When Depression Causes a Lack of Motivation

March 18, 2015 Mike Ehrmantrout

When depression causes a lack of motivation, tasks seem insurmountable. You can beat it, though. Read what to do when depression causes a lack of motivation.

The lack of motivation that can be caused by depression and other mental illnesses can be debilitating. There are some things that are so important they must be done as soon as possible. But for those who battle depression, the lack of motivation can be an enemy that seems insurmountable at times (Depression Can Drain You of Your Will to Live). Here's what to do when depression causes a lack of motivation.


Lack of Motivation is Common in Depression

The United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has established a working definition of mental health recovery that defines recovery as: “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.”

You may have noticed all the elements of SAMHSA’s definition of mental health recovery require you to do something. “But,” I protest, “I can’t even get out of bed.” Depression saps motivation so completely, the depressed person can often find herself in the midst of a pile of tasks left undone and plans left unrealized.

Don't Mistake Depression and Lack of Motivation for Laziness

This is often where the depressed person can be, mistakenly, thought of as lazy or apathetic. A depressed person’s lack of motivation is not the same as laziness. When someone is lazy, they don’t want to do work or do unpleasant tasks, even when they have the energy to do so. They may be motivated just fine, they simply don’t want to exert themselves in any way.

The person who is unmotivated due to depression usually wants to work and do other things, but feels as if they can’t. This is a key difference between laziness and depression.

Since we see that becoming motivated even in the depths of our depression, or other mental illness, is a huge part of the mental health recovery process, let’s look at three ways to overcome the depression-caused lack of motivation we might feel.

3 Ways to Beat Depression's Lack of Motivation

1. Identify the Essentials

When you’re depressed and lack motivation, you may need to adjust your ideas about what is essential and what isn’t. Doing the dishes is essential; polishing the faucet isn’t.

2. Break Up Large Tasks Into Smaller, Easier Ones

Okay, so the kitchen needs cleaning. There are dirty dishes everywhere. But it’s such a huge job when we’re depressed that we let it go and it becomes much worse. And this just serves to make our depression worse because we feel lazy and no good. So instead of telling ourselves, “I’ve got to get this whole kitchen cleaned up,” we should break it down and say, the first thing is to unload the dishwasher full of clean dishes. But this is even too much, so we tell ourselves, “okay, the only thing I have to do right now is unload the silverware." This is a job we can usually get ourselves to do because it’s short and easy and requires only a bit of our valuable energy. Once we're done with the silverware, we can leave the kitchen and collapse on the couch until the next time we go to the kitchen for something and break off another small chunk by unloading just the bottom portion of the dishwasher.

By doing things this way, it allows us to at least get started on our immediate tasks. Granted, it takes a bit longer using this method, but it’s better than not doing anything at all.

3. Be Positive about Even the Smallest Victories

In mental health recovery, any small step should be celebrated. Use these victories to encourage and remind yourself that you can indeed overcome one step at a time. You’ll be able to say, “I know I can do it because I’ve done it before.” When depression causes a lack of motivation, know that you can still beat it.

You can visit Mike on Google+, Instagram and Twitter.

APA Reference
Ehrmantrout, M. (2015, March 18). When Depression Causes a Lack of Motivation, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Author: Mike Ehrmantrout

joe doe
July, 6 2021 at 6:05 am

i was taking ritalin from 1 thru 6th grade, that was the early nineties. they told me I'm dyslexic and some other stuff idk.. what I'm saying is i was on amphetamines as a kid don't u think there would be some long term effects to that.. I'm 37 and I've ben drinking and smoking since i was 12 and nothing has changed. i live life like a rockstar get drunk everyday and lives always smiles and laughs i can't take nothing serious. I've been on Wellbutrin celexa prozac none of it worked AT ALL. don't trust doctors as far as i can throw them. i have mental illnesses its par for the course in my generation and I've learned accept it don't give a dam what ppl think or say its what makes u the person u have grown to be or growing to be.. i know imma head case y'all but i maintain my life kinda>> big pharma wants u on these meds all i want from them is benzos clonazepam really helps my nerves and anxiety adderall turns me into rain man lol i don't know if this helps or anything but I've been thru deep depressions attempted suicides and yet here i am typing this drinking beer at 0600 lmao god bless y'all and keep banging on the system!!

October, 6 2019 at 3:29 pm

I having less motivation on working. I am not sure am i lazy or depression. I am working software developer as a low pay contract. I struggle working with people and etc.. i can feel i struggling on many things. I know working in office the feeling of working even worst. I am totally confused.

September, 6 2019 at 11:06 am

Hi. I realize that this post was written a long time ago. Hopefully still, someone reads and I get a response. I am the wife of a pastor, a professional and the mother of 2 boys- aged 10 and 2 and I have anxiety and depression. The thing is one doctor, after putting aside almost 2 hours to talk with me about symptoms that showed no physical basis, asked me if I have ever considered that I'm suffering from anxiety. I knew for years that I was depressed( self diagnosis since I was a nurse and also pursued studies in medicine) but I never said it out loud since the society has a way of viewing persons with "mental illness". Over the years I've kept myself busy and engaged and I've become very good at putting on a good face so I can go and help everyone else Within myself though most times I just want to be left alone while at the same time I dont want to be left alone. When depression hits it feels like I'm in a repressive hole, held down by an invisible hand. Because so many depend on me, and I did not wish to let them down , I push. But I've begun to resent it..being there always for everyone else but not myself.
I ended up in that drs office in the first place because I began having nausea, diarrhea waking me out of my sleep when I did sleep, insomnia and muscle spasms in my stomach area that others could see if they were watching and my childhood asthma attacks had returned.I went for a ton of tests and all showed nothing. I was taking sick days from work very often because of these symptoms. The company doctor finally got to me and sat me down just for a talk. After hearing all on my plate, well the current things, since I can't recall telling her about being raped and molested as a child, she advised I get some counseling and since I find relief in writing I should continue a journal and finish the book I started as well as looking into finding a new job or career that did not add so much to the stress and everything i already have going on.
For the last few months though i feel like I've gotten worse. I dislocated a finger so I've been home sick, the thought of going to work immediately brings on an anxiety attack or a depressive episode. The thought of not being able to go back to studies because of the kids or the church immediately makes me want to pull away...but I'm expected to smile.
My husband tries to understand but he really doesn't. These days especially at home I've not been able to put on that pretensive smile as much since all I can do is be in bed. He thinks its ' you again and this thing'. He thinks its mind over matter. He says he has stressful situations too but its mind over matter. I'm trying to tell him it's not always that easy.
So I feel lost. Very lost. I pray but mostly to ask God why and just to ask for strength. My most frequent prayer are just the words : " Lord give me strength " or just " Help me Lord". I reached out online to betterhelp and began feeling motivated for the first time in a long time and even though they offered a partial discount I couldn't continue since finances wouldn't afford me.
I dont think I'm suicidal, especially because of my faith, but I have caught myself thinking that persons might empathize more and understand more if I were hospitalized for some reason and I know that's not a good thought.
My son is going for regional exams soon. I need to be there for him. This job that I adding to my turmoil I need the money from it but I also need the time to help my son prepare and sometimes I work until 11pm or later. In the past I could start a business from thin air, but quitting now and doing that feels impossible because I have to drag myself. Its getting to my hubby. My sons are noticing. My big son started making it his business to make me smile and giving me hugs and kisses and my two year old keeps coming in the bedroom to pull me off the bed 'Tum off de bed mommy' he would say. They stir me on but it's not fair to them to.
So.. that's where I am right now. The task of the day since I'm home alone is to get enough will power to remember to eat, remember to shower and to push myself out of the house for some fresh air.

September, 6 2019 at 10:31 pm

Hi Rachel,
Thank you so much for sharing your story and reaching out. You have quite a bit on your plate. I understand the stress of being a working mom. I was once told that to be able to take care of your children, you have to take care of yourself first. I know this is absolutely true in my own life.
It's great that you recognize your need for help, and I'm sorry your husband doesn't always understand. I have had the same psychiatrist for 12 years now, and one of the best things he has done for me is meeting with my family after I was first diagnosed. That way my family got the facts from a medical professional and knew how to better support me. That really helped us a lot. Maybe at some point you could do something similar with your family.
I'm not sure where you are located, but if finances are an issue you could contact a community mental health center. They usually offer both psychiatric services as well as counseling on a sliding scale.
Keep reaching out. Don't stop. Don't give up. You deserve to feel well.
Take care,

