Amotivational syndrome is a psychological condition that is characterized by the loss of interest in social situations and participation in activities of all kinds. One of its characteristic features is marked apathy.

This syndrome is more likely to occur in those who use cannabis over a long period of time. In this article we will go into this phenomenon and respect its most important characteristics.

Motivational Syndrome: what is it?

The motivational syndrome has many similarities with depression , as the person feels without wanting to do anything and projects an intense apathy, but also feels distant from his or her emotions and those of others.

According to some research, the main cause of amotivation syndrome is found in the frontal parts of our brain, those involved in social behavior, motivation or reasoning ability.


Studies suggest that it is very characteristic of people who use marijuana , so it usually appears in individuals who use this drug. Although there are many advocates of cannabis use, in the article “Marijuana: science reveals its long-term effects on the brain” we have already told you about some of the side effects that this substance has on regular and chronic users.

However, experts say that the appearance of this condition is not exclusive to marijuana consumption, but is associated with the frequent use of substances that cause instant gratification .

In fact, many individuals who use marijuana do not suffer from this syndrome, so some researchers suggest that the personality of some people may be the main cause of its appearance. In other words, it could be that individuals with this syndrome are predisposed to it, and marijuana would be a trigger.

In any case, the causes are not clear, so there is still a lot of work to be done in this line of research.

What characterizes this syndrome?

Although the causes are not very well defined, the characteristics and symptoms of Motivational Syndrome are. But what are these characteristics? In the following lines we explain them.

1. Apathy

As already mentioned, apathy is one of the characteristic symptoms of the amotivation syndrome . This means that the person lives in a state of permanent disinterest and feels unmotivated with respect to his life and the environment around him. Nothing catches their attention or makes them feel like doing things.

2. No future plans

Since in the present he feels in an apathetic and uninteresting state, this also manifests itself in the future. The person lacks vital objectives , something that fits perfectly with the lack of interest he suffers. His future does not concern him, just as the people around him do not.

3. Passivity

Apathy in these people not only shows respect for themselves and their objectives, but, as I have mentioned, an individual also is passive in front of the environment and the stimuli that surround him . They have serious difficulties when it comes to carrying out activities and paying attention to any task.

4. Conformity

The lack of vital objectives makes his personal development impossible and turns him into a conformist person. The person lives in his comfort zone, from which he is unable to leave. He becomes lazy and has a state of mind in which his body weighs heavily when it comes to any activity.

5. Loss of principles

The person lives immersed in a reality in which nothing interests him , lacks principles and ideals , and his life itself ceases to have meaning. There is no motivation to act. And doing anything is like walking uphill.

6. Lack of emotion

The person not only does not connect with his ideals, but is unable to live his emotions and feelings . He doesn’t experience them, neither towards himself nor towards others. Even good news is meaningless.

7. Insulation

This causes the person to become isolated, to stop having contact with others. In other words, the motivation is not only in reference to activities, as it could be if he was a bum, but also he does not seem to care about interpersonal relationships. He is not interested in anything or anyone.

8. Introversion

The person adopts an introverted attitude, in which he directs his attention towards his internal events and thoughts. His capacity for external attention is minimized .

9. Sadness

Individuals with amotivation syndrome may also feel great sadness, as they are not aware of why they feel this way. That is, the person has serious difficulties in identifying the reason for their disinterest .

10. Lack of affection

The lack of emotional connection is accompanied by a lack of affection, so she will not identify with anyone or strengthen ties with the individuals around her.

11. Deterioration of social skills

This can also be seen in the deterioration of social skills and a lack of interest in communication with other people. The person has serious difficulties in relating to others and, as I said before, tends to isolate himself.

This has to do with something very simple: relating to other people, especially if they are not well known, costs effort and the use of numerous cognitive resources. Therefore, someone in this kind of state of mind will probably tend to adopt a passive attitude and avoid situations where conversation or general interaction with others is required.

12. Decreased concentration

Since the individual invests his or her care resources in internal care, both his or her external care, both broad and narrow, are affected. This causes difficulties at the cognitive level, as the person has difficulty in processing information. His memory is also affected.

13. Slow movement and decreased reflexes

The attitude of apathy and decreased attention also affects their ability to make movements. Not only that, but it also presents slow reflexes and other psychomotor alterations.

14. Abandonment of personal care

The lack of motivation and interest is also manifested in the person’s personal care , and the person stops taking care of himself, getting dressed and even washing himself.

Hygiene is seen as an unimportant “whim”, even though the simple fact of not washing oneself has a direct and very negative impact on the person in the short term: for example, through dust (dry skin particles) passing into the respiratory system.

15. Difficulty in sexual relations

Disinterest in sex is also a reality, and you can stop having sex. This can complicate your sexual life, and different problems can appear such as those discussed in the article “The 8 most frequent sexual problems and how to treat them”