how to get out of bed when it feels impossible?

prynne

Confident
Hi everyone. Any tips about making yourself get out of bed when nothing seems worth it? I've tried bribing myself with things that usually make me feel good like food or going out somewhere fun, but it's like I don't care at all. Everything feels blah or worse.

Really it's been like this for a few weeks. Probably since I got kicked out of college (for the next four months and if I mess it up again I'll basically be kicked out permanently). Without college or a job to keep me busy, I've just been sleeping all day. My last antidepressant raise was enough to get rid of the intense suicidal episodes, but I guess I'm going to have to raise it even more to be able to function. Feeling like a failure because my psy is always hesitant about real meds. He's especially worried about the weight gain side effects because my blood pressure is already too high. He was hoping that this smaller raise would be enough to get me back on my feet, but I guess not.

I recently joined a social club in my area for people in recovery from mental illness which seems like such a good opportunity, but again, can't seem to get up. They're open M-F 8am-5pm and have events on the weekend so I could go pretty much anytime.

**If anyone is interested in the social group, they're called clubhouse international and they have locations all over the world. It seems like not a lot of people know about it where I live
 
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Sideways

Moderator
For me, a lot of my depression management involved acting in spite of how I feel.

Firstly, that's in large part because of anhedonia, which is a big part of depressive episodes. Doesn't matter how enjoyable something might be, depression has the shitty effect of making it impossible to enjoy things. If I wait around for something that I might enjoy, or something that might seem worth it? That's just not gonna happen. So, I have to do things in spite of them seeming utterly pointless, and entirely unenjoyable.

Second, and one of the advantages of it not being the first run in with depression, I know in advance that I'm gonna do all the right things to improve my mood, and things will still feel shit. My self-talk revolves a lot around that theme: I'm not gonna do this to feel better straight away, I'm gonna do it because it will contribute to my mood slowly coming back up.

Things stack incrementally with depression. It's a slide downwards, and a slide back up. It's not the instant "now I'm different" that you get with, say, a dissociative or psychotic episode, but rather, a progression over time.

The science says that certain things, over time, will send my mood further down, and certain things will send it back up. Eating regularly and eating well, sleep hygiene, daily exercise, personal hygiene and self care, interacting with other humans - they're all big ticket items that add to the slide back up.

Tracking my mood is definitely an integral part of being able to sustain those activities when my mood is low. As well as zero motivation, I'm saddled with low energy, making everything harder again. So being able to see change over a period of weeks to months, via tracking apps, helps me do the things I need to do today in order to feel better (or definitely worse) a month or so from today.

That's just how I approach it.
 

prynne

Confident
For me, a lot of my depression management involved acting in spite of how I feel.

Firstly, that's in large part because of anhedonia, which is a big part of depressive episodes. Doesn't matter how enjoyable something might be, depression has the shitty effect of making it impossible to enjoy things. If I wait around for something that I might enjoy, or something that might seem worth it? That's just not gonna happen. So, I have to do things in spite of them seeming utterly pointless, and entirely unenjoyable.

Second, and one of the advantages of it not being the first run in with depression, I know in advance that I'm gonna do all the right things to improve my mood, and things will still feel shit. My self-talk revolves a lot around that theme: I'm not gonna do this to feel better straight away, I'm gonna do it because it will contribute to my mood slowly coming back up.

Things stack incrementally with depression. It's a slide downwards, and a slide back up. It's not the instant "now I'm different" that you get with, say, a dissociative or psychotic episode, but rather, a progression over time.

The science says that certain things, over time, will send my mood further down, and certain things will send it back up. Eating regularly and eating well, sleep hygiene, daily exercise, personal hygiene and self care, interacting with other humans - they're all big ticket items that add to the slide back up.

Tracking my mood is definitely an integral part of being able to sustain those activities when my mood is low. As well as zero motivation, I'm saddled with low energy, making everything harder again. So being able to see change over a period of weeks to months, via tracking apps, helps me do the things I need to do today in order to feel better (or definitely worse) a month or so from today.

That's just how I approach it.
Thinking of it as a long-term slide back up instead of expecting to feel better right away may be helpful for me. I tend to get stuck in the cycle of finally convincing myself to do one of those good habits and then being frustrated that I don't really feel better after all of that effort. I also have a habit of thinking that I need to act out how I feel. "I feel depressed, so I have to act depressed. I should stay in bed today". It happens so quickly that it's almost unconscious. I need to get better at catching it so I can challenge that thought. Thanks for replying :)

Well, when I can't get out of bed, my cat lets me know that isn't acceptable. LOL Not sure if you're in a position to get a pet, but they help immensely, in many ways.
I do have one cat. He gets mad at me sometimes if I won't get out of bed to pet him, so that is helpful lol
 

Charbella

MyPTSD Pro
For me they’re are two pups in my life and they are pretty demanding about being let out. One will straight up sit on my chest and lick my face, no amount of go away makes it happen, it’s easier to just get up. Getting going and being productive for the day, that’s a different story. Friends can motivate, mainly because I don’t really let my depression show so if someone wants to come over or go somewhere and I can’t seem to get out of it, the house gets cleaned, and I can be somewhere. Sometimes it pays to want to keep everything hidden. Sometimes self bribery works ie I can _____ if I’m dressed by noon. I also schedule things like grocery pickup which forces me out into the world.

ADHD co-occurring with my depression means nothing consistently works. Other than work, I pretty much never call in sick so when school is in session I get ready and go.
 

