I am not depressed, although disappointed at my decisions (or lack thereof).
I like the suggestion to talk about my work with an interested person but do not think that my work is interesting in anyway, and have no pretense that the work is contributing to make the world a better place.
All of these practices, in my estimation, would help one to train and develop ones internal motivation, but I have little internal motivation (only guilt) for completing my work, and think it is late in the game to try and find personal connection and interest in the work and think that external pressure should be good enough (although it hasn't been enough).
I am very happy for the people in this world who have developed a personal connection to their work and to their jobs, but I don't think that everyone is so lucky as to be personally connected to their work.
Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. so I have hated graduate school since day one but have slogged through because I couldn't find anything else to do (I have applied for hundreds of jobs as an escape route with no success).
It has been an enormous amount of ungratifying work, especially because I am not interested in the subject I am studying and am not interested in the obtuse contributions of the study.But I am only a dissertation away from completing my Ph D and being finished with my poor decision, but I am having enormous difficulty finding motivation to write it. I can't find the energy to read any more boring articles I need to cite or find the energy to write a complete sentence.Every time I start I find an excuse to distract myself and I don't know how to find external motivation since I lack internal motivation.I thought I would respond to a few of your suggestions and see if anyone has additional thoughts or considerations.There was the suggestion that I should go visit a counselor and to be screened for depression.Update: I wanted to thank those who chimed in and offered me kind and sincere advice.Thank you for taking time to help me, a stranger, with my life's problems.And I need to comment on the solid advice from Peter.I think is is exceptional advice and I should implement all of these practices into my life, but unfortunately I don't feel this advice pertains to this situation as doesn't help me with the core underlying issue: that I lack any interest in my work and do not have any internal motivation that comes from connection and passion about the research I am doing.I think it would be wonderful if it were the case but Peter's reason #3 is an example of the disconnect between ideal and reality.Many people in this unequal world would be ecstatic to be earning K a year for the chance to write papers and do research for a professor, but no amount of counting my blessings (and I am very thankful I was born into a world that allowed for the luxury of higher education) gives me the belief that the dissertation is anything but wasted time and paper.