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Depression and ADHD

lack of any motivation

Hi, I’m new to the group and am writing this because I need help with motivation. I lost my job in May and have barely done anything since, even though my life is literally falling apart around me. Anyone have ideas?


I deal with lack of motivation myself and it is the number one thing I hate about my ADD.  I’m anxious to hear how others get motivated because I’m at a loss myself!  I get overwhelmed and dont know where to begin on decluttering to where I am mentally paralyzed and end up not doing anything.  I feel your pain!

Posted by jro1225 on Jul 11, 2014 at 9:49pm

This is a huge, if the biggest problem in my life. Your story sounds exactly like mine. In May, I QUIT my job and I literally have been sitting around feeling sorry for myself. The problem is I am usually upset over choices I made that led me to whatever my current situation is and I believe my unmotivated butt is actually part of my bi-polar disorder (which I was just diagnosed).

This website has been a God Send to me and I have learned so much. I encourage you to keep finding out all of the information you can about this disorder and the others that usually come with it. What some doctors are now saying is that our nervous system is different from non-adders. It’s been given the name “Intrest-Based Nervous System” . We have an extremely hard time doing things we don’t WANT to do (for whatever reason) and we lack the ability to prioritize mostly everything in our life. This makes doing things like cleaning, organizing, school work and problem solving a major problem for us and tasks that some ppl do very easily and quickly, is a nightmare for us since things like cleaning my room takes me 3 days and my Mom will do it in 1 hour. Do you get what I’m saying here hun?? I hope so…
Anyway, the best advice I can give you to motivate yourself is first, get a very good night’s sleep the night before you plan on attempting some tasks. Secondly, download a To~Do list template from the internet.
Next, wake up at a decent time, no later than 9, so you get an early start to your day and while you are (DEFINITELY) going to need a good breakfast that morning, maybe, treat yourself by going out to breakfast, just make sure you go alone and DO NOT MAKE ANY OTHER PLANS FOR THIS ENTIRE DAY. Except, for the tasks you write down on your To~Do list, which you need to do while you are sitting down and eating your breakfast.
Now, try and also pick a nice sunny day so the weather doesn’t become an excuse not to do shit and don’t write down too many things on your list for the day. Start with 3~6 tasks that are really outstanding but that you can either, start AND finish that day, or if it is an ongoing task (like job searching) just write down that you want to work on that for X amount of time that day.
Lastly, I read a great post one day on here from a girl who had some great advice. At first,  I thought “No Way!” But after I thought about it, makes all the sense in the world since we are so blessed with this Interest-Based NS. She said she always starts her To-Do lists with the stuff she WANTS or LIKES to do first. The stuff she hates she saves for last. The way she explained it was dead on. She could never motivate herself when she had a list of terrifying shit (It’s also only up to you to get off your asd). By starting with stuff she didn’t mind doing, she was more motivated to start and once she actually got up and started to accomplish some things, she was the in a groove, so once she got to the last of her list, it was never as bad as she led herself to believe. I think we talk ourselves out of a lot so build yourself up! Start the night before and I promise you, if you take my SIMPLE advice, you will end that day being very proud of yourself.
~Now I need to go take my own advice! HA! Really hope this helps….

Posted by Marykate053184 on Jul 12, 2014 at 1:22am

Well…....iam lucky with a couple ADHD attributes… creativeness and my need to keep moving. I was diagnosed a couple yrs ago and started educating myself…..that’s when I learned my enjoyment for the gym all these years…..I always said I dont go to get in shape…..I go for the focus…..if motivation is what you need and you can afford it and feel comfortable .........goin to the gym can discipline you….it always has me…you automatically eat better and within a month or two u feel not only physically but mentally u can do anything!!!!!! ......if you cant afford it regularly (I pay every month$46) try a month to see how you and maybe just walking out the door for a mile or two walk will come naturally

Posted by joani on Jul 12, 2014 at 6:25am

I have no motivation either..I feel like my life is falling apart piece by piece slowly and I am just sitting and watching. When I focus I hyper focus and can do the impossible and do it extremely well. When I can’t do anything I can’t even brush my teeth

Posted by Rajjj on Jul 14, 2014 at 12:29am

Hi Praisinger!

So sorry you’re struggling! Lack of motivation could definite;y be a sign of depression, especially since you have external motivation (things are falling apart). Here’s on online quiz to help decipher if it’‘s depression in addition to ADHD:

You are certainly not alone with these feelings. ADHD Coach, Sandy Maynard, answered this very question on motivation and ADHD as well:

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jul 14, 2014 at 5:45pm

I struggle with this as well but a lot of the times I don’t know which ‘me’ I’m waking up with. I wake up in one of a few ways; motivated and my outlook is good, unmotivated and depressed because I’ve allowed myself to be this way and allowed it to put me in the position I’m in today, irritable and very impatient and impulsive.

Posted by wesleyutwood on Jul 18, 2014 at 6:48pm

Hi there all,
My motivation tool is simple – after, let say, every 7 tasks done (could be 3, 5, 12, 15, whatever) I give my self a “prize”. Like – an article in the internet that I really wants to read, or 5 pages in a trailer-book. I am trying not to open the internet unless I have few tasks done, or not to touch the trailer book, unless, and until, the few tasks are done.
My brain then connects the craving-longing –desire that I have to turn the next page in a trailer, with the tasks that I hate. Meaning, if I know that at the end of the task I will be “aloud” to read 5 more pages in the trailer, the feelings that I have towards that trailer (craving and dying to keep reading it) goes to those boring tasks, because conditioning reading that trailer in completing those god-dammed task – transforms those feelings I have towards my trailer books – to that boring task.

Posted by MoltyTasker on Aug 01, 2014 at 3:23am

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