When You Want To Do Things, But Just Can't ... What Is That?



Oh yeah.. been there.. done that. Back before I got kicked out of my giant house and had to move to a...

OMG you are my life right now. I laughed at the Arson comment. LOL. I was on such a good kick and cleaning and moving along and then all of a sudden I dont know what happened and I had a week of back to back anxiety attacks. I was crippled and lost 9 lbs in the week. It was horrible. I am slowly recovering but I cant seem to find that momentum to conquer the cleaning. It seems like I am afraid of it being clean/empty.

Thank you

I realize the latest added comment to this thread was almost a year ago now and the previous oens nearly two years ago so non of you will probably see this. However I just had to write and say thank you.

I'm 16 and yes there are things that make beng a teenager an easy time, and a lot of the things that seem so important for me now I'm sure from an adult perspective you know they won't matter as much years from now.

But when you're in this stage of your life, all of the decisions about education and your future you're constantly making. And all the overwhelming stress about grades and family relationships, are not easy things to balance with a crippling depression and this ampunt of constant anxiety.

Being a young girl and struggling not to compare myself to others around me it's reeally difficult watching my friends have their lifes (if at least for now) so figured out and this perfect balance between exercise, getting straight A's, part time jobs, boyfriends and creating constantly growing friend groups. Especially when I'm struggling to even get out of bed sometimes.

I want to be where they are too. I want to exercise more and get more energy. I want to work harder in school and turn my B's into A's. I want to have more friends and be more social and spontaneous and always up to do fun things. Yet I lay here in bed on a Sunday afternoon, like most of those, with an unfinished essay that's due tomorrow and a mess of a room yet not able to move an inch.

Being young and lost it's just so great to see that there are others who are going through and have gone through the same thing and knows what it's like. To see that there is always hope for me too. Therefor I say, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

Allie D.

even though simple on the face of them, have issues related to anxiety about "stuff in my life". Like my comment about the laundry - well, I find it overwhelming because I have a house that has been ignored for almost 3 years now, and it's such a mess it feels overwhelming. It's like I have a million things that all need to be done NOW, so I end up doing NONE of them because I can't do ALL of them and get them done.
Me too. Then I get a little manic and try to do everything, it ends up messier than it was before, I become overwhelmed and exhausted and ultimately more depressed. Sometimes I end up aggravating chronic pain, increasing anxiety levels, getting sick from things like allergies to dust... and feeling more defeated than ever. It becomes so intimidating.
this was my daily life. It's an odd thing about spaces.. It seems that we always find more stuff to fill it with
See! Yes. I lived in a tiny little apartment and I loved it. Now I've got a large bedroom, a spare room...and the hallway between them. Not to mention common areas like a basement. What a disaster. Everything piles on top of everything else and kind of spreads out.
Yet I lay here in bed on a Sunday afternoon, like most of those, with an unfinished essay that's due tomorrow and a mess of a room yet not able to move an inch.
These were some of my most difficult times in school - essays due. Rather than schoolwork, I'd go online and research PTSD itself. Not very helpful. I had this drive to find answers that would pop up when I was feeling stressed. It was diversion, trying to avoid the stress involved in whatever I was supposed to be doing. So, yeah, I get this - for whatever that's worth.

There's lethargy, fear, anxiety.. yes procrastination but what causes the procrastination. I often feel very very tired, for no good reason. Sometimes I think "I'm just lazy" but no, it's more than that. I don't want to do anything - I used to want to. I'm working on this, looking to find some kind of satisfaction in daily life that I've been missing for so long.

I'm glad to see this thread, since I missed it first time 'round, and I identify with so many things that people have posted here.


I use to have this problem and to some extent I still do.

For me it was feeling overwhelmed and not dealing with what was in front of me. One of the biggest things were: inability to open my mail (especially bills) or checking how much money I had in my account.

I force myself now to open my mail and I do check my bank account.... The latter is much easier to do now but I still feel anxious.

The other things in my life like cleaning, food shopping, laundry...I just make myself do it. Might take a few days but it gets done.

What I'm pursuing now (finishing my degree) I'm happy to report I'm right on top of it...everything is done I.e. immunization, enrolled in classes etc. I still have a lot of anxiety about going back but its a goal I really want to achieve and that outweighs my emotions.

I feel it but do it anyways.

This has been a lot of work over a lot of years to get to this place.

Allie D.