Toni G
September, 28 2019 at 10:41 am

To all who have posted on this blog, I feel blessed since many of u were molested as a child and I wasn't. Depression and anxiety were rampant on my maternal side of the family. I suffered my first bought shortly after I gave birth to my first & only child, a son who is a blessing. I was admitted to a psychiatric facility for a month and what I know now that I didn't know then, was that I was misdiagnosed. I actually had postpartum depression. I've been on multiple antidepressants & anti-anxiety medication sincev then. I eventually returned to work but in August 2013, I began to have severe anxiety and depression. I've been under the care of a psychiatric and psychologist since then. At the beginning, I had quasi-agoraphobia. My dear maternal grandmother passed in 2005, my dear mother in 2008, my brother-in-law in 2009 (suicide), my father in 2010, my husband's best friend of over 30 years in 2011 , my nephew on my husband's side in 2012 (suicide) and my mother-in-law in 2013. In August 2013, I went out on disability and never really returned to work, so in March 2014, I was forced to give up a 42 year career. I went on long-term disability. Money became tight and it took over 2 years to go before a Social Security Judge and won my case. Unfortunately all back pay went to my long term health insurer. Money became tighter and weh had no choice but to sell our beloved home of 21 years. Between 11/16 & 4/17, we moved twice. Forgot to mention that one sibling has not spoken to me since my mother's funeral in 2008. One sister who also had not spoken with me since then moved in with my husband and me in summer 2014 and remains with us to this day. We don't get along. That left one sister with whom I had a great relationship but that ended with differences in politics a year ago. During these traumas, I've had my share of severe depression wherein I couldn't get off my couch for a week. They left just as quickly as they came. About 2 weeks ago, severe malaise, lack of initiative/motivation came over me literally from one day to the next. The odd thing is that I wasn't depressed in the traditional sense. I simply have done nothing but lie on my couch for 6 days now. I went to my primary care physician von 9/16 and he ran a battery of blood tests, all negative except my B12 level is twice the norm, thanks to him and my neurologist who told me to take supplements. Neuro knew I was taking them. My PCP wanted me to see a rheumatologist because I have symptoms of Sjojerns disorder characterized by extreme fatigue/dry mouth and dry eye). I see the neurologist on Monday mainly to get written results of two MRIs in which incidentally a cavernoma was discovered in my cavernoma. My beloved son had previously been diagnosed with frontal lobe epilepsy, asymptomatic since on RX. The cavernoma is apparently no cause for concern but I want rheumotologist to see MRI results as well as nerve conduction on my legs (negative) so he doesn't think I have MS. That would have shown up on the 2 MRIs. I'm hoping he can explain my mouth dryness as well as why I haven't been able to get off my couch for 6 days and by time I see him on Tuesday it will have been 9 days. I want nobody telling me it's depression because that's always their fall back position. My therapist did tell me there are 2 major categories of depression: traditional & anahadonia, the latter of which he believes I'm currently experiencing. I emailed my psychiatrist 4 days ago but no response. I forgot to mention I'm 63 years old. Thank you for letting me vent. I will keep all of you in my prayers as I hope you'll do for me. Many blessings

November, 28 2019 at 9:42 pm

Hi...I happened on this site cause from the pain in my heart. The issues like dominos remind me of co=ptsd...trauma that seems to occur back to back without ever catching a break. I can't recall a time when someone wasn't using me sexually but I was young,my cousin(my age) my unc,my sdad,my youth pastor,neighbors,husbands,bosses....i never knew there was a normal life,I thought everyone lived the way we did. My friend in school,I was a ghostwriter for her,wrote about pedophilia,it was my story.I asked her if she knew...why didn't she tell someone.She said to me everyone in the neighborhood knew,but it was so common and it happened in many homes,no one cared. I'm over 60 now ,my life has never been normal -whatever that is- I was diagnosed improperly by Drs who wouldn't listen,however,after many yrs. and a medical workup by Drs who didn't know me,found I had hyperthyroidism,hyperparathyroidism I wasn't crazy ...Being diagnosed with co-ptsd is not saying I'm crazy it says someone who could have listened didn't..all they did was label though I was guilty of responding to my feelings.
I wish we all find the freedom from emotional truly can paralyze a person.

November, 29 2019 at 5:09 pm

Hi Peabody, I'm so sorry to hear that you suffered for so long without answers or understanding, but I'm glad you're starting to recover from all of your emotional pain. May we all find the freedom you speak of, and just know people on this site truly understand <3

sandra McGarrity
January, 20 2021 at 9:08 pm

Quit the job. Find one you like. Leave the pastor.
Yes, this sounds cut and dried but I understand the situation. I have been there. The church hired the pastor not his wife. You are not receiving a salary. You do not owe them every drop of yourself. If you want to stay with him, tell him in no uncertain terms that you are not going to "buck up" and be at the beck and call of every person who wishes you to be. A true servant, serves when, where, and how she is certain in her heart that God is telling her to, not at the whim of people. God wants you to know that you are enough.

June, 28 2019 at 4:42 am

I too suffer from depression. I’m 31 with two children and many days I don’t want to do anything, hell i don’t even want to be a mother. It’s extremely hard to care for my kids a lot of times because of this. I barely work right due to depression. The craziest thing is when I was being raped, I didn’t really have the depression it wasn’t until I turned 16 and the rape stopped that depression really kicked in. Ironic right! I barely graduated high school, which before high school I was a straight A student. I’ve gone to 2 colleges and have yet to complete a semester. I’ve tried 2 technical schools and have yet to complete it. I came close, 3 months from graduation and all hell broke loose in my life. As a child I remember how fearless I was, with an imagination out of this world. The stories I would be able to create were like movies but I cannot write anymore. Everyone tells me to write I can’t I've tried multiple times. I started a book can’t finish it. I’ve written excerpts, poems and short stories all incomplete. The depression I suffer from cause anger, and makes me irritable to the point no ones wants to be around me. A lot of the times I don’t even understand the emotional shift. One big factor to the cause of depression is that I can only remember the bad in my life, can’t really remember to many good things. But what does help is my children. I feel like even though my children may be better off with another mom, god placed them in my life to help me through. No matter how much I don’t want to , or don’t feel like it I always make sure they are in good health.

