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



I have the same issues and it is much more than procrastination...like a mental paralysis of sorts. I think it's a product of severe depression.
I agree. It’s deep rooted and not a “ some days “ thing. I can sit on the edge of my bed and try to will myself, but I feel paralyzed. It’s like my mind and body has to cross wires and I then have to act just at the right time to get up and going??


I've been feeling this way a lot lately, especially with school. I've had this one specific assignment that I've needed to do for weeks, and I just can't bring myself to do it. It doesn't make any sense, I know I have to do it, but I just can't. I sometimes make excuses for when I can't do things, too, ie: I can't find the textbook so I can't do the work but I won't look for it either. Idk. Also, I realize this whole chat chain was from 2015, but it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders contributing to this conversation.


Yeah, kinda of thinking about the responses, I see it more along the lines of crippling anxiety, because all of these things, 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.
My house is very neglected too, and I have several loads of laundry that I need to put away. I washed them quite a few days ago. All my body wants to do is sleep and eat cookies. I'm suffering from balance issues a lot, so it is very difficult to walk with my cane and do housework. Aruggg!


Is it just depression? Or something deeper? I have many things I want to do, and I just can't bring myself to do them. Even things I need to do, simple things like put away the clean laundry - 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't put them off any more.
It’s called Executive Dysfunction. Often, but not exclusively, related to ADHD


I have the same issue but don't believe it comes from childhood because up thru my 50's, I was all into time management and rarely sat down. I would have to schedule my time for fun things. My life was super busy and I managed very well. I do think I had some ADD issues but had learned that everything had to be put back in its place and life was smooth.

After a head injury in 2006, I had sleep and concentration problems. In 2008 and assault. I kept pushing thru 2015 but things had become difficult. Over the past few years, I just cant bring myself to do things (housework, making phone calls, even hygiene has slipped). I wear the same clothes over because it is easier. I have zero motivation for anything. I have to force myself to go to grocery store and only with my husbands prompting.

Its a vicious circle because lack of exercise causes weakness, being weak encourages me to rest, resting has made me gain weight, and the weight makes me feel more tired.
I have wished that there was an in patient rehab center to pull me out of this. I pray for a miracle. I tell myself I am going to do something tomorrow, but don't do it for days. Its a very dysfunctional life. I think it must be depression.

My understanding of executive dysfunction is not being able to follow the steps necessary to complete a task. It has to do with completing the steps in order and can be frustruating when unable to do. I have some of that from head injury, but I compensated for it by making a list.

If I am going to do some gardening, I might make a list of the things I need to retrieve from the basement and garage. Pull the weeds before you mulch. Etc. If I don't make a list, I get frustrated running all over the place. Same with running errands, so Im not back tracking. This is different. Its like the worst life burnout I can describe.


I have wished that there was an in patient rehab center to pull me out of this.

Back in the day (when I had means) I’d go check myself into some Mars-Style resort/hotel (Mars, meaning it doesn’t matter if it’s in Jamaica Caribbean or Jamaica NY. It could be in a bubble on Mars.). Everything that needed doing? Food/water/shelter, daily maid service/laundry, etc. was taken care of for me. Activities? Laid out in front of me. ((I understand there are fitness resorts where they go the next step and schedule your day out for you. But I’ve never been.)) A cruise ship has the same sort of layout.

I just need to be able to swim. Everything else (swimming with dolphins, dogsledding in snowy mountains, whatever their bubble is selling? All bonus.) I’ll DO those things, once I’ve firmly placed my boot on my shoulder and pulled my head out of my ass... but it takes a couple weeks to manage that when I’ve gotten bad. Wake up. Fall into water. Become vaguely human, again. Eat something. Lay in sunshine or in front of a fire. Sleep. Swim. Eat something. Become vaguely more human. Rinse/lather/repeat until there’s a Friday-Shaped-Occupant in the hole where my soul goes. And interest creeps back into life. Even excitement. Challenge. Purpose. Passion. Chutzpah. Drive. Focus.

It generally takes took (when’s my head at? Facepalm) me aboooooout 6 weeks to really have a toehold / solid grip on things... and 3 months if it’s been particularly gnarly. Or as little as a week or two if I’m just doing “regularly scheduled maintenance” 😉

Drug & Alcohol treatment facilities DO ^^^that^^^ 30-90 days of everything needed being taken care of for you, to allow you to start focusing on wanted things & connection things & life things & eventually needed things.

