The name of this syndrome comes from the Greek word astheneia — that is, “powerlessness, weakness”. Perhaps, this is the most common syndrome in psychiatry, and it does not matter-whether it is a psychosis, neuroses or other mental disorders. In fact, it is also one of the most simple syndromes in psychiatry (of course, from the point of view of understanding) and reflects mainly quantitative rather than qualitative changes in the psyche. Do not forget that we are talking about positive, or productive, symptoms. Differences from it asthenic syndrome, which is negative, or deficient, I will explain when it is his turn to describe.
What is asthenic syndrome in its essence, it is easy to understand if we consider the human psyche as an open thermodynamic system. Anticipating the mass immersion of readers in a trance or catatonic stupor from the abundance of terminology, I venture to resort to a simple example. There’s a leaky bucket. It’s mental. It is constantly pouring water. This is a replenishing stock of mental forces (to the limit conditionally, but the essence reflects). The flowing water is the sum of psychic forces that are expended: on study, work, relationships with others, love, hostility, worries about trifles and concern for the vital-in short, all our mental activity.
If the water supply is sufficient, and the flow rate is small, then an equilibrium is established, which can be considered the norm. If the supply of water is running out (the inflow is small or the flow increased) – there is a depletion of mental activity, which is manifested by asthenic syndrome. Accordingly, and approaches to treatment, at least, two: to plug a hole or to make a pressure more.
The reasons leading to mental exhaustion, quite a lot. These are psychoses and neuroses, which draw a lot of energy, and intense mental activity, and violent emotions, and even about the everyday small mischief of life and can not speak — they sometimes pull away forces in small things faster than a flock of piranhas. In addition, we should not forget the factors that can weaken the body as a whole or the brain in particular: injuries, infections, intoxication, long chronic diseases, starvation and lack of sleep.
In total, it is customary to consider two variants of asthenic syndrome: hyperesthetic and hyposthetic.
Hyperesthetic variant (from lat. hyper-and Greek. Genesis-a sense of, sense of, camping on E. literally “heightened sensitivity”). Remember the expression “kindness is the privilege of the strong”? It well illustrates the essence of this option. Exhaustion, weakness here are manifested in the fact that a person does not have the strength to restrain himself, to keep himself in hand.
A person flashes like a match, easily, with a half-turn, from what seems to most a trifle, not worth attention: not so said, not so looked, NOT so SILENT… However, the flash also quickly exhausts itself — the fuel is at the bottom. Emotions are also at odds, they are labile, like the gait of a drunken sailor, their change is easy and unpredictable. It is just as easy to bring tears to the eyes, it is necessary to flash a little bit of a sentimental episode on the screen, an exciting topic in memories or a sentimental scene in a book: weakness — nothing can be done. Most of the time such people go gloomy and dissatisfied with something, the rest of it is used to search for the causes of discontent and gloomy appearance. As a rule, find. Capricious: after all on the, to truly want and be able (Ah okay-okay, simply want),, too, need forces. Hence the variability of appetite, whims in the menu (I want this today, but I can not stand it anymore), other fads. As a rule, with libido and potency, too, there are problems: excited-exhausted-extinguished.
Such patients do not tolerate everything bright and sharp: colors, smells, taste sensations; from a sharp sound they shudder, jump on the spot or give a source of sound to the neck (here as lucky). They do not tolerate waiting and monotonous work-both require patience, and it is catastrophically small.
Attention is also affected, since the strength of the need and it. Distraction, distraction increases, it becomes more difficult to concentrate, to focus on anything. Because of this, the ability to both remember something and quickly remember something is reduced, while such patients often complain of “leaky memory”, although in this case, memory problems are just reversible-it is only necessary to replenish the reserve of forces properly. Violation of attention and memory entails difficulty in solving domestic and social issues. Increasingly, these decisions become stereotypical and shallow (do not forget-creativity and originality need strength), more and more time is required to make decisions themselves, I want to quickly dump everything from myself, and relax, and not to pull!
Like the masses, deprived of ideological leadership, a bright goal and a guaranteed better future, the autonomic nervous system is peddling . There is a complete set of unforgettable sensations: headaches, and sweating, and pale cold hands, and surprises from the heart, which then freezes, then starts to gallop, and then pinches, as if already quite-quite a heart attack — – only an electrocardiogram like an athlete, and the ambulance wearily curses … Sleep, too, to hell-frequent awakenings, dreams of every day-household painful rubbish, and even completely overcomes insomnia. And if previously such a person was sensitive only to the direct hit of lightning or, alternatively, the demolition of a hurricane, now begins to feel so subtle nuances of the weather that they can quite successfully bet on it.
Here in the foreground is not flash and explosive, but complete powerlessness-both physical and mental, emptiness, exhaustion, lethargy, the feeling that all the arable land of the vast homeland plowed personally and that the forces are not just there: THEY will NEVER BE. Hence the General pessimism and zero, if not negative, performance. Sleep is of no use, no pleasure, only a heavy and broken head, like a hangover.
Asthenic syndrome can be combined with a number of other syndromes (manic does not count), in this case they are called, based on the combination: asthenic-subdepressive, asthenic-depressive, asthenic-hypochondriac, asthenic-phobic and other terrible words.