Depression is very misunderstood, especially by those who’ve never suffered.
It’s so much more than simply being sad and unmotivated.
The symptoms of depression have a way of affecting everything, from the smallest, most unsuspecting part of life, to the largest and most significant aspects of life.
Trying to explain this feels like trying to hold onto a live eel; as soon as you start to grasp it, it slips from your grip.
Here’s how some people describe their depression:
Wanting to share what’s on your mind, but you don’t even understand it so you just cry because it’s easier
The mental exhaustion and always apologizing for it.
Trying to convince yourself you deserve to be alive
Having an inner black hole that sucks the life out of you
Not showering or cleaning for weeks. And not caring
Rationally, knowing there’s no reason for the depression yet it won’t release it’s grip
Not strong enough to take back control
Feel numbed out as if you're not a part of what’s going on around you
The ease in becoming addicted to something
Feeling the joy fade as apathy sets in
Others think you're lazy when you’re actually struggling to get up
Being so disassociated that you feel like you're a character in a video game
The feeling it’s never going to end
Lack of Motivation and Inspiration is Common in Depression But The Doctors Don't Understand How To Treat It
We’re depressed. We go to the doctor’s for help.
They suggest changing our lifestyle because it can have a big effect on our mood. That exercising five times a week, sleeping at least eight hours a night and eating three healthy meals and two snacks a day is going to be the answer to us feeling better.
The actual wording from the the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which has established a working definition of mental health recovery defines it as: “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.”
Problem is, we’d love to start up a new plan to fully recover from the depths of depression, but we can’t get out of bed!
Depression saps any motivation and inspiration - so completely - that it can feel impossible to do anything.
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Doctor, Don't Mistake Depression, Lack of Motivation and Inspiration for Laziness!!!
Often if we’re depressed, we can be mistakenly thought of as lazy or indifferent. But our lack of motivation is not the same being lazy. We would love to get up and go to work, mend our relationships and get back to a normal life. However, when we feel unmotivated due to depression we just can’t do these things.
As other sufferers have stated, we’re actually struggling just to get out of bed. We’re also struggling with:
Inability to do anything worthwhile
Thoughts of suicide
Not caring whether others like us or not
Drug and alcohol abuse
Gambling to excess
Being obsessive about sex
Or losing all interest in sex
…..amongst other things…..,.
When we have depression, basic life tasks can be difficult, so trying to work on a plan to change our eating and exercise habits and see how we can get our sleep cycles sorted is just too much of an ask.
The Trouble With Depression
When we are depressed:
We can’t be bothered with our own potential.
We can’t lift our heads enough to see that we have true value in the world.
We can’t give ourselves in close relationships because we become absent in the company of those we love.
We care less about how we look, or else we overdo it when we go out to act as a mask to the world.
We stumble through the day trying to find some meaning to the feelings that ravage us.
We lose our motivation to pursue our true vocation and, in so doing, compromise our soul.
We feel like victims – buffeted by the rough winds of life.
We can’t grasp onto anything that is solid in order to pull ourselves out of the storm.
Either we see nothing but unfairness or we stoop to self-loathing and believe we deserve nothing better.
We lose our sense of reason and we are unable to take an objective view on our circumstances and address what is fact and what is fiction.
And don’t be fooled by those people who are deemed a ‘success’. Many ‘successful’ people are on the run – running away from their own depression and trying to escape the darkness by making enough money or becoming so well known that the trappings of fame will cushion them from their distress.
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But the pain pursues them with inches to spare. The faster they run, the faster it runs. There is the old adage: ‘When I get there, then I will be happy.’ This thinking is a one-way track to disaster as, most often, we never arrive.
The trouble with depression is that it doesn't allow us to stand still. We either get worse or we get better. One common symptom of depression is mood swings. We can go from feeling ecstatic to feeling suicidal in minutes. We are used to the highs and lows; we thrive on them to give meaning to the day.
But this thinking exacerbates the depression by keeping us in a state of anxiety. When the process of recovery from depression begins, it can seem as though nothing is happening, but this may be because we have stopped the backward drag.
How To Deal With The Depression Unmotivated And Lack Of Inspiration?
