Lazy, bored, worthless.
May 19, 2008 5:30 PM   Subscribe

Why am I so lazy?

If anyone has seen Office Space, I'm exactly like the lead character. There is nothing in the world that I want except to do nothing. I have tried and tried and tried to find something that I enjoy, or that will motivate me. Everything I can find is painfully boring. Travelling, a career, hobbies, meeting people - all of it bores me to tears. I only do the minimum in life to get by and it grates my nerves to do that much.

Sometimes I go hungry for a couple days because it's just so damn boring to go to the grocery store. It boggles my mind how some people hop out of bed and go about doing things, when it takes such enormous will to do something like washing the dishes.

I get by in life by scavenging and I have never held a job for more than a few months because the boredom overwhelms me. I'm so ashamed of myself and I'd give anything to feel motivation and drive for something. The only reason I do anything at all is so that I can keep a roof over my head.

I tried all the obvious solutions:
-Depression meds
-Blood test
-Healthy food

No, I don't have ADD, much as everybody loves to tell everyone else that they have it.

Nothing works. Please, somebody help me. There must be something.
posted by giggleknickers to Health & Fitness (40 answers total) 74 users marked this as a favorite
Low level depression
posted by caddis at 5:36 PM on May 19, 2008

IANAD but it sounds to me more like a depressive disorder - dysthymia or even major depression. Treatment for that is some combination of therapy and medication. If they didn't work before, I would really, really try again with a new doctor and new therapist. Your life sounds miserable. Just finding a therapist and psychiatrist may take too much motivation - do you have a friend or relative that you trust that could help you figure out how to get help?
posted by metahawk at 5:38 PM on May 19, 2008

By the way, depression is real mental illness - it cripples your motivation. If you are depressed, You are not lazy, bored or especially not worthless, you are just struggling with the fog of depression.
posted by metahawk at 5:40 PM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

What sorts of depression meds did you take? How many therapists did you see? As you'll hear often around here, sometimes you have to try out different therapists and psychiatrists until you find someone who understands your situation and can help you make constructive progress (or who can come up with a better treatment for you). Of course, I suppose motivation to find another therapist might be an issue, but it's something that will return on the investment. So maybe you can think of it as budgeting what limited time you have on this planet?
posted by spiderskull at 5:41 PM on May 19, 2008

Response by poster: I'm on Wellbutrin and it works great. I'm not depressed anymore. I've been like this my whole life. There are things I want to avoid, but never things I want. When I was a kid/teenager I hated school and I hated my family and all I wanted was to get the hell out of there. I thought things would be great and my life would start once I got out, but then I realized that while I'm not full of anger and hurt anymore, I don't really have anything to enjoy.
posted by giggleknickers at 5:42 PM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Really, you need a goal. When you are this far down you are not likely to succeed if your goal is yourself. You just don't care enough. Find someone who needs help. It could be the lower castes in India, heroin addicts who need clean needles in your local home town, battered women etc. Food banks are really easy, trust me. Give. Give more. Give gobs and gobs. Nothing will turn your lousy, useless, depressing life (don't take that personally, we all have these) around like making someone else's even more lousy life better. It might seem a bit crass, but it is real, and nevertheless someone else benefits. Adopting a little brother might be good for you, but you may not be ready for that responsibility yet. That might be a reward you give yourself with a bit of progress.
posted by caddis at 5:48 PM on May 19, 2008 [2 favorites]

I don't believe you tried the obvious solutions - try exercise again. And again after that.
posted by fire&wings at 5:50 PM on May 19, 2008

So what was it that made you want to see the world a little over a month ago? What motivated you to learn Chinese if all you're interested in is the bare minimum to put a roof over your head?