July, 3 2019 at 4:14 pm

I admire you greatly for telling us how you feel. The abuse in your life can affect you in ways that seem totally nonsensical. I would urge you to seek counseling to try and "right the ship." None of us, NONE OF US, can overcome this type of trauma alone. There are people out there who can help ease the pain so that you can get on with you and your children's lives. Please reach out and take someone's hand.

John watts
July, 8 2019 at 8:56 pm

I am a 53yr male and have absolutely no comprehension how you suffered in your younger life apart from what you stated in your blog!
To the point Taishi.
You have two children that rely unconditionally and without thought there mothers strong arm! You need to be there to show them the right path?! There’s no guarantee they will stay on it but at lest you pointed them in the right direction! As a parent that’s best we can do!
Many of us will take our pain to our grave! lets make sure our children don’t?! 🌹

June, 17 2019 at 5:47 am

I've been dealing with it my entire life and I'm at the point where I feel like ending everything maybe the best option. Life has become unbearable. It doesn't help when you're misunderstood by everyone around you especially your family. They spend quite a bit of time berating me and comparing me to people who don't have depression. I wish I could be like them, but some days I literally don't get out of bed, others it takes me hours. The worst part about my depression is that I lack the trust in any Mental Health institution after the trauma that they have caused in my life. I blame my parents for it which makes it worse also. When I was 2 years old I was molested by a babysitter hired by my parents, and that became my first memory. After that my parents immediately sent me to therapy which is where my problems began. A child that young being in therapy is horrible for development, I was constantly looking at myself as different and not in a good way from everybody else. This all lead to problems at home, I would vent my frustration with rage towards my parents. They eventually sent me against my will to a " residential treatment" brainwashing facility in Utah which scarred me further and left me with the PTSD. All of these horrible experiences with treatment have made all the harder to better myself. I honestly don't even know what to do anymore, I just feel alone, lost, destined for suicide.

June, 17 2019 at 4:54 pm

I'm so sorry you're feeling that way Max. If you don't feel safe, please know you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, or if you're like me and much prefer talking about this stuff on the computer, they have a chat option on their website: It sounds like you've been through a lot of trauma, I'm so sorry. I know that can feel impossible to deal with, especially when family members insist on comparing us to people without mental illness. It takes me forever to get out of bed too, I get how awful that can make you feel about yourself, especially when everyone is judging you for it. I'm working on setting up some boundaries within my family so that they have fewer opportunities to criticize me and I can feel a bit better about myself. Maybe that would help you too? It's easier said than done though, I know.

June, 20 2019 at 9:23 pm

Hey, Max. Know you are not alone! I’m not sure if your age but I will say, it can get easier. I’ve struggled with life-long anxiety, debilitating panic disorder, childhood adhd, and depression. I struggle most days to peel myself out of bed but I now have a young toddler and dogs that rely on me. Take it one step at a time each day. I keep coffee cans by my bed and force myself I to the shower and make myself go outside everyday. If you need a friend, a stranger on the internet is more than willing to be a pen pal. Best wishes.

August, 10 2019 at 10:47 am

You are not alone.. However i understand how you may feel this way, because i often feel alone too. What i have learned during my treatment history, is that it isn't therapy that made any change, it is people. Such people i have never met in my day-to-day life, so i felt totally isolated with what i am going through. Yet i met them in therapy places and now i meet them here. I noticed how many others feel the way i do. My society is very success-oriented and if you're not at your best you become a loser in their eyes, also i don't have family. This made me realise one thing, people who struggle like we do are actually incredibly strong. We fight not only regular life battles but also misconceptions and inner war with depression. Having it all on shoulders it is way easier to be overwhelmed. Don't be hard on yourself, you have no reason to be, and try to learn to not give a sh*t about what others think about you, they can't know. Your priority is you, and at this moment you and your comfort is all that matters. Praise yourself for even smallest victories and don't ever compare yourself to others. Easier said than done, but it can really put a person down when you use same measure for yourself and people in completely different situation. Also your measurements will be false. Lot of your victories happen below the surface when going through another day. This is big and brave and meaningful. If you ever want to talk - i am here for you, don't hesitate to write :)

June, 11 2019 at 2:25 pm

You stated in this article regarding laziness, "They may be motivated just fine, they simply don’t want to exert themselves in any way"
That statement is incorrect.
To truly understand something, be it motivation or depression, a person has to comprehend the experience of it, what it "feels" like to be motivated, or lazy, or depressed, etc. Understanding the state of "motivation" requires the awareness to perceive the psychological - mental - physical state when motivated, to comprehend it. The same goes for anything like depression, laziness etc.
Having said that, a person who is lazy is not motivated. They cannot be because motivation creates a state of mind and emotion to be "in movement". The word "motivation" is from a Latin term "motivus" which means, “a moving cause”.
Laziness is not a moving cause, it is an "idle cause", to be idle and in idleness there is the absence of motivation to have your life be in any movement.
Laziness is also the result of not wanting to be involved in anything or in something. It is the desire to be exempt from "responsibility" To motivate and do, requires the personal "responsibility" of doing it, so there are more things involved to being lazy (idle).
This is why when you said in regards to laziness, "They may be motivated just fine ..." was incorrect.

