Mental Health

Anergia: Definition, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

For thousands of years, people have been trying to understand their psychology to better their lives. The concept of anergia existed in ancient Greek philosophers and physicians who believed that physical and mental problems are brought to existence by some entities or forces.

Anergia is a psychological deficit or functional impairment in initiating or beginning planned activities. It is not considered a form of depression (relatively a symptom) and represents a lack of energy or drive. This can be caused by many circumstances, including environmental and biological influences. This article will reveal everything you need to know about anergia: what it is, what causes it, and how it can be treated.

What Is Anergia in Psychology?

Anergia is a state of tiredness, lack of energy, or sleepiness without apparent reason. It can be the most common symptom of depression (along with other symptoms), or it can occur on its own only because of a person’s genes. People with anergia may also experience a loss of interest in social situations and activities they usually enjoy. Some people also describe a lack of motivation, making it difficult to carry out daily tasks.

Anergia is a lack of motivation and experiencing negative emotions when performing a task. It is characterized by the inability to start or finish a task and can also be viewed as mental fatigue. Anergia may be experienced within a specific area, such as physical activity or cognitive tasks, or in many areas of life, including home, work, school, and social environments.

Anergia is a state of decreased physical and mental energy. It can include:

Lethargy — feeling tired, sluggish, or “slowed down.”

Fatigue — feelings of not having enough energy or motivation to do ordinary daily tasks

Inability to concentrate or think clearly

Apathy — lack of interest in everyday activities

Anergia can also be described as listlessness. While fatigue and lethargy are similar, anergia tends to be more severe than either of these conditions.

What Are the Causes of Anergia?

Anergia is a lack of energy, which may be caused by the following:

  • Physical exhaustion
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) which causes extreme fatigue that doesn’t improve with rest
  • Lack of sleep or sleep disorders
  • Anemia, or low levels of iron in the blood
  • Low blood sugar or other endocrine disorders
  • Chronic medical illnesses (e.g., hypothyroidism) which is when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, causing rapid heart rate, weight loss, and anxiety

Symptoms of Anergia

Anergia, or lack of energy, is a symptom of depression that can be very hard to handle. If you have anergia, it may seem like you can’t lift a finger to help yourself. It can cause you to feel like you’re moving through syrup and that your body is made out of lead. You may find it challenging to get out of bed in the morning, let alone get ready for work or school.

Anergia can also make it difficult for you to complete tasks that need to be done. You may have trouble paying attention and focusing on things, which adds to your feelings of exhaustion. Often this makes it hard to complete tasks efficiently and effectively.

Not only does anergia affect your ability to perform regular activities, but it can also impact how you feel about yourself. Lacking motivation can cause you to feel a sense of guilt about not doing things for yourself or others. This, in turn, can make your symptoms worse.

When anergia is a symptom of depression, it commonly occurs alongside other symptoms such as:

  • Sadness
  • A loss of interest in life and the world around them
  • Low self-esteem or feelings of worthlessness
  • An inability to experience pleasure from positive events or situations
  • A change in appetite and weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Difficulty concentrating on tasks
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • Fatigue or tiredness

What Is the Difference Between Anergia and Fatigue?

Anergia is not the same thing as fatigue — while fatigue may be temporary and caused by a specific event such as an illness, anergia is a chronic lack of energy and motivation that can affect many areas of your life.

Anergia and fatigue are physically similar, but anergia can be a symptom of a mental health condition. Fatigue is a normal feeling that occurs when you need rest. You might feel fatigued after working too long hours or a challenging workout.

Anergia is different from fatigue because it’s generally not caused by physical exertion or lack of sleep. Anergia is a symptom of clinical depression, although it has been observed in other mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It can also be a side effect of certain medications.

Anergia may differ from person to person, but it’s generally associated with decreased physical and mental energy levels. People with anergia may move slower than usual and take longer to complete tasks. They may also find that they don’t have the motivation to do things they usually enjoy doing.

What Is the Difference Between Anergia and Asthenia?

Anergia and asthenia are closely related terms used in medicine to describe a loss of strength and energy. Both are symptoms rather than diseases but can result from several different causes.

Anergia comes from anergēs, which combines the prefix an- (“without”) with ergon (“activity”). Use it to emphasize that someone has no energy to do anything. “I’m sorry I can’t make it out tonight; I’m feeling anergic.”

Asthenia comes from asthenia, which combines the prefix a- (“without”) with sthenos (“strength”). Use it to emphasize that someone is weak or lacking physical vigor. “My grandma isn’t one for physical labor; she’s quite asthenic.”

Anergia is an absence of energy or motivation, while asthenia refers to weakness. Because energy is necessary for muscle movement, asthenia is often associated with weak or exhausted muscles. Both terms can refer to emotional and physical exhaustion, although the two often go hand in hand.

What Is the Difference Between Anergia and Avolition?

Anergia is a concept in psychoanalysis that refers to the ‘lack of energy or ‘diminished desire and motivation,’ which can be considered to be one of the core symptoms of clinical depression. Avolition refers to a diminished ability to begin and persist in goal-directed behavior and is a significant symptom of schizophrenia.

The differences between anergia and avolition are subtle and often intertwined. Anergia is more of a physiological symptom, and it’s generally the result of other conditions that can affect mood, such as depression. Avolition is a psychological symptom or condition that can cause people to avoid or neglect goals.

Avolition can be considered apathy, but it’s not always apathetic behavior. Sometimes people with avolition will still want to do things, but they won’t move ahead with their plans. An example might be spending weeks planning a vacation but never buying plane tickets.

Anergia is related to fatigue and loss of energy. People with anergia may always feel fatigued, making it impossible to start tasks or perform daily activities. They may also feel overwhelmed by simple activities like getting dressed in the morning, which leads to isolation and avoidance of others.

Symptoms of Depression That Indicate Anergia

Depression is a common mental disorder characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration. It can occur at any age and sometimes result from other medical conditions such as stroke, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s. Symptoms vary from mild to severe.

  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  • Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements
  • Loss of energy
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed

Can Narcolepsy Cause Anergia?

Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder caused by the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. People with narcolepsy experience periods of extreme daytime sleepiness and sudden, irresistible bouts of sleep that can strike at any time. They may also experience lapses in muscle control during waking hours, often accompanied by vivid hallucinations and paralysis at the onset of sleep (called “sleep attacks”).

People with narcolepsy may experience a reduction in motivation or energy that can also be associated with anergia and depression.

How Does Anergia Affect a Person?

Anergia affects many different parts of a person’s life. This may include work, school, relationships, and daily routines. Anergia can make it hard to do what you need and want to do. It can also make it hard to keep relationships with friends and family.

Anergia can affect your overall mood. You may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest in activities that once pleased you. You may feel tired all the time or constantly fatigued. You might also have trouble sleeping at night and experience insomnia or other sleep disorders. In addition to feeling exhausted physically, anergia can drain you emotionally and make it hard for you to focus on things like work or school.

Treatment of Anergia

If you’re suffering from anergia, several treatment options are available. These include treating any underlying conditions that might be causing your lack of energy and taking medication to boost your energy levels. 

Anergia is often a symptom of depression. You’ll likely be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist for evaluation and treatment if you have anergia. Your doctor may also recommend taking antidepressants or other medications that can help increase your energy levels, such as stimulants (to help increase energy levels) and mood stabilizers.

In other cases, psychotherapy can be beneficial in treating anergia. Your therapist can help you learn to cope with the stress that may be causing your condition, and they can teach you how to make positive changes in your life. Talk therapy can also help you recognize and correct any negative thoughts contributing to your condition.

How to Cope With Anergic Depression?

  • Eat more foods containing zinc, magnesium, and iron (bananas, nuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, seafood) and less sweet.
  • Move! Sport releases endorphins which are natural anti-depressants. Even if you don’t feel like it, get up and go for a walk in the fresh air!
  • Get enough rest. The body needs sleep to function correctly!
  • Change your routine if you wake up simultaneously every day, don’t want to get out of bed, or only want to stay in bed. Make at least one change in your daily routine, even if it’s just an activity you’ve never done before. You’ll see that your energy will return!
  • Give yourself positive affirmations. If you constantly tell yourself that you’re tired and have no energy, your brain will believe it because “the brain loves the truth.”
  • Caffeine and sugar may give you an instant rush, but it doesn’t last long as it gives you a sugar rush, eventually leading to a sugar crash. This will leave you feeling drained and exhausted. Sugar increases your blood sugar levels, which can also cause fatigue when it crashes later on.

Final Thoughts

The symptoms of anergia may be different from person to person. But if the stress is in your life, it takes a toll on you. If you suspect you are suffering from anergia, it’s time to reconsider your lifestyle options and ensure that your life is not balanced and well-rounded.

You might be surprised by how much a simple change, like adding some physical activity into your day, can help alleviate the pressure built up inside. It may also do you good to make more time for relaxing activities, such as reading or meditating, that will alleviate some of the tension in your life. Increase your decision-making process and try different things until you find what works best for you.


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Hi, I am Happy. I'm a professional writer and psychology enthusiast. I love to read and write about human behaviors, the mind, mental health-related topics, and more.