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Losing interest

3-minute read

If you have lost interest in many of the things you once enjoyed, this may also be a sign you are depressed.

This can leave you feeling isolated, which can also make you prone to anxiety.

There are a few things you can try to help motivate yourself and get back on track.

  1. Talk to your GP who may also suggest a referral to another professional like a counsellor or psychologist
  2. Get up and about — physical activity can help improve your mood and make you feel less sluggish and less tired.
  3. Try some exercise — take a brisk walk, go for a swim, or try another type of exercise to get the blood flowing.
  4. Eat regularly and get enough sleep.
  5. Do something creative — activities like painting or crafts can take your mind off what’s troubling you, allow an outlet for your feelings, and give you a sense of achievement.
  6. Deal with triggers — if you are overwhelmed with work or finances, try to take time out to relax.
  7. Do things you enjoy — like spending time with friends or family, walking the dog or doing some gardening.
  8. Reach out to help someone else — for example, an elderly or handicapped neighbour or relative. Helping someone else or volunteering can help you get your mind off your own difficulties and make you feel good.
  9. Plan a routine — to help you maintain a more active lifestyle. This could include scheduling some form of regular exercise. Try to stick to your plan but allow for some flexibility when needed.
  10. Set yourself small jobs — these could be around the house or garden. For example, have a clean-out and give some of your unwanted items to charity. This will help keep you occupied and give you something positive to concentrate on.
  11. Make plans for the future — having an outing or enjoyable activity to look forward to is a good way to break up a negative mood.
  12. Be open with your family — Make sure your partner and friends know what you’re going through.

Take things one step at a time. Be prepared that you might have some setbacks, but have faith that you will get there eventually.

If you find that you have lost interest in sex, try to find some non-sexual activities you can do with your partner that you will both enjoy. Make sure you tell your partner that your lack of interest in sex or physical affection is a symptom of how you feel, and not a rejection of them.

Where to get help

If you need help, talking to your doctor is a good place to start. If you’d like to find out more or talk to someone else, here are some organisations that can help:

  • MindSpot Clinic (anyone suffering from anxiety or depression) — call 1800 61 44 34.
  • beyondblue (anyone feeling depressed or anxious) — call 1300 22 4636 or chat online.
  • Black Dog Institute (people affected by depression and extreme mood swings) — online help.
  • Lifeline (anyone experiencing a crisis or thinking about suicide) — call 13 11 14 or chat online.
  • Suicide Call Back Service (anyone thinking about suicide) — call 1300 659 467.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: August 2019

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