Be calm and restrained, then you will be able to help her get out of her apathetic state.

3) Try to talk to your loved one

If your woman's apathetic state does not go away within a few days, try to talk frankly with her. Set her up for a confidential conversation, let her speak. Firstly, the conversation itself can bring relief, and secondly, you will get to know better what is happening to her.

4) Do not be aggressive and do not devalue suffering

Never show aggression towards an apathetic person. Forget about your passive-aggressive jokes (“Who is this gloomy sitting here?”) And about direct anger (“Stop suffering already, do something!”). None of this will help bring your loved one out of mild apathy. Show only care, understanding and support.

5) Ask directly if your help is needed

Have you already supported your beloved woman as much as you could, but this is still not enough? Does she still want to do something? Then ask directly what exactly you can do for her. Sometimes it helps. Perhaps she will turn to you with a request that you can fulfill. In any case, you can not leave a person in an apathetic state alone with his problem.

6) Offer to see a specialist

Many people are afraid to go to psychiatrists or psychotherapists. All because of the stereotype that only "psychos" and "fools" go to these specialists. But it's not. Any person can face psychological problems. And you need to convey this information to your beloved. Be sure to offer to go to the doctor together. The main thing - do not scare her, but support her in every possible way.

Now you know how the clinical form of apathy differs from mild, and how this condition generally arises. Remember that you can deal with many problems on your own, but not all. Severe apathy will not go away on its own. If you find yourself in this state of “I don’t want to do anything” for more than two weeks, do not put off a visit to a specialist. If you can force yourself to do at least something (at least able to take care of yourself), then start gradually working on yourself. Little by little, in small steps, you will come to a normal life, and then the thought - “I don’t want to do anything” will disappear for a long time (and maybe forever).