Depression is a recognized mental health condition. It’s a persistent mood disorder caused by the chronic stress of unresolved, complex, and significant life problems.
Following are the major symptoms of depression:
- Low energy levels
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
- Trouble concentrating and making decisions
- Significant changes in appetite and weight
- Significant changes in sleep patterns
- Feeling hopeless and worthless
- Thoughts of self-harm
- Irritability and aggression
- Social withdrawal
- Emotional detachment
- Substance abuse and addictions
Depression is not a choice. It’s a state your mind puts you in after you consistently fail to solve an important life problem. It’s an emotional state that motivates you to concentrate mental effort on the critical life problem at hand (rumination).
Depression vs Laziness
Laziness is an unwillingness to expend effort. It can be caused by low physical or mental energy levels and resembles depression. In fact, laziness can be a symptom of depression.
If you look at the symptoms of depression above and club together the first three (bolded), those are laziness symptoms.
While laziness can be a symptom of depression, it can have other underlying causes too, such as:
- Lack of discipline
- Fear of failure
Note that having these problems doesn’t necessarily make you depressed. So, laziness can occur independently of depression. Also, laziness can occur without any underlying cause other than low energy levels.
You simply don’t have energy to expend. That’s laziness in its purest form.
Taking the ‘Am I lazy or depressed?’ Quiz
If you have persistent low energy levels and can’t figure out if you’re depressed or lazy, this test is for you. It consists of 10 items on a 5-point scale ranging from Strongly agree to Strongly disagree.
This test isn’t a formal diagnosis of depression. It’s entirely confidential, and your results aren’t stored or shared.