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SergeantQueen's avatar

(Mental health question) How do I find motivation?

Asked by SergeantQueen (7044points) October 8th, 2017

Sorry for wall of text

Throughout a typical year, in school and out, I go through ups and downs. For a short time, I’m happy. I get things done, I’m motivated in school, home, CAP, etc.

And then suddenly, for reasons I can’t explain, I get super depressed. 90% of the time, nothing bad has happened. My school work load is manageable, I’m not stressed at home or CAP, I just suddenly feel really really down. I don’t want to get out of bed, do homework, nothing. I end up falling behind in school and I don’t know what’s causing this.

Sometimes the ups last a few days, sometimes a few months, same with the downs.

I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I was put on meds, but no longer take them. Even on the meds I was going through these ups and downs. Last time I took the test for depression, my doctor said I scored a 3 which was the lowest score for me (which was good). For anxiety, he said I was still above average. I can’t remember exact score but it was around 45

School has only been in session for about a month, and I really don’t want to start falling behind. I just can’t find the motivation to do anything. I’m forcing myself to go for walks, go to CAP and to do homework.

I’m not sure why I keep going through these ups and downs. They are sudden, and they feel drastic. Like one day I’m super happy and the next I’m on the verge of crying and I’m laying in a dark room.

I would really appreciate any advice you guys have.

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8 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

By letting go of the need for motivation. Be your self and stop forcing your self to get ahead. Most people don’t know what they want untill they lose more of what they have. Don’t try to be a great person and just be a normal person. Education is supposed to be fun if your not learning for its own sake then maybe you can take a year off and work at a job for a year. The less energy that you are wasting forcing yourself to do what you think is a way to get ahead then you will have extra energy for motivation. You can sign out books from your local library instead of blowing away tuition and other college expenses.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

In my experience, you don’t. If you don’t have motivation, you get up and you do what needs to be done anyhow. Sometimes motivation will follow and sometimes it won’t. Be kind and patient with yourself, don’t beat yourself up for doing less than you normally might manage and give yourself credit for small accomplishments.
Motivation isn’t necessarily for productivity, but productivity sure does help with depression. If you’re having major mood swings, you might want to consider going back to treatment of some sort. Perhaps you need different meds or even a different diagnosis.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

[Me: a person with a diagnosed mental illness on meds and now working in mental health]

Thank you for this question and especially for your details.

You have a diagnosis. That’s excellent. It’s the only way to start the long road to stability.

Your meds didn’t work. I’m sorry to hear that, but you want to know something? My first meds didn’t work either. I kept changing meds until I found the one I’m on right now. I changed meds several times over the course of nine years before I found one that kept me mostly stable. It wasn’t perfect.

Then three years after starting that med, I was given a new one that I’m still on today. It’s a very good fit for me. I’ve returned to work because of the good stability.

I suggest you tell your doctor you’re not taking the meds right now because they didn’t work. That’s important information to give him/her. He/She will want to find something better for you.

All the best to you.

stanleybmanly's avatar

My first suspicion would be about your diet and whether or not you are eating regularly. Try to pay attention to how different foods influence your moods.

SergeantQueen's avatar

The thing is, I can’t start taking meds again. I really want to join the Air Force, and I don’t want anything disqualifying on my record. I can’t afford a therapist.

Right now, I do have a lot of stuff going on. It honestly feels like a lot of things are just falling apart. I don’t want to go in detail on a live forum, but it’s things that are just really bothering me. So this is one of the few times I actually know why I’m feeling upset.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I am one of those people who believes meds are often thrown at people too quickly.
I especially believe this is true with teens.
Teens are going through changes which are physical, chemical, intellectual, and emotional.
There is room for lots of variance without there actually being anything wrong.
Gosh darn, it is lots to live through, and it isn’t all unicorn poop for anybody.
If you are keeping required aspects of your life going, then you are functional.
Sometimes, we just need some downtime.
When you see people finish a footrace, they are sweaty, and breathing heavy. That doesn’t mean they are sick, or doing anything wrong. Some parts of life are demanding, and requires us to back off a little for a bit.
Don’t expect to be up all the time.
That said, I think you should visit another doctor. Trust me, I know first hand sometimes they can be wrong.
If you do need to take meds, you should stay with them.
Meds can’t help if the patient isn’t taking them as advised.
I get that you want to join the military one day.
If you need to be on meds, the Air Force will find out REAL FAST. If you can’t be in, you can’t, and there is no chance of faking it. They are up you with a microscope. This too I know first hand. Remember? Navy woman here.
I admire you for working so hard toward your dreams, but you have to make your health the number one focus.

Kardamom's avatar

It sounds like you have manic depression, also known as bi-polar.

I agree with @HawaiiJake that you most likely need to be on medication, and often you need to try several before you get the right one.

Nothing to be ashamed about by taking medication that you need.

If being on medication disqualifies you from being in the Air Force, then so be it. If you need medication, just like anybody else with a medical condition such as diabetes or cancer or whatever, you need it. If you need it and you don’t take it, you will be sick. If you are sick, you couldn’t be in the Air Force anyway.

Don’t gamble with your health. You need to see a doctor, and probably a therapist. Do you have insurance? Most therapists take insurance, or work on a sliding scale. Are you in college? If so, find out about the health services that are offered at your school.

Don’t try to tough it out alone. There is help available if you ask for it, and look for it.

Best of luck : )

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