A lot of people are confused whether they are lazy or depressed. In fact, some people even confuse chronic laziness with depression or dysthymia. I’m here to tell you that it’s not the same after all. They are two quite different mental conditions and have to be “treated” individually. In this article I’m going to outline the main differences between laziness and depression. And hopefully I’ll be able to answer all your questions.
Am I Lazy Or Depressed?
The Clinical Definition Of Depression
The ICD-10 states that a major depression has the following symptoms (paraphrased):
- Loss of interest and joy in regards to prior joyfully experienced activities
- Loss of your ability to react emotionally to situations and activities that used to elicited emotions
- Waking up one or two hours prior to the usual time in the morning
- Feeling worse in the morning and better in the evening
- Psychomotoric inhibition or agitation
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss of 5% or more in the last month
- Strong decrease of libido
If you have four of these symptoms for a period of at least two weeks, it might be that you are experiencing a depressive episode. This is the ICD-10 classification for what is called major depression. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms (especially depressive mood, loss of interest and joy, inhibition along with a loss of self-esteem or feelings of guilt), you might be experiencing a minor depression.
The Difference Between Depression And Laziness
I’m not aware that there is a clinical definition of laziness. It’s not a pathological mental state. If you’re asking yourself: “Am I lazy or depressed?” you have to look at the classification of depression above. If you are just feeling lazy all the time and are a procrastinator, that doesn’t mean that you’re depressed and unmotivated at all. In fact, you can be a “happy” slacker or procrastinator. There are many people who are not very active and could be called extremely lazy, yet they are far from being depressed. Don’t panic if you’re just chronically lazy. Only if you are experiencing a combination of symptoms from the classification above, you might be experiencing a major or minor depression. Depression is a mood disorder. Laziness is not.
Misconceptions Regarding Depression Vs. Laziness
People suffering from depression are usually not able to experience any emotions. They feel empty on the inside. They feel inhibited and lose any kind of interest or drive. Another broad misconception is that depressed people are sad all the time. Depressed people can’t feel anything, no happiness and no sadness. If you can experience sadness as an emotion and cry, it’s almost a sure-fire sign that you’re not depressed. In fact, it’s said that depressed people who are able to cry and feel sad again, are on their way to getting “healthy” again.
Are you lazy or depressed? If you are lazy and procrastinating all the time, without any of the above symptoms, don’t panic. If you can experience emotions, such as sadness and happiness, you’re most likely not experiencing a major depression. Laziness can be a pain in the ass, but it’s not a form of depression or a mental disorder on its own. Some people chose to be lazy and are happy with it. Some people are totally emotionally healthy, yet they have some challenges with self-discipline, willpower and taking action. They key is not to panic. Society is telling us that “we have to be active” all the time and create results. We’ve been conditioned with this belief since we’re small kids. That’s why we often start to panic and feel something is wrong with us if we just feel like doing nothing every once in a while. A certain degree of laziness is totally healthy and natural, in my opinion. However, don’t use this article for self-diagnosis if you’re not sure whether you’re lazy or depressed. Make sure to consult with a professional psychotherapist or psychiatrist for a real and reliable diagnosis of your mental health.
Did this article help you determine if you’re lazy or depressed? Drop me a comment
Featured Picture © Andrzej Wilusz – Fotolia.com
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