August, 10 2019 at 5:35 am

Good lord... I think the point was so that the people who are depressed and reading this feel better about themselves & realize that they in fact AREN’T lazy, they are just depressed & without motivation & laziness is something completely different. But I appreciate you clearing that up. So anyone who is unmotivated & can’t possibly bring themselves to complete any daily task due to depression is DEFINITELY LAZY. 🙄

August, 20 2019 at 6:03 pm

I agree with Mark. Laziness is being without motivation to work, move, or use energy, whether due to mental illness or otherwise, but we do get that you are trying to make those of us who suffer from depression feel better. Please don't ignore that people with depression can also be lazy (your definition). It is important not to make these types of claims unless they are entirely true because a lot of us might end up tossing the whole thing into our "positive BS propaganda" pile and miss the truly helpful information you have provided. Thanks.

June, 10 2019 at 9:19 am

I'm 35 years old.. a single mom. Also experiencing depression. I'm currently working but I want to find a new job. Because I'm not motivated anymore with my current job because I'm already bored. I want to find a new job near my place to avoid traffic but I can't land a new job. I'd been rejected. I don't know if I should consider working to another city which is very far from my home. I have stomach problems.. I have irritable bowel syndrome.. I am worried if i'm stuck in traffic and suddenly I have stomache.
I actually don't know what to do now. I'm depressed, no friends to talk with..
I want to travel but my I can't afford.
I want to forget my problems..
I want to be someone else...

June, 17 2019 at 4:57 pm

Drew, that isolation sounds incredibly depressing, I'm sorry you're in that situation. I completely understand getting bored with the job and not feeling motivated and looking for other options. Do you think you would benefit from meeting with your boss at your current job to ask for more responsibility or just a wider variety of tasks? As for the isolation, I know when I feel isolated, especially by my mental illness, I reach out to online forums. That might be a source of community that makes you feel a little less alone? Sorry, I don't mean to try to "fix" everything, I totally get how crushing it is to wish you were someone else, anyone else, and I'm just sorry you're going through that.

May, 30 2019 at 8:18 pm

It eats at you, each and every task I fail to perform is a new failure that piles on with the rest and makes me feel like there is no point to anything. If failure is the end result anyway why bother trying? Each person I let down or disappointment is just another confirmation that I’m worthless.

June, 17 2019 at 5:00 pm

Ugh, Rebecca, I completely get this feeling. It totally paralyzes me some days, leaving me unable to do anything, productive or otherwise. I'm so sorry you experience this too, but I suppose it's nice that we're not alone? I haven't really figured out a way to beat back this awful feeling, but if I do, I'll leave a comment for sure. Good luck, and know you have a friend out there feeling the same way.

May, 20 2019 at 5:10 am

I feel like each year the issues and complexity of my unhappiness get even more so. As if living each day is damaging. I struggle to find anything interesting especially now I’m taking antidepressants I feel like they are making me worse. I keep paying my gym membership in hopes I start to go again I don’t like the gym but what else is there to do as an adult. I know I “myself” limit my own life “myself” and live in a box that’s comfortable but not challenging and I do literally nothing in fact my favourite past time is to sit and feel the anxiety run through me observing each thought and attempting to construct a more positive one. I feel like it is the lack of friends situation because I don’t want to hang out or make friends because I don’t want the depressing thoughts to get a voice but just keep them in a book or my mind or a random website like this one to have a long winded rant that no one will be bothered to read as we all lack motivation. I don’t know if this helps but I think I have a tiny bit of dark humour amongst it that makes me feel a little better.

May, 20 2019 at 10:42 am

Dark humor definitely helps, at least for me, and I'm glad you have a spark of humor to help you cope too, no matter how dark. I'm sorry it feels like your unhappiness just keeps increasing, that is an awful way to feel. Have you given therapy a shot? It's a lot of work, and can be pricey depending on your insurance and country/state, but I've found that I'm just not in a place where I can improve myself without the help of a professional, and I think a lot of other people are the same way.

June, 13 2019 at 5:25 am

I read this and completely understood every bit of this and it somewhat scared me.I can’t believe I’m replying to this. The dark humor part made me laugh because it’s true it do make you feel a little better. (strange) is it? Just wanted to say I think what you’re going thru has to be part of growth. That’s what I tell myself. Something great has to be ahead ,this is the solving part to an answer that’s being seek ....keep solving! 🙂 Someone gets you

May, 9 2019 at 2:21 pm

Thank you to all of you who are able to so nicely put into words what we are feeling. As much as I wish no one had to feel this way, I take a small comfort in knowing that out there there are others who can understand me.

