By We Level Up FL Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: February 10, 2022
Difference Between Being Depressed or Lazy
There are still some genuinely terrible stigmas associated with having depression. As is familiar with many mental illnesses, people may ascribe character issues to what is, in fact, a chronic illness. Those suffering from depression are often considered unmotivated or lazy when the truth is entirely different. Depression is a psychological disorder that happens against a person’s consent, and no amount of willpower can make it go away.
If you’re asking yourself, “am I depressed or lazy?” ask yourself first if you lack motivation. “Laziness” is a matter of choosing not to do a particular activity, but depression is a chronic illness. Laziness may be a momentary state or an issue of character, but it is not a psychological disorder. Further, if you’re concerned you might be lazy, ask yourself if you’re feeling unfortunate, have disengaged from things you used to love, and are having problems with sleep, energy levels, or your ability to concentrate. These are all hallmark symptoms of depression.
Comparing “depression vs laziness?” Depression and laziness have a lot in common, so many people are mislabeled as lazy. The “L-word” often goes with depression because it is a common depression and mental illness symptom.
Is being lazy a sign of depression? Yes, it can be. Depression and laziness affect motivation, concentration, energy levels, and the quality of work produced. The difference is that depression affects one’s mental health and mood. At the same time, lazy people are unmotivated by things outside their control because they lack self-awareness or insight into what motivates them.
Because of the stigma still attached to psychiatric illnesses, many patients are reluctant to acknowledge to themselves or their physicians that they are experiencing emotional distress. Patients may deny or minimize symptoms, rationalize them as expectable because of life stresses or other general medical problems, believe them to be failures of will or moral shortcomings, or not see them as within the physician’s purview or capabilities. Familial or cultural beliefs may reinforce these attitudes. Similarly, patients may be reluctant to disclose information they fear could be included in insurance or employment records; they may be especially concerned about having a psychiatric diagnosis recorded. 
Lazy or Depressed?
Lazy vs depressed? Attention also has been called to physician deficits in comparing laziness vs depression. Some physicians believe that depression is not a “real” illness. Some believe that depression reflects a personal shortcoming or “laziness” and is thus something the patient could improve with more effort, willpower, or “positive thinking.” Others are doubtful about depression as a clinical entity because of the absence of confirmatory laboratory or radiologic studies.
These doubts may take different forms, from simply never inquiring about depressive symptoms to having an unduly high threshold for considering depression in the differential diagnosis of a patient’s chief complaint.
Some physicians lack the skills to elicit relevant history even when attitudes are appropriate. Many adopt a highly focused closed-ended interviewing technique that may prevent patients from bringing up affectively laden or psychosocial material. Failure to recognize nonverbal cues and to ask follow-up questions in response to distress indications are potential impediments to obtaining an appropriate history.
Some physicians fail to offer empathic, supportive comments during the interview, cues that patients may interpret as a lack of interest or unwillingness to discuss these concerns. Finally, some physicians, uncomfortable with displays of affection, may consciously or unwittingly steer the interview toward less difficult areas.
It is crucial to diagnose depression properly to provide early interventions regarding mental health and behavioral treatment. It should not be taken lightly, as depression disorder can also lead to suicidal thoughts. Depressed or lazy if your emotions overwhelm you and affect your daily functioning. You must seek help
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Depression Disorder Facts Sheet
Also called: Clinical depression, Dysthymic disorder, Major depressive disorder, Unipolar depression
Depression is a severe medical illness. It’s more than just feeling sad or “blue” for a few days. If you are one of the more than 19 million young adults in the United States who have depression, the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include:
- Feeling sad or “empty”
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Overeating, or not wanting to eat at all
- Not being able to sleep or sleeping too much
- Feeling very tired
- Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Depression is a disorder of the brain. There are a variety of causes, including genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Depression can happen at any age, but it often begins in teens and young adults. It is much more common in women. Women can also get postpartum depression after the birth of a baby. Some people get seasonal affective disorder in the winter. Depression is one part of bipolar disorder.
There are effective treatments for depression, including antidepressants, talk therapy, or both.
 Source: Depression – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health
Depression Disorder Statistics
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. For some individuals, major depression can result in severe impairments that interfere with or limit one’s ability to carry out major life activities. 
In 2020, an estimated 21.0 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 8.4% of all U.S. adults.
Adults with a depressive disorder or episodes have a 64% greater risk of developing coronary artery disease.
Mental Health (Depression, grief, and behavioral conduct) is the second leading workplace concern, following only family issues.
Source: Employee Assistance Professionals Association Survey, 2017
How to Stop Being Lazy and Depressed?
Some patients may be unwilling to accept a diagnosis of depression because of “depression laziness” and thus will not accept any treatment. Others may be hesitant about beginning specific therapies. Some patients are reluctant to take antidepressants for fear of “becoming addicted,” “needing a crutch,” taking “mind-control drugs,” or for other reasons; some may then be prone to mislabel pretreatment symptoms as drug-related after beginning on antidepressants. 
Other patients will avoid psychotherapy, fearing it to be too intrusive, complicated, lengthy, expensive, or overly focused on childhood experiences. Patients who begin treatment may be dissuaded by medications’ unexpected or unpleasant side effects, delay in sufficient improvement, or difficulty allying with a psychotherapist. Patients also may be reluctant to see a mental health specialist even if such services are available.
Even if patients initially agree to treatment, they must adhere to enough of a treatment plan to make it likely that outcomes will be improved. Unfortunately, many patients discontinue their medications within the first month. Similar problems may occur with psychotherapy.
Despite these hindrances to stopping being depressed, depression is treatable. If you think you may be depressed, the first step to seeking treatment is to talk to your healthcare provