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Lack of Motivation as a Symptom of Depression?


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I don't think I'm depressed.  At least, my mood has been fairly good for quite a while now and I'm not having any suicidal or self harm thoughts.  But I'm really struggling with motivation.  I procrastinate and procrastinate until it's too late to get my work done.  I don't think I have the ability to get it done, so I don't even try until it's too late. 

 

I guess I'm just wondering if this is a low-level symptom of depression or if it's something else entirely. 

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I definitely have this problem all of the time. Unless I'm quite manic, then maybe yes I have loads of motivation!

 

I attribute it to negative symptoms or symptoms of depression for myself.

 

I'm really, really struggling with this right now. All I do is lie in bed it seems.

I'm so sorry to hear you are struggling with this too. I would call your pdoc or discuss it with your tdoc. You shouldn't have to put up with that kind of thing.

 

And definitely no one who has low motivation due to depression is lazy! I know that is what our minds trick us to think but it is only a trick. I get tricked all the time by this too. I think it's important to remember though, for our self-esteem's sake, that we are not lazy blobs. We have illnesses.

 

Take care.

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I'm always like this, but it gets worse when I'm depressed. When not depressed, I wait to the very last minute to do everything, but when I'm depressed I just don't do anything at all regardless of the consequences. I completely lack any motivation.

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People procrastinate for many different reasons.  I don't think it is necessarily a symptom/sign of depression.  For example, some common reasons why I procrastinate which do not involve depression include: 1) fear of failure  2) the task seems unpleasant/undesirable and 3) distraction.

 

I think it is normal to procrastinate to a degree.  Sometimes it is hard to prioritize things we have to do, sometimes we can't figure out the steps that need to be taken to get a job done, and sometimes we just don't want to do X, Y, or Z.  Depressed or not, I hate cleaning litter boxes and cleaning toilets hehe.

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Sometimes I just write out a list in the morning of things I need to get done that day. Then it is visually staring me in the face and gets me going.

The use of calendars and lists can help to overcome procrastination.

As far as whether it is a sign of depression, it could be or at least a product of the medication people use to combat depression.

Some people just procrastinate.

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I'm a person who tries to be organized and get things done, so if I start procrastinating, I know that I'm in trouble.  When I was in a deep depression (and before I realized what was going on) I was letting bills go unpaid, and not doing other things that I would normally take care of promptly. 

 

Now I know that if I'm constantly putting things off, there is something going on in my head.  For me, that is one of the first signs that I'm sliding into the Black Pit.

 

Some people procrastinate their whole lives---it's just the way they're wired.

 

olga

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Everyone I've ever met definitely procrastinates to some degree. No one wants to get boring/difficult/unpleasant stuff done - at least not all the time. There are people out there who are naturally motivated and organized, and then there's the rest of us. ;)  I really think the degree of procrastination is a tell-tale sign of whether or not you're just not motivated or whether you're not motivated because you're depressed. I also think letting yourself slack off can lead into depression, as well. For me lack of motivation is a massive issue, but it is no doubt tied to my depression. 

 

You might want to keep track of the things you procrastinate and see if there are any patterns. It's possible that you're just not satisfied with your life at the moment, which is something everyone goes through. Maybe you can make some personal changes that will make your work/chores more interesting to get done or at least more worthwhile. Maybe you're just not having enough "you time."  ^_^

Edited by radicalfeminist
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Lavender, have you noticed if you feel overwhelmed by the amount of work? If I feel overwhelmed, I tend to procrastinate pretty much anything....  When I'm depressed too, even a low level, I tend to not care about things so they don't get done...

 

OT--I was reading your signature line--Congratulations on your 9-year sobriety! My sister before she passed had hit her 20-year mark and had gotten into counseling other people.  I know the struggle, so congrats to you!

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Thanks for all the responses. 

 

Yes, Brokendishes, I do feel overwhelmed, or at least like I don't think I can be successful, so why bother trying?

 

My pdoc recently increased my effexor, so it may take some time for it to really kick in.  I will bring this up with him if its still going on whne I have my next appointment.

 

I have also talked with my tdoc about it.  She has assigned me some homework to help motivate myself,  but I have procrastinated on even doing the homework!  At least I did part of it, but I stopped half way.  I guess I could get the resnt done today.

 

 

Thanks for the congratulations BrokenDishes!  My anniversary of sobriety was only a couple weeks ago.  So it's still nice to hear the congratulations.  I too am studying to be a therapist.  If only I can get beyond my own crazy enough to do the work!

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I think it could be a symptom of depression, definitely.  When I'm depressed, I significantly lack the motivation to do much of anything but lay in bed all day.  I've been pretty depressed recently, though I seem to be going back to normal mood, but my motivation still lacks a great deal.  I think it's one of the last things to come back for me after a depressive episode.  Though even when I'm in a normal mood, my motivation isn't great but it's still better.

 

It's a real pain, so I feel for you. 

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Sometime when I have lack of motivation, it isn't depression (that I know of) and it isn't laziness (with me).  I just can't seem to get whatever it is done.  I just can't do it.  Hard to explain, but I may appear lazy or depressed some way to others when I am not.

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I've procrastinated my whole life lol. I think a lot of people do. But of course everyones different.

Sometimes it's hard to deferentiate between what is normal vs MI. I know since my dx I had tended to think every emotion is BP related but it's just not true.

I hope you can figure it out for yourself. It might be a good idea to chart your to see if it's an early sign of depression for you.

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I procrastinate to a degree, too, but if it's REALLY bad, I'm either sick, or depressed.  It's often the last symptom to leave (for me at least).  IDK why.

 

I have figured out when I have a FEAR of doing something, I have to put it FIRST on my to do list, and PROMISE myself to DO it, otherwise it carries over, day to day, and i have an important application left undone and almost overdue and a Really Clean Purse.   Sigh.

 

I have found that for me, to do lists work best in order of importance, heh.   Sometimes I need them, and they are really useful (especially when I am overwhelmed or scrambled or whatnot.)

As far as whaleshit depressed...... OMG, just don't get fired at work, the rest can wait (or be done by my spouse, thankfully).


Anna

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I've been wondering about the same issue.  

 

In hindsight, I think I tend to procrastinate worst on things that either carry high risk of hurt/disappointment/failure (like job applications) or things guaranteed to stir up old major hurts/disappointments/failures (like ongoing medical bills or interpersonal difficulties).

 

This is, of course, jacked up exponentially when feeling depressed or anxious.  Its pretty difficult to prod myself to do things that will stir up hurt feelings at times when I'm already scrambling just to cope with raw pain flaring up like some hellish emotional spontaneous combustion.

 

I think its also a vicious cycle of becoming gun-shy (even in emotionally OK times) about tackling tough things because of my exaggerated fear of pain.  Logically, every missed opportunity for successful/positive action just makes future successes even less likely by lack of practice.  But in practice its so much more complicated than that objective reasoning.  I've spent the last 2 months constantly feeling like I'm about to fall apart but not knowing if its the leading edge of a mood episode or the relatively "normal" stress of unstable employment and potentially impending unemployment.

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