I'm not playing gotcha here. I think if you're going back and forth between motivation to travel the world and no motivation at all, then that's going to tell you something about your mental state.
posted by lore at 5:51 PM on May 19, 2008

Response by poster: I do give money to charity, though that's partially because I don't care about buying anything beyond rent and food, so I don't know what to do with the rest of my money. I've done lots of charity work at different times, but I always get lazy after a while and leave it. I'm a horrible person. :-(

I have tried exercise MANY times. It usually lasts 3-6 months of doing it every day before it gets procrastinated out of my schedule.
posted by giggleknickers at 5:53 PM on May 19, 2008

Response by poster: Lore, I got bored with Chinese and quit doing it. I move around all the time because I keep convincing myself that it will solve my problem. It never does.
posted by giggleknickers at 5:55 PM on May 19, 2008

Wow - it's like that other question was written by a completely different person - maybe people could be more helpful to you if you talk about how the two questions fit together?
posted by moxiedoll at 6:00 PM on May 19, 2008

Response by poster: Okay, I'll try. Here's an inner dialogue by me stretched out over a period of time:

Life is meaningless, pointless, boring. There must be something good out there. I know! I can learn the flute!

Wow, playing the flute is a lot of work and there is actually nothing even remotely enjoyable about it. Life is meaningless, pointless, boring. There must be something good out there. I know! I'll write a novel!

Wow, writing is a lot of work and there is actually nothing even remotely enjoyable about it. Life is meaningless, pointless, boring. There must be something good out there. I know! I'll learn to make web pages.

Wow, making web pages is a lot of work and there is actually nothing even remotely enjoyable about it. I know! I'll move to Belgium!

Wow, life is just as meaningless, pointless, and boring as it was everywhere else.

Rinse, wash, repeat.
posted by giggleknickers at 6:08 PM on May 19, 2008 [8 favorites]

Best answer: If I may be so bold, I'd wager that you just don't know how to have fun. Now, there are two routes to fun. You can find what makes you happy, or you can be happy in whatever you do. It sounds to me as if you just don't know how to be happy in any circumstance you've tried thus far - and it sounds as if you've tried a lot - so the problem's got to be that you just don't know how to have fun.

What I suggest, actually, is that you let someone show you. A friend, maybe, or a teacher. Spend time listening, really listening, to someone who really enjoys something in particular, and do it with them. If you pay attention to them and engage with them, their enthusiasm will catch on, and so long as you try to tamp down your feelings of boredom, you can let how they feel replace/alter how you feel. It happens all the time between friends - a lot of my enthusiasm about other things can be traced to other people. There are very few things I'm intrinsically enthusiastic about, but that's the beauty of it - I can share the things I'm enthusiastic about with other people, and they can share them with me, and if we're both attentive and open-minded, then we increase the things that we both like, which means diversifying our routes to happiness. And this makes us both happier.

The problem here, I suppose, is you have to let go of the self-characterization of you as a lazy, unmotivated person. You may have to consider that perhaps (and this is really entirely all blind guesswork here) it's possible that you had a lot of pressure as a kid and "lazy, unmotivated" is a form of rebellion that's making you unhappy. Whatever the reason, though, it's bringing down your quality of life, so you have to start thinking of yourself as someone who used to be lazy and unmotivated but you're smarter than that now and you're taking steps to change.

Motivation during depression is tough, extremely tough. The good part is that on the other side it suddenly makes so much more sense - once you figure out how to be happy, you won't need to try to force yourself to do this or that anymore, because it'll just come so much more easily to you.
posted by reebear at 6:09 PM on May 19, 2008 [25 favorites]

I've done lots of charity work at different times, but I always get lazy after a while and leave it. I'm a horrible person. :-(

I have tried exercise MANY times. It usually lasts 3-6 months of doing it every day before it gets procrastinated out of my schedule.

