Home » I Have Little Motivation

I Have Little Motivation

Asked by on with 1 answer:

I would like to thank you if you are responding to this message; this site helps out a lot.

About two years ago, I noticed that I felt… different. Not sure how to explain it, but I was more withdrawn and had less motivation to get up and do anything. It seems like emotional pleasure has just kind of left me. I try to get involved with fun activities, but I always feel empty afterwards. So now, I am slowly losing motivation to do anything that once interested me or gave me a “happy” feeling.

Even my emotions are different. Anger has been replaced with distress or fear, sadness is now more of a “down feeling”, and happiness has changed to apathy. Also, I can’t stop thinking. Literally, “thinking” keeps me awake at night. Even during the day I am so withdrawn and preoccupied with my mind that I can’t focus on what’s going on around me.

My family has no history of depression that I’m aware of, and I have never been to see a doctor for my symptoms. So, what do you think I should do?

I Have Little Motivation

Answered by on -


I appreciate your letter. Let’s see if we can get to the bottom of it.

The symptoms you are describing often go together as descriptors of depression. While I can’t diagnose a depressive episode over the Internet, I think that your concern that these may be depressive symptoms (even though depression doesn’t run in your family) is a good place to start.

Here is a link to PsychCentral’s guide, symptom checklist, and quiz and information article on depression. I think it would help.

I think going to your doctor is a good place to start and let him or her know your symptoms. As you list your age as 17 I would also talk to your school’s counselor about how you are feeling. If you are out of school you may want to use the find help tab at the top of the screen.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

I Have Little Motivation

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). I Have Little Motivation. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 18, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.