Author: Kari Kagan, Psy.D.
Psychologist Adam Grant recently published an article in the New York Times that describes a "blah" feeling that is probably familiar to all of us, called languishing. In his words, languishing is the "neglected middle child of mental health" that falls between flourishing and depression. Some of the symptoms of languishing include, feeling joyless or aimless, difficulty focusing, and low motivation. Someone who is languishing might not be experiencing obvious signs of depression, but studies show that if left untreated, people could be at increased risk for mental illness. As the article discusses, many people wait until they are experiencing life-altering symptoms of mental illness (i.e., can't get out of bed, can't work, etc.). Having a name for these "meh" feelings that we might otherwise dismiss might alert people to the need for early intervention and, possibly more important, that this is a common experience and they are not alone. If the symptoms of languishing resonate with your experience, I encourage you to read this article in the NYT to learn more about this experience and possible ways of intervening. If you feel you could benefit from additional help, feel free to contact us and we would be happy to schedule a consultation.
Diana Gordon, Psy.D., Kari Kagan Psy.D., and Katie Leoni, Psy.D.
Drs. Gordon, Kagan, and Leoni practice psychotherapy in downtown San Francisco and Oakland. Their areas of expertise include anxiety, sleep, stress, depression, and addiction. They blog about these topics to provide research-based information about common problems and strategies to help manage them.