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Complete and total lack of motivation for anything

N

NPCharacter

New member
Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
3
Hi guys,

Straight to the point. I am currently (and have been for a while now) suffering from a complete and total lack of motivation for absolutely everything, including things I like/previously enjoyed doing. The only exceptions are mostly essential life stuff - eating, sleeping etc. Probably once or twice a week I go out with a friend or two, and that's it. The rest of my time I dump in napping/sleeping (i.e. not having to cope with everything) and constantly refreshing Facebook and YouTube in hopes of something new (I can waste my time with).

It's pointless to say that this has had an enormous negative effect on everything in my life, given I want to become something in this life (or, more accurately, I had an image of what I wanted to become in this life and recent events have destroyed that image piece by piece, hence my current situation). The biggest impact this has had is on my current college education, which ironically is both a contributor to my situation and one of the reasons I want to fix myself.

There are also many other negative things that I have come to the conclusion have led me to my current emotional situation, but I am not going to go through all of them here. Instead I would take the time to answer in detail any questions that may arise, given there is enough interest in my problem.
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
430
Location
California, US
Hello and I'm sorry to hear you're having a difficult time finding motivation. I'm not a health professional, I can't diagnose. I'm someone who struggles with depression and the symptoms you describe sounds very familiar.

Have you ever been to a doctor to explain how you feel and if so, what was the diagnosis and what if any medication were you given? Are you receiving or have you received counseling?

You wrote about lack of motivation. Do you take any pleasure in activities? Do experience joy in discovering something new, in being with your mates?

Has this melancholy been with you throughout your life, from time to time, or can you trace it to an event or series of events that occured?

I gather you're terribly frustrated with yourself and your situation. I'd like to remind you that you're deserving of compassion. Symptoms such as what you described and negative thoughts cannot tell you who you are.

My best

- Bizzarebitrary
 
N

NPCharacter

New member
Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
3
Have you ever been to a doctor to explain how you feel and if so, what was the diagnosis and what if any medication were you given? Are you receiving or have you received counseling?
Until very recently I was regularly visiting a therapist. We discussed a wide range of topics, and at one point where I raised the question of medication she explained that it's better to first try and teach myself to be more happy and satisfied (her exact words were to "teach your brain to produce serotonin by itself" because we were discussing serotonin at that moment) because medication would help, but it would lead to addiction.

You wrote about lack of motivation. Do you take any pleasure in activities? Do experience joy in discovering something new, in being with your mates?
Yes, but only in a select few things, way less things than I did previously. For example, and this may sound silly, but I find great joy in memes. I also find joy in spending time with my grandfather's dog, whenever I have the time to visit him. Ever since I've noticed having this problem, I've subconsciously tried to avoid anything new. Regarding mates, it very much depends on who I am with, I experience completely different things with different friends.

Has this melancholy been with you throughout your life, from time to time, or can you trace it to an event or series of events that occured?
No, but I've had episodes of prolonged depression every year since 2013. And there was always a clear reason behind it every time. But this year was a whole new complicated story, which eventually resulted in my current situation. I did some modest research a while back and came to the conclusion that I probably suffer from so called "dysthymia".

In short, my current situation is a result of a series of small things and events which I interpret negatively, that eventually piled up to such an extent that their combined weight brought me down.

I gather you're terribly frustrated with yourself and your situation. I'd like to remind you that you're deserving of compassion. Symptoms such as what you described and negative thoughts cannot tell you who you are.
Thank you. I really hope this is the case.
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
430
Location
California, US
You are not your thoughts, you never were.

Until very recently I was regularly visiting a therapist. We discussed a wide range of topics, and at one point where I raised the question of medication she explained that it's better to first try and teach myself to be more happy and satisfied (her exact words were to "teach your brain to produce serotonin by itself" because we were discussing serotonin at that moment) because medication would help, but it would lead to addiction.
I can understand her point of view. Therapy, learning and using cognitive based skills and adopting a positive philosophy is vital in treating mental illness. Sadly, it's not helpful if symptoms are so strong that one cannot focus attention or devote the mental energy to these practices because it requires all we got plus our reserves to fight the symptoms themselves. That's where medication can be helpful.
I do hope "addiction" wasn't the word she used because that's nonsense. A mental health professional ought to know the clinical definition of addiction and understand that antidepressants do not carry with them a risk of addiction.

Yes, but only in a select few things, way less things than I did previously. For example, and this may sound silly, but I find great joy in memes. I also find joy in spending time with my grandfather's dog, whenever I have the time to visit him. Ever since I've noticed having this problem, I've subconsciously tried to avoid anything new. Regarding mates, it very much depends on who I am with, I experience completely different things with different friends.
It doesn't sound silly at all to me. "Whatever makes you happy, whatever gives you hope - even if it's truly tasteless joke". I asked because anhedonia is a serious symptom of major depressive disorder that many people aren't aware of.

