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Is it normal to not want to get better?

321 Answers
Last Updated: 11/09/2021 at 4:18am
Is it normal to not want to get better?
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Jennifer Patterson, LMFT, ATR-BC

Art Therapist

Life can be messy. Sometimes you need a little support to make your way through it. I love to help guide people through their challenges & to find the beauty in our messes.

Top Rated Answers
April 1st, 2017 4:19am
In my experience it is normal to not want to get better. Our mental health conditions and unhealthy behaviors serve a purpose. They are there for a reason, and trying to get better is really hard. It is a big step. Often our illnesses can become tied to our identity, especially if we have been struggling for a long time. You are not alone in feeling like this.
August 18th, 2016 4:44pm
Some people feel that and I did too. I don't know why but I did. But when you do get better, it's so much.... better! I promise you, you'll be glad you did :)
August 20th, 2016 1:33pm
As we are humans, we sometimes don't want to get better. This however is a concern as it points to the symptoms of depression. It can help to make that initial leap into counselling to get support for this issue.
October 2nd, 2016 11:35am
Yes, it is, some people just aren't prepared to make a change and just want to stay the way they are.
February 3rd, 2017 8:21am
Yes, sometimes people are afraid of change, and getting better does take change. It's okay to have mixed feelings about change. It's also common to believe that getting better is a far-fetched dream, but believe me it isn't. It is completely within your reach, and one day you will look back and remember the first steps you took towards being happy and healthy and you will be proud of yourself.
February 9th, 2017 4:25pm
Sometimes getting better feels like it will take too much work or will not be worth it. It's natural to feel that way sometimes, especially because depression can make you apathetic about your life and future. But feelings aren't facts and just because you feel like trying to get better isn't worth it, that doesn't mean it's not possible for you to heal and grow and find a future you can be happy with. Speaking personally I thought I would never be able to live a life I would want and working on my health felt pointless, but ultimately when I got serious about getting help I did get my life back and it was so much better than I imagined it could be.
February 15th, 2017 2:33pm
I think it's an almost universal symptom of depression to be too tired to want to get better. I think sometimes we get used to it and our expectations reduce accordingly.
February 18th, 2017 12:02pm
Absolutely! It's normal to want to stay sick, and even normal to wish that you were more sick. We can become attached to our problem or diagnosis and feel like it is a part of us, and sometimes we can find comfort in that. Sometimes we also wish that we were more sick so that we would require more attention, compassion and care. It is very normal, but know that you are not your illness or your problem. It is just something that you are dealing with right now, and you are a person outside of it.
March 7th, 2017 3:58am
Humans are creatures of custom. We get used to the way things are, and we can get very comfortable in a situation...even if it's a bad one. Sometimes it's hard to see beyond the moment, to imagine the future. And it can seem like the situation we have, with all of its challenges, is safer and easier than what might come if things change. BUT...if you're suffering, then you need to keep reminding yourself that you can have a better life. You can feel better. You can be better. It's okay to appreciate what we have, but we should never let that hold us back from improvement. Some day, when you're feeling better, you're going to be so grateful that you made the needed changes, that you took the risk and let yourself improve. All the best with your journey...there are bright things ahead! Trust yourself, and trust happiness.
March 15th, 2017 8:14pm
I think that it's normal to not want to get better sometimes, it's a process to go through recovery and a lot of people go through the 'I want to get better' and 'I don't want to get better' processes of any illness.
March 17th, 2017 4:46pm
When I am experience a major depressive episode, I don't want to get better. I sink into the dark feeling and just let the world wash over me. Sometimes it takes support from others to bring me up to the point where I want to get better for myself, but I think it is a normal experience to just give over to the problem.
March 31st, 2017 9:02pm
Yes it is. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in the distorted beliefs that come along with a mental health problem that it feels comfortable, and the idea of recovery is scary, because it severs us from our "sick" identity, which has sometimes been a part of us for a very long time.
April 7th, 2017 4:56am
Well, firstly, 'normal' is a state of mind... I would say that a lot of people don't want to get better. I was like that, once. My depression felt very comfortable for me, as hurtful as it was. Often times people stay in situations that aren't good for them, simply because it's comfortable. I didn't want to be uncomfortable. I was too tired to challenge myself and get better. But sometimes it's a really good feeling to get uncomfortable... Don't feel bad about wanting to be comfortable. After all, you're only human. You're only doing the very best you can. Pushing yourself to do something you aren't ready for is only counter productive... Best of luck, friend! You are so very strong!
April 9th, 2017 3:22pm
At some point we can be there, when we cant see anything but grey and black. When we retreat for a while i can say its normal, but if we get stuck to that feeling when we really dont want to get better then it is not.
April 16th, 2017 4:16pm
When we have continuelly felt bad, for an extended amount of time, that sadness and misery feels normal to us. We recognize it, and it's a normal type of suffering. Sometimes when we are faced with the choice of facing the unknown in order to recover, we will crawl back towards our pain becuase we wlready know what it's like to suffer. If we are given the choice between an unknown benefit, and a familiar pain, many of us will take our pain and hold it close for comfort. This tendency is why it's hard for people to choose recovery after experiencing a chronic mental illness.
April 19th, 2017 6:14pm
It can be very normal! When we have been a certain way or gone through something for a long enough time, it becomes the every-day way of life. And even if it's not good for us, it's comfortable because it's familiar. It also takes time to want to get better, sometimes our bad situation/habits is doing a service for us in some for or other, and to give that up in order to "get better" means changing an important part of your life.
