How would you describe someone who has become apathetic in all (or most) areas of life, but views the apathy as a weakness and wishes to overcome it (in order to feel and have passion for life again)?


She felt out of touch with life. A certain apathy overtook her as she turned away from the window, but as she took a deep breath something in her mind clicked and she realized that this weakness, this cursed darkness had the ability to recede. How could she explain this feeling to her friends who had never experienced this before? It was as if she felt a certain kind of [WORD GOES HERE], and she needed someone to talk to to make sure she was right about herself.

  • 1
    I would call that "depressed but hoping to get better". Anhedonia and apathy are earmarks of same. "Jaded" doesn't carry the connotation of wishing to overcome it; I'm not sure you'll find one word with the combined meaning or connotation. – anongoodnurse Mar 9 '16 at 4:05
  • Pursuit of happyness? – NVZ Mar 9 '16 at 5:14
  • @NVZ It's not really about pursuing happiness. It's more about hoping that you'll ever feel happy about anything (or something) again. – foxinsocks Mar 10 '16 at 2:51
  • Revitalize? – Kyle Mar 10 '16 at 2:56
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    reawakening? renewed hopefulness? determination? The problem with your question, as I see it, is that it is not clear whether you want a word for the apathy, or the realization that the apathy could be overcome. The confusion comes with the two sentences between "...to recede" and "It was as if..." Just leave those two sentences out, and also, end with [word goes here]. – ab2 Mar 10 '16 at 4:09

I think emotional blunting (also known as reduced affect display) as an anxiety symptom appears to be like what you're wanting. However, you may need context to specify the anxiety part. The second link I provided pretty much describes what you described. The first link might look a little scary, though, as it pertains to all kinds of serious conditions. It seems the second link would describe wanting to be able to feel emotion as anxious, although that's pretty broad. We might as well include words such as discontent, frustrated, etc.

However, this appears to be a clinical term, and may not be what you mean. I'm not trying to diagnose a condition or anything, and I'm not a medical professional.

As a person who has often experienced things akin to what you described (e.g. wanting to grieve, but not being able to weep or some such, just feeling non-chalant about most things without particularly wanting to change, wanting to be excited about things people around me are excited about, wanting to laugh at a joke I understand is funny but for some reason I'm unaffected outwardly and it doesn't make me laugh), I have not as yet found a word to describe exactly what you mean. There could be an answer, but this is as close as I've gotten so far. Maybe just wanting to feel alive again is sufficient for what you want.

It seems context would really help the answerers. Apathy would seem to be the context, but in what sense matters. Like, how you want to react.

  • "Wanting to feel alive again" might do it, as long as I gave it the right context. – foxinsocks Mar 10 '16 at 2:49

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