How are Depression and Motivation Related?

Jan 12, 2022

Lack of motivation can be a struggle for most people on occasion, but for people who suffer from depression this can be an everyday occurance. People with depression can find they lack motivation to complete or partake in the activities of daily life.

A chronic lack of motivation is a common and key symptom of depression. Doctors and clinicians consider lack of motivation a warning sign that their patient may be struggling with depression or another mental health disorder.

The loss of motivation can cause a vicious cycle to occur in a person who is struggling with depression. The person may stop participating in activities and as a result feel guilty for stopping. This can lead to even more lack of motivation and incompleteness of tasks and activities. To break the cycle can be difficult and the individual may find they cannot find motivation on their own.

Symptom of Depression: Loss of Motivation

People who develop depression may notice that their levels of motivation have lessened and tasks that were once easy to complete have become nearly impossible. A characteristic of depression related to lack of motivation is losing interest in activities that you used to enjoy.

Lack of motivation can lead to other common symptoms of depression:

  • Having trouble with memory
  • Having low energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Having an empty or low mood

Neurotransmitters Linked To Motivation

Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that nerve cells use to communicate with each other and these messages can help to regulate mood. The key neurotransmitters that are affected by people with depression are dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.

The neurotransmitter that is closely linked to motivation is dopamine. Dopamine’s role in the brain is to create positive feelings and moods associated with reinforcement and reward that help us become motivated to continue with a task. Reduced dopamine levels can contribute to depression and lack of motivation in some individuals.

Finding Motivation When You’re Depressed

To find motivation while you are depressed can be a difficult task. Effective treatments and an individualized treatment plan can help you lessen your depression symptoms and find motivation again.

Here are some additional tactics to try:

  • Set achievable goals – Building and executing a large plan to complete goals can be overwhelming especially if you are struggling from depression. Break down large goals into smaller tasks so that you can avoid overwhelming yourself.
  • Reward yourself – Whenever you find the motivation to complete a task, reward yourself with something that will bring you enjoyment and give you something to look forward to. This helps to reinforce your motivation and continue with the tasks at hand.
  • Build a realistic schedule – Create a schedule for the day that is realistic and does not involve an overwhelming amount of tasks. The schedule can also be made into a checklist that can help you stay on track. Completion of tasks can result in a boost of self-confidence.
  • Avoid negative thoughts – Replace your negative thought patterns and negative self-talk with positive affirmations and positive thought patterns.
  • Focus on healthy relationships – Socializing with supportive friends and family can help increase your motivation. This support network can also help hold you accountable and assist you with a gentle push to get motivated.

Although these tactics seem simple, for someone struggling with depression these tactics can seem impossible. Additional help may be needed and finding the right treatment that works for your depression is vital in finding recovery.

Brain Center TMS

Traditional treatment for depression includes psychotherapy and medication management. If these traditional methods are no longer treating your depression, consider alternative methods. One such alternative method is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).

TMS has been proven to be an effective breakthrough therapy for depression. TMS helps heal specific parts of the brain to improve mental and neuropathic disorders without the use of medication.
If you have tried multiple antidepressants with no success, and are looking for alternative treatment methods – don’t hesitate to give Brain Center TMS a call to find out what TMS can do for you.

Call 619-419-0901 today!

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