To Feel Past The Numbness: How To Deal With Mental Apathy
Eponine Seccafico

Mental apathy is an affliction of the mind that is suffered in silence and often left unrecognized. It begins in the brain and spreads to the body, leaving those who bear it stripped of their strength and with an unwillingness to go about their lives. It is a numbness, like a parasite, that intends to consume until there is nothing left. And the ones who live with it- which may be you or someone you love- know this all too well. However, are there ways to rise above this affliction and rekindle that buried zest for life?

No matter the depths of the apathy, there are always ways to rise above and take back your life for your own. No matter the reasons that may have begun the numbness and no matter how many, they do not have to define how you live. The multiple origins of mental apathy and the various ways to manage it will be further explained down below.

A Blur of Beginnings

Likewise to other mental afflictions, there is no way of knowing when mental apathy has come over a person. There are many reasons for its origin, some of the more well-known being mental illness and substance abuse. These, too, come about slowly and plague the mind without remorse, terribly undetected. And though these origins are tangible, two reasons fuel them as well as this numbness, two causes that are not given much thought. These two causes are toxic relationships and self-deprecation. 

Toxic Relationships

Toxic relationships can drain a person both physically and mentally. The abused people can go months and even years without realizing that they are being misused. They are conditioned by their abusers, whether they are parents, partners, or friends, to believe that they are only as good as the abusers say that they are, if at all. The abused become laced in insecurities and doubts, as they struggle to be as their abusers wish and lose sight of themselves. Broken down and defenseless, they become thrust into a terrible cycle of monotony. This cycle can cause them to develop a mental illness or have them turn to substances. And when lost in this circular blur of manipulations, their mind is then vulnerable to fall into the embrace of another that we call mental apathy. 

When they are made to think of themselves as worthless, why would they want to or have the strength to do anything that in their minds would only prove their supposed loved ones right? What more can they do than be left to face numbness alone?


Self-deprecation can come from toxic relationships or be a symptom of a mental illness or even a justification for substance abuse, but this is not always so. This deprecation can come all on its own and sometimes from the deprecated person, in the form of self-hatred or jokes that swiftly contort into a believed reality. They can begin to dismiss compliments and shut themselves out from those who truly loved them as well as the world. Soon, the hatred can tear through the mind so deeply, that the hatred gives way to apathy.

 If someone is so low and lost already, how can they possibly find the means to rise above?

How To Rise Above

The means to rise above can be found, with a little help and perspective from both the person suffering and the true loved ones around them.

One of the most effective ways to break a cycle is to make a change. Making changes in life may not be as simple as it sounds, but it is not impossible. If there are things in life that are not bringing you happiness, perhaps it is time to let them go and search for others. A change in career or hobbies can help give you the strength to break away from apathy. 

Another action that can be done is practicing self-care, allowing yourself to forgive your past self and embrace all that you have done, no matter how embarrassing or devastating. Treat yourself to a haircut, mani-pedi, or a well-deserved dinner out. Taking care of yourself will give you a newfound abundance of self-love as well as worth, teaching you that you never deserve to suffer from such mental anguish. That your life is worth more than what anyone says and living it is possible.

A third way is surrounding yourself with people who truly care for you and know that they will help you see help all the way through. Admitting that you need help, acknowledging that your apathy is present, is perhaps the most important step in rising above.

These, among many others, though they are ways to mend will not get rid of the apathy for good. Mental afflictions, especially ones that have manifested themselves deeply, will never truly go away. Yet, it is important to remember that some methods and practices lessen their weight and let you live your life as you wish.

Anything But Impossible

Mental apathy is a serious mental affliction, but that does not mean living before it is impossible. It can come about from many things, two of the more unrecognized being toxic relationships that breed abuse and self-deprecation that gives way to emptiness. However, there are various ways to overcome it and though it cannot be gotten rid of completely, it is possible to go beyond it and have a fulfilling life.