It seems particularly insane to me that drug & alcohol treatment is the ONLY kind of “lets reintroduce you to life” outside of a hospital setting. (But even inside, most inpatient settings are either crisis management or warehousing. There are specialized programs out there, but whilst gold standard? Not the norm.)

Unless you have money. To buy/build your own program. And the mental agility (or the well worn road of habit) to do so in the first place.

Because what I did BEFORE I had means, ability, & opportunity? Homeless on a beach.

Hotels/Resorts are a rather ginormous step up from that... if basically the same thing. Reintroduction to Life. In small doses.
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I don't know what it's called but I suffer from it alot. Needing to do things and just can't because of fear a lot of the time. Also my meds take away my motivation. It takes me ages to build up the confidence to tackle something. Like phone calls and responsibilities. I haven't even washed in ages. At the moment I can only handle taking my medication and food shopping.


Friday---thank you dear, you named in "reintroduction to life". I would be fine with no alcohol, probably better. I just need structure. A place that says yoga is at 10 am, lunch at 12, meditation at 1. Etc. I need this so bad. I can't even afford the drunk tank let alone this kind of place. I guess I am looking for the Betty Ford for idiots with a scholarship. lol

In all seriousness, a big kick in the ass for me. I am such a sloth its killing me.


On Thursday, I had to attend a zoom conference for CEU's, even though I am retired, I want to keep my status. The conference was pathetic to say the least, and I paid $300 for it. At the end of the day, my husband wanted to debate many things with me, and blaming me for things I may or may not be guilty of. Much to do with money. I think he is angry because we now have insurance and I had to have colonoscopy and endoscopy and other things with a @k deductible.
It started about 5 pm and by 1 am I drank 7 beers. Then to bed and 1 mg xanax. Still couldn't sleep. Backup-a piece of an edible. Thats after 1.5 hours of tossing and feeling wired. Maybe I really need a real rehab, but that's never going to happen because insurance does not pay, and he finds it unimportant. Matter of fact, he would prefer to never be bothered by my trivial issues.

Anyway, I need to get up in ln 6 hours and repeat the same boring stuff that I did today. All day on line with zoom conference that is useless. Last time I resorted to an edible, in the morning I had vertigo and slammed my head on a doorway. Much has to do with my uselessness. I should be really useless at 7 am and further, I plan to turn on the zoom and clean or something to please him and keep peace.

Thing is, he refuses to move from this big old house that originated with many maids and a nanny. Well I don't need a nanny but sure would appreciate some house help....At 62, I just cant do it anymore. So I eat a little gummy. Anxiety is out of control. I just want to sleep but cant. I am grateful for the times I can sleep all day, but he resents the fact that I am not polishing the staircases. Hell with him, right.

His mother taught him nothing....about anything. About cleaning, respecting women, about money. He is a hoarder. He hoards little things that are crap, but also hoarders race cars, coins, etc. Then yells at me for the price to roofers and such. Hey, like I told him, I didn't pick the price-its and estimate.

Im tired of no energy, but its kind of no wonder when I can just sleep all day with my dogs and let stuff go. I never wanted to live in this house and still don't. I suggest we sell it and buy 2 separate homes for the same price. At least I would have some control back.

I don't know if this information might help anyone else, but my mood shows me how I can become so damn anxious with his criticism. Yet I eventually settle down, don't drink or use edibles, and sleep for day. Maybe I do need Betty Ford, but would settle for an apartment down the block with by precious dogs.


Thing is, he refuses to move from this big old house that originated with many maids and a nanny. Well I don't need a nanny but sure would appreciate some house help....At 62, I just cant do it anymore
Hell... at 22 I closed off whole floors. Nope! Not gonna do it! Nope Nope Nope! Took a grand old house and made 3 rooms livable to my standards. (MY room, the kitchen, & a bathroom. The bedroom I was sharing with a boyfriend I gave up as lost for the time being, as it would require... not his assistance per se? But also not his interference.) Which meant first clearing them out to the walls so I could THINK. Then adding things in deliberately, that I actually wanted. Instead of the accumulation of ages. Gradually I added other rooms to my repertoire... for having people over and such. But I was never able to keep the whole house clean. Not even close. That would have been a full time job. Under any kind of stress or pressure? I reverted back to my 3 rooms.

And that? Was 20 years ago, near enough. In another 20? Pfft.