The fastest route to recovery is the hardest route. It involves dedication and exertion without props. It involves giving up and letting go. It requires us to acknowledge we have hit rock bottom.
There are many ways to tackle depression and to help us move forward, but the most powerful approach is to turn around and face it head on. This will be the beginning of a change that will resonate for the rest of your life. You will look back and be excited about hitting this point.
I look back and see that I wouldn’t have ever reached this point of restoration, excitement, hope, strength and joy had I not hit that point of no return.
You may not like what I’m going to suggest but the fastest route that I’m talking about is: surrender to the depression.
Surrender To The Depression
When you learn to fly a plane, you have to become skilled at managing the controls: the rudder, the elevator, the throttle and so on. It can become quite a tricky business making sure all the controls run as they are meant to.
If these controls are not operated in symmetry, the plane and the pilot can enter a flat spin from which only a very experienced pilot can climb out. Once the plane is in that lethal situation, it takes real skill to recover from it.
A Cessna, however, is a common plane in which to learn to fly. If you get into difficulty, or a spin, and you don’t know how to recover from it, you simply let go of the controls. This gives the plane the opportunity to sort itself out because it is designed to be dynamically stable.
When learning to pilot a Cessna, the instructor will purposely get you into a muddle and then ask you to let go of all the controls. Naturally, it is easy to feel frightened when you do this, but then a sense of calm takes over as the plane adjusts to being free of unnecessary interference.
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This is how we surrender – we let go of control. We are running from our painful feelings and sending ourselves into a flat spin. Just let go and allow your spirit to re-balance itself.
Deep inside us, no matter how hidden, we have a stable spirit. We are designed to move forward, grow, develop and mature. It is part of human nature to love, experience loss, grieve and accept. It is the gift of life that we can experience bliss and joy.
However, we are inclined to interfere with this natural cycle by trying to control how we feel, ignoring our emotions or using something to suppress our pain.
We do this because we are sure the depression will catch us up and devour us. But it won’t – it will simply keep us on the run.
Once you hold your hands up in surrender, you may feel overwhelmed by the strength of anguish that follows. Don’t despair; this is a backlog of sensations that have been building up.
What Might Happen When We Surrender?
When we surrender to our depression, we may experience strong feelings that we didn’t know were there. Don’t despair. These are feelings that we have been running away from. We don’t have to summon our courage to face them because if we are at this point, then we are already able and willing to face them.
We have reached a point where we want to move forward and so our denial will have shifted enough to address the feelings that are lying in wait to come out.
The overwhelming feeling that arises when we surrender is ‘Thank God!’ This is because we’ve faced the truth that all is not well inside us but we are no longer willing to lie to ourselves.
We might feel immediate relief and respite as the weight of holding the dam wall together dissipates. We can tell ourselves that we are actually OK; it is simply that we are depressed. While this phase takes place, we must do whatever it takes to see ourselves through these first days.
We can take ourselves to a safe place and relish the freedom from anxiety as the weight of denial lifts.
How Long Should You Surrender For?
Do it until you feel some new energy entering you.
You may have been depressed for months, in which case you may feel one day is enough.
You may have been depressed for years and need to undertake surrendering for much longer. Take up to a week and incorporate a sense of surrender every day. Put by an hour a day to contemplate what you have been going through. Do this while reading a gentle book, taking a warming bath, meditating or lighting a fire.
Find something soothing to do while you contemplate your thoughts. Don’t judge yourself – there are good reasons for how tortured you have felt or still feel. You will come to feel ready for the next step as you gain acceptance of your pain and fear.
Suffer From Depression Unmotivated And Uninspired? Then Do Nothing
“Observing yourself is the necessary starting point for any real change.” —Chalmers Brothers
In our fist pumping, high fiving world, it’s easy to go down the route of trying to highball our way out of it. But it doesn’t work.
How many times do we watch a self-help video or read a book vowing that things are going to change but they don’t?
Change can’t come from external sources, it has to come from us. Doing nothing connects us with us. There we discover the source of our true self.
Our true self will guide us to find authentic motivation and inspiration we need to stand up and reconnect with the rest of our life.
****Please remember I am not a doctor. Please see a healthcare professional for advice.****