Transient apathy can be overcome. Friends and professionals may be able to assist individuals to develop an interest in their surroundings. Attitude is important. Persons who desire to overcome apathy have much higher odds of succeeding than do persons lacking a positive attitude.
Other than support, no specific treatment is needed for apathy associated with adolescence, unless other, more troubling disorders are also present.
The treatment of more persistent apathy (in a depressive disorder, for example), or the apathy that is characteristic of schizophrenia, may respond to treatment for the primary disorder.
SCHIZOPHRENIA. For schizophrenia, the primary goal is to treat the more prominent symptoms (positive symptoms) of the disorder, such as the thought disorder and hallucinations that patients experience. Atypical antipsychotics are newer medications introduced in the 1990s that have been found to be effective for the treatment of schizophrenia. These medications include clozapine (Clozaril), risperidone (Risperdal), quetiapine(Seroquel), ziprasidone (Geodon), and olanzapine(Zyprexa). These newer drugs are more effective in treating the negative symptoms of schizophrenia (such as apathy) and have fewer side effects than the older antipsychotics. Most atypical antipsychotics, however, do have weight gain as a side effect; and patients taking clozapine must have their blood monitored periodically for signs of agranulocytosis, or a drop in the number of white blood cells.
L. Fleming Fallon Jr., M.D., Dr.P.H., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,