I Have No Motivation To Do Anything: Am I Depressed?
Updated October 10, 2018
Reviewer Rashonda Douthit , LCSW
"I didn't want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that's sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you're so relieved. I woke up in a nightmare."
― Ned Vizzini, It's Kind of a Funny Story
According to the AADA (Anxiety And Depression Association of America), depression affects around 1.5 percent of the United States population ages 18 and older in any given year. This works out to be approximately 3.3 million American adults.
Have you ever found yourself struggling to get through the day without crying? Do you constantly feel tired or upset? Do the things you used to enjoy bring you no fulfillment anymore?
If any of this sounds familiar, you may be suffering from depression. However, many people confuse depression with being unmotivated or "lazy." If you've ever said to yourself: I have no motivation to do anything, this doesn't necessarily mean you're depressed. Depression and a lack of motivation are related. However, they are different. They can overlap, and a person who is dealing with either of these issues may not understand the differences between them.
Am I Depressed Or Is It Something Else?
If you are depressed, you would have other symptoms other than lack of motivation such as: sadness, tearfulness, irritability, weight loss or gain and possibly thoughts of self-harm. Many factors can contribute to depression. Traumatic or stressful events can lead to depression. There may also be a genetic component. More women than men are diagnosed with depression, though this may be because men don't seek treatment as often.
If you still have the desire and the ability to get out of bed and go about your day but feel lethargic, this is probably your lack of motivation coming into play. Some factors can decrease motivation, but the most common one relates to a lack of interest in your daily activities.
If this is what's happening, it's wise to re-evaluate your circumstances. You can consider your social environment, your work, and hobbies. Find the things you enjoy doing and spend more time doing them. Instead of over-indulging in food or entertainment, take steps to better yourself physically or mentally.
If you are still finding that the things you used to enjoy aren't providing you joy they once did, speak to a mental health professional. A therapist can help you figure things out so you can start to feel better.
Differentiating between depression and a lack of motivation is only the first step in getting better - the next step is to take charge of your life. Talking to a therapist will help you distinguish between lack of motivation and depression.