Apathy/Lethargy

Does anyone reading this know what it's like to be almost totally debilitated by the symptom of depression I think they call "lethargy"? I'm talking about a terrifying, all-consuming, constant feeling that anything you want or need to do, even simple things like taking a shower or answering the phone, take way more effort than you have energy for. How do you deal w/ that?

14 Replies

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  • I completely 100% understand everything you've just said.. It's like I've wrote that post myself.. I don't know how to deal with it myself.. But someone told me on here once is to try and do small things at a time.. Maybe one day take a shower.. And if you can do that one day then your making progress.. Then the next day do the dishes.. Then the next put the washing on.. Just take baby steps all the time.. And do pressure your self into doing things.. If you don't want to shower that day don't be to hard on yourself as you'll only end up beating yourself up over it.. Just try taking small steps each day :)

    Sorry if I haven't made any sence

  • You made a lot of sense. Sounds like u haven't made much progress w/ the problem, tho. I'm really sorry, but very glad to have read your input & to know I'm not the only one suffering w/ an invisible problem that's impossible to explain to most people. You're my special online buddy 😊 I'd like to know more about your experiences, like do u have a dr? Have u ever been in meds? I have zero respect for the health & medical field in the US, particularly mental health.

  • Your definitely not the only person who feels like this.. I haven't made much progress.. But little things like getting out the house.. Talking to someone.. Like your doing here it all adds up.. At least your talking about it instead of doing something silly..

    I've been meaning to go the doctor for a few months now.. But I always put myself off as I feel like 'I'm better' but I know that I should go and try get some help.. I'm not to sure on what it's like over in the states as I'm from the UK.. But maybe if you could do some online searches and find someone who could help in your area then that's a start?

    You will have good days as id call them.. Like you could wake up and do loads of things like showering.. Cleaning.. Going to see friends.. But then to me it always feels like it doesn't last long my happiness.. Something always drags me back to do being really down and having horrible thoughts.. But if I could try some medication to help me stay happy then I would be all for that..

    Hope your feeling ok :) just try and stay positive I know how hard that is but just keep going :)

  • I live in a right state. I need to tidy up. Anyways, being depressed for over ten years, it does make life very hard.

    The best option is planning and a checklist, at least that way you feel inclined that you have achieved something. Also if i get invited i want to say no, i have changed this to always say yes if possible.

  • What do u mean u "live in a right state"? Maybe that's Scottish lingo(?) I've lived all my 59 years in the US.

    Thanks 😊

    L

  • Join the club trimjim, I live in the same permanent mess coz I can rarely find the energy to tidy up or clean. It drives me potty and I do feel it makes my depression worse. x

  • Yes I know what you are experiencing and you will not be like this forever, I am sorry that in the U.S. Mental health is not looked upon the same way as other illnesses. Firstly try not to think about what you cannot do, try to focus on what you like, what does make you happy😊 do you like watching certain soaps? Do you like reading? Do you like cooking? Just do a little of what you want, leave the rest for when you get stronger and more able to cope. I really suggest you get a good relaxation tape, shut yourself away with it for as long as you want, it will calm you and gradually you will get better. I do hope you are on some form of medication, also I hope you have some loved ones for support. If you don't then you will have to slowly regain your confidence. I know you can do this, it will not happen overnight but if you follow my advice it will make you better, once you start to get stronger you can go for walks. Please rest assured that many of us on this site have overcome what you are going through, I have been well for over 20 yrs, I am not saying I don't still get panicky sometimes but I can control it, I think nerves are in some people's make up more than others. I wish you well, remember keep thinking positive, try out what I suggested and remember you are NOT alone 😊😊😊😊😊

  • Hiya and welcome,

    Yes this is very very common. You can't be bothered to do anything and want to isolate yourself from everyone. It is real apathy.

    Try and do a few small things.

    I've found that since I have had depression and anxiety I am not back to my pre depression levels of energy.

    I think you need to try and look after yourself as best you can. So try and get some nutrients into you from decent food even if you don't feel like cooking. That can make you feel a bit better. Rather than not eating or making poor choices. Easier said than done I know,

    I guess you just need to manage around the apathy as best you can. I do tend to keep my house tidy as that makes me feel even worse but I've had periods when I just can't be bothered.

    Take care

    Sarah

  • Hi, I know how you feel I'm going through a Lethargic period at the moment. Haven't even managed to get to the shops this week. I just want to crawl back into bed and sleep all the time at the moment. I've been here before and know it's not any good. Not now that I am on my own since my husband left me. Not that he did much to help when he was here.