May 12th, 2017 5:02am
Sadness is very sad, of course, but it is also very comfortable. There is a certain appeal to wrapping yourself in your depression or mania or whatever else because it is such an ever-present companion. The important thing to realize is that you aren't truly comfortable in whatever state you are in, and you do want to "get better" very much. What you are actually comfortable with is the side effects of whatever state you are in, whether it is being out and about, not worrying about consequences, or being reflective and introspective. Find a way to nuture the healthy aspects of yourself apart from whatever self destructive elements. If you are alone and depressed, try enjoying a book or reflecting on the positive things in your life. If you can't stop abusing a substance, try having fun in other ways. Getting better doesn't mean your life is over, it just means you need to find new ways to enjoy it. In the long run, you'll get even more out of life once you realize this.
May 25th, 2017 10:47pm
It can be common. When your life has been defined by your struggle with a difficulty (whether it be mental illness such as depression, bipolar, etc. or a physical illness) it can begin to become "comfortable". Not comfortable in the sense that there is no pain, but you are familiar with the pain, and know it well. As such, "getting well" may involve new pain, and this time (with the illness or condition managed) there is no one to blame but yourself. These are normal thoughts that are common in many people, often people who have been dealing with pain for a long time. They need to be fought, and it is hard, but its part of recovery. Recovery is not a straight upward trajectory, its instead going up and down many times before you reach the goal.
November 2nd, 2017 6:52pm
This is different for everybody of course but I have felt this way before, personally it feels easier to let emotions take over because making a conscious decision to go into recovery is a big leap of faith in yourself. It's an uphill battle because if you lose focus in recovering yourself sometimes you can fall further into depression than before, so subconsciously we choose to adapt with our depression and welcome it rather than fight it.
May 2nd, 2018 8:11pm
Yes , it is completely normal cause benefits of not getting better are still great gains. You can ask yourself what you would miss or what would you loose if I’d get better.
May 26th, 2018 7:55pm
Some people are desperate to get better while sometimes people are more comfortable with how things are and dislike change or maybe they think it will be too hard or they are scared of change or just unsure. These feelings are normal and it is your choice. Its important to consider all options and decide which one is best for your health and wellbeing.
July 6th, 2018 5:10am
It depends on the person and the circumstance. I personally know that not wanting to get better can serve as keeping the feelings/emotions to feel the way that you do, even when they may be gone.
December 6th, 2018 12:02am
Yeah, for sure. This is something that a lot of people experience. It can be awful and confusing. I think it can come out of the need to feel validated that your pain is real and bad and deserving of treatment. Or sometimes the things you struggle with become such a big part of your identity that it's hard to let that go. If you've been struggling for such a long time, you might not really know how to go about life in a more healthy way, and sometimes you're just too exhausted and don't see the point in pursuing healing. It can be a lot of work and you might not feel ready for it. I promise you though that once you do get better, you'll be glad that you did.
April 3rd, 2020 10:09pm
Yes. I think it is completely normal to not want to get better. This is because you have always been this way and been dealing with this issue. So when you get better you often realize that you do not remember what it’s like to live life without your illness. I think it is completely normal to feel this way. But just because you are afraid of getting better, does not mean that you should sabotage your progress that you have already made. You have already taken the steps to get better, keep going even if it is scary.
October 3rd, 2020 8:25am
Yes, yes it is. Everyone at some point of time feel that they don't want to do better, some realize this while others don't. Many times we are just so exhausted of trying to do better, to reach people's expectations not realizing that the more we do, the more their expectations increase. Until one day, you just can't anymore. You just want to give up and just rest for a while, you'd want to isolate yourself. And its completely normal. It does not mean there is something wrong with you, it just means that you want some time out of that hectic life to sort your feelings, your life out.
June 23rd, 2021 9:04pm
If you are not truly ready, within yourself, to be better then you cannot force it. When you are ready, you will know, and then you can work on it. Forcing things does more harm than good! Sometimes, when we force ourselves to be better, we don't receive the relief we need from 'feeling our feelings'. I believe you must understand your feelings before you can begin to change them, meaning once you feel and understand them you can choose to support yourself in a new, better way. It is completely okay to not be ready! Sometimes we may be in too much pain, or have so much going on, that it is impossible to find the readiness to make a change.
July 15th, 2016 7:05pm
For a time it is, because sometimes you can't see what goes beyond what you're going through, that's perfectly normal though.
July 17th, 2016 1:39pm
Yes, many people feel this way. It's due to your current state feeling normal and predictable. You don't know what to expect if it changes and don't really want to take the risk.
July 20th, 2016 2:01pm
Yes, when it comes to feeling as if there is no better. You are under that illusion. What is a better you? only you can answer that. The sooner you realize that the better you is closer then you think. The soon you will want to get their :)
July 22nd, 2016 4:45pm
Yes, it is a normal FEELING to not want to get better. Depending on the situation (everyone's situation is different) a person may fee like they need to give up or they feel there is no solution. Why do we feel this way? Because we are INSIDE our problem. We feel like we are drowning even deeper when we try to climb our of our situation. A good reminder for this: Once we've hit rock bottom, the only way is up. and its always easier falling then getting back up. But the battle is worth it! ("You'll be okay" by A Great Big World; Listen as you reflect your new goals in life to get better!!)