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Lack of Motivation, Emotionally Numb, Loss of Self, and Brain Fog

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I’m a teen who has been diagnosed with depression and is currently receiving medication and therapy for it. But the medication just doesn’t seem to be working, even on the highest dose. I still can’t feel any emotion (besides frustration) or motivation, have horrible brain fog, and have no idea who I am. If you have any techniques or strategies to help deal with these symptoms, that would be great.

I can’t feel anything. Happiness, sadness, anger, anything. I don’t know what I want. I can’t make any good decisions anymore. My brain’s a mess also. My imagination is practically gone, and I can’t understand or do certain things because of this thought process. I see the world differently than I used to. I can’t focus in on anything. Things just seem less clear. I space out often. Due to both issues, I have no idea who I am anymore. What I like and dislike, how I act, everything. I want to fix this, but I just can’t motivate myself. I can barely get out of bed at points. In fact, I can’t even nap anymore, or I’ll get in trouble. I just can’t get myself to do anything other than surfing the web. I just don’t know what to do. So if you have any a) useful resources, b) techniques (especially for the numbness and lack of motivation) or anything else at all, I would really appreciate it. Thanks for reading this. (From the USA)

Lack of Motivation, Emotionally Numb, Loss of Self, and Brain Fog

Answered by on -


 Before we try to look for a technique or other resources I want to comment on the the you who wrote this email. The person that wrote this is someone with determination, courage, and resilience. You write that, in spite of medicine not working, therapy not working, no feelings, poor focusing, and not-such-good decision making, that you are striving “to fix this.” It is the striver in you, the part of you that is motivated to change that I want to make these recommendations — because that is the part that isn’t giving up or giving in — to the depression.

I would recommend the book The Resilience Factor to begin challenging your own thoughts. Secondly, I would encourage you to take the character strength survey to see what your strengths are and to begin using them. These two resources will help you reduce your negative feelings, and motivate you toward nurturing your own strengths.

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

Lack of Motivation, Emotionally Numb, Loss of Self, and Brain Fog

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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). Lack of Motivation, Emotionally Numb, Loss of Self, and Brain Fog. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 6 Aug 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.