Even though apathy and depression share certain commonalities, there are some differences too between both. They are, in fact, two different conditions and hence, these two terms cannot be used interchangeably. Apathy and depression are two conditions that have been studied extensively in psychology. Apathy refers to the lack of interest that can be seen in a person. Depression, on the other hand, is a psychological condition where a person loses interest in daily activities and feels hopeless. At a glance, apathy and depression look very much alike since both share disinterest/lack of interest as a characteristic. However, a depressed person feels an urge to commit suicide, but an apathetic person does not. This is one of the key differences between the two conditions. Through this article let us examine the varied differences between the two conditions.
What is Apathy?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, apathy can be defined as the lack of interest or enthusiasm. Apathy can be viewed through the interactions that an individual has with others and in the enthusiasm that he displays in daily activities. For example, if an individual simply does not care about his life, job, family member, and friends, such an individual can be considered as apathetic. However, we have to bear in mind that we all feel apathy at some point or other in our life, especially when the surrounding ambiance is too overwhelming and when we are powerless, we become apathetic.
However, apathy is considered as a symptom of some of the psychological diseases such as Dysthymia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, frontotemporal dementia, stroke, etc. In a person who is suffering from apathy, certain conditions can be observed. They are,
Lack of interest and motivation
Unwillingness to act or accomplish anything
Non-response at things that would excite a normal health individual
Lack of emotional responses and complete disinterest in one’s relationships.
These lead to a detriment in the quality of life of the individual.
What is Depression?
Depression is a psychological condition where the individual lacks interest and feels powerless. We all feel depressed at some point or other in life. This is natural. But if depression lasts for a longer period than it should, where the individual experiences feelings of intense sadness and powerlessness, this should be treated. In a depressed person, some of these symptoms can be observed.
Lack of energy
Lack of interest in daily activities
Overeating or loss of appetite
Feelings of guilt and powerlessness
Lack of concentration
Excessive sleep or insomnia
Depression is different from apathy, even though, a depressed person may also share certain symptoms that can be viewed in an apathetic person. For instance, lack of interest in daily activities can be viewed in both apathetic and depressed people. However, the tendency to commit suicide, feelings of guilt cannot be seen in an apathetic person, even though, this can be seen in a depressed person.
What is the difference between Apathy and Depression?
• Definition of Apathy and Depression:
• Apathy can be defined as the lack of interest or enthusiasm.
• Depression is a psychological condition where the individual lacks interest and feels powerless.
• In both apathy and depression, the individual experiences feelings of disinterest.
• Symptom and Disease:
• Apathy is a symptom that can be viewed in a number of psychological diseases.
• Depression can be a psychological condition itself or else a symptom of another disease.
• Suicidal Thoughts:
• An apathetic person does not have suicidal thoughts.
• A depressed person has suicidal thoughts.
• An apathetic person does not feel guilty.
• A depressed person feels guilty.
- Apathy by Monika Bota (CC BY-SA 2.0)
- Depression via Pixabay (Public Domain)