May, 9 2019 at 8:43 am

I have been depressed for years for what seems like no reason at all and my life has been getting worse each year because of it, now it is a struggle to do things to change my mood as the anxiety it brings puts me into an instinct to run away from everything. Rarely they are days without anxiety where I feel numb or even rarer, happy or excited but because I am not used to these emotions it gives me a massive migraine which ruins my sex drive which leads to being depressed again. I have recently started going to therapy after 10 years of suffering and the therapy is the let down I was expecting... it seems that my lower expectations of life keep becoming more and more true, I do not want to kill myself I just want to no longer exist. my fantasy is to swap lives with people and has been since I was a child as if no one else has problems. my mind is in constant turmoil as I have no clear beliefs either, I think too much about differing views that I no longer feel like a person but more like a spectator of the world where nothing is set in stone.

May, 14 2019 at 1:09 pm

Wow, John, I'm so sorry you've had such a rough time for so long. I can relate to the feeling you described, the not wanting to die, just wanting to be someone else, anyone else. It's such a lonely way to feel, and I'm sorry you're going through that. I'm also so sorry therapy was a let down. I'm a big therapy person, so can I ask how long you've been going? I know it can be awkward and difficult at first, and that can make it feel like it's not helping at all, when in reality, it can make a huge difference given some time (and the right therapist...I've definitely had a few that just didn't work for me, which might be the case for you as well).

May, 29 2019 at 11:28 pm

I know exactly how u a walking matter what I do I feel the same way every day....there's nothing to laugh's that feeling of being detached from myself....I can't flick a switch so life is great again....very peace of mind.....each day feels like the same....

March, 27 2019 at 7:14 pm

Ive never thought of myself as being depressed, in fact in my social life i maintain the outward appearance of being happy, its exhausting. I'm an artist and as an artist its hard to get long term jobs. Me and my partner have recently engaged, i want a house and a life with him but i just feel its an insurmountable achievement. I always feel as if im letting him down with what feels like laziness.. but realistically i want nothing more than to work all the time and give him everything he deserves. I hate myself most of the time and i hate these moments inbetween where i feel I'm messing up.

Bhuvi Kumar
March, 4 2019 at 11:13 pm

I am struggling with my financial problems and depression too, all these things make the situation worse around me, I want to quit my job and go home then start my career again but financially I am not allowed to do that, I want to do a lot of new things but every time what I feel is only that I can't do, I don't know how to make things better even after reading this.

January, 14 2019 at 10:04 pm

It feels impossible.
I've suffered from severe anxiety and chronic depression my entire life (even through my whole childhood. I've never had things get easier.
A tip on how debilitating this can be: I am a very intelligent and creative person. I'm an inventor and a writer. I have designed million dollar inventions on paper. Anxiety and depression make it impossible (so far) to actually get my idea off the ground. So I sit (or hide in bed) and watch people eventually invent my ideas and make millions, which of course fuels my depression.
My writing is depressing. I have wrote the beginning to over twenty different novels. Can't finish them. I just can't. It's depressing.
What's worse is the crippling anxiety. Talking to people is a freaking nightmare. People never understand me, and usually always misinterpret what I say.
I just don't know what to do to get the motivation or determination to actually finish something. I have bad acid reflux and irritable bowel, and other things that make it for difficult to take any meds.
I'm so tired of feeling like I'm worthless.
I'm so tired of feeling sad.
I'm so tired of feeling angry.
I'm so tired of being called lazy.
I'm so tired of not finishing what I start.
Most of all, I'm so tired of being so tired all the time.
The physical pain I feel from the depression, the headaches, chest pains, tiredness, fear, anxiety... It's just so much.
I wonder why I was born broken.
I wonder why I was born tainted.
I wonder why I was born unlucky.
Most of all, I wonder why I was born at all.
Nobody cares. Nobody understands. Nobody wants me. Nobody needs me. The world wouldn't notice of I died. Nobody would care (except my daughter, which is my sole reason for living).
In this imperfect world I'm about as imperfect as it gets. But that doesn't have to be bad. I see things differently. I understand things differently. I have much more compassion in me than I see in others. It gets dimmer every day, but it's there.
I don't know where life is going to take me.
I don't know if life will get better.
But the reason I have not and will not kill myself no matter how bad it gets (and it gets so bad), is a few little things I've learned.
1. It can always be worse. Try to tell yourself that when things get bad. It could be worse. And because it could be worse, that makes things seem not so bad.
2. Find something small to cling to, no matter how trivial or stupid. Even just buy a lottery ticket. The hope of winning could just be enough to keep you alive.
3. Try a coloring book. It feels good to finish coloring a picture. It's not much, but any good feelings can have a long lasting positive effect. This is part of setting small goals.
Anyways, I've gone on long enough.
Reading everyone's comments inspired me to contribute whatever this is I'm writing.
To everyone who suffers, please live long and prosper. :)

May, 7 2019 at 8:55 am

I feel your pain, can relate to it. You can speak to me, you are not alone.
Just email me link of this page, while writing to me.
Best regards,

May, 21 2019 at 2:39 pm

Thanks for reaching out Kohra, but just as a reminder, it's not always a great idea to put your email out in the open. You are more than welcome to leave your email in your comment, but for safety reasons, you may want to remove it. It's up to you.