yup, depressed. you have so, so much company in this world. if it is any comfort, unless you are bipolar, each year gets easier and easier, and the depression gets less and less, pretty much no matter how dire, or awesome, your real life situation. I know, that doesn't help you today. Activity helps to the extent you can maintain it. Focusing on a single activity won't work; you already know it. Look for some new avenue for your energy, and energy is always better for the new ones, every few months. It's not shallow, it's not silly, it is real and very, very many people do just that to stay afloat. These solutions may not work for you, but they do work for many similarly situated folk, so perhaps you at least try.
posted by caddis at 6:14 PM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you are typical university age (not returning after having supported yourself - which, if that's the case, indicates it's own kind of optimism) then you might find that you have an easier time once you've graduated. Anecdotally, I know a number of people who found the huge blocks of unstructured time that college provides (which you're meant to fill with fun! enriching! meaningful! activity) impossible to deal with. Having a job that takes up most of the day, with just an evening to fill where they weren't supposed to accomplish anything grand (you're supposed to relax! and fold your laundry!) made them feel much healthier.
posted by moxiedoll at 6:15 PM on May 19, 2008 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Reebear, that's an interesting suggestion. I'm not 100% convinced that it will work, but by gosh will I give it a try. I always go out of my way to do everything on my own, so I suppose I haven't experienced that.

Not sure if it's relevant, but contrary to your assumption, I had zero pressure as a kid. My parents told me I was too pretty to need good grades and advised me not to be "too smart" in case I put boys off. It was a very different time back then.
posted by giggleknickers at 6:16 PM on May 19, 2008

Response by poster: I'm in my 30's, since that's apparently relevant to my question.
posted by giggleknickers at 6:19 PM on May 19, 2008

Hypoglycemia? What's your diet like? Eating more whole grains, fruit, and veggies will keep your blood sugar stable. Avoid white potatoes/flour/rice and sugar.

How's your iron levels? If you haven't had it checked, do so. Iron deficiency anemia can make you fatigued and lethargic.

Have you taken a lot of anti-biotics? It can destroy the good bacteria in your gut and mess with the can have trouble absorbing nutrients. Yogurt and pro-biotic supplements can help.

I have had all three problems within the last few years, I went from a very hyper and motivated person to someone who sleeps and watches TV all the time. I didn't have the energy, physical or mental, to do anything else.
posted by sixcolors at 6:25 PM on May 19, 2008 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: I follow The Rosedale Diet, which is low carb. I do eat quite a lot of broccoli and cauliflower, but I guess my veggies aren't that varied, which is potentially a problem. Could it be something as simple as that?

I don't know about my iron. Is that something they typically check at a blood test?

I have taken a course of anti-biotics twice in my life for infection. I wouldn't think that is enough to be an issue.
posted by giggleknickers at 6:29 PM on May 19, 2008

Giggle: Oh, if you were ever in LA, I would paint with you. There's something really just... calming about slowly filling a canvas one brushstroke at a time, around midday, with half a package of crackers sitting on the stool next to you and someone at your back chattering about borrowing some cobalt blue. The pride and sense of accomplishment after a piece is finished isn't too bad either. :)

And wow, was I off. Not terribly surprised though (at being wrong) but it's certainly very interesting, since that wouldn't have been high on my list of guesses.
posted by reebear at 6:36 PM on May 19, 2008

I vote for depression and hereby repeat my usual recommendation of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

I believe that there's always a self-serving if highly illogical "reason" that we do or believe self-destructive things. For example:

How do you benefit from thinking that life is meaningless, pointless, and boring? How do you benefit from seeing yourself as lazy? For one thing, you don't ever have to fail, because if nothing is worth doing, you can't fail.

You might also be perpetuating messages you got as a kid, if you were expected to not excel at anything because your main job was to be pretty and not scare away boys with any shows of competence. If you weren't encouraged to achieve anything, then you could easily believe that achievement is pointless or even harmful.

A friend who also believes life is pointless has this "reason": "Only the truly gifted realize that life is pointless, boring, etc. Therefore, if I believe life is pointless etc., that proves that I'm smarter than the others. Getting excited about something would just mean that I'm gullible and stupid."

