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Extreme feeling of 'can't be bothered'. Anyone relate?

(57 Posts)
MerryMarigold Mon 13-Jun-16 10:26:20

Hi. I've posted this here, because I am currently taking anti depressants. I've taken them several times before (Citalopram) and they have been great. I had a tough year, we moved house, it's been very hard for one of my kids in particular, I left friends behind and the new house is hard work (there's so much to do, and it's very cold). Anyway, so I was starting to get to that place where you feel in the eye of the storm of emotions, so much so that sometimes I wanted to die to get some peace. I knew it was time to take some medication, so in Feb I went back on what I am used to.

Anyway, it did definitely calm me, though didn't seem to make me feel as better as it had before. I have started feeling like I just can't be bothered to do anything - in an extreme way. I can't say it's tired, but I would describe it as lethargic, an aversion to doing anything, Not all the time, but a lot of the time. It's not tiredness. I have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and I know what that feels like. This has the same outcome, I end up in bed, but it's not a 'dead' sleep, more like I lie there half awake but I'm just there because I don't want to do anything else.

I particularly feel this about things that 'need to be done' - cooking, shopping, washing clothes etc. I have to force myself to do the bare minimum on those, and we have been eating so unhealthily recently, which I am sure is making this worth But even with other things, like it's my birthday coming up, and I can't be bothered to think about what I'd like to be given, or how I'd like to celebrate. I think my family are confused. I do some tutoring (occasionally) and part time voluntary work, and I just don't want to do that either. I feel ok when I actually start, but I feel dreadful beforehand.

What is wrong with me? Why am I so so unmotivated by anything? Could it be physical? Is it mental? Anyone experienced this and please let me know what it is/ whether you overcame it and how.

xandra588 Mon 13-Jun-16 12:29:06

Dear Marry. I've been through ADs a while ago. You are not unmotivated, it's the pills. They made me feel the exact same way. I think you should stop taking them, BUT DEFINITELY NOT RIGHT AWAY! Just try to resist taking them, don't think of them as a solution to the problem, but as an adding to it. Here's my story. I was literally obsessed with my pills. (Valerian) They made me feel so calm I barely gave a damn about anything. The moment I realised I was taking more than 10 a day, I realised I have a problem. I went to no doctor, no psychologist, no any professional who would brainwash me. I just started reducing the doses. Very slowly. Let's say I took an average of 13 pills a day. I started reducing them by one or two per week. I successfully reduced them by 50%, in like a month. But then the thurst tried to go back in. This was one of the hardest moments in my entire life. I felt really stressed and wanted to swallow like 200 pills at once. Well I didn't, because I probably would have been fired, because since my obsession with ADs has seriously increased, I started going late to work,barely gave a shit about anything, and eventually, I was given a warning. Because I "drugged" myself. I also have two children which only I took care for. They were the thing that pulled me out of the "unmotivation cycle". They were the reason I stood up. Since I started seriously redicung the pills, I started feeling how life is going back into my body. I felt all those emotions (both good and bad) are making their way in to my mind, and it was like best feeling ever. You feel useful again, you have a more positive thinking. This was my story. I'm not sure if it will help you or not, but I hope it will. The best advice I can give you is to slowly start reducing the pills, until you no longer need them. Once again, hope I helped.

MerryMarigold Mon 13-Jun-16 12:33:51

Thanks Xandra. I am only on 20mg a day at the moment (one pill), and I don't really want to increase. Maybe I have built a tolerance to them, as have been on them 3x before, but always worked very well. I don't want to get back to the extreme emotions as that was exhausting in a different way, and also more damaging to family I think. But I would like to drag some motivation from somewhere. Thanks for replying and I hope you are in a much better place now. Isn't Valerian a herbal treatment? Or do you mean Valium?

wenchystrumpet Mon 13-Jun-16 12:42:18

Please don't stop taking the medication except on the advice of your doctor or psychologist. Depression is a serious health condition (reflecting, of course, the reality of your life and its stressors) and you deserve the best possible treatment. The CBF feeling is a sign that you still need appropriate health support.

notagiraffe Mon 13-Jun-16 12:55:08

I feel very similar to you almost all the time. Similar in that I take Ads and have on and off for decades. very similar total lack of motivation for pretty much everything.