    Anyway I set myself tasks to do each day and also plan a reward for myself if I get all the tasks done. This even saw me being able to train for the Moonwalk which was held in Edinburgh last month. Only did the short distance of 6.55 miles, but a huge achievement for me cause of my lethargic periods. I find that I need my plans and task list even more when I am feeling down. I'm stressed out with dealing with my divorce which isn't helping how I feel about myself and life in general, but I am doing the best I can at the moment and my check list is getting done, just a little slower than I would like at the moment. I am also using other techniques that I have used it the past for my sport. Positive affirmations written and stuck on my doors in the house. Mindfulness walking and breathing. I've been on a Stress Control course and am reviewing my books and notes from that course. I also planted tomatoes you can get some small varieties that grow well indoors, which is good for the weather we have been having in Scotland. So now I have tomatoes that are ready to eat and I am finding I eat them cause I grew them.

    I've also been trying to get outside everyday to get some fresh air.

    It's all a struggle, but I have 2 pieces of advise that I tell myself everyday. 1. "Nobody is prefect, so don't give yourself a harder time than you would give anyone else going through this." 2. "With every step forward you make you are a stronger person and you are more able to cope. Don't sweat the bad days cause soon you will have more good days than bad." I also keep a diary of my tasks and successes and how I've been feeling cause all the days seemed to be the same and it's amazing how many more good days I've been having in the past month than I was having 6 months ago.

    I know some of the stuff I am doing may sound silly to some people but it helps me and that is the main thing find what helps you and if something doesn't work try something else. Last month I was paranoid about whether my doors and windows were locked, so I ended up with notes on all the doors and windows with the dat and time of when I last checked them. I don't need them now as I am not as paranoid as I know I keep everything locked.

    Hope this helps.

    Take care and I hope everyone that is having a bad day will find even one small thing that they have completed today and they can smile about. Even if you only managed to get up and brush your hair and clean your teeth, you will feel better for it and will have completed something today. :-D

    Hazel

  • Yes this is all part of our condition. Also the medications we need too take can make us feel washed out.

    This morning when I got up after a restless night I feel washed out and as I write this script and other things I feel I want to sleep. One problem I have in mornings and evenings is that when sitting I keep nodding of even when performing an action like typing.

    My problem I suffer from is the Opiates that are taken from my disability. If you are concerned see you GP.

    BOB

  • Hi Larc Tiredness and Lethargy can be part of Depression. When I was quite

    Badly Depressed I found getting out the door to work every day a struggle.

    Having a shower is exhausting and doing the basic things was like climbing Mount

    Everest. That spell of tiredness usually with me lasts a certain time, remeber

    It does end.

    Now the thing to remeber is that there is nothing wrong with us and that

    The tiredness. Is a kind of false symptom. I found I had to really really push myself.

    I like my house clean and am quite house proud so I always kept on top of

    That, simply because living in a messy dirty apartment woukd make me feel

    100 times worse.

    I made lists of a few things that I considered essential,

    Daily shower

    Clean and tidy apartment

    Take out the trash

    Feed cat of course. Lol. Change and clean litter tray.

    Change bedclothes once a week ( I never let this slip)

    Put washing on and drying.

    Eat and sleep.

    These were my basics that I pushed myself to do, and doing them made me

    Feel much better, and I think doing them helped me to get my metaphorical wheels in motion. So ACTION is the real key. Every night I lay a tray with my breakfast stuff

    Ready depending on what it is. And this means I can have a nice breakfast

    Without fuss.

    Please don't think That I am being unsympathetic to you as I suffered

    Crippling tiredness, but worked and kept on top of the basic things

    Things I let slip during these times were, cleaning windows, dusting. I would do

    A quicker Hoover than normal. I would not do deep cleanse.

    So I was letting the less important things go for the time being.

    With tiredness action actually helps it, I found the more I did the better I felt,

    And the less I did the more tired and Depressed I felt.

    Also when doing basic housework I woukd use a 15 minute kitchen timer.

    I would give myself a slot for cleaning Kitchen and Bathromm. Then another

    15 for change bedclothes and tidy up. This helped me a lot and it got me

    Racing around.

    I did have to push myself to get to work and do the basics and anything other

    Than basics waited til I was better.

    The good news is that I haven't had this tiredness or lethargy for the last

    Two years . I have lots of energy now and manage to do lots. Oh I still

    Feel a bit down some days but I rarely feel tired. So it's a phase and it does end.

    Hope this helps one person.

    Hannah xx

  • Hello Hannah

    You make me feel tired reading all above, lol

    BOBxx

  • Your lethargy was cured by simply forcing yourself to be active? That's great, but my case is evidently much worse. I've been feeling this way for at least 10 yrs & I never feel better from activity--just more tired. It's absolutely terrifying to think this will never end, but I have no reason to believe that it will; it's been going on too long.

  • Hi Larc I do t think it's a Competion of " Who is most tired".

    We are all different,

    I suffered crippling tiredness for years too. My point is or was that

    It did change after a few years, so there is hope.

    I am sixty six now and rarely feel that tiredness, and I'm sure you

    Are much much younger. You can't assume that you will

    Always be that way. Just saying......

    Hannah

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