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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    My depression has sucked all my motivation, how do I get it back?

    I have suffered depression for about 18months due to a trauma. I was a very organised person, exercised everyday, running up to 50km per week & eating really healthy with lots of fresh food. I am on elexfor 150mg. Although my thoughts are not so black anymore I am struggling to do my day to day tasks. I can't think of anything worse than exercise even a walk makes me uncomfortable, going to the gym gives me almost a panic attack. I'm eating very little fresh fruit & veg & very little of any food. How do I get this motivation back. My psychologist said I just have to keep telling myself to do these what once were my everyday normal tasks. How do I get this motivation back & not hide in my house anymore.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Sheree Holland

    Psychologist

    AFFIRMATIVE PSYCHOLOGY -MIAMI, GOLD COAST, BULK BILLING* (conditions apply). Affirmative Psychology - is a "niche" private psychology practice established by Sheree Principal/Psychologist/Principal so that the … View Profile

    First of all it is unclear what sort of trauma you have been dealing with (i.e. psychological or physical). It is important to develop some specific goals in train with your psychologist, and to work towards incremental improvement and change. I can not comment on what sort of therapy you have been receiving. Something is clearly maintaining your lack of motivation and difficulty in managing activities associated with daily living. You may also wish to rule out other organic issues in regards to your health and physical functioning.

  • 1

    Agree

    1

    Thanks

    Dr Clive Jones

    Counselling Psychologist, Counsellor, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Sport Psychologist

    Dr Clive Jones is a registered psychologist specialising in the assessment and treatment of mental health issues and disorders and High Performance Sport psychology. He … View Profile

    In regard to those things that you're saying (running 50 kilometers per week, eating really healthy etc.) I would suggest straight away that we don't necessarily lose motivation, we just get motivated towards different things. At the moment it seems that you might be motivated to rest. It looks like there could be the possibility of burnout here and you might consider reassessing your lifestyle and getting a greater balance of things.

    You mention that you have faced a trauma. This means your mind and/or body have had to deal with a significant stressor that has had a significant implact on your life. The word trauma suggests that you have been pushed to a limit and therefore need time to recover from its impact.

    One of the strings to my bow is the speciality of Sport & Exercise Psychology. I have also competed as a triathlete running, biking and swimming many kms per week and have been involved in the exercise and fitness industry over a number of years. So to contextualise a little what you have shared… I could say that if I had to face and deal with a trauma I would most likely not feel like running for a while, until I had come to terms with the trauma that I had faced.

    The process of recovery and adaptation to stressful ltraumatic life events does need to be accomodated very intentionally otherwise we can find our body and mind forcing us to pull back and recover in spite of our self.

    A second factor to examine is the idea of avoidance. If not pulling back from your taining to recover, there could also be a conditioned avoidance response if the trauma had anything to do with your exercise.

    Lots of things to consider…  

  • 2

    Thanks

    Tracey Frazer

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Tracey is a Clinical Psychology with over 24 years of clinical experience and her own practice in Hurstville, Sydney. She has a passion for working … View Profile

    I would say that the trauma has contributed to your loss of momentum and spiral in mood. it sounds like it is hard to imagine doing all the thongs that you used to do. I wonder whether you are expecting yourself to get straight into things at the level you once found fine. Often when we go through depression and post traumatic stress we need to adjust our starting point to get things moving. If you can start by giving yourself small goals it might help.

    Self compassion is also imperative. It you are whipping yourself for what you can't be bothered doing you are probably entering into a toxic vicious cycle. 

    I agree with previous posts that you need to get to the bottom of what is behind the amotivation and start there.

  • Bruni (Brunhilde) Brewin

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist

    Bruni Brewin is President Emeritus of The Australian Hypnotherapists’ Association (AHA), the oldest and largest National Registration Body for hypnotherapists in Australia founded in 1949, … View Profile

    I couldn't find the drug elexfor on the internet?  Is the spelling right?  The medication can be causing the feelings as well as the trauma if that has not been dealt with.  

    I have worked in a trauma and pain management center and can tell you that it is not unusual that a person can lose their mojo whilst on medication - suggest you go and speak with your doctor who may want to try you on something else.

    As a hypnotherapist, I find releasing the feelings of the original trauma in the trance state is worth a try.  Choose a hypnotherapist that has been trained in releasing trauma/anxiety feelings and emotions. Ask questions about training in hypnotherapy.  Lack of training in that area of hypnosis can mean lack of results.

    You will get your motivation back when you have released the cause of the feelings and emotions.   Remember never to come of your medication without your doctors help.  People have done that when they feel a little better and have gone backwards because they stopped taking their medication suddenly rather than work with their doctor.

    Perhaps, what you are doing now just isn't working and you need to change to something different to get a different result.

  • Julie Hall

    Counsellor

    I have been a fully Qualified Counsellor for over 21 years in Private Practice working with many health organisations and Companies. I am an integrative … View Profile

    Trauma maybe defined as the experience of events involving threat or danger to oneself or others. Examples may include either the direct personal experience, witnessing or learning of an experience.

    There are many different ways one can react to trauma including various intruisive thoughts and feelings, avoiding behaviours and other symptoms such as sleeplessness, poor concentration, high anxiety and panic attacks and so forth.

    Reactions can vary and it can be very distressing when experiencing any of these, however finding the right Counsellor for you may give you the opportunity to be listened to and share your experiences in a safe confidential setting.

    What you have experienced can never be 'taken away' but counselling may help you gradually become more at ease with your reactions and start to regain a sense of control back into your life.  

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