Amotivational Syndrome – Definition, Symptoms, Treatment

What is Amotivational Syndrome?

The amotivational syndrome is a known psychological health condition that is characterized by losing of interest in social endeavors and participation in activities. There is apathy among the affected and somehow cannot be explained. Most say that this said syndrome is reported to be a result from a long term abuse of cannabis (component marijuana). However, other studies greatly reject that proposition as surveys show.

Amotivational Syndrome pics

A Person Exhibiting Amotivational Syndrome Simply Lacking Interest in Most Things


The presenting symptoms of amotivational syndrome are the following:

  • The affected tends to become an introvert. This is defined as keeping oneself less sociable and is preoccupied to own thoughts. They avoid social interactions as much as possible.
  • The person may become passive at work. Their motivational force is not that effective that can assist them to work properly.
  • They tend to avoid competition, even though it is a healthy one.
  • The affected tends to become less energetic and their attention is not full when you communicate with them.
  • The patient tends to be apathetic. They show restricted emotions and feelings when the situation requires more from them. Interest to such concerning event is somehow neglected by the affected. This simply means that the client is indifferent with every situation or scenario.
  • Their concentration is disturbed. Concentration becomes reduced in social activities.


Amotivational syndrome is believed to be caused by the chronic use of marijuana. This has been studied for some time and it has been suggested that cannabis induces the said psychological syndrome. But there have been some speculations that the chronic use of cannabis is not the direct cause of amotivational syndrome.

In fact, only a small amount of those marijuana users experience amotivational syndrome. This is because of the fact that a history of depressive disorder is also identified. There are also some propositions that drug abuse can result to amotivational syndrome. In conclusion, the root cause of amotivational syndrome is dependent and is not concrete.


Treatment for amotivational syndrome is aimed in alleviating the said manifestations by providing preventive measures. Since there is no definite cause of the syndrome, the following are proposed as helpful in the treatment course:

  • Lifestyle change is a must. There are a number of unhealthy practices which needs attention. Use of prohibited drugs should be stopped in order to have a clean lifestyle and avoid the probable existence of amotivational syndrome. The use of cannabis should not be practiced.
  • Compliance with the treatment regimen and prescription should be followed. With this, the patient can be assisted in every way that he or she has difficulty with like in changing one’s lifestyle. The follow up check-ups can also assist the client to fast recovery and concerns about the treatment can be taken action directly.
  • When the client is a known cannabis user, they shall be a required to attend a special rehabilitative therapy. This shall aim on eradicating the addiction and to help the client to completely lose the habit. The abuse of other drugs shall also be treated with this therapy.
  • Psychoanalysis is also offered to clients who have problems with addiction. This can help them in dealing with their emotional problems.
  • Behavior therapy is provided to clients in order to reduce the stress and anxiety they are experiencing. As these behavioral problems may have caused the condition, they are assisted withtechniques that deal with these unhealthy emotions. They are taught of relaxation techniques and self-control methods which are very helpful in the process.
  • Emotional support from the family members and close individuals of the affected should be provided. This can assist the client in the process of recuperation and in dealing with the syndrome. As the syndrome tends to attack the client, it is ideal that his or her close relations are supportive in the healing process.

5 thoughts on “Amotivational Syndrome – Definition, Symptoms, Treatment

  • 26/04/2015 at 6:49 PM

    Amotivational Syndrome is a very real thing. Some forty year s ago I was in a bad car accident and became dependent on pain pills. after several years of being prescribed the opiates, I was told I had to stop. That is when my use of the pills, took on another face; the one of ‘addict’, which is now what the very same doctors who carelessly, over- prescribed for me, now labeled me. I found myself in a quandary, I could no longer function without the pills. I ‘got’ the connection right away, when I obtained a prescription for pain pills, I took them as prescribed…I self-medicated because without the pills, I became a ‘Zombie’, not a good thing for a mother of small children to become.
    Several years into this ‘secret’ life, I met a man some twenty years older than I was, at a Nursing Home where he was living. This man had had a very adventurous life. He was something of a gangster back in the 40’s and 50’s. One day I mentioned that I noticed he took a pain pill three times a day, yet I was unaware he was in pain. He explained to me he had become addicted to pain pills in the 50’s and subsequently found when he quit, he became a Zombie. For the times, he found a very enlightened doctor who was aware of the ‘Zombie’ syndrome and prescribed a small daily dose of codeine, so he could continue to function and contribute .
    I returned to school in my forties, to study addiction, but never did I encounter any mention of “Amotivational” syndrome. Finally I approached my own Psychiatrist about the subject, and he began prescribing something for me to take.
    I hope word of this syndrome gets out to the public, especially now that the number #1 drug of choice in the US, is pain pills and is mostly abused by mothers and college students. I am afraid that they have no idea what awaits them. Amotivational syndrome is capable of totally ruining lives. I can attest to the devastation it leaves behind.
    When I became a counselor for the addicted, several clients who had been addicted to opiates ended up committing suicide, I saw this most often in the male clients, who’s whole sense of self is connected to their work. I watched a movie one day called, ” Awake”, it was about some patients who were being ‘stored’ in a public psychiatric hospital who had a certain kind of Parkinson’s disease. These people were literally ‘frozen’ in time, in some sort of coma. then one day a young doctor decides to give them each massive doses of Dopamine. To everyone’s surprise , they come to work one day to find the coma patients awake and wonderful. unfortunately Dopamine did not prove to be the perfect solution, and soon the patients go back into their comas.
    This movie hits home for me, and illustrates exactly how I feel. I can be “alive” those days I take a small dose of an opiate, however, without them….I’m just another Zombie!
    I have achieved much while self-medicating. Went back to college and got my second Bachelors degree, I got a certificate for ,’Volunteer of the Year” with a United Way Organization, sustained a twenty-five year relationship, with a very busy, intelligent man, whose has a job as a District Judge, raised three children successfully and now I am focused on and needed by my nine year old Autistic grand daughter. Me and thousands of other people need the medical community to openly discuss this problem and find a solution,
    The other day I had an appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon I had never met before. It was horrible! He treated me like I was a leper, insulting me, berating me…he made me burst out in tears. Well, I asked to see my file, which had written on the first page in large letters,” DRUG ADDICT”
    One last thing. Doctors only receive on clock hour of education, learning about the disease of addiction, not one credit hour! they are in essence totally ignorant on the subject

  • 14/02/2016 at 7:47 AM

    I thank you humbly for shnriag your wisdom JJWY

  • 02/03/2016 at 11:59 PM

    That doctor sounds like a jerk. And he should have better common sense than that.

  • 01/12/2016 at 5:45 AM

    I was ready to dismiss the article as just more half-baked internet pseudoscience, although I acknowledge that use of psychoactive substances could alter the mind for worse. But perhaps other factors contribute more to psychological ills, such as worsening economic stress, enviornmental toxins, and absence of social support networks. Suicide rates? Dreadful to contemplate the prevalence across the world!


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