Living with depression affects your day to day life in so many ways and, like sleep, motivation and mood have a reciprocal impact. If you have never lived with true clinical depression/major depressive disorder (MDD), you may find it difficult to empathise and think that a lack of motivation is just laziness; that the person simply can’t be bothered. This is so far from the truth.
Lack of motivation in depression is a fundamental inability to function. The simplest of tasks become huge hurdles, getting out of bed, showering, eating; these self care tasks can be impossible. It’s not that we don’t want to, our mind, stuck on repeat, tells us to get out of bed, get up, get moving. Our body is rigid with tension. Staying in bed is not relaxing, it’s not having a lie in. The battle between mind and body goes on and on. It affects every aspect of your daily life; your ability to plan, to work, to study, how you interact with family and friends or engage in social activities.
Many people taking part in RED January are living with mental health problems or are supporting a family member. They understand the impact of mental illness and how something as simple as being active each day is an enormous achievement. The RED community is there to support and encourage each other in taking the first steps and to celebrate everyone’s success. As I mentioned in my first blog post, success is a personal thing; setting goals, small or large, and achieving them provides a boost to self esteem and feelings of worth. In boosting your self esteem, you gain motivation. It’s slow progress but, little by little, as motivation grows, your ability to function improves which further feeds your motivation.