Living with low dopamine levels

One of the things that people should never ever call us mental health sufferers is: lazy. You may as well as of put your foot in your mouth for thinking or saying this. Low dopamine levels in your body occurs when you have mental illness such as depression. These symptoms include: lack of motivation, slow and tense muscles, unhappiness with your daily life, chronic fatigue, addictions and cravings.

Remember the adage: “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” When you have depression, you can get so tired and have zero motivation to do anything. Any simple and menial tasks such as making the bed, cleaning the house, getting out of bed in the morning and get dressed can be very hard to do when your dopamine levels are so low.

Your once clean house now looks like this:

messyhouse

This house is somewhat similar to what your brain looks like when you have too many thoughts on your mind. There are days when my depression gets bad and I will ignore things like my laundry, the dishes, and my car. I will not lie when I say that my laundry will pile up for a couple of days and since I work everyday, I need clean clothes. I will force myself to start the laundry and my brain will say: “What’s the point? You’ll get those dirty again and you will have to do this over again.” Same goes with the dishes. Some days it will look like a tornado went through my house or my house like I’m on an episode of the show “The Hoarders.” Granted, I don’t have too much stuff, but sometimes I don’t have the energy or motivation to clean house. You may call it laziness. Whatever! I suffer from mental illness and it affects my mood, my thoughts and my behavior. If you had it, then would you feel my pain? My garage looks close the picture below and I’m a huge procrastinator. I say one thing and do another. My old self, before my depression interrupted my life, was always driven and motivated to do things. My new self, NO.

Storage-Messy

I remembered a post that I saw on Facebook several weeks ago where a woman posted a video of her house looking like the photos above. She said: “This is what depression does to you.” Oh, I can completely relate to that. When I’m at work, I’m focused to a tee on keeping a very neat and tidy store because I have a higher motivation there than at home. In my house, I’m in no mood to do anything.

If only I could instill those OCD cleaning methods from work and apply them outside of work. Take my car. My car is only four years old. From the outside, it still looks brand spanking new. One of the things that I’m guilty of is not getting regular car washes. I’ve only washed it twice since I bought it. It’s a charcoal grey color, but imagine the dust, dirt, pollen and rainwater that accumulates overtime. Yeah, that’s gross. Inside, it’s a little messy. Not disastrous like some that I’ve seen. I’ve seen anything and everything in people’s cars in the drive thru of my store and when I park my car in a parking lot. There are no living things in there or gross things forming, it’s mostly just papers and straw wrappers. If someone were to walk by my car, they would quickly assume that’s I’m a messy person that doesn’t have her life together. Say what you want, but I’m a work in progress everyday.

I struggle to get out of bed in the morning. The alarm clock goes off and I want to throw the alarm out the window and go back to dreamland. When I do force myself out of bed, I will neglect making the bed and start my daily routine. We are not all perfect.

My energy for work depends on each day. When Sunday is over and Monday starts, I get very angry. I usually will say: “I hate Mondays. The beginning of another workweek.” It’s easier when you’re younger and when you’re not in school. When I was in school, I would say: “NO! I don’t want to go.” When your on summer vacation or vacation from work, then it’s like kick your feet up onto the table and doing nothing but chill. I’m notorious for just sitting back and just chilling during my vacations from work. Why do anything when you can unplug from the real world and enjoy your time with yourself or with family.

One of the major products that I need to work on is my procrastination. I need to drop that way of thinking and start making changes in my life. Those include my sleeping habits, eating habits, a major cleaning overhaul mostly in my garage and overall lifestyle changes. It won’t be easy, but if I give myself a reasonable timetable and push myself to do this then who knows much better life will be. Remember change starts with you. You have the power to change your life if you don’t like what’s going on in your life. I don’t like a messy house or car. That’s a doable change that I can make. Starting a better eating and diet plan is another change that I can make. This one is also doable, but a little more complicated. There’s temptation everywhere. Too many restaurants out there and too much emphasis on them in advertising and marketing. Try this or try that. The trick with diet and exercise is to start small and take it day by day. Losing weight and keeping it off isn’t going to happen overnight.

Whatever changes that we need to make in our lives in order better ourselves as humans, takes time and planning. Start by making a list of things to do. Make sure they’re realistic, they have a timetable attached to them, and above all, make sure they’re attainable. Little to no motivation due to low dopamine levels in your body is rough, but it’s not impossible to increase them with medication or any other proven method that you have. It can be done.

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