I Don’t Want To Do Anything… Why?

By Sarah Fader

Updated June 27, 2019

Reviewer Audrey Kelly, LMFT

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One of the most frustrating things in life is losing the drive to do anything. It can be very disheartening to know that you have wonderful and great people and things going on in your life and you just cannot seem to enjoy them. Something is preventing that from happening, but you just don't know what it is. It seems as if these feelings just popped up out of nowhere, and then suddenly you find yourself with no motivation to do anything anymore. Then, you find yourself saying things like:

  • I don't want to do anything anymore.
  • I don't want to do anything with my life.
  • I don't want to leave the house or do anything.

You then begin to wonder what is wrong with you. You may say, "I feel fine, why can I not get the motivation to do anything? What's wrong with me?"

If any of the above sounds familiar, you may require the help of a mental health provider to help support you through this. A professional can help you to assess what is going on and to rule out more serious issues. Your family may see you going about your day lackluster and say that it's just laziness, but unless you are knowingly choosing not to do anything, there may be more to it. It may feel as if all of these feelings are completely out of your control and you may need some assistance to gain control once more.

If all you feel like doing is lying on the couch and watching Netflix more often than not, then there may be an underlying mental health condition negatively affecting you. These feelings can be situational, such as if you experienced a break-up or are sick. They can also be more long-term in the form of depression, where those feelings of hopelessness and sadness creep up.

What Now?

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First, you may want to visit your primary care doctor, especially if these feelings are unusual for you. Your doctor will be able to perform some diagnostic testing and blood-work on you to rule out an underlying health issue. Some autoimmune diseases and vitamin deficiencies can cause lethargy and feelings of worthlessness or depression. Likewise, certain medications can have some side effects that could cause these symptoms, as well. If your doctor can identify the problem, the fix may be as simple as a vitamin supplement or other medication.

If your doctor is unable to determine why you feel so lazy and lack motivation, then he or she may refer you to a mental health provider or another specialist. Therapists can be utilized both in-person or by using an online virtual sound like scifi service, such as BetterHelp. An online therapist can be especially helpful if you are finding it hard to muster up the energy and go to an appointment. Instead, you can log in from the comfort of your own home without having to expend much effort.

Most times, you can even use your smartphone while lying on the couch. Another thing that can be helpful is utilizing a chat room surrounding the topic of depression, where you can connect with others who are going through some of the same feelings that you are. Sometimes it is easier to listen to others' situations rather than deal with your own at that moment. This allows you to both assist others going through similar issues as yourself and also to see how they get through it.

How Can I Feel Better?

First, it's important to understand that you are not alone. There are tens of thousands of people across America that have these exact feelings at some point in their lives. New parents may feel so lethargic and exhausted due to a new baby that they do not leave their house for weeks. The important thing is to help decipher where the feelings are coming from so that you can begin to feel better again and get your energy back.

Your therapist will discuss your feelings with you, attempt to determine where they come from and help you to form a course of action to get back to your old self again. It is extremely important that you are 100% truthful with him/her so that they have all the information he/she needs to determine the treatment plan. Withholding any information at this point will only harm yourself, in the end, so please discuss all of your thoughts and feelings freely.

They may also recommend to your doctor or psychiatrist that you try certain medications. The Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) class of medication has shown to be extremely beneficial to those suffering from depression, whether it be long-term or situational.

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It is important that you follow your treatment plan. If you feel that something is not working effectively for you, be sure to communicate that with your mental health provider. Never stop any psychiatric medication on your own, as there can be several ill side effects to doing this. Doing so can exacerbate the effects of the medication, as well as make you very sick.

While you are receiving treatment, it is especially important that if you ever feel as if you are a danger to yourself or others, have thoughts of harming yourself or thoughts of suicide, that you get immediate medical attention. Go to your nearest emergency room, and they will assist you with doing a mental health evaluation and assisting you with the best course of action. If that happens, it is not something within your control, and it is not something that you can "get over." Therefore, having the help and support of the hospital staff is imperative.

Don't Beat Yourself Up

Above all, it is especially important that you do not beat yourself up for how you feel. Not only will this not help, but it may leave you feeling worse off than you already were. You may find yourself getting frustrated with yourself and asking yourself, "Why can't I just be happy?" It can begin to affect your self-esteem and cause other health impairments.

The truth of the matter is, sometimes life is not that easy. There are so many factors that contribute to our moods and feelings every day, which it is hard to always feel in control of ourselves. Every single person has moments where they do not feel within the control and where they feel completely overwhelmed to the point of contemplating giving up. However, most of those people can re-gain control over their lives, and so can you. Utilize your supports: whether that be family, friends, co-workers, church members, your therapist or someone else who you feel confident that you can confide in.

Be honest with your feelings and emotions, as well as what you need from others. If your cluttered house is causing you to feel as though you cannot invite people over, confide in one person you trust and ask for help. There is no shame in that. Everyone needs a bit of help once in a while and asking for help will only make you a stronger and more confident person in the end.

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Moving Forward

While it may be easy to look back at this time and feel guilty for the feelings that you felt or regret some of the things that you missed out on, it is also important that you remember that you cannot change the past. Do not dwell on the "what ifs" and feel guilty about something has happened in the past. You can only look to the future and work hard to make it be the best future that you can build.

If you are feeling better, focus on that and be grateful that those dark days are behind you. If you were able to make connections with others dealing with these same issues, you could pay it forward by now assisting them with your newly discovered wisdom. You can utilize that virtual depression chat room, where others are waiting to come out of their dark days and are looking for support in doing so. By making the most out of your experience, you can feel good about yourself and now your ability to help others. It will show that those rough days all had a purpose after all.

Another helpful idea is to write a journal of your story. Start with the day that you realized that your feelings were a far bit bigger than just a touch of laziness. Then, lay out your journey to finding happiness, motivation, and drive. Keep this journal for if you feel like this again. That way, you can remind yourself of your dark days but most importantly, how you overcame them. It is a powerful reminder of how strong you are and a reminder that you will want to do things once more.


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