Am I Depressed or Lazy?
Written By: Melissa DaSilva, LICSW
Do You Know The Symptoms of Depression?
Most of us love the thought of laying in bed for a day, watching Netflix, reading a good book and eating delicious comfort food. This is so much better than doing chores you know you should be doing, such as going grocery shopping, doing school work or even laundry. A day at home nesting in front of the television, relaxing, isn’t the worst thing for us to do. Most people need this down time to compensate for the excessive amount of hours they spend working. When these relaxations turn from once in a while events, to most of the time routines, your friends, and family or maybe even yourself may start to wonder,
” Are you lazy, or are you depressed?”
Our society has forced us to believe that to be a good member of society, you must be productive most of the time. There are bestselling books that are about how to be productive even while sleeping. Time is money and we need to be attempting to make it as much as we can. Since we have grown up with this type of mindset, most people would find these relaxing behaviors as being lazy, when in fact, what appears to be laziness is actually a sign of depression.
In America, an average 21% of women and 12% of men will experience symptoms of depression in their lifetime.
Laziness is defined by the unwillingness to work or put effort into an activity. The keyword in this definition is unwillingness. This means you still have the will to do something, while depression is not a choice. From the definition of Laziness, it means you still have the ability to enjoy activities that you like and choose to engage in. People struggling with laziness are choosing to avoid activities that they don’t want to do. One of the biggest signs and symptoms of depression is, not enjoying or engaging in activities that you once enjoyed. Even if you try to engage in the activity, it can feel bland, uneventful or even a hassle.
Some other symptoms of depression include:
- Appetite changes, or weight gain or loss
- Trouble going to sleep or staying asleep or even sleeping too much
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Feeling restless, irritable, or withdrawn
- Feeling worthless, hopeless, discouraged, or guilty
- Trouble concentrating, remembering things, doing daily tasks, or making decisions
- Thoughts about hurting or killing yourself
The signs and symptoms of depression are not the same way for everyone. This can be especially true for children and adolescents.
Depression is not a choice. There can be several reasons for depression and why you may be feeling the symptoms.
- Change in brain Chemistry
- Changes in hormone levels
- Certain Medical Conditions
- Difficult life circumstances
Depression can be difficult for most people to come to grips with, or even admit that they may be struggling. Sometimes extra help such as increasing connections with social supports with your friends, family or a religious group is needed. Therapy can be helpful also. Finding the right therapist can help pinpoint where the depression is coming from and learn coping skills on how to address it. There are also medications that can be taken, to make getting out of bed and engaging in the world a little bit easier. Many people find that changing their diet and exercise routine can also be helpful for overcoming depression.
If you are finding that you are having symptoms of depression, it’s important to tell someone. Anyone. You don’t need to fight this alone. Depression doesn’t have to be a lifelong battle. There are options and people that will help you. If you or someone you know are suffering from suicidal thoughts please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255): The Suicide hotline, 24/7 free and confidential.
If you are in the Providence, RI area and feel that you want to talk to me please call 401-227-0372 to schedule an appointment. If you’d prefer to schedule your appointment online follow this link.
Melissa is a licensed therapist and founder of East Coast Mental Wellness. She is an expert in the field of transgender and non-binary issues. Melissa is the host of a new LGBTQ podcast titled Pride Connections. She has many years of experience working with adolescences in schools, as a school social worker and enjoys thinking out of the box when helping adolescents and young adult harness the power of ADD/ADHD.