Acedia. Acedia. Acedia.You are feeling bummed? I mean really, really, depressed to the point where you feel that life is pointless and there is nothing you can do that will make a difference. Do you care? If, you don't care. Or if you don't even know that you don’t care? This is acedia, apathy, indifference, isolation, depression.
You don’t have to be a monk, hermit, or someone who lives a solitary life to experience acedia.
Ever since I heard the interview on CBC’s Tapestry with Kathleen Norris speaking about her book on the subject I’ve been thinking about the meaning of acedia. It is an uncommon word but it likely describes accurately how some people at some point in their life have felt. I’ve had conversations where this was definitely a state of mind for some people. A feeling of absolute apathy, and irrelevance. What do you do when this happens and how do you support people who are experiencing acedia?
Kathleen Norris says that action, like going out, visiting friends or some activity you enjoy will take you out of acedia. It is imperative that even if we feel this action is meaningless, we should force ourselves to do it in spite of those feelings. By our acttions, we find a conduit, which leads us out of the this dangerous fog. She further says an extreme case of acedia will only lead to suicide. If this is how you are felling please get some help.