When You Couldn’t Care Less

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By: Linda von Wartburg

Have you lost interest in the world around you? Are you more difficult to engage in conversation or in doing chores? Have you lost interest in doing things or in starting new activities? Are you apathetic or indifferent?  If your answer to these questions is yes, then you may be suffering from apathy syndrome.

Described as a lack of motivation or drive by Dr. Prasad Padala at the annual meeting of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, apathy syndrome has a big effect on the outcomes of chronic illness such as diabetes.

In a study of 70 Omaha patients with diabetes, 44 had clinically significant apathy, and of those, 77 percent had poor glycemic control. In contrast, only half of non-apathetic patients had poor control. Possible treatments for apathy include methylphenidate (the amphetamine-like prescription stimulant contained in Ritalin), modafinil (a mood-brightening and memory-enhancing psychostimulant), or a form of group therapy. So if apathy has you languishing in its grip, see a psychiatrist and get some help.  It’ll be good for your diabetes.

Source:  Clinical Endocrinology News, February 2007 

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