Depression and Getting out of Bed

I've posted before about how I am always late to work, but I haven't really explained the reason. First of all, I have never been a morning person, so I've always spent the morning being angry that I'm awake. However, I was always able to get up when I was supposed to. Now I can't do that anymore. No matter what I do, when my alarm goes off in the morning I just want to stay in bed. I have no motivation to get up....not even when I know that I'm going to be late for work. I can't quite explain what goes through my mind, but it's a mix of wanting more sleep and wanting to avoid having to go to work and pretend to be a normal and functioning human being. Perhaps this is more anxiety driven, but I think that lack of motivation is related to my depression. It usually takes anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours for me to get up after my alarm goes off...if I even make it out of bed at all.

How do you combat the lack of motivation and not wanting to get out of bed? I'm desperate for advice because this is causing me to feel even worse about myself than I already do.

10 Replies

  • Hi

    I used to feel much like you a very long time ago for many years (I am 67). It sounds as though you are experiencing ambivalence - a part of you wants to withdraw from the world and part of you wants to be part of it and get to work on time, my guess is that exhausts you and creates a circle wherein you are so tired you then want to stay in bed. You say that you want to avoid having to pretend to be a normal human being and I think that is the core of your difficulty. I wonder what that is about, whether you feel unreal or that you have to make an effort in order to engage with the world - that is very typical with depression. I also wonder whether you are on any anti-depression meds as they can lift your mood sufficiently to find engaging easier than when feeling so low that it is an effort to engage. I wonder also what you mean by 'a normal human being', whether you have ideas about normality that you try to live up to or whether you look at other people and compare yourself negatively to them. It is hard to know how to help without understanding exactly what you mean by pretending to be normal, so can you say any more?


  • Thank you so much for responding. I do mean that it is difficult to engage with the world. Any social activity exhausts me. I even get somewhat annoyed when friends ask me to do anything. I'm currently on Latuda and Trintellix for depression and buspirone for anxiety. I'm in the process of moving off trintellix to switch to pristiq (I'll start taking pristiq a week from now).

    I do tend to compare myself to others quite a bit. I feel inadequate because everyone else seems able to handle daily life just fine. I guess I just want to feel "normal" and not have to struggle with depression. I know there's not a real normal, but I want to get better. I don't know if any of this makes sense, so let me know if I can explain further.

  • I am glad you are on meds as at least that will take the edge off things - but I think part of your difficulty is your idea that everyone else is handling life better than you feel able to. It is likely other people also are struggling - most people find life difficult - but that they also pretend to be normal. They may be less self aware than you are and not even realise they are making such an effort but instead of becoming depressed they become physically ill or else blame everyone else for any difficulties they have. There is lots of research to show that depressed people are actually much more in touch with their own feelings and also those of other people - that does make life harder but it can also enrich life. I wonder whether you may be able to think about what aspects of life you find particularly difficult - whether it is the social side of being in a work environment or perhaps the expectations put upon you by other people or by your own self-criticism. What do you dread? Understanding oneself and others is the most effective long term way of overcoming or at least competently dealing with depression as it enables the kind of inner self-care that makes life so much easier and rewarding. You do not mention anyone outside your working life and I wonder whether you have social supports or are isolated and perhaps live alone?


  • That makes sense. I imagine that more people struggle than we realize, but I rarely see other people break down because of little things. That's the part that gets me. I always feel like I'm on the brink of a breakdown and the smallest thing could put me over the edge. I'm incredibly self aware and sometimes assume that others can see how close I am to a breakdown. I think I'm also self conscious because as far as I know no one else comes into work late the way I do. Then again, I'm not there the first couple hours or so to see.

    One thing that my former psychologist and I spent a lot of time on was the fact that I put some many expectations on myself. I have a problem with perfectionism and I've been struggling quite a bit since I've been depressed because I feel like I'm not meeting my expectations and assume that I'm not meeting those of others. I do tend to project feelings on others.

    I don't really have a lot of friends, but I do live with my boyfriend of 9 and half years.

  • Hi catmother

    I too have this problem, I've never been a morning person either, even before my anxiety/panic/depression kicked in, always struggled with getting up, at the moment I've been off work, I'm due back next week, I've spent way to much time in bed, I'd be happy to stay under my duvet for eternity, its the only place I feel safe and comforted at the moment xx

  • I would spend all my time in the bed if I could. Waking up and thinking about getting out from under the covers makes me feel vulnerable. Instead, I think about how comfortable I am and that just makes me want to stay there more and hide away from the world.

  • Totally relate to that catmother, I get so angry with myself though, I'm sleeping my life away, my anxiety/panic is a major issue at the moment, its just making me feel I'm safer in bed, the depression feel I'm better off there as there's nothing to get up for, I feel stuck in a destructive cycle x

  • The hard part for me is figuring out what to get up for. Usually what gets me up is the fact that my cats have to be fed. Maybe we can figure out something for you to get up for. Perhaps you could reward yourself for getting up?

  • Yeah your right, well I'm back at work next week so I'll have no choice but to get up, it's just that I'm feeling stuck, its like I've no choice but to stay in bed, I know its not healthy and I know I need to be up and about, I'm kinda stuck in a cycle of self destruct, ohhh boy, why is this so hard? Xxx

  • I don't know why it's so hard, just that it is. But just know that you're not alone!

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