Where Did My Motivation Go?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have trouble connecting the need to complete a task with the physical act of completing the task. I thought about asking someone for help, but I think they would just say I’m not trying hard enough. My mind rejects things that bother me, It is something that I have only just realized I did, although my work and responsibilities have been stacking up for awhile.

I often remind myself of a task that I need to do and then my mind will immediately reject it. I constantly know I have these responsibilities, and they are nagging me at the very back of my head, but my conscious refuses to concentrate on them or realistically plan on how to do them. They are ignored, squished back somewhere far away and dark. I know there are tasks that I MUST complete, bu that’s as far as the thought process goes.

In the past I have been an okay student, but now it feels like I’ve just shut down and as a result I am failing almost all my classes.I don’t have any close friends because I am uncomfortable in school. I find myself just sitting and moving from class to class and doing nothing, then going home and doing nothing.

I am on fluoxetine for depression, and concerta for adhd. I have been on varying doses and other medications over the past couple of years but nothing seems to help my motivation.

I am otherwise content, but the consequences of my inaction are troubling, and I realize its only going to get worse. Thank you for reading this, I appreciate your time and value your opinions.
Also, I understand If you think I’m just being lazy.

A. I do not believe that laziness is your problem. Nor is lack of motivation. You have the desire to complete your tasks but you struggle with the execution of those tasks. This may be more of a logistics problem rather than a psychological problem.

Part of the problem might also be medication related. Feeling a lack of motivation is a common side effect of some psychiatric medications. A medication adjustment might be needed.

Another possible explanation is that you never learned effective organizational skills. A simple solution to this problem might be learning new ways to manage and organize your work load. The good news is these skills can be learned.

I believe that your biggest obstacle may be your reluctance to ask for help. Your reluctance seems to be driven by your belief that you will be judged as lazy. That is faulty logic and it is likely preventing you from getting the proper help.

Your thinking needs to be in accordance with reality. The reality is as follows:

  • you are not lazy;
  • medication may be part of the problem;
  • you may have never learned the necessary organizational skills to complete tasks in a timely manner; and
  • the longer this problem continues, the more you will likely suffer.
  • The proper and most efficient response to this situation is to ask for help. I wish you the best of luck. Please take care.

    Dr. Kristina Randle
    @DrKRandle

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    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Oct 2011

    APA Reference
    Randle, K. (2011). Where Did My Motivation Go?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/10/30/where-did-my-motivation-go/