What makes you get out of bed in the morning? What makes you go to work? What makes you read a book, or sit down to watch tv?
All of these actions in our daily lives are driven by motivation. But what does that really mean?
Motivation is something I have been thinking about – and researching – a lot recently. Motivation has been on my mind because one of the biggest challenges in providing effective psychological treatment for depression seems to be overcoming motivational barriers that are a symptom of depression. For example, exercise is known to be an effective treatment for depression – but how can a depressed person exercise consistently enough to experience improvement in mood when two of the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for Major Depressive Disorder suggest significant problems of motivation?