I'm not saying any of these beliefs are shaping you. They're just examples of the kind of examination that can be helpful. If you can identify a "reason" you have these beliefs, you can then challenge the reason, which is a lot more effective.
posted by PatoPata at 6:53 PM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

I have three suggestions.

1/ Force yourself to do absolutely nothing. That is, do not follow any thoughts or urges to action of any kind. Do not grab onto the shoulds or the emotions that crowd your brain. Take 10-15-30 minutes for this. AFter that you may be refreshed and appreciate the reality of simple things such as being able to move around and do things. It should help you get in touch with some urges -- which you can then follow once doing-nothing time is up. I think you may be like me, not so in touch with your feelings, often. This practice of doing nothing can help with that, by helping let go of the usual stuff going through the brain.

2/ Try different things. Go different places. Meet different people. Really pay attention and look for anything worthwhile, but don't be so quick to judge what is worthwhile. Just try to be a little patient and feel something more than boredom.

3/ Consider a GABA supplement (powder under the tongue). I found it helped me. I'm kind of a depressoid by nature. I asked a question here about it a while back. I found it helpful for me.
posted by Listener at 7:01 PM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Just avoid Effexor... it'll make you totally undepressed, but coming off that drug is one of the worst experiences ever.
posted by dopamine at 8:59 PM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Reading your posts, it strikes me how much you put yourself down. (I know one person who calls it the stinkin' thinkin' that goes with depression.) Since you are able to give new things a try for a while, I suggest that you buy a copy of Feel Good by David Burns. It is a do-it-yourself cognitive therapy guide that many, many people have found very helpful. (Do a search in the ask mefi archives to find out more.) At the moment you have enough incentive to get better to post here. Take the next step - buy the book (locally or splurge on overnight shipping) and start on Chapter 1. I promise you that if you do the exercises, you find that it has an effect on you even if you don't finish the whole book the first time.

If you find it hard to do on your own do not, repeat do not, think it because there is something bad about you. It can be hard and often it is much easier with a coach (read therapist) to help you along. So if you like the book but can't get going, that is the incentive to look for a therapist who is experienced in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). Tell them you want to give it a try and they should know what you are talking about.
posted by metahawk at 9:49 PM on May 19, 2008 [3 favorites]

I want to reiterate this point in case it gets lost in the shuffle:
How's your iron levels? If you haven't had it checked, do so. Iron deficiency anemia can make you fatigued and lethargic.

This is very, very true. I've been anemic on and off for much of my life, and it got worse as I got older. I would literally sit on the couch for days because I couldn't be bothered to do anything. I finally took some iron and it cleared up very quickly. Give it a try - also make sure that you are hydrated - it really helps your energy level.

If you eventually decide that there is no physical cause for your malaise, may I also suggest that you are simply trying too hard? There are a million and one boring things in this world, and I'm sure that I've tried at least 10,000 of them. Part of the problem comes from being too superficially interested in new things. I LOVE new things - for about 1 day - and then most of them become boring (since they are no longer new). The trick is to find those (relatively) few things that become more interesting the more you do them (music, art, cooking, sex, sewing/crocheting - for me). It might take you a while, but perhaps you can try to be a little more picky about what new tangents you embark on, and save your strength for the things you are truly interested in?
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:53 AM on May 20, 2008

Makes me thing of something I heard - maybe on This American Life? It was about a man who had no testosterone due to some ailment. He had no desire - for anything. No drive, didn't eat much because he couldn't be bothered, didn't want to do anything at all. I wonder if it's worth looking at?
posted by tomble at 2:38 AM on May 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

I follow The Rosedale Diet, which is low carb.

You have some fantastic suggestions here! I would simply add that you should maybe consider including more carbs in your diet - the brain needs carbs to function, just make sure they're low GI if you're concerned about weight gain - things like porridge, low-fat yoghurt, pears, etc. Do a google search for low-GI carbohydrates and you'll be able to find lots of yummy and filling options.

