There is a terrible stigma attached to depression. Some people think it’s fictional. It’s time to look at depression vs laziness and break this stigma.

I will admit, there were times when I thought certain people were lazy. I found out later about their depression, and I felt terrible. You see, there is this idea that people with depression are lazy. Depression vs laziness – many people cannot tell them apart. I am here to tell you, there is a big difference between the two.

Depression spans across cultures and time, proving to be one of the most difficult conditions to maintain. This fact causes many misconceptions about the disease, and these misunderstandings cause even more difficulties when dealing with the disorder. This is why the stigma surrounding depression must be broken.

Depression vs Laziness: How to Tell the Difference?

Laziness and mental health disorders, namely depression, are vastly different conditions. However, it’s not as easy for some people to recognize the varied symptoms. As I said before, it was even hard for me to tell which was which. I’m thankful there are a few indicators to help us understand.

Signs of Laziness

Okay, this is how I will explain the differences. Let’s first take a look at the signs of laziness, because, honestly, I’ve been lazy myself. I do know what it means to be this way, but it’s not the same as mental illness.

1. Procrastination

Laziness, as opposed to depression, can be easily seen in procrastination. Now, you can have depression and procrastinate, but when it comes to a lazy attitude, you will purposefully put off doing things. You will exchange more active things for watching television and other sedentary past times.

You may be too lazy to get your work done but not too lazy to hang with friends. Procrastination sometimes means you just don’t want to do “work” type things.

2. You are physically capable

If you have no aches or pains at all, you might just be lazy. You may have the ability to go outside and get some exercise, but you rather sit all day and do nothing.

Yes, it is quite possible to do nothing at all, all day long. Maybe you only get up to eat and other necessities, but as for any type of responsibilities, you try to delegate those to others in your household. Unlike procrastination, you don’t put off things for later. You simply look for others to do things for you.

3. You are bored

When you think you’re bored, you may just be lazy, not even depressed at all. This is especially true if you are feeling selfish and didn’t get to go somewhere in particular or spend time with certain people.

Suddenly, nothing else seems interesting to you at all, and so you say you’re bored. Trust me, there are so many things a person can do to keep from being bored. Maybe, just maybe, you’re being lazy because you didn’t get exactly what you wanted.

Signs of Depression

Now, being depressed is a whole different story versus being lazy. With depression, you cannot make the decision to feel certain ways. Unlike being lazy, depression happens to you without your permission. Let’s look at several other indicators.

1. No energy

With depression, your energy can sink down to low levels for long periods of time. Yes, you may sit around, lay around, and even procrastinate like someone who is lazy. But the difference is, you didn’t make this choice.

For example, when I was in one of my worst depression episodes, my legs even felt heavy when I tried to get up. The drop in mood was so bad that my entire body struggled just to go to the bathroom.

Since there is a strong connection between body and mind, depression can control many physical things like this.

2. Lack of libido

Some relationships go through a decrease in intimacy. One partner may blame the other for laziness, when, in reality, depression is killing the libido. Mental illness can do this. There are two ways that depression can decrease the desire for intimacy, mood changes and medications.

A depressed state makes us care less about sex, and with medication for other mental disorders that come with depression, we can also lose interest. It also means we may pay more attention to our body image as well.

Unfortunately, many don’t understand this, and it’s unfair to those who suffer.

3. No appetite/over-eating

With laziness, you may over-eat quite a bit, and it’s the same with depression. When you are in a perpetual state of gloom, eating may seem like the only solution – it’s like mindless eating.

Also, when you suffer from depression, you can go for long periods of time with no appetite at all. Sometimes, it just feels so unnatural to eat anything, and when you do, the food even tastes odd in your mouth. If you suffer from depression, you have to be careful to not fall victim to anorexia or bulimia.

4. Too much sleep/insomnia

sleep problems mental health

Just like eating, depression can affect your sleep as well. When laziness is the culprit, you’re not sleepy, you’re laying around, but with depression, you just can’t stay awake. Strangely enough, depression also keeps you up at night.

I can attest to this personally. For the last two weeks, I’ve had a difficult time getting to sleep. Depression has a weird way of causing both insomnia and sleeping too much. If you have both of these, it’s clearly depression and not laziness.

5. Lost in the past

Depression causes you to get lost in your past. You will find yourself looking through old photo albums over and over. You will go through old paperwork and letters too. Some days, you will just sit and reminisce about people and times that have passed.

While it’s sentimental and all, it can be unhealthy. You see, sometimes when you seem lazy, you’re just living in the past. It’s a horrible aspect of depression.

Is It Depression or Laziness?

It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out what you’re going through. If you feel pretty upbeat, but still sit around too much, then you just need to get out and get active. If you suffer from chronic aches and pains, sleeplessness, no appetite, and lack of focus, it could be something much more serious, like depression.

The only way to know for sure is to get help. No one needs to let depression get out of control simply because they think they are just being lazy. Don’t let the stigma keep you from getting the help you deserve.



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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Rebecca L Danis

    Both laziness and depression are physically caused. Lack of proper ATP generation is linked to both.

    1. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

      Yes, Rebecca, laziness is a problem and can be caused by a number of physical issues, usually hormonal or chemically based imbalances. That’s why I said that it is important to understand the differences. You could be medicating one issue with another issue’s treatments. That can cause yet more problems.

  2. Will

    Thanks for your informative article. It scares me that now a lot of people are starting to say that they have depression, when in fact it was just a bad day. Thus, they create even more controversy regarding people who are depressed. They harm such people. Now they shout about it at every step and I don’t understand why to do this. Trust me, you really wouldn’t want to get this disorder. Therefore, I urge people not to attribute depression to themselves simply because you are not in the mood today.

  3. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

    I have a good example of depression, and an easy way to tell if you truly have depression or just a bad day.

    The past several days feel like they’re covered in a veil of darkness. Many times, as well, as with this week and the last week, my body will feel the depression before my mind can even comprehend what’s happening. It’s like fatigue, but with an added dose of low motivation, obsessive past thoughts, and strangely, constantly looking for something that i cannot find. I’ve been digging through boxes for the past 7 or 8 days looking for something personal that was probably burned or thrown away long ago. In my mind, I feel as if I must find it or I cannot write my fiction book. It’s depression – it drowns, it distracts, it darkens and it makes you so unbearably tired. I sleep so much lately. There is a difference and people do need to learn these things in order to help each other with their differences. Being lazy is also a problem as well.

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