Struggling for motivation

Hi everyone,

I'd really appreciate some advice on getting motivated. Basically, I have my final exams from May 4th to May 22nd, when I will have finished school. I am so excited to finish as my depression really started when I came to this school and 5 years on, I am nearly there. I won't be out of the woods completely when I finish school though, as it is by no means the only source of my depression. But hopefully I will be slightly happier and will be able to enjoy life more, and get out more, without the constant pressure and torment I've endured over the past 5 years. I'd like to meet some new people and try some new things when I finish.

Anyway, in the short term, I am really struggling to get motivated to do any work at all. I had a 3 week easter break and have been back at school one week. I couldn't bring myself to do any revision or work at all in the holidays, and I've had a really tough past week having come back. So the big exams start in 8 days and I haven't done an hours work for 4 weeks. Every time I sit down to do something I just think about all the miserable things going on in my life, or something someone has said to me that day, and give up all too quickly. I can't focus on anything or think straight at all because I can't block out the feelings of my depression. I can't even sit down and do one practice paper or half an hours revision without breaking down. And I don't even want to imagine what sort of results I'm going to get if I carry on like this.

It hasn't helped that I have been isolating myself a lot in my boarding house as well. At times, I can't even bare to look at some of the guys in my house, I hate them so much. They've given me the worst 5 years imaginable and I just can't take it any more. I'm completely worn out and out of ideas, at completely the wrong time. I just don't know what to do anymore!

I'd really appreciate any support or advice :)

Orlando x


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15 Replies

  • Hi my daughter has been and is still going through the so called torments of friends !!! She like you is doing her final exams . Soon the exams will be over and a new life will begin . You should be proud of your self to come on this site and talk about your issues .being able to see the issues is a start to resolving them. Try hard to study for this will be the key to helping you motivate for future success regulars less of the exam results . Qualifications is one thing intelligents is another . Good luck to you . Ian

  • Thank you so much Ian. I'll try!

  • (-:

  • Hi Orlando

    I really feel for you, this is a horrible thing to be going through as I remember from my own school days. I wish I had known then that although these exams are important, motivation is just impossible when you are depressed however much you beat yourself up for not studying.

    Be your own best friend: be kind to yourself, try and do things you enjoy, try and get enough sleep and exercise and food. Every time you think about miserable things, try and make yourself think about something pleasant. It's hard to distract yourself in this way, but worth the effort.

    Set yourself tiny goals for revision - like, really small, even if it seems ridiculous. If you can't achieve those goals they are not small enough, so make them smaller.

    My exam results at your age were poor, and I missed out on getting to university and went to work instead, which was fine as I would have struggled to study at uni too. It took nearly 30 years to sort out my depression, and now I feel so much better. Get these exams out of the way, then get yourself as well as you possibly can: that is more important than anything else you could do.

    Good luck x

  • Thank you so much for the advice! I will try to stick to it. I only need to motivate myself for 26 more days, and then things should improve as I'll have my whole gap year to enjoy myself before uni! x

  • Hi

    Be as practical as possible. Take action, do stuff that moves you forward, however small the step.

    I have suffered with the internal voice that only says negative stuff about myself and my situation. 10 years of depression and anxiety and I value the little tips from anywhere that help me move forward.

    When I despair or am negative about stuff, I label it "flawed thinking". Its not me, its my condition and the tough time will pass. It helps me gain perspective knowing my own may be flawed.

    When working, I sit down with paper in front of me and make a start.

    Top of every page, to deal with the negative thoughts, is three things I will feel better about when I continue or something positive.

    "One powerpoint slide is proof I can still do it."

    " I have trained for this, I can put my thoughts on paper.

    "Fuck off negative voice I'm doing this anyway!"

    I talk with colleagues about this, just capture it on paper.

    One page nearer the end.

    I have made a start!

    I may get distracted but I will continue."

    It's ok to be nervous, worried or anxious, everyone gets that.

    My condition and perhaps yours, just makes it harder to move past that and to take action.