It's interesting to see how much more insight I had when I was functioning pretty well in 2015, compared to struggling to get things done now.
Once in a while I'll read old threads and I won't necessarily remember which ones I've read and which I haven't. Once or twice I've thought "I wonder who wrote this"... and it was me! My headspace changes so much. I agree, it is definitely interesting to see things changing, for better or for worse. The ups and downs are right there within my messages, I can see based on what I have said and I can tell a difference in how I am writing, or the different types of messages that I respond to... and it is an excellent way to remind myself that no matter how far down I am, I'm most likely going to get back up. That's something I strive to do.


I was supposed to be getting an article published. The professor overseeing me stopping helping me or answering my emails. I couldn't face working on it alone, so I let it go. I get my daily housewife/mom chores done, but on some days I really struggle just to do the minimum. I constantly feel like a failure because I know things could be cleaner, neater, better, but I haven't done it. Just like how I have several degrees that I don't use, will never use. My husband keeps telling me to hang them up, but I won't because it will remind me of how I failed to put them to any use.

I'll sit here every day and look at something that bothers me- like a dusty corner or an old air vent cover that could be replaced for $5 and hyperfocus on it. That I need to GET UP AND FIX IT. But I don't. Then I'll finally get up and fix something else, forget about whatever it was I was hyperfocused on, so then it never gets fixed or wiped out.


I really appreciate this thread. I struggle with this every single day, and have for a number of years. I work, but other than that, I get NOTHING done at home. I don't open mail, and sometimes go for a couple of months before I have a day (or, more likely, a couple of hours) when I feel some motivation to sift through the stack that's piled high on my dining room table (or scattered about on my living room floor). Bills are late, chronically. The only thing I pay on time is my mortgage. I don't exercise, only run the dishwasher when I run out of dishes, etc...

I do try to force myself to do things, but it *feels* forced and it always feels bad. I tried, for example, to get involved in an exercise regime at one point, and went to a gym for 3 months. I didn't mind the going (ok, I hated actually going, but being there was ok), but everybody kept saying that once I started exercising and moving I would feel better. I didn't. At all. So I stopped.

I've done other things with exercise like that before - stuff I really liked, like dancing - and I never felt better.

Nobody seems to understand - including and esp. my therapist - that all of this is extremely debilitating. I'm constantly told I need to "just do" stuff, AND I CAN'T. I don't know how to get past it. And I am always afraid that I am just going to die some day because I wasn't active enough and all that stuff I dreamed about doing will just be lost. :-(


Thank you so much for this thread. I think, for me, it started somewhere around the sixth grade. It mainly coincides with homework, schoolwork, or other heavy brain fueled activities. I will sit in front of an assignment I need to get done and I will do maybe one question before just staring a the page for 20 minutes and giving up. Every single therapist I have seen says "just do it" and gives me different time management activities, but they don't work. It's kind of like my mind is telling my body to do something but my body isn't listening.

And it isn't just things I have to do, it's things I want to do as well. Reading is so hard for me, even though I love to read. It takes me an hour to get through 10 pages of a book, where it would take the normal person 10 minutes, because I have to sit there and stare at the page and force myself to do it. And it hurts and it's not how I want to live my life. And nobody gets it, despite how many times I have tried to explain it.

And I am currently failing out of senior year because it is getting worse and I dont know what to do.


Thank you so much for this thread. I think, for me, it started somewhere around the sixth grade. It mainly coincides wit...

If this isn't relatable, I don't know what is. I am currently trying to work on a 25 page paper for my grad program that is due tonight and instead I am googling "what is it called when you want to do something but just can't." No one ever seems to get it when I say I really want to write, clean, go to the store, etc, but just... can't. My apartment is a disaster. I am so overwhelmed all the time and I want to fix it but sometimes I can't even get myself to freaking move. It's really gotten out of control recently and I don't know what to do about it. Up until about a year and a half ago I didn't have this problem. I was always very motivated. I don't know wha changed and I don't have any idea how to fix it. I'm sorry that you and the other people on this thread are going through this shit too, but I am glad to know that I'm not alone.


I thought it was something like this on Saturday, but today, Monday, I have a cold. Saturday I was coming down with it, but did not realize it. I thought it was allergies. Don't discount that it could be physical illness of some kind.

Rani G2

it seems like such a mountain to climb and I just don't have the energy. So I kinda do the absolute minimum I can get away with - and wait to do things I must do until I can

Absolute minimum is good enough... we sometimes need to dose our energy investments in a healthy way. I was bought up military style to always Do what needs to be done. Now that doesnt mean I am effective and motivated but there is a moralizing part that says "discipline yourself and after that you are allowed to just lay on the couch". If I dont have a neat, clean house or I dont go to the gym I fear that my emotional stability will be threatend. My T says this is a good thing in a way because I have the energy but I tend to control too much...