When Depression Saps Our Will To Do Things

August 20, 2014 Jennifer Tazzi

Recently I found myself feeling depressed. As is usually the case, there were different triggers involved. Some were hormonal as I was pre-menstrual. Others were personal as my parents are in the process of splitting up and it’s been an emotional time for all involved. Like so many, I was also surprised and hit hard by the suicide of Robin Williams. Add in my wonky brain chemistry, and I was off to the depression races.

Depression Can Sap Our Will and Ignite Our Inner Critic

The symptom I most noticed during this latest depression round was how difficult it was to do things, even just everyday tasks. I felt very easily fatigued and my will was really sapped. I remember the short walk to my therapy appointment took real effort. Even though there was little to no breeze, I felt like I was walking against something. I wanted to stop doing everything and just drift.

Depression often saps our will to do everyday things. This can activate our inner critic. Learn how to deal with depression sapping your will to do things.

At my therapy appointment, I described how I looked at the garbage can at home but didn’t feel I had the strength or the will to empty it. I said this triggered critical thought patterns, my inner critic so to speak, to beat me up for being “weak.”

“Instead, could you just acknowledge that you couldn’t empty the garbage just then? Could you be more gentle with yourself?” my therapist asked.

These were welcome words that resonated with me. Intellectually, I understand that critical thought patterns do not help me. But, especially when I am depressed, my inner critic can get pretty loud and repetitive. I have to continually remind myself at those times that I need to set healthy boundaries with my critic.

Setting Boundaries with the Inner Critic

Sometimes setting boundaries is easier said than done, but I believe it is a worthy pursuit. For me, there are two layers to the boundaries. First, I acknowledge the critical chatter as thoughts, not truths. This is especially true with depressed thoughts. During those times, I might say to myself, “These are thoughts, not truth,” or, “These are depressed thoughts. This is my illness, not me.” The second layer has to do with sharing the thoughts with a trusted party, such as my therapist, when I feel I need extra help. There is something about bringing the dark thoughts out into the light with someone else who cares that really makes a difference.

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APA Reference
Tazzi, J. (2014, August 20). When Depression Saps Our Will To Do Things, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 20 from

Author: Jennifer Tazzi

Jennifer Tazzi
September, 3 2014 at 6:27 am

Thank you, Laura. I'm glad it was relatable. All the best, Jenn

laura lynn mccurley
September, 2 2014 at 2:37 pm

I can certainly relate.Thankyou for sharing.

Jennifer Tazzi
August, 27 2014 at 10:47 am

Teresa, I hear you and I wish you all the best on your journey.

Jennifer Tazzi
August, 27 2014 at 10:45 am

Thank you, Helen. I'm glad it was informative. All the best, Jenn

Teresa Hughes
August, 27 2014 at 3:35 am

I want to know what mental health recovery is. As far as I'm concerned, depression will be with me for the rest of my life. I have different degrees of depression and anxiety for different reasons.
It is believed that my depression started to emerge when I was around 10 years old. I don't remember any life changing events or tragedies. What to do, what to do. Throw more drugs at it! I'm so sick of taking pills!
Thank you for letting me vent. Namaste

August, 27 2014 at 1:39 am

Very informative. :)

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