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Apathy and fatigue during war: Psychotherapist on consequences of stress

Apathy and fatigue during war: Psychotherapist on consequences of stress Oleh Chaban (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Ukrainians, as well as people in other countries at war, are enduring constant stress amid the ongoing military activities, leading to feelings of apathy, fatigue, asthenia, and "dullness," according to Oleh Chaban, the director of the Scientific and Educational Institute of Mental Health at the Ukrainian Bogomolets National Medical University.

Chaban explained that under chronic stress, the brain begins to shield itself from excessive emotions. Manifestations of this can include apathy and fatigue.

"These manifestations have become significantly more pronounced because we are living in chronic stress with anxious anticipation of whether we will sleep tonight or, on the contrary, need to rush to the bomb shelter," said Chaban.

The psychotherapist also noted an increased sensitivity among Ukrainians to sounds. Even the movement of a car or other noises can trigger anxiety.

"Because we are all 'tuned in' to unfamiliar sounds. My wife and I freeze when we hear rustling and think maybe we missed the Shahed attack and there was no air raid alarm. If the nervous system is constantly under such tension, gathering additional information, expecting something, then it starts to tire," he explained.

Chaban added that apathy and asthenia can also be symptoms of depression.