May, 9 2019 at 2:17 pm

I feel myself in a similar position as you in terms of mental health. Although, I am 23 years old but what's written pretty much sums up my feelings as well. A lot of times, I have excellent ideas but I just don't want to start them, or even if I have started them, I would rather imagine myself doing them/thinking about them than actually doing them. I am final year undergraduate and my habit to not do anything has now gotten in the way of my grades. I would often think about how to solve a problem in the assignment, call it a victory and not submit them. Then, 4 days later, it would hit me that I need decent grades to pass, so I would submit them with late penalty. My social life has become messed up too but I party blame my pornographic addiction for this. I could never figure what exactly is the truth. The only way I now get some of the things done is by zoning myself into doing them. I just numb myself out and start doing things I am supposed to do. This way is working out for me although it kills the creative mind slighly because I don't allow my mind to wander.
This is my story, and I feel a bit relaxed to know that I am not alone. So, please do let me know if you have/discover something helpful to get out of this mindset.
Also, while writing this, I feel that maybe I am just writing this to get attention and I crave for it. Like I am just trying to let people feel sorry for me in a certain sense. So, do let me know if you relate to the last part as well.

May, 14 2019 at 1:14 pm

Rahul, I totally get you on the whole writing a comment to feel less alone thing. I am desperate for external validation, so I definitely do the same thing, and I'm learning that that can be okay. I don't feel sorry for you in a pitying way, but I am sorry you're experiencing this. I'm sorry in a camaraderie sort of way, like I get it and I'm sorry you're in this place too. I definitely also numb myself out in order to get work done, which really sucks, but I'm in therapy looking for better ways to cope without having to feel numb. What about you? Have you given therapy a try? I know it's hard for a lot of people, but I've been in therapy for 6 years now, and it has helped a lot, even though I'm by no means "cured" or anything.

May, 28 2019 at 8:51 pm

I have just come across your post from January. I hope you are in a happier space than you were back then. You are very brave to share so openly. I admire your courage. Hold on to the pleasure of completing the coloring in. Enjoy the colors. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the finished product - perhaps even display the pictures when each is complete. I imagine you coloring and being engaged in doing so. There is a real positive in this for you. I venture to suggest that you may be able to feel some gratitude and feel some appreciation for the coloring. Gratitude for the colors. Gratitude for the coloring. Might there be another way to bring colors into your home? This is your anchor to the positive. You describe yourself as tainted. Please be kinder to yourself. If you had another organ, perhaps your spleen, that wasn't working properly you would not judge it in the same harsh way. We have brains that do things differently chemically. Please be tender with yourself. You deserve that.
Having just found this link to HealthyPlace while looking for support to get myself out of despair I encourage you to keep 'talking' with your fingers on the keyboard. The end of your post included suggestions to others and a positive message. That was a major plus for me and likely to others as well.
Like you I have had life-long struggles with depression and anxiety but have made it to 67 years of age. Reading your shared thoughts produced a wave of empathy and I immediately wanted to send you some thoughts. My energy has come up a little so that I actually think I can tackle doing the dishes now. That is a tiny miracle in itself. Thank you for your part in that! Look after yourself TJR!

August, 9 2018 at 7:20 pm

I'm 15 and have no motivation to do my favorite things anymore. I try to force myself to do things but than I don't like them anymore. I can't even watch any of my favorite movies or play on my new phone. I just sit on bed and watch the clock. School will be starting back up soon and than I'm gonna have to fake a smile so counselors don't drug me up on medication... I don't know what do anymore and tbh this article hasn't helped... I tried to reach out to friends and family because I don't feel like myself anymore, i never feel like doing the things I love and they believe its just a phase I'm going through but it's been 3 years now... And as much as i dont believe it or want to admit to it, ive had depression for the past 8 years. I got it when i was 7... I'm just so lost...

Anna Beth
April, 28 2019 at 10:41 pm

My depression started in high school so I understand. I had a wonderful life on one hand but was bullied on the other hand. Have you considered therapy? I find that talking to someone helps. I also found solace in just a little bit of mild medication.
As for motivation, I’m in the same boat. I have no motivation. My house is a mess and I don’t care. My parents pay my bills. I don’t work hard to find a job. Nothing interests me. I have no hobbies. I understand feeling lost. I’m just wondering around a messy house. I do love my dog. Having him helps. I have a wonderful family. I don’t know what I’d do with out them.
Anyway, back to you. You’ve got big things coming up in your life. You’ll be driving soon! Then graduation, then college. Do you have a friend you can talk to? Do you have anything you like to do? Bury yourself in that sometimes. It helps. I hope things get better for you! Feel free to email me to talk anytime.

Anna Beth
April, 28 2019 at 10:46 pm

Have you considered going to therapy? I, too have had depression since my teens. I would also consider a very mild, light medication. This is suppose to be the time of your life! You’ll be driving soon! You have a lot to look forward to!

August, 9 2018 at 7:17 pm

Okay, I've never talked to anyone about my lack of motivation... Or well, i've tried but they didn't listen... I'm 15 and have no motivation to do my favorite things anymore. I try to force myself to do things but than I don't like them anymore. I can't even watch any of my favorite movies or play on my new phone. I just sit on bed and watch the clock. School will be starting back up soon and than I'm gonna have to fake a smile so counselors don't drug me up on medication... I don't know what do anymore and tbh this article hasn't helped... I tried to reach out to friends and family because I don't feel like myself anymore, i never feel like doing the things I love and they believe its just a phase I'm going through but it's been 3 years now... I'm just so lost...

July, 15 2018 at 1:39 pm

I'm back. I just poked around other sites similar topic. I don't think this is taken seriously. Pulling my bootstraps and holding my head high, one day at a time, is incredibly dismissive. I'm clearly not matching the, oh I don't wanna 's, but, maybe I over think, duh, but maybe is a look see? My guy woke up, and I'm still put. Couch station, I clearly have anomosity bout it, if I had money, would I be cool with doing nothing, even celebrate couch station? Maybe since it hasn't happened mutually, answer is proly no. Pffsttft, I'm back to kicking my own ask, and, if someone really decifer s this, I'll be surprised, not astonished, r shocked, but, pleasantly, perhaps, surprised.

July, 15 2018 at 12:24 pm

I don't know if this site is active, nor how to use it, but I suppose it's me being my own therapy. I loving ly, refer to big Traci, oh well, I said my name, ew to b escared of it. Anyway, point being, am I capable of finding assistance talking to myself, u bet ur ankle I am. This is the meat of it, why can't I make this batter into cake? Heavy sigh.

July, 15 2018 at 12:09 pm

I stumbled on this site. I'm feeling desperate, reckon. I can't figure out remedy for how I feel. I'm able to due the basic, and at times, am propelled into keeping everything afloat. I drink, cuz, I appreciate the respite, although, when I don't, I appreciate the relief of shame pressure. I'm medication daily, no antidepressants, r the like, as I know my self, and I've felt not like this, I explore this inner world, 24 7. For most of my adult life, I'm 52, stopped getting blood 2 yrs now, I know is a player, also don't consider this mental illness, on the contrary, I have never been more insightful. That said, I have no money, I've 3 awesome children, an animal family that keeps me somewhat focused, and my love, of my,life. But, alas, every flipping day, I watch drift by, I live by, tomorrow is a new day. It's helpful to hear other such plight.I'm not jaded, I have lived a consciouslyrics energetic life, for decades, I always come back to, this has importance I'm not aware of, since I have been here, with apathy, for 5 fat years. I'm hoping someone has a gem to get me thru the day. I managed to write all this, why didn't I do the dishes, metaphorically speaking.

Monée Kidd
May, 22 2018 at 4:11 pm

To me, this doesn't work. Thinking about my job, if I come in and look at the 20 things on my desk, and perhaps I have the strength to tackle five things (good day). So when I leave work, there are 15 things to do. But my work never stops. When I come in to work the next day, now there are 10 new things added to my work load - so now I'm up to 25 things. And maybe 2 of those things are critical/urgent -- and, and, and... it's a never ending spiral.

May, 3 2018 at 7:14 pm

Thank you such a amazing site I was having a breakdown and almost lost it I’m completely lost again I have no motivation for life and it’s starting to scare me again

Frankie Smith
April, 19 2018 at 3:10 am

I agree 100% about breaking things down into small amounts. I've suffered from depression most of my adult life and have I've found two really good ways to get things done.
1) Negotiate with yourself to do a stupidly tiny amount. Say the garden needs tidying. You look out the window and feel overwhelmed. No way can you tackle it. So - look at one weed. Say, okay, today I will go and pull out that one weed and come back in again. That seems do-able, so you go outside. You pull your one weed. Now you can go back indoors. But guess what? Ten minutes, even twenty minutes later you find you're still pulling weeds. Something has been triggered in you by pulling that one weed and more becomes possible. It was the getting started that was the problem. The mental belief that you couldn't do it. Try not to say 'what's the point of pulling one weed?', or washing one dish, etc. Just 'feel the apathy and do it anyway'. One weed, one dish... Laugh at yourself if you can. Be silly. Be defiant! Wash one sock! If you can't face going to the shops, just put on your shoes and sit back down again, (but sheer habit will probably take over once you've got that far and you'll grab your bag and your keys and head for the door).
2) Give up. You need to do something but everything in you says you can't do it. This sets up a huge amount of resistence. You can neither do the thing nor feel okay about not doing it. When you say, okay, I'm letting myself off the hook here. I'm not going to do it. Not today, anyway. This releases the resistence. Then forget about it. Often, as if all you needed was for someone to say 'it's okay if you can't', even if you have to say it to yourself. Once you have permission not to, you'll often find that later in the day you suddenly feel you can do it after all.
Hope some of this helps anyone else who happens along.

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