Lack of Motivation Due to Depression Makes Recovery Hard
One of the most difficult symptoms of depression is a lack of motivation. It's not that we don't want to feel better, we just lack the physical motivation to move and the emotional motivation to care if we move. Everything seems so difficult. Everything except staying under a warm blanket, hand on the remote, doing nothing, thinking nothing, feeling nothing. Depression and sleep always seem to go together, but laziness is not the cause of the lack of motivation depression brings.
I feel unmotivated right now. I'm in my trackies and slippers, a warm blanket wrapped around my legs. The TV is on and I've got a zombie movie playing in the background. My motivation levels are extremely low. I just want to sleep. I slept yesterday. At midday, I quit watching TV and went back to bed. I slept for another few hours.
When I woke up, I didn't want to do anything. But I did. I got out of bed, dragged the vacuum out of the closet and cleaned the floors. I didn't want to, but I did it.
I feel like going back to bed right now - feeling much like I did yesterday. The one thing I am motivated to do today is write this blog.
Depression Zaps Your Motivation
And I guess that's the point - the way to get motivated, even just a little bit, is to commit to doing something. Just one thing - and make sure that you do it. It doesn't have to be much -clean the sink, make a phone call, walk the dog, walk to the kitchen, fold some laundry, dust something, play an instrument, play solitaire, write a grocery list, write a poem. It doesn't have to be much.
Doing that one thing can give you a sense of accomplishment. However small your sense of accomplishment, be proud. If you can, build upon it. Do another small thing (Steps To Self-Care For Depression). If you can't, that's okay too. For now, for today, you motivated yourself to do one thing. And for that, you should be proud.
Photo by Graur Codrin courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Scott, L. (2014, March 2). Lack of Motivation Due to Depression Makes Recovery Hard, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, March 2 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2014/03/depression-and-motivation
Author: Liana M. Scott
I actually got out of bed today and did the dishes.
I'm proud of that. Maybe tomorrow I'll do some laundry...Who knows.
Hey Armand. You did more than that! You read my blog and you posted a comment! You should be very proud, indeed. Hugs.
I'm kind of bummed, this is the first day in over a week that I felt like just laying around in bed and doing nothing. I don't want to slip back into my old ways. As of two weeks ago, I had to get back on meds for anxiety and depression. I have absolutely no motivation and I hope that I can change that. I guess I did manage to do some laundry, but in the grand scheme of things that seems lame. This winter has not helped things. Come on spring!!!
Hi Dan. I'm from southern Ontario so I know about the bad winter! And it is so draining!! I encourage you to read my blog from last week as well about how laughter can really help. And, I really hope you're not beating yourself up about getting back on meds. Remember, depression is an illness that needs to be treated. Kudos to you for getting that treatment. Laundry is not lame! You did something and you should be proud of that. Come on spring, indeed!!!
There was a time that if I got a shower, it was a big deal.
Hi Pam. How does that time compare to now?
it was helpful for me to see this today. i've been feeling so tired and unmotivated. today i washed my hair, went for 2 walks, wrote in my journal and did a little art. i had to really push myself. thanks for your help.
Hi Jennifer. I am SO glad that you found this helpful. It is my greatest wish that my blog and the whole of the HealthyPlace.com community reaches people in need. It sounds like you pushed yourself a lot! Good on ya! :-)
I feel like that everyday but as a law student I have to get out of bed get my kids ready to leave then leave myself and everyday its a struggle I wish and hope everyday that the morning wont come so I wouldn't have to move sometimes the only thing that gets me out of the bed is my husbands nagging lol im glad to know im not the only one going through this but I am proud that I made it through my first week of lectures and on time everyday even if it was really hard
Hi Rhiannon. WOW! You're doing so well. You deserve to be proud, for sure!
I have been struggling with this for the past couple of years and it has become progressively worse. I get up and go to work but that's about it.
Not so long ago, I was a happy homemaker, loved to cook and entertain. Took pride in my home, family and friends.
I gave up after some very sad things happened in my life. (which I am dealing with through Alanon). However, things are so out of control, I don't know where to begin. I do not have the motivation to do anything about the things that are bugging me, so I sleep. It has to get better.
Hi Wendy. I'm glad you're getting support through Alanon. Have you sought treatment for your depression and for the things that are out of control? I can say that it won't get better on it's own.
Very helpful words. Must have resonated with me because this is the first time I have responded to a blog. I'm 72 years old and still have to push myself to do things. Haven't mastered daily showers for a while, but manage an early walk five mornings a week before collapsing in a heap.