The way I handle it is:
I decide it really doesn't matter how I feel about small easy stuff - whether I can be bothered to do it or not, I do it. (E.g. didn't want to take a shower yesterday. Told myself, doesn't matter that you don't want one and got in anyway. felt better afterwards.)
Set a kitchen timer for 5 mins. Do things just for 5 mins. Clear up. Or stick a laundry load on etc. If you need a rest, even for the rest of the hour after that, have on,e but do something for five minutes every hour you are up. That usually means 10-16 small things get done each day. That way toilets get swiped, beds changed, forms filled in, birthday presents ordered online etc and you don't feel quite so useless when you go to bed.
Not being bothered to cook is fine, but it's just as easy to chuck healthy stuff on a plate as unhealthy stuff. I do a lot of dishes where you just put chicken or salmon pieces in the oven sprinkled with either soy and sweet chilli or rosemary and lemon, then cook baby potatoes in with them, or rice in the microwave and bags of salad.
Make some lists, from the cosiness of your bed if you want, of things that depress you because they're not done - one list for big things (e.g. repainting the house; getting new windows etc) and one for small things (e.g. the taps have been covered with toothpaste for days and I can't be arsed to wipe them) And lists of things you'd love to do or that would cheer you up or if really nothing would right now, things that would at least be good for you physically or mentally - again, one big, one small. (Big - going on a holiday you've always wanted etc; small - listening to favourite music)
Try and do one thing from the small lists each week. Then up that to 2-3 each week, then one each day, then try making inroads into one of the big things - maybe break it into tiny tasks and do one.
The important things about all these is that you don't have to want to do them or feel glad you did them at all while you're down. Just set them in motion. Not easy. I don';t always follow my own advice, but I do try.

MerryMarigold Mon 13-Jun-16 13:43:02

Thanks giraffe, that is very helpful with the big and small things. I sort of did that today and did a bit of crochet. Do you think you feel better in the long run for doing this? I do force myself a lot but I am tired of forcing myself. I want to not have to force myself! In terms of food it is hard as I have 3 kids who won't eat many healthy dishes, which are all quite time consuming by my standards. It's easier to do a pizza which they will eat, or fish fingers, or sandwiches. It's horrible to force myself to cook something and then they won't eat it and complain/ cry/ have a meltdown. (Well, one of them in particular). There a few things I HAVE to do in the next few days. Then it is my birthday. I will smile, but I hope I can enjoy it on the inside as well as pretending to.

notagiraffe Mon 13-Jun-16 14:51:18

Um... I think I feel better in the long run for doing all this. I never feel less tired. I never feel much more motivated. But I don't have the added, tedious burden of hating myself for being so useless. Which counts for something. And I do take a lot of pride in not over burdening my DP or DC as I grew up with a depressive parent who made sure everyone knew and tiptoed round him and felt sorry for him 24/7, so I was in a state of perpetual anxiety about him. And my two aren't, which I genuinely think is an achievement.

Maybe, for now, it's all I'm capable of. Not being a nightmare neurotic cow of a parent. grin But if keeping the lid on it is what's taking up all my willpower, then I'm happy with that. I'd rather they had a happy childhood than that I was energetic in other ways but stressed and furious all day long. Maybe for now whatever you are doing is all you are capable of. Chances are you are putting a lot of willpower into something which is draining you. Were you happy to move house? You have had to settle an unhappy child - that can take it out of you.

As for food - well they won't starve on fish fingers and pizzas. If you add some frozen peas and sweetcorn or baked beans and a few carrot and cucumber sticks, that's a pretty balanced diet.

Do you do all the tiny things - I make myself shower daily, put on music I love while making breakfast and tea; listen to or watch funny programmes; try and walk for an hour 3 times a week (should be daily but hey); try and go out and have fun with friends once or twice a week and with DC once or twice a week too. Easier said than done, but if you aim for that, then even if you just manage one get together with a friend one week and one outing with family the next, at least you'r not completely stagnating.

Is there a tiny corner of the new house that you can make into a soothing, pleasing place that doesn't need loads of work? Even if you can't face decorating yet, just a cosy chair with cushions, rugs, a lamp, a vase of flowers etc - somewhere to have a quiet cup of tea or write a journal, and not feel overwhelmed by the quantity of stuff to do.

cutefluffyunicorn Mon 13-Jun-16 17:30:16

I am in a similar place. I am on citalopram which I have been on for around 3 years (and previously as well) and it has definitely made me much calmer, less irritable , less tearful.. BUT I have a serious case of CBA all the time.
I am gradually trying to come off it . I have managed to slowly reduce from 20 to 10mg, but don't feel too great tbh
I also try to do little lists of achievable things . and at weekends I will make myself do something for 10/15 mins then let myself go and curl up back on my bed for a bit...then repeat...
Some days go better than others....I am trying to be kinder to myself on days I don;t get much done...