    Practice starting, practice keeping going, gain confidence by trying again after you have to stop.

    Gather all the small successes as evidence that you can move forward.

    Sharing on here is brave.

    You know you have not had the support you need in the past few years but you need to make the most of the next 8 days.

    Keep focused on the small actions and pat yourself on the back when you take any step.

    Reward yourself with a biscuit, a smile, a note on here, or just the self satisfaction you are doing it.

    8 days is enough to make a difference from where you are now.

    Make a start and keep going

    Good luck, take care, you're not alone in dealing with all the shit that depression brings.


  • It's so difficult to concentrate when you are down but unfortunately you have no other choice. Go to your happy place. Take a subject that you are interested in and spend 20 mins if you find yourself getting down recognise and acknowledge that you are getting down and then close your eyes imagine yourself climbing a flight of stairs slowly if that doesn't work..... walk . Very rarely did I sit and study on maths and physics I used to sit coz you have to write. Walk and read for example chemistry other than organic you can walk and read

    Hope it helps if it doesn't please let me know. I try suggesting other ways. But sweetie studying is very important I loved my school and college very much

    All the best for your exams all keep in mind the time element

  • Hi, thank you so much for the advice, and for taking the time to reply! Hopefully it'll get me through his tough time. And you're right.. the time element is very difficult to judge!


  • Another thing Orlando.

    Someone once told me to turn on my invisible force field.

    It's a barrier, just around yourself, that stops negativity getting in and bathes you in positive stuff.

    Mine is like the transporter beam from Star Trek, but invisible.

    His was invisible glass that allowed the nice stuff through, and hugs, but not anything else.

    Negative comments bounce off like bullets, KAPWINNGG! (Effect pinched from Calvin and Hobbes cartoon!)

    Sound effects help.

    Mine turns in when I hum the Star Wars theme, for him it was the original Thunderbirds theme.

    Find some Sci fi movie with superpowers or high tech and create your own shield.

    Iron Man, Avengers, X men, Incredibles.

    Hum the tune, play it inside your head or out loud to turn on he shield.

    Keep practicing and the bastards wont know you are immune to their negativity and feel ok about yours.

    My positive ray feels like a hot shower on my shoulders, yours will be different.

    it washes away negative thoughts and provides extra energy.

    Let me know how you get on with your shield and positive ray.

    What's the theme that gets you started.?

    Maybe we should start a thread about powerful tunes for shields.

    Take care


  • Just noticed. May the Fourth for the exams! It has to be Star Wars!

  • Hi Dave, thank you so much for taking the time to reply with so much advice! I really appreciate it. It is these kind replies which keep me going sometimes. I will try to use all of the ideas you have suggested, hopefully they'll help. Only 5 days or so until Monday now, when they start. And I'll have a think about the theme for my invisible shield - Star Wars is a good shout, given it is May the fourth! It sounds like quite a simple, but very practical idea, and one you can have a bit of fun with too.

    Thanks again


  • Hi Orlando.

    thanks fro your response.

    i know it's tough sometimes to get going when it all seems overwhelming. Posting on here does help as we are still connecting with others in a meaningful way.

    Every little helps.

    something else to try.- after each hour or block of work you do, take 30 seconds to post your progress on here, to me specifically if you like . not more than 30 seconds.

    That little commitment to others is what i found moves me forward.

    Recognise your own progress and sharing it may help.

    We know how tough it is to make a start, you have done that, let the contacts here know you asre still moving forward.

    Good luck

    PS Dont reply to this until you have a block of your work under your belt!

  • Positive thoughts always beat negative ones. Negativity takes you down.

    Talk, laugh and joke with others about happy things.

    Keep your brain busy doing things that you enjoy. Set out in your mind tools and things to do.

    In the meantime don't think about the future, simply enjoy the day, by day.

    It works and that's exactly what I had to do.



  • Thank you for taking the time to reply Richard. It sounds like very useful advice and I'll definitely try it, however hard it may be at first.


  • Well done! You are already being Positive. Carry on with the good work and you will be alright.

    Best wishes