Hi Bev. I'm honored that you took the time to post your comment. Sounds like you have been battling depression for a very long time. The walk is definitely great. Is there anything else you are doing to cope with your depression? Treatments?
I so know this feeling. I have found flylady.net helpful. I have my routines in morning and night. Laying my clothes out night before is really helpful for me.
Hi Betty. Thanks for sharing your tips.
If I didn't have to go in to work, I don't think I would do more than stay in bed....many nights never making it into pajamas..this is how it has been for so long I know nothing else..but gone are the darkest days of having no emotions or waking up and wishing the day was over...
Hi RieRie. I hope you're getting some treatment for your depression. The fact that you're going to work every day is great. Most of us can't get OUT of our pajamas and here you can't get out of your work clothes. I'm glad the darkest of your days are behind you.
Thx for your blog. It easy to sink oneself, Easy to slide the pit especially if you are receiiving treatment. It stinks to fight.with this when you doing what you can ...nada
Despite all this, I get up. Maybe I only get to the bathroom and back but I
At least I did something even opening my eyes is something.
Thx for being there, I feel less alone.
Hi Cathy. Doing your one thing is amazing. Try building upon the one thing... go to the bathroom, then go to the kitchen and make some tea. Start small. You're not alone.
This made me not feel so alone. I beat myself up when I lay in bed or on the couch. Weekends are the hardest. I do try to do one thing each day. But I always look back to when I can sleep. It's a struggle. Thankful I live in so. Ca. But then it's the opposite of your cold areas. When it's sunny and beautiful I feel guilty for wanting to stay inside.
I have been feeling really low lately, I lost my dog a couple of weeks ago, & since then have been struggling. I really do try to motivate myself, it's a real effort sometimes because that's all I want to do is hide under the duvet.
Hi Helen. I am SO SORRY for your loss. I know the depth of despair that can cause. Go easy on yourself. Peak out from under your duvet, if you can. Try to do one little thing. When I had to put my pet down a few years ago, the one thing I did was went online and gave a few bucks to an animal charity in my dog's name. Helped a lot.
I really needed this today- thanks!
Hi Michelle. You're welcome. I hope you're feeling better.
I was relieved to read this blog. Lack of motivation has been the greatest symptom of depression I have been experiencing. I do one thing a day like you encourage readers to do. I have found that reaching out to trusted friends, who understand depression and don't judge me, and spend time with them or text them. They help me remember it's the depression and it's not my fault. There are days when I have to pull myself out of bed because I'm so afraid of going down that slippery slope of staying in bed and sleeping all day to becoming depressed again. Thanks for sharing. It is much appreciated.
Hi Holly. Lack of motivation is a doosey! I experience so much inner-brain chatter when I'm slugging around too - "get up, do something, do ANYthing!". OY! Sounds like you have good friends. So important to have a support system. Thanks for the comments.
Thank you for your blog. It helps to know I'm not the only one that lays like a statue unable to find the strength to get up & do the smallest thing. I'm trying to get my meds adjusted & it has been a nightmare. Thank you to all who have commented too. I don't feel so all alone. #lazyinky
Hi Mary Pat. I just commented to Denise about how bad I feel for folks like u who need to figure out a veritable witches brew to help combat your depression. You're not alone. And, not sure what your hashtag means but you are NOT lazy either!
I have been there too in the past. Now I'm on Effexor for the depression I was in. It made such a difference. It really does help. I have a lot more energy. I don't feel like everything is hopeless. Before I was just existing. Now I feel very much alive. Depression just doesn't go away by itself. It has to be treated. It's like being diabetic, having high blood pressure or heart disease. You need medication to control it. You have to help yourself so that you can have a better quality of life. Life is for living not just existing!
Hi Denise. Excellent phrase - "life is for living not just existing". I'm one of the lucky ones too that has been helped by medication. I'm on Cipralex. I feel so bad for the people who aren't helped by meds or need to take a cocktail of this and that to feel some relief. It is an every day effort tho, keeping depression at bay.
I am on the other side of the debilitating depression. Have been off meds for several years but when I feel myself slipping into that "funk" I have found taking 5 HTP from the health food store really helps with enhancing my mood. I would not try it while taking anti-depressants but it gives me that little boost and has kept me off meds. Hope this helps.....And know that there is another side if you can just get there!
