Am I depressed, or just lazy?

Occasionally, we all go through waves of feeling lazy. When you get home from school, you might neglect a few tasks like your assignments or household chores.

Crawling into bed makes more sense at this point, right? Yes, we all need the rest. But what does it mean when one or two lazy days turn into a few lazy weeks? Is it laziness or could it be depression?

Laziness and depression do have some similarities, but a few key differences too. Many who suffer from depression will initially feel like they’re just lazy for not wanting to get out of bed.

The main difference between laziness and depression is that while you can choose to be lazy, you can’t choose to be depressed. Depression is an illness which comes on gradually over time. It can start slowly and before you know it, it’s taken over your mindset and life.

Being lazy shouldn’t be confused with a serious mental illness. Usually, if you’re just feeling lazy, it’s a passing mood that lasts a day or two. Soon enough, you get up, and gather the energy to go to classes and catch up on your tasks.

People with depression don’t have that ability. They’ve lost all concept of meaning in their life, of time, and responsibilities. It just doesn’t matter. Nothing matters.

What is depression?

On a global scale, around 450 million people currently suffer from mental health conditions, making them one of the leading causes of poor health and disability. According to the World Health Organization, 300 million people around the world have depression.

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Depression causes distress for the person suffering from it, but also for their loved ones and friends.

Symptoms of mild depression may include:

  • Sadness or feeling “empty”.
  • Loss of interest in hobbies.
  • Irritability or frustration.
  • Hopelessness.
  • Changes in sleep pattern.
  • Changes in appetite (depression and weight gain, weight loss).
  • Anxiety.
  • Tiredness, loss of energy.
  • Low self-esteem, guilt.

Symptoms of severe depression may include:

  • Inability to make decisions.
  • Obsessive suicidal or thoughts of death.
  • Persistent, unexplained physical pain like headaches, digestive problems, or joint and muscle pain.
  • Inability to feel pleasure or contentment.
  • Difficulty in thinking and memory.
  • When you first ask yourself “Am I depressed?” it’s natural to feel uncertain, confused, and overwhelmed. Figuring out if you’re experiencing depression, and what to do about it, is the first step. Remember that you’re far from alone; there is help available.
  • A doctor is the best person to talk to if you think you may need to see someone about your mental health. They’re likely to refer you to a specialist like a psychologist who will be able to help you manage problems like stress, anxiety, and phobias.

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