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Jun-16 09:19:18

I didn't realise CBA was an actual ' thing '. It's comforting to know. I made some lists which was good, and wrote some things I've already done to comfort myself. Today I woke really early and convinced myself I have early onset dementia and spent planning what I was going to do with the kids before it got too bad, and what I'd leave behind to help them deal with it. Sounds so silly written down, but I guess it shows my mind is not in a v healthy place. I may don't understand why it hasn't helped in the same way as it has in the past.

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Jun-16 09:20:59

I meant i don't understand why the medication isn't working this time. It's always been great and by now is be feeling a lot better.

cutefluffyunicorn Tue 14-Jun-16 18:01:26

I think for me the CBA is deifnitely more related to the medication than being depressed/anxious. It is hard to explain but the sort of symptoms I get from being depressed are not the same as the general sort of total cant be bothered I have when on citalopram. Last time I came off citalopram I was amzed at how much I got done, especially around the house. Unfortunately I came off it too quickly and crashed quite quickly and ended up in a worse state, but I was definitely more motivated. Which is one of the reasons I want to try and come off it. (but yes, on no account try stopping your meds without proper medical advice)
Interestingly a few years ago I was on Fluoxetine for a while, which did not have the same CBA effect for me. Unfortunately it didn't help so much with my anxiety and I had trouble with other side effects from it, but maybe if you feel citalopram isn't working so well for you you could discus alternatives with your doctor.
I hope you're doing OK today. I am impressed because I managed to get some washing done before work today!

cutefluffyunicorn Tue 14-Jun-16 18:02:54

and yes to writing things on lists you have already done so you can cross them off! I do that all the time!!

notagiraffe Tue 14-Jun-16 19:08:47

Merry I had to switch from citalopram to Prozac. Used to work so well but I had to come off it due to side effects and when I tried to go back on it just didn't work.

Your lists of what you have achieved is a brilliant idea. I do that sometimes. Been asleep most of today sad but at least helped at very busy food bank all morning and will be teaching this evening and did essay plan, plus cooked a healthy tea and discussed DH's new work project with him. Not a lot really in comparison with super productive people, but it's not nothing. I used to have a thread that listed what we have managed to do in a day. Think I'll revive it if anyone wants to come on and join me.

notagiraffe Tue 14-Jun-16 19:10:18

What bugs me is the Catch 22. If I'm depressed I get frozen like a computer and do nothing. Then go on Ads and end up with severe CBA. In both cases I sleep 10-16 hours a day. I long to be back to normal vitality - 8 hours sleep and the energy to get on with stuff like people around me do.

MerryMarigold Tue 14-Jun-16 19:34:12

Oh notagiraffe, I can SO SO relate. I went back on the ADs partly hoping I would be more energized as that has happened in the past. Maybe I will ask about Prozac. I often go to sleep with the kids at 8.30/9. If I stay up later then I need to sleep in the day. Today I slept from 12.30 till 3pm. I do feel better for it, but it is just depressing how much time I spend asleep and how rubbish I feel if I don't have around 11 hours.

Please do revive that thread on things achieved. I look at the amount other 'supermums' achieve and it feels so out of my reach, but what you listed today is realistic. I
- did some more crochet
- emailed a builder for a quote
- sorted kids washing out and did a white wash
- dyed my hair (big deal, been putting it off for ages)
- cooked a healthy finger food tea which we ate with friends (indoor picnic) whilst Austria/ Hungary was on (they lived in Austria for a long time but have no TV). It was hard work with 5 kids in the house, playing football with soft balls, fighting etc. but it was also fun and something different
- dh gave me a kiss when he got in, which made me feel really happy
- Just got all the kids 'bathed' (well they bathed themselves) and they are watching TV

I love the idea of doing something for 5-10 mins and then having a rest/ treat (like some MN time). It really worked for me today and I got more done thinking like that than just CBA to do ANYTHING. I still haven't cleaned the bathroom - feels too big, but we're getting there.

notagiraffe Tue 14-Jun-16 23:27:56

So don't clean the bathroom. Just clean the taps and mirrors one day, loo next day, bath following day, change towels day after that etc. All 5 min jobs.

I did revive that thread (started a new one. Join in, please. It's good motivation.)

