I Don’t Want To Do Anything… Why?

By Sarah Fader

Updated March 26, 2020

Reviewer Audrey Kelly, LMFT

Have you ever felt like "I don't want to do anything" but you weren't sure of the reason why? 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. In many cases we aren't aware that feeling lazy may be a sign that we need to attend to our mental health, wellness, and to engage in self-care.

Feeling unmotivated or apathetic towards life can happen to the best of us from time-to-time, and can especially have an effect on young adults. Abuse survivors and sexual assault victims often report high levels of apathy.

Something is preventing that from happening, but you just don't know what it is. This is especially true if this has been going on for a long time. 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?"


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If any of the above sounds familiar, you may require the help of a mental health provider to help support you through this. It's possible that you are suffering from depression. A professional can give you life advice and help you to assess what is going on 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. Many people who are suffering from depression experience loss of interest or energy. 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 rather than to go outside and start living, 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.

Is it hard to get out of bed? Once you've started the day, are you fighting to get things done? What if it goes beyond these moments and you have no motivation to do anything? These are awful feelings, and you don't have to suffer alone. There are successful tools to help you find and develop your sense of motivation and start living again.

What Now?

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 in order to get to the root cause of what's causing these unmotivated thoughts and feelings.

Some autoimmune diseases and vitamin deficiencies can cause lethargy and feelings and thoughts 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 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 platform, such as BetterHelp. It's easy to sign up for a BetterHelp therapy account online by simply using your email address.

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.

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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 experienced lack of motivation 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 figure out what's wrong, begin to feel better again, and get your energy back.

Your therapist will discuss your feelings with you, attempt to determine what's wrong 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. It's important to be honest during therapy sessions. 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 Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) class of medication has shown to be extremely beneficial to those suffering from depression, whether it be long-term or situational.

Don't Beat Yourself Up

Above all, it is especially important that you do not beat yourself if you can't figure out the reasons behind 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, "Why can't I just be happy?" It can begin to affect your self-esteem and cause other health impairments. When it gets to this point, it's time to seek professional advice.

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 can make it seem hard to always feel in control of ourselves. The way that you're feeling can be related to everyday circumstances that are causing your mental health to suffer. 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. It's time to seek help if you feel stuck in this unmotivated place.

However, most of those people can regain control over their lives, and so can you. Utilize your support: 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 stronger and more confident person in the end.

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Finding Help

When you feel a sense of apathy or lack of motivation it's extremely important to listen to these feelings. Counseling is an excellent place to explore and get to the bottom of these feelings. The absence of feeling is an emotion. It could be that you're feeling depressed or you might need to change something in your life. Whatever the case may be, therapy or counseling can help. Online therapy through BetterHelp is an excellent way to cope with these feelings.

The counselors at BetterHelp know what it's like to feel numb at these times in our lives. They are experienced in helping people that have been experiencing the same feelings that you're feeling no to navigate their complex feelings and figuring out why you may feel a certain way. Sometimes you don't know why you cannot feel and that's natural; you don't have to know. Lack of motivation can be a related symptom of mental illness or other mental health related prognosis.

Your therapist supports you in deconstructing your feelings and working hard to get the help that you need so you can start getting well and figure out what's wrong.

Emotional numbness is a mental health symptom that often comes with depression. If you suspect that you are suffering from depression, clients of BetterHelp have seen a 70% improvement in their depressive symptoms after spending time in helpful online counseling sessions. If you are experiencing depression, your counselor at BetterHelp is here to support you in getting the mental health treatment that you need. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from people experiencing similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

"I put off finding a therapist for a long time. I dreaded my first conversation with Neil and all the awkward, clunky explanations I'd have to give about my depression and anxiety. All of the things that felt like dirty little secrets that caused me so much pain. But I was pleasantly surprised by the way Neil accurately picked up on what I was saying and gave me more insight into how my brain was working.

It made my issue feel so much less of a personal problem and more of a universal problem we could examine together. He always gives me a thoughtful response within a day or two any time I send a message. I actually think we've made more progress in between sessions just by being able to communicate things that are coming up in real time. Neil is intelligent and kind. I really appreciate his communication style and highly recommend him."

"Tamera is straightforward and supportive. She's not afraid of pointing out what to work on and give you the right tools immediately. It is highly personalized just for your unique symptoms and situation! Tamera helped me manage my depression and anxiety and I became more empowered to have more control in my life. I feel a lot happier."

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 that 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. 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.

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Another helpful idea is to get back on the road to health, wellness, and reconnecting with friends and family 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 and could possibly be related to mental illness. Then, lay out your journey to finding happiness, motivation, and drive.

Keep this journal for if you feel like this again. This is an excellent place to start to identify your thoughts and feelings. 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. Getting back to the things you used to enjoy is possible-all you need are the right tools. Take the first step today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Is it Ok to not do anything?

It's normal for people to feel like "I don't want to do anything" from time to time. If this feeling lasts for an extended period of time, it's time to seek professional advice from a mental health professional to rule out a potential mental illness.

What do you do when have no motivation?

If you suddenly feel like you have no motivation, reach out to trusted friends and family members to let them know how you're feeling. Lack of motivation can take a serious toll on sex, relationships, friendships and your overall well-being (if left unchecked). Try getting some fresh air. Take a break from using social media. Go outside for a short walk and see if this helps.

How do you start something you don't want to do?

Getting motivated is not always easy. Start by spending time thinking about your goals and the end result that you want to have. You can write down your goals and thoughts in a journal. Once you see your goals written down on paper, you're more likely to follow through with doing the work it takes to achieve them.

Is "lazy" a feeling?

Feeling lazy is usually a symptom of another underlying condition and can often be related to issues with undiagnosed mental illness. When feeling lazy starts to affect your sex, relationships, and family situations, it's time to get help from a professional to seek mental health treatment.

Is laziness a mental disorder?

Laziness is a term that relates to the symptoms of feeling lack of motivation or apathy towards life in general. Laziness is usually related to some undiagnosed condition or underlying issue like drug addiction that can be resolved with proper mental health treatment so you can start living again.

Is laziness a symptom of depression?

Yes. Often times feeling lazy or apathetic is a symptom of depression or other undiagnosed mental illness. People who are suffering from lack of motivation in sex, relationships, career, and other important areas of life should seek appropriate mental health treatment to improve the quality of their lives.

Is The Occasional Lazy Day Bad for Your Mental Health?

No, it's not. If you're usually a productive person, taking an occasional day off for yourself can be good for you. Sleeping in helps your brain, eating more than usual can keep your body's metabolism on its toes, and entertaining yourself with Netflix or video games can be a way to relieve stress and feel happier. Just limit your lazy days.

How Do I Take A Mental Health Lazy Day and Not Feel Bad About it?

People who are workaholics should still have a day where they are a little lazy. It's good for one's mental health, after all. However, some people may feel some guilt. Realize that being lazy on an occasional day is being productive depending on the context. You're unwinding and having fun, preparing you for the next round of work.

How Can I Improve My Mental Health Through Exercise If I'm Lazy?

Exercise can be great for one's mental health and can make you less lazy, but for many, it's hard to get into. This is another case where starting small is good. Do a few crunches, or walk a little bit. Don't go too hard, or you'll regret it. In extreme cases, you may want to hire a personal trainer or have a workout buddy to keep you motivated. It's hard at first, but once you work out, you may not want to stop.

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