Like we often talk about at The Depression Project, it's really, really common for people to struggle with motivation. And, to help you understand why, we'd like to share with you 10 common reasons that explain this.
Are you ready?
10 Reasons People With Depression Struggle With Motivation
- When you're deep in a depressive episode, it's very, very common to feel extremely "depression tired" - and when this is the case, it can make absolutely everything feel completely and utterly overwhelming (even the "little things" like getting out of bed and having a shower, for example).
- When you have depression, it's common to have concentration difficulties that make it really hard to engage with the world around you.
- It can be really difficult to see any hope for the future - and if this is the case, then it's common to feel as if you have nothing to work towards and that there's no point in doing anything.
- It's common to feel worthless, to lack confidence, and to feel incapable of achieving the goals you desire to achieve.
- If you are trying to work towards achieving a goal, then any obstacle that gets in the way (whether big or small), has the potential to trigger your depression and therefore diminish your motivation to want to continue.
- When you're deep in a depressive episode and are being bombarded with negative thoughts, consumed by painful emotions, and feeling so exhausted that it's a struggle to even get out of bed, for example, then it can be really difficult to be able to see anything- and/or think about anything beyond your symptoms.
- Depression can make you ruminate about experiences in the past that you perceive to be a "failure" - and if this is the case, then it can sabotage your motivation to pursue your goals because you may feel as if you won't be able to handle another such "failure".
- You may find that you're struggling to perform as well as you otherwise would at work, at school, and/or in other facets of your life - which can make you feel as if "depression is winning", and that no matter what you do, it will continue to keep winning - so why bother trying?
- Depression can result in you feeling numb - which can prevent you from experiencing any joy or pleasure in anything that you used to enjoy.
- When you have depression, it's also common to struggle with existential thoughts such as "surely there's more to life than all of this suffering?" and/or "what's the point in anything if we're all going to die?" And, if this is the case, then it's likely to contribute to you feeling less motivated as well.
Can You Relate To One Or More Of These Reasons Why People With Depression May Struggle With Motivation?
If you can relate to the above reasons why people with depression may struggle with motivation, then:
- Please know that you are not alone (if you feel alone, then we encourage you to read this collection of quotes from people in The Depression Project's community that describe what "depression lack-of-motivation" feels like, looks like and sounds like).
- Instead of beating yourself up and criticising yourself for struggling with low motivation and not being able to function as well as you would like to, please try your best to be kind and compassionate with yourself (as we talk about in our "Depression Lack-Of-Motivation" Journal, being self-compassionate is associated with increased levels of motivation).
- Please know that feeling unmotivated when you have depression is something that, believe it or not, you can learn and implement strategies to overcome (to start doing so, we encourage you to have a look at this blog post we wrote that details two extremely common thinking patterns that fuel "depression lack-of-motivation", as well as some alternative ways of looking at things that can increase your motivation).
Do You Know Someone With Depression Who Struggles With Lack Of Motivation?
If you don't have depression yourself but know someone who does, then please don't judge them or call them "lazy" for example if they lack motivation and struggle to get things done. After all, lack of motivation is an extremely common component of depression, and although it may not always look like it, that person really is doing the best that they can.
All our love,
The Depression Project Team.
P.S. Because "depression lack-of-motivation" is so, so common, we've created a cognitive behavioural therapy-based journal, in order to:
- Help you feel like you're not alone;
- Help you feel more energetic, inspired and better able to function;
- Help you spend less time trapped in depression (as a result of feeling more energetic, inspired and better able to function).