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Monday, January 8, 2018

Understanding the Different Types of Boredom

Everyone feels bored at some point.  This article is primarily about people who feel bored most of the time and remain immersed in their boredom. Boredom can lead to either destructive or creative behavior.  It all depends on what you do with it. Unfortunately, many people react to boredom in a self destructively way (see my article: Coping With Addiction: Boredom as a Relapse Trigger ).  The word "boredom" is very broad.  When people say they're bored, they often mean different things, which is why it's important to understand that there are different types of boredom.

Understanding the Different Types of Boredom

Understanding the Different Types of Boredom
  • Apathetic Boredom:  People who feel the type of boredom characterized primarily by apathy have a lack of positive or negative feelings that is usually associated with feelings of helplessness and, in some cases, depression.  This type of boredom can lead to self destructive behavior, like drinking excessive or using drugs, as a way to elevate their mood.
  • Unpleasant Restless Boredom:  Unpleasant restlessness is usually associated with a negative kind of boredom where a person thinks about other things s/he might want in his or her life, like a new job, different activities, and so on.  If the restlessness leads to a search for new activities, it can be turned into something positive and productive.  But if the person just continues to ruminate about his or her boredom, then, at best, nothing will change and, at worse, it can lead to self destructive behavior.
  • Reactive Boredom:  A person who is experiencing reactive boredom often wants to escape from or avoid his or her responsibilities.  There might be a significant level of restlessness and aggression involved as the person dwells on alternative scenarios.  Whether this leads to taking constructive action can make all the difference.
  • Indifferent Boredom:  A person who experiences indifferent boredom usually appears calm and they are often withdrawn.  Many people who habitually abuse marijuana can fit into this category.
  • Calibrating Boredom:  People who experience this type of boredom want to do something different, but they're not sure what to do.  They might have wandering thoughts about what they might want to do, but they usually don't take action.
In future articles, I'll discuss how boredom is often a secondary emotion that hides other emotions like anger and sadness.  I'll also discuss how boredom can lead to creativity.

Conclusion
Boredom is a broad term that can lead to either destructive or creative behavior.

There are at least five different types of boredom.

Once you become aware of what type of boredom you're experiencing, you can choose to take action to overcome your boredom.

Getting Help in Therapy
As I mentioned before, boredom can lead to self destructive behavior as people look for ways to elevate their mood, possibly through alcohol, drugs, compulsive gambling or other destructive mood altering behavior.

When people are immersed in boredom and they don't know how to overcome it, it can be helpful to seek assistance from a licensed mental health professional who has experience helping clients to delve deeper into their feelings to understand the root problems and how to overcome them.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples (see my article:  ).

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me.










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