I Have No Motivation To Do Anything: Am I Depressed?
"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
Depression is a serious mental health condition. 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 these symptoms sound familiar, you are probably suffering from depression. However, many people confuse depression with being unmotivated or even "lazy." If you've ever said to yourself: I have no motivation to do anything, this doesn't necessarily mean you're suffering from depression, despite the symptoms being similar. Depression and a lack of motivation are connected. 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've concluded that you're not feeling motivated to do anything, how do you determine if it's related to depression or not?
The first thing to do is look at what it is you don't want to do. Do you not want to take out the trash? Do you struggle to find the energy to head to the grocery store for a few things? Is it a lack of motivation for more crucial aspects of your day? Do you struggle to get out of bed, shower, or eat properly?
If it's the latter, then you're likely suffering from depression.
Many different factors can cause depression. The condition is usually temporary and is treatable. There isn't a single factor, which causes depression, which means pinpointing this factor (or factors) can sometimes be challenging.
Generally speaking, depression can be categorized as a lack of desire to do anything, not just certain activities. Those suffering from depression want to go about their daily activities, but certain psychological factors keep them from finding the energy to do so. In contrast, a lack of motivation usually is focused on something less demanding, like food, drink or entertainment.
I Have No Motivation To Do Anything - What Can I Do?
Symptoms of depression can cause a lack of motivation. A misdiagnosis of depression can lead down an unhealthy path, so it's important to distinguish between the two before addressing your core issues.
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 complete 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 on food or entertainment, take steps to better yourself physically or mentally instead.
If you are still finding that the things you used to enjoy aren't providing you joy like they used to, then this may be depression setting in. If it is truly depression, speak to a mental health professional regarding your state of mind. An online counselor is a skilled professional who knows how to recognize depression. They can help you get the help you need to start feeling better faster.
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 an online therapist will help you distinguish between lack of motivation and clinical or situational depression. You can take charge of your health and get better no matter what the diagnosis is.