Your day sounds productive too. Getting the builder in motion, bit of housework, having friends round - all positive.

cutefluffyunicorn Wed 15-Jun-16 08:25:13

oh I am going to come over and join that thread - sounds just what I need!
Giraffe and merry I think both your days sounded very productive! I do think sometimes we need to give ourselves more credit for what we HAVE done and stop beating oursleves up so much for what we HAVEN'T done.
I always go to bed when ds2 goes to bed at around 8.30, 9pm. I do read for a bit, but sometimes not very long. I am still always shattered when the alarm goes off at 6.30 am and could happily sleep another 2 or 3 hours sad

notagiraffe Wed 15-Jun-16 08:38:09

Well today, I'm aiming to:
- Bath & hair wash
- Wash my clothes (get forgotten under the constant stream of DCs uniforms, towels, bedding
- Go into town to do all the errands I've put off for a week - bank; chemists etc
- Spend an hour with coffee and notebook in my favourite cafe because I haven't done that for months.
- Take DS1 to hospital for post op check up
- Pick up holiday brochures for next year.

That's it. Not going to add anything else to the list. Not working today, so will have a day off, properly.

notagiraffe Thu 16-Jun-16 10:40:26

Last night I decided enough was enough. I've been like this for years now. Literally years of exhaustion and very low energy/achievement due to sleepiness and depression.
I'm on a mission to ditch all other obligations until I get my energy back. Otherwise life will just chug along in this twilight zone forever. hmm
I've tried this before and lost momentum. or regained a bit of energy and slipped back into old habits. But this time, I'm going to sort it out with a system of healthcare and wellbeing. Anyone fancy joining me?

MerryMarigold Thu 16-Jun-16 14:50:25

It sounds good Giraffe. I can't believe how far I've slipped. I had a semi productive day yesterday and was totally shattered by 5pm. Spent the whole evening feeling totally irritable and losing it with the kids. sad I need to be able to do the bare minimum without becoming a zombie.

notagiraffe Thu 16-Jun-16 19:29:55

Same here Merry. Exactly.

System for energy so far (please add to it)

8 glasses water a day
5-10 fresh fruit and veg a day
no refined flour, sugar or processed foods
cut right down on coffee, tea and wine with several drink-free days a week
supplements - e.g. berocca, vit B complex, iron tonic, vit D
one hour outside every day minimum
one hour exercise every day minimum
stretches every day morning and evening
write in journal daily
meditate daily - 10 mins minimum
read good books instead of trashy tv/FB/gaming/MN online
bathe or shower every day, get dressed every day, wear make up every day (only because I look too pale and ill without it.)

What do people think?
Any other suggestions for upping energy?

MerryMarigold Thu 16-Jun-16 23:01:59

grin giraffe. I feel overwhelmed reading that!! I think there must be some way of doing this in the same way as tackling the bathroom. Do some of the easier bits maybe...and then tackle some of the others a bit at a time.

I found my eating makes a huge amount of difference. Exercise even once a week makes me want to eat more healthily. I used to do:

- One coffee per day after school run (proper coffee)
- Low carb brekkie - yog & fruit/ eggs
- Nuts or crudites as a snack
- Main meal at lunch (Gluten free)
- Fruit etc. as pm snack
- Green smoothie at night

It seems so unrealistic for me at the moment. I keep 'intending to'. I gave up sugar in Jan, and I did have a lot more energy also now I think of it.

I only shower every 2 days shock. Occasionally more often.

Thinking of 3 things per day to be grateful for helps. It may seem very simple, but if you do it for a few weeks you feel a lot better. I was sticking notes up on my cooker hood of the 3 things per day so I could look at them every time I was cooking.

notagiraffe Fri 17-Jun-16 07:48:59

Merry - fair point. It is too overwhelming. It overwhelmed me yesterday. I didn't get through it all. Got to simplify it.

The 3 things a day to be glad of is a brilliant one.
But I do find drinking water helps. And the more I drink, the more it's clear that most of the time when I reach for a sugary or salty snack, it's thirst not hunger I'm responding to. Yesterday it was really easy to eat healthily, no snacking, no hunger, and I'm sure that's because of water and vitamins, so not craving anything.

MerryMarigold Fri 17-Jun-16 08:01:57

Notagiraffe, it was really fun to think of things. You can combine it with mindfulness so it can be being appreciative of something really small eg. dd's eyes looking up at me.

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Fri 17-Jun-16 08:09:11

I read a very interesting article the other day reminding me that serotonin ( which ADs deal with) is the happy hormone but it's dopamine that deals with motivation.

There are lots of foods you can eat to increase dopamine or supplements like theanine. Maybe look into that OP flowers

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