Avoiding new experiences is familiar to me. I suffer with GAD and anxiety can often inform me that I need to make my world very small, else situations can arise where I lose control, emotionally.
Depression also tends to cause us to seek only the familiar. A cognitive distortion called "Catastrophizing" is among the reasons we avoid.


No, but I've had episodes of prolonged depression every year since 2013. And there was always a clear reason behind it every time. But this year was a whole new complicated story, which eventually resulted in my current situation. I did some modest research a while back and came to the conclusion that I probably suffer from so called "dysthymia".
Yes, as opposed to situational depression the condition is on-going though it is treatable. Having believed I had beaten major depression twice in my adult years, I was very troubled when it returned for no reason and proved to be especially resilient. Your condition is likely different than mine. I've accepted that it'll be something I struggle with throughout my life. That acceptance has helped me by reducing the self-blame and angst which comes from wishing myself well.

In short, my current situation is a result of a series of small things and events which I interpret negatively, that eventually piled up to such an extent that their combined weight brought me down.
One last suggestion. I found CBT to be a very helpful tool to use against negative thoughts. It may help equip you with some defenses against the negative interpretations the mind conjures.


Thank you. I really hope this is the case.
Thank you for sharing your struggle in detail! That's not always easy if the inner-critic in us is banging on about what it means to admit we're struggling with mental illness.

Thoughts come and go naturally, that's a function of the mind. When our minds hold on to thoughts, they sort of swell up large into capital T "Truths", despite evidence that contradicts their veracity.

When those thoughts begin to swell, or when the voice of depression gets loud and insistent, or when people in your life say insensitive things about you, let the voices of hundreds here on the forum help you to resist believing in them.
I don't know you but I do know depression pretty well. It holds up a carnival mirror and reflects a truly distorted view of ourselves and it does this by ensnaring itself in our thoughts. It cannot tell us who we are, it doesn't define us.
 
N

NPCharacter

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Dec 29, 2018
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3
I do hope "addiction" wasn't the word she used because that's nonsense. A mental health professional ought to know the clinical definition of addiction and understand that antidepressants do not carry with them a risk of addiction.
I forgot to mention that she said she would redirect me to a psychologist who would establish if I needed medication, and then continued to make the point about the serotonin and that it would be best if I at least tried to "fix myself" first.

I suffer with GAD and anxiety can often inform me that I need to make my world very small, else situations can arise where I lose control, emotionally.
I can really relate to that, although I'm not sure if I have GAD or anxiety ("I know that I know nothing"). For me the worst part is that up until this year I wanted (and expected) my world to get bigger and was fine with that. Then stuff happened and here I am now, contemplating on whether I want a big or small world, knowing that whatever I choose I will regret I didn't choose the other. So as of yet I have chosen neither and for a year now I feel like a ship with no captain (no crew either), sailing aimlessly at the mercy of the waves.

Depression also tends to cause us to seek only the familiar. A cognitive distortion called "Catastrophizing" is among the reasons we avoid.
2018 for me was not "a" but "the" Catastrophe (capital C) of my life up until now. And (although "I know that I know nothing" about what the future will bring) it looks like 2019 will just probably be one of the many sequels.

Strange thing is that in the 2013-2017 period, every year I hoped the next one would be better (as a whole, every year had its good moments of course). And every year that didn't happen. But back then when I complained about the back-to-back bad years I would do it in an ironic fashion (e.g. "Here's a toast to the New Year, which, other than its number, will be absolutely the same, at least for me" or something like that). As such I would always have some hope deep down inside that "this is the year; this is my year". 2017 was promising in that regard... up until February. The first half of 2015 was great, the second - not so much. 2016 was awful by all accounts (and depending on how some things in my current life turn out, it could retrospectively get even worse). So... now that I think of it, I probably should be more afraid of 2020, since there is clearly a cycle of bad-awful-bad-awful years. My point is that now I have accepted the fact that the years will be bad, no matter what. My hope has disappeared and I view New Year as nothing more than merely a change of calendar.

Sorry it took that long to get to the point, I kind of lost myself back there. It probably isn't interesting at all to read about generalizations of some stranger's experiences without getting to know the details. But sharing does alleviate my pain to some extent. That's why I went to see a therapist, which, unfortunately, I can't do anymore.

