If I feel motivated, I am either triggered by anxiety, or I am just doing something that I very much enjoy. I feel lazy, and I wish I wasn’t. I know my responsibilities, but nothing ever seems to make me prepared for them. I rarely ever bathe, brush my teeth or my hair, and I have LITTLE motivation to get dressed, and when I decide to do all of those things, I am probably going out in public or visiting some people, and MOST TIMES, I won’t even do my hair or get dressed — I’d just wait in the car and stay incognito. I rarely ever go out and I’ve never had any friends in school. All the people that I’ve known before are never interested in my friendship and I feel like there may be something wrong with me. I always hear the same excuses. I should be writing a book right now, but I never feel motivation to do that either. I feel like maybe if I had some friends that accepted me, that I’d LIKELY go the extra mile and do all of these NORMAL things. Sometimes anxiety isn’t enough to make me want to bathe and it can take me hours to get a SIMPLE TASK finished — because I am so slow and unmotivated! I feel happy when I do things I love — other than that, I’m always bored or something. I’m usually on the internet watching movies or listening to music, scrolling Facebook to see if I’ve gotten a message from my ACTIVE friend. The only person I feel TRULY respects me, is someone from the internet. I get bored sometimes because it’s not like we can actually go out or something, we are HOURS away from each other, and the flight would be very expensive. Sometimes I use material items as motivation, (not often) and I wish I didn’t have to do that. Not many things impress me anymore, and all the things I would like to have are probably overpriced. (From Canada)
Being motivated by joy and anxiety isn’t a bad thing. Most of us are moving away from what we don’t want and toward what we do. These are not unhealthy motivations at all.
However, the symptoms of depression you are talking about, feeling isolated, unmotivated, not caring about your appearance, and being slow on completing tasks, all suggest you may want to get some individual therapy. Since you are still in high school I would talk to your parents about these feelings and/or your school counselor. The counselor can help sort through the reasons for these symptoms. You should know they are fairly common and often talking about them with a therapist or counselor can be very helpful.
You have taken a big step forward here by writing us. Now it is time to take the next step and talk to someone about getting more motivation back in your life.
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: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Zero Motivation. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 18, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/08/22/zero-motivation/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 22 Aug 2017) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.