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Problems with Motivation, People

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From a 17 year old young woman in New Zealand: In the last year or so I’ve been having problems with motivation, people, family members, and especially myself. All my life I’d have a week-month phase of being really energetic or into something and eventually but indefinitely, I would just sink back into feeling very hopeless, just really turning into a waste of space really.

I find it hard to deal with people naturally during this time and I also find it harder to sleep or wake up. I find myself having to act and pretend to be happy. I can’t deal with anyone normally, I act really weird around them as in either completely shy or borderline sexual harassment. I literally cannot control how I act unless I am very angry. I act so weird and I can’t control it, so I feel no one knows who I am inside.

Forever now, my mother has been promising me to give up drinking and she never does. I hate how I get home and I see her ugly face when she’s been drinking and the house smells disgusting like wine and her voice sounds disgusting too. She is disgusting. I hate alcohol now and every time someone drinks it around me I feel sick and I feel they’re going to hurt me and blame me for everything like she did…

I hate seeing my face because I look like her and I wake up and see her disgusting saggy face staring back at me from the mirror… I can’t be who I want to be, even if I am, it lasts for a month or two maximum before I spiral back to where I came from… I am so passionate about things sometimes and the next week I feel how I feel now, that nothing’s ever going to work out and that I’m never going to stay happy or be happy.

Please help me. I’m so tired of this but I’m not sure if it’s important enough, I’ve been to a psychiatrist and she said I’m completely normal and told me to meditate to get rid of the chatter in my mind and I pretended to feel better to stop the sessions cause they weren’t helping. What should I do?

Problems with Motivation, People

Answered by on -


We can’t make a diagnosis on the basis of only a letter, of course. However, I think what you are reporting is serious and deserves attention.

I don’t know what you told the psychiatrist and I can’t comment on what she said. It may be that you weren’t clear. It may be that she didn’t see the level of your distress.

I strongly urge you to give treatment another try. The success of therapy often depends on the “fit” of the counselor and the client. Not everyone is a match. I do suggest that you start with a psychologist, social worker or mental health counselor who works collaboratively with a psychiatrist. You may or may not benefit from medication. It might be helpful to first talk things out with a trained therapist before pursuing drugs as the answer.

You’ve written a thoughtful letter about how you feel as well as about what is going on at home. Please take your letter and this response with you to the first appointment. It will give the counselor a good outline of the issues. If you don’t think you are understood, speak up. The only thing a counselor has to work with is what he or she is told.

After the first or second session, it is usual for the therapist to share impressions and to make recommendations. It’s important that you collaborate fully. You are an essential member of your own treatment team.

If you still don’t feel understood, please don’t give up. Sometimes it takes a few interviews before someone finds the clinician that he or she can trust. That’s normal and appropriate. After all, you will be talking about the most important things in your life.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie


Problems with Motivation, People

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Problems with Motivation, People. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 14 Sep 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.