Yes, as opposed to situational depression the condition is on-going though it is treatable. Having believed I had beaten major depression twice in my adult years, I was very troubled when it returned for no reason and proved to be especially resilient. Your condition is likely different than mine. I've accepted that it'll be something I struggle with throughout my life. That acceptance has helped me by reducing the self-blame and angst which comes from wishing myself well.
I'm sorry to hear that. I can't seem to come to terms that my condition will be something that will be with me for the rest of my life. Any such attempt causes indescribably bad feelings inside me. Maybe because I know and have traced the causes of my situation, which are real world causes from my surroundings - stuff that, I have to confess, are sort of in my control, but I've come to the point (as is the topic of this thread) that I have no motivation to do anything about it, because I'm left with a long-standing impression that, simply put, little to nothing will change. That is, "(It feels like) I've put in the work this whole time and nothing changed. So be it. By the same logic, I will do nothing now and expect things to change. Fortune owes me a reward. Many rewards."

One last suggestion. I found CBT to be a very helpful tool to use against negative thoughts. It may help equip you with some defenses against the negative interpretations the mind conjures.
I've been thinking the same thing for a while now, but it was hard to come to the conclusion that you need professional help when a) almost everyone around you thinks there's nothing wrong with you and you're just overthinking things; and b) there are short, temporary periods of happiness that make you think life is good and everything's alright now and this stops you on your way to seek professional help.

Thank you for sharing your struggle in detail! That's not always easy if the inner-critic in us is banging on about what it means to admit we're struggling with mental illness.
I don't experience that. If anything, I want a diagnosis glued to my forehead that says "This person suffers from chronic depression and needs special care". At least that way my surroundings may become a little bit less toxic. Maybe a diagnosis will bring the change I so desperately want, that neither I nor the people around me could bring for myself. My God, what went wrong for me to have to say that?

Thoughts come and go naturally, that's a function of the mind. When our minds hold on to thoughts, they sort of swell up large into capital T "Truths", despite evidence that contradicts their veracity.
I've never really thought of it that way, but it definitely describes my condition.

When those thoughts begin to swell, or when the voice of depression gets loud and insistent, or when people in your life say insensitive things about you, let the voices of hundreds here on the forum help you to resist believing in them.
I don't know you but I do know depression pretty well. It holds up a carnival mirror and reflects a truly distorted view of ourselves and it does this by ensnaring itself in our thoughts. It cannot tell us who we are, it doesn't define us.
I've seen myself in the mirror both at my best and my worst (now). I know I *was* capable of great things, I know what brought me down, I just don't know how to re-wire myself in order to be capable once again.
 
L

Lowkeycraycray

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
9
NPCharacter said:
I've seen myself in the mirror both at my best and my worst (now). I know I *was* capable of great things, I know what brought me down, I just don't know how to re-wire myself in order to be capable once again.
Sometimes it’s less about rewiring and moreso about oiling the joints and getting the rust off. You have to force yourself to “do.” The more you force yourself to do the more you’ll be able to do and want to do and it builds from there. Pick some arbitrary good habits that you know will help your life - and just do them. Don’t beat yourself up if you fail or anything, but try again and do more than the time before. It’s exercise really.

And there’s a funny thing about hitting rock bottom. It’s often the only thing solid enough to push back against to gain altitude again.
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
430
Location
California, US
What allowed me to move ahead began with challenging my negative thoughts and realizing how I'd been looking at everything through the lens of my illness. CBT provided me with the skills to address both. Within me, I always possessed the will to do it - and so do you - yet finding and tapping that will is perhaps what's at issue in this conversation.

I wager there are lots of opinions on how to proceed. I advise collecting all you can find and most importantly, allow yourself to be inspired by a story.
Finding the source of that will, regaining the desire to resist, to turn your back to the cave - is a strictly personal journey. I have difficulties being more specific, it's rather metaphorical.

Inventory the parts of you that remain true to who you were, who you always have been. Endeavor to live up to those, if only for a brief time.
 
D

DerekL82

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
8
I'm new here, so I'm not sure if recommending medication is frowned upon. But, I honestly believe prescription medication like anti-depressants are the best way to go.

I tried other things like meditation, and changing the way I thought about things. But the anti-depressants did wonders effortlessly.

And as someone above mentioned previously, addiction is not the word to use. What is wrong with taking anti-depressants for the rest of your life even? Addiction has a negative connotation to it, and I don't think it applies here.
 
U

urhere

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
12
Location
Delaware
Hello

I don't understand a lot about your situation from what you have written but I can identify with the college scenario you gave. I was put on academic probation from 2 colleges that I attended last year. I didn't know what I know now is that I suffered from depression. I can't begin to tell you how much of a failure I felt in a can do environment. I wanted to, I knew I could but I didn't because I couldn't with all of the problems I had to deal with, especially without the right support. I wished I had sort a support group like this one back then, maybe it would have made a difference. However, you just sharing your situation with others, has already made a difference in your life, believe it or not.
 
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