Whenever I wake up in the morning, I have this lack of motivation to get out of bed and it can take me up to 40 minutes to gather up my motivation. Once I get to school, I’m feeling a bit better. However, I get these waves of intense sadness for no particular reason. It might have something to do with me despising myself (how I look, how I act, etc.). I would talk to someone about it, but I don’t want anyone close to me to know what I’m going through. I’ve been feeling this way for about 9 months, but the lack of motivation and the feeling of being worthless just get worse and worse. I kept to myself since I assumed that I was just going through a phase since it’s the typical teenager thing, but I’m sick and tired of feeling this way. I’m not diagnosed with anything since I haven’t talked to the doctors about this. I’ve also lost interest in a lot of the things I used to love. I spend on average 3 hours a day on the computer, talking to online friends. I believe that I’m subconsciously doing it to “hide away” from how I feel on a daily basis. I’m scared that one day I’ll crack and show everyone how I truly am. Thank you if you read this and I hope that you can get back to me. (From Canada)

A:  Thank you for writing us. There are several things that might be going on. The three most likely are 1. Something physical. Go to the doctor and have a complete physical exam — many of the symptoms you are mentioning are normal — yet there may be a medical reason they are lingering.

2. Sleep. Particularly with teenagers there is sleep deprivation that changes the way the brain chemistry functions. Too much time on the computer, cell phone and tablet late at night are they typical culprits. Experiment with getting 8 solid hours of sleep and see if there is any improvement.

3. Finally there is nutrition. When you get your physical ask the doctor to check your vitamin D levels and your thyroid, and ask for a sample dietary menu for you to follow. Usually our eating habits (like too much sugar and too many carbs) can throw off our moods.

I’d try thise remedies first and see how they go.

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