Telling a depressed person to “just get motivated” is like telling a rock to dance. You’ll get the same result, and it’s not because the person doesn’t want to find the motivation. It’s because even getting motivated is an overwhelming task. So how do you, as a depressed person, get motivated? Is it impossible? Definitely not, you just have to find a process that works for you.
There is a saying: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” But you can’t get out of bed. When you’re depressed, the question then becomes, “How do I get to where I even want to take a step?” For a great many sufferers, medication is the first step.
There are those who scoff at the idea of medication as an answer, but for those in a deep clinical or major depression, life is a dark place full of pain, anxiety and insecurity. Sometimes the blame can be placed squarely on an imbalance in your brain having to do with neurotransmitters and brain chemicals, like Serotonin, Nor-epinephrine, and Dopamine, your “feel good” chemicals. Many good medications for depression on the market today deal with chemical imbalances. Find the right one, and you may soon feel more like your old self again. And because you feel a better, getting actively motivated isn’t quite so hard.
A good therapist goes hand in hand with medication. One without the other is kind of a “half solution.” Talking to an impartial, trained professional often helps people get to the root of their depression. We all know what happens when something gets pulled out at the root. At the very least, you’ll feel better because someone is listening. Good friends also listen, but don’t forego a therapist for a friend. Well-meaning friends may tell you to just “get over it,” or “snap out of it,” or better yet, “pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”
This results in a vicious cycle. You may feel worthless and stupid; because you’re finding it hard to brush your teeth much less pull yourself up. Even thinking about it makes you tired. This leads to a deepening depression, which leads to more “helpful” remarks, which leads to even more depression. Unfortunately, the gaping wounds and ugly, thickened scars of depression aren’t visible to your friends and family. They can’t know how you feel if they’ve never been there.