NoWhereKnowWhere

MyPTSD Pro
I say to my self “you can be depressed anywhere”

I can cry in the shower or while brushing my teeth just as well as in bed. I can be depressed outdoors as well as in bed. Being in bed doesn’t help me it just makes me feel guilty.

Another approach is giving myself until I specific time. I can wallow in bed until 12pm then I have to do something. Free play depression time no guilt no “I should” talk. Then count down 5,4,3,2,1 sit up, 5,4,3,2,1 swing legs off bed. So on and so forth.

If it’s not gonna happen or a matter of safety, then there are things I can do to make myself comfortable while bed ridden. A basket beside your bed with wet wipes, toothbrush (even without toothpaste it’s something), snacks WATER!, meds, essential oils whatever you think will be helpful. Stretch in bed, move your body so you don’t get sore. Maybe you can do a free short course in bed, maybe you can do some admin stuff email shit, ukulele or journal by the bedside. Even getting up and making the bed changing your undies is something.

Hope you’re feeling a little less shit soon. While I’m depressed like that every night before I go to sleep I say to myself “maybe tomorrow will be better”
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
faith.
my personal definition of faith is, "that which gets me out of bed on the days where i have zero proof that NONE of this is okay."

for sure, there are more realistic options **out there** than there are under my blankets.
 

prynne

Confident
Tracking my mood is definitely an integral part of being able to sustain those activities when my mood is low. As well as zero motivation, I'm saddled with low energy, making everything harder again. So being able to see change over a period of weeks to months, via tracking apps, helps me do the things I need to do today in order to feel better (or definitely worse) a month or so from today.
I've been using a mood-tracking app for years without really doing anything with the info, just using it as a checkpoint to ask myself how I'm feeling. I just looked closer at the mood charts and noticed that these slopes are incredibly similar: a steep drop in my mood on Mondays (therapy days) or a 3-4 day slow slide down after Mondays, then a 3-4 day slide back up after Monday (whether the decline was fast or slow). I feel like I've cracked some sort of code lol. I don't feel as pathetic after seeing that I'm not feeling bad "for no reason". I guess I need to get better at taking care of myself after therapy, or maybe this is just a normal process. Probably not normal/acceptable if I can't get out of bed

“you can be depressed anywhere”
This is a good point. Right now, I'm so used to acting out my emotions that imagining doing all of these things that I'm supposed to do, despite feeling this depressed, is making my stomach churn. It's like it's physically repulsive to me. I'm sure over time I can get more used to doing things no matter how I feel?
Free play depression time no guilt no “I should” talk. Then count down 5,4,3,2,1 sit up, 5,4,3,2,1 swing legs off bed. So on and so forth.
This sounds like a good trick. A good way to just do the thing without thinking about it
A basket beside your bed with wet wipes, toothbrush (even without toothpaste it’s something), snacks WATER!, meds, essential oils whatever you think will be helpful. Stretch in bed, move your body so you don’t get sore. Maybe you can do a free short course in bed, maybe you can do some admin stuff email shit, ukulele or journal by the bedside. Even getting up and making the bed changing your undies is something.
This is a good idea for me too. It would be a good plan to have things in place in case the best-case scenario plan doesn't work out. Usually, I just make the unrealistic best-case scenario plan and then shame myself if I can't do it. No backup
Hope you’re feeling a little less shit soon.
Thank you. Me too. Thanks for replying

I also schedule things like grocery pickup which forces me out into the world.
This might help me. I'm more likely to do things for other people than I am for myself. I don't want to stand anyone up when I have an appointment
for sure, there are more realistic options **out there** than there are under my blankets.
This is a good point. For sure, I'm going to feel worse if I stay in bed. If I get up, at least there's the possibility that there might be something better.
Thank you both for your replies
 

Sideways

Moderator
I feel like I've cracked some sort of code lol. I don't feel as pathetic after seeing that I'm not feeling bad "for no reason".
I can be a bit of a nerd about these things but it's super helpful information to have! Because now you can target your self care energy even more at those times when you need it, and when you're in the pit, you have an explanation (therapy will do it for sure) that makes perfect sense which makes self-compassion a tonne easier.

Fore-warned is fore-armed!!
 

Mr Canis

Learning
Hi everyone. Any tips about making yourself get out of bed when nothing seems worth it? I've tried bribing myself with things that usually make me feel good like food or going out somewhere fun, but it's like I don't care at all. Everything feels blah or worse.

Really it's been like this for a few weeks. Probably since I got kicked out of college (for the next four months and if I mess it up again I'll basically be kicked out permanently). Without college or a job to keep me busy, I've just been sleeping all day. My last antidepressant raise was enough to get rid of the intense suicidal episodes, but I guess I'm going to have to raise it even more to be able to function. Feeling like a failure because my psy is always hesitant about real meds. He's especially worried about the weight gain side effects because my blood pressure is already too high. He was hoping that this smaller raise would be enough to get me back on my feet, but I guess not.

I recently joined a social club in my area for people in recovery from mental illness which seems like such a good opportunity, but again, can't seem to get up. They're open M-F 8am-5pm and have events on the weekend so I could go pretty much anytime.

**If anyone is interested in the social group, they're called clubhouse international and they have locations all over the world. It seems like not a lot of people know about it where I live
Well, when I can't get out of bed, my cat lets me know that isn't acceptable. LOL Not sure if you're in a position to get a pet, but they help immensely, in many ways.
I was going to ask if you had a dog either way they really help me out with mood / outlook / depression- I find getting out of bed really hard- try making the bed as soon as you’re up - job done , helps me with motivation to continue the day idk- I find it helps….regards
 
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