I know that when I'm on any kind of diet I do get very lethargic and could-care-less about life, whereas when I eat normally (good low-GI carbs and good protien) I'm so much happier and bubbly... the difference is pretty amazing... so diet may definately be playing a part in your current situation.
posted by katala at 4:05 AM on May 20, 2008

Are we related?

I can't offer a whole lot of advice, but can offer the reassurance that you are not alone. I've gone through years-long stretches of this since I've been 13 or 14. Same behavior of throwing myself into something new to try and wake myself up. Learning foreign language, travel, music, performing improv, etc., etc. Each time, once the novelty wore off, my momentum would slow and then...stop. So frustrating.

It got easier when I was treated for hypothyroidism. But my thyroid goes wonky from time to time and now when I get the rare bout of malaise, my thyroid levels are the first thing that I look into. Although getting up the energy to actually call the doctor and go for the blood test is, wow, so tiring.

I try to get regular exercise that doesn't require scheduling (taking stairs instead of elevator, etc.) Try to eat carbs that contain more fiber, less white flour or sugar (like oatmeal). I try to avoid strict diets because my body doesn't respond well to them.

Hang in there. Be well.
posted by jeanmari at 6:21 AM on May 20, 2008

In addition to all the great suggestions above, I'd suggest you rule out another physical issue by getting your thyroid tested. I had a friend who had similar problems that almost completely cleared when she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and given simple meds.

That having been said, my thyroid is fine and I'm not anemic, and I often feel like this. I generally chalk it up to low-level depression, which I'm trying to address in various ways.

Do you like dogs? My dogs are my best motivators. They get me out of the house, give me something to focus on other than myself, and show me how fun it can be to get excited about pretty much anything. Fostering shelter dogs gave me a purpose in life when I thought I couldn't bring myself to get involved in much of anything, and watching them transform into happy, healthy beings gave me tremendous satisfaction and joy. Worth a try if you're into such things - it fits into the "help others" category, but for me at least, it has some other therapeutic benefits as well. Your motivators - if they're out there - may well be different.
posted by walla at 6:33 AM on May 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Nthing depression and CBT. Those internal messages are killers. You're not lazy because you're lazy, you're lazy because a) you don't get enjoyment out of what you do and therefore aren't motivated to continue doing it, and b) you tell yourself you're lazy and that you don't/won't get enjoyment out of those things, or life in general. It's not an easy or overnight fix, and may take therapy, medication, and/or meditation to improve, but the one thing it definitely takes is learning to replace those messages and persistently practicing doing so.
posted by notashroom at 9:40 AM on May 20, 2008

These suggestions are all so helpful - I'm in a really similar situation (especially beating myself up for being lazy, and not sure what I'm doing with my life @ age 30), and I'm printing this up so I'll remember what I want to look into.

I completely agree with how helpful having a dog can be - things were definitely worse for me before I got my dog.

Best of luck to you.
posted by ryca at 2:20 PM on May 21, 2008

Wow, writing is a lot of work and there is actually nothing even remotely enjoyable about it.

"I hate writing; I love having written."

Of course you're not getting any enjoyment out of life. You're not finishing anything. You get feelings of achievement and self esteem (a.k.a. "the good stuff," a.k.a. "the reason for living") from accomplishing things, not from giving up after a few weeks or a few months. The reason writing a novel is an accomplishment is because it is hard. If any of that stuff you listed were easy, there would be little value to doing it. Almost everyone who is proficient at something cool has put in many thousands of hours practicing. To do something that most people can't do requires effort that most people haven't put in.
posted by kindall at 3:21 PM on May 21, 2008 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Thank you so much for writing. Except for the age, I really identify with you. I just turned 50. I have been diagnosed with clinical depression since I was in my 20's. I have tried every anti-depression and anti-anxiety med that has been on the market. I am currently on Effexor, Wellbutrin, and Lamictal. I have seen at least 15 different counselors. I find my depression to be cyclical. It sounds like yours may be too. After all, there are things that you have tried and done. I lot more than me if I might say.