Hi Dana. I've just read/learned about HTP. I didn't know what it was. I've read that it should be taken with much caution. Glad ur in depression remission and that you've found something that can help stave off the dark times.
It is good to know that other people are in the same situation as me. Sometimes I feel all alone and that know one understands what I'm going through. These posts have been very helpful to me. Thank you all!
Hi Lisa. I'm so glad that these post have helped you. Funny how we all feel alone though we know that we're not. I can't imagine how people 20 or more years ago (likely less than that) got support without the internet. The internet helps make this big world a lot smaller whereby we can reach out to people and get support from people.
Thank you for your helpful blog. Motivation is a huge struggle for me. I did do a couple of things today. Maybe it is partly due to the fact that I began taking fish oil capsules high in Omega-3's and vitamin B-12. I was reading that they can help depression, especially the Omega-3, on a high enough dose. I am also on medications, but it never seems to help as much as I would like. I am always reading the latest research on the subject and found the info on Omega-3's as part of an approach to treat depression. Here is the link for anyone interested: http://psych.ku.edu/tlc/
I thought this doctor was spot on in his theories and treatment.
Hi Maureen. I tried O-3's but got the fishy burps (uck - sorry). I've seen a commercial on TV lately for a small Krill fish oil pill with no or low chance of repeating on me. May try it again. I've heard good things about it too. Thanks for the helpful information.
I had been.telling myself that yesterday was a bad day because all l did was waste time trying ( unsuccessfully)to sort out an IT problem with my lap top. But actually, l also sorted out a banking problem, and made dinner for my elderly mum, and my daughter and her fiance.
l am allowing pressure from others make me feel worse than l am, and these others don't really know diddly about depression,
what a fool l am!
Hi Caroline. You're not a fool! We try so hard to do so much for the people we love AND problems need to be resolved and you resolved them! BE PROUD! And, try to go easy on yourself.
The thing that really gets me is all of the "shoulds". When I'm in a depressive dip, my inner critic is brilliant at commenting on how I'm unable to compete "simple" tasks like taking a shower or walking the dog. Even though it isn't true, it feels like if I could just summon the willpower, I'd be able to power through the zero motivation. Thanks for this post and for sharing. I feel less alone. <3
Hi Em. Back in the day, my parents used to say "just pull your socks up and get moving". They didn't know about depression back then. My inner critic screams this at me all the time and I have to do my very best to just tell it to go sod off! You're not alone.
I can really relate to what you wrote. For the last couple of weeks I've had no motivation due to my depression. Some days I'll stay in bed for most of the day and then can't sleep at night. It can be a vicious cycle if I let it be. I like what you wrote about trying to do at least one thing. Even though I don't feel like it, I do try to accomplish at least something even if it just getting up out of bed. Something that helps me a lot during times like this is my yellow Labrador retriever. Having Kaia has been a life saver and she helps keep me moving. Thanks for a good post and share.
Hi Bob. I'm so glad my blog is something you can relate to. Having a dog is such a blessing, isn't it? I have 2 dogs, but 1 of the 2 is MY baby. They can feel our energy and know just what to do when we need it. Keep on doing that ONE thing. You'll get through.
This was all very true. I managed to get up around 1pm today and stay up. spent a little time with my son by just sitting by watching him play on the Wii, and cleaned the toilet. Most days, I've been sleeping almost the entire day. Depression literally sucks the life out of you. You have no life. My bed and sleep are my life...
I a funny way all this makes me feel normal (as I am in this group)nice to have this feeling & knowledge not soooo alone/upset/annoyed with myself Thank You Thank You Thank You
You're so welcome Loretta. Definitely not alone!
Good comment as most have stated it is great to know it is not just you, takes away the guilt and helps to accept and deal this feeling. @ Diane, I looked up Effexor to see what it was, did you know Pfizer are recalling it .....I read 'Pfizer Recalls Effexor Antidepressant
WebMD - 1 day ago
Pfizer Inc. has issued a recall for the antidepressant Effexor (venlafaxine HCI) because it may have been contaminated with a heart drug.'
Hope that helped. JC.
Hi JC. Thanks for the post and the info on Effexor.
I jst read ur blog n feeling great after knowing dat dere r many people who feel d same like me...means I can talk abt my problems wid u all.n yeah dats my biggest problem u wt mentioned here dat take a task n do it on regular basis, m like I start many things like going to gym, took admission in french classes bt never went dere.bt nw will try for sure...thanks a lot for dis blog n motivating me...
Hi Jasmine. Glad the blog has helped. You're not alone.