Currently, I am in a downward cycle, so I don't know if I can be of any help. Usually, when I am seeing a counselor (I just stopped) they will ask me to take 2 self-help books and call them in the morning.

Two that I liked are the "The Happiness Hypothesis" and "The How of Happiness." The point of the latter book is that while 50% of a person's depression has a biological cause and 10% is environmental, there is a fully 40% cause in the action's that we choose to take. All of the above suggestions are good actions to take even if you can only do them for a day, month, whatever. By not taking action you are feeding your depression. Currently, I am trying very hard to be around other people while I wait for the next good wave. Good luck.
posted by hldnat#1 at 8:09 PM on May 21, 2008 [3 favorites]

Get a girlfriend. Get a fun girlfriend.

I know, I know - "one should find happiness in himself before trying to find it elsewhere." Maybe you need companionship to help you find that happiness, like reebear said.

Over the course of four long term relationships (~2+ years/ea) and many casual dates, I've come to realize there are two kinds of girls. To better understand what I'm trying to explain, I will liken them to movies. Movies can be broken down into two major categories - comedies and dramas. After you go see a comedy, you feel light-hearted, carefree, and maybe even happy. A drama, on the other hand, might be thought-provoking, deeply emotional, or even disheartening. A girl's personality may be that of a comedy or a drama. Usually it's one or the other. It's naturally to be a little of both, but the majority of their behavior will fall into one of the two categories.

You need a girl that's like a comedy. A girl with no baggage. One that wants to have fun, experience the world. She, too, can have an erratic personality like yours - one that wants to experience anything life has to offer. I promise you - life is a whole world of difference when you can find love in enjoyment.
posted by drkrdglo at 6:51 AM on May 23, 2008 [4 favorites]

Quick recommendation, really late in the posting cycle. If you were too pretty to be pressured into getting good grades, that probably means you did not learn any discipline as a kid. Perhaps you should learn those skills first, before you plunge into yet another enthusiasm you won't have the discipline to see through to the end.
posted by gentilknight at 7:20 PM on May 23, 2008

Response by poster: drkrdglo, I'm not sure where you got the idea that I'm a lesbian, but I already have a boyfriend. I also don't make little rules about whether or not people I date get to have "baggage" because I have this crazy thing where I like to treat people as actual human beings.

gentilknight, thanks, I am still reading the updates which surprisingly are still coming in apparently. I hope I don't sound too snippy, but it seems like whenever someone asks a question on here, someone will give an answer which is just the question all over again. If someone asks "How can I not stop being depressed?" then someone else will answer "Cheer up. Enjoy life," or in other words "To stop being depressed, you should not be depressed." You and kindall above appear to have been the ones doing so in this post.

I would usually just ignore it in favour of being polite and refraining from snapping at someone who really is trying to help. I'm just mentioning it this time, because I got the feeling you were going to say more, but trailed off because you figured this thread was over. If I was right and you were going somewhere, please share it. I would appreciate it.
posted by giggleknickers at 7:37 AM on May 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

giggleknickers, I could have written your post many many many times.

Here are a few of the things I've found that help me to find enjoyment in day to day life:

* Five minutes. I tell myself I can do anything for five minutes, and then if I still hate it, I will stop. It's not a trick; I do stop if I feel like that. (Probably about 1/3 of the time.) But often the hardest part is getting started, because I seem to subscribe to the "necessity" of finishing every single thing I start the same day/hour/minute I start it. And 2/3s of stuff DOES get a hell of a lot easier once I've started.
This helps me enjoy things because if I really hate doing something, I stop. And generally I feel a sense of accomplishment when I DON'T stop, when I do more than the minimum.

* Break things down. Wayyyyyy down. I aim for 5 minute chunks, to help with above, but 15 minutes is sometimes all you can break things down to. I make lists of things that I'm having trouble doing, and then I make that "thing" into a series of tasks.
Even something as simple as washing the dishes has discrete tasks; for example, if you have a dishwasher, you have to unload clean dishes, prewash if necessary, load dirty dishes. Those can each be separate tasks. And they're all necessary and important parts of completing the dishes.
The reason I recommend breaking stuff down like that is that you're probably not getting much of a sense of accomplishment. It's a lot easier to feel like you've achieved something that day if you can say you FINISHED unloading the dishwasher, instead of got halfway through washing dishes.

* REWARD YOURSELF. It's very important, so I'll say it again: reward yourself. Find something you like. The idea that comes to mind is chocolate kisses. Every time you finish a task, eat a kiss.
It's not so much the actual reward as it is the moment of enjoyment you take after completing a task.

Finally, get a dog. I know multiple people mentioned it and it probably sounds like overkill, but my puppy helped me to learn to enjoy life again. Puppies (not so much grown up dogs) are one of life's best teachers on how to enjoy the moment.
posted by saveyoursanity at 6:00 AM on May 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Consider going to a sleep lab and getting a study done of your sleep patterns. Sleep labs can be found in hospitals or in stand-alone private clinics. Ask your doctor for a referral. You spend a night at the lab, where you'll sleep. Before you go to bed, small electrodes are placed on your head, chest and legs to record your brain waves, muscle movements, eye movements, breathing, snoring, heart rate and leg movements.

Your study just might reveal that you have a sleep disorder, like sleep apnea. Symptoms of sleep apnea include depression, irritability, memory loss, poor judgment, difficulty concentrating, and excessive sleepiness or fatigue during the day. It can really compromise your work performance.

You mention that "I've been like this my entire life" and that so far, "nothing works". For obvious reasons, people suffering from a sleep disorder are very often unaware that they even have one. The Wikipedia article that I've linked to states that the symptoms of this disorder "may be present for years, even decades, without identification, during which time the sufferer may become conditioned to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with significant levels of sleep disturbance."

Hope this helps. And I hope you get better.
posted by New Frontier at 5:14 PM on May 26, 2008

giggleknickers, I did not think that I was reiterating your question. Do you equate "Why am I so lazy" with "why am I so undisciplined"? I do not.

You asked why you cannot take joy of anything, then described your enthusiasms and your parents' behavior. I hypothesized that you did not enjoy your projects because you may not have gained the discipline skills others have learned by knuckling under to demanding parents.

If you equate laziness with indiscipline, let me re-state: assuming you are not depressed, you are undisciplined because you haven't acquired the skills, not (I hope) some deep ineradicable character flaw. Other people hop out of bed, wash the dishes, learn Chinese, and learn the flute--and enjoy doing so--because they learned discipline skills first.

Though you thought I was holding back, I actually assumed it was implicit: I recommend you learn discipline skills, then use them in pursuing your activities. Perhaps in the rigor of the doing, continuing past the point of boredom, past the wall, past the Dip, you will find a sense of joy, not in the accomplishment, but in the doing. Ursula K. Le Guin: "It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end."

Lest I be accused of holding back yet again: Linky dinky do. (I have only given the last book a cursory glance, but it may apply in your situation.)

By the way, yes, you did sound very snippy; perhaps it's a manifestation of this depression everyone else mentions. Did that sound snippy?
posted by gentilknight at 4:32 AM on May 31, 2008

gentilknight if you think depression cause people to be snippy on the internet, you have no idea what you are talking about and don't belong in this thread.

For the OP, I suffer from a lot of the same thoughts and I am coming around to the idea that CBT is the best answer. You need to change the way you think before you can change the way you act.

This essay on procrastination
from a CBT standpoint is one of the only things I've read on the subject that gives me a real strategy to change my habits.
posted by afu at 4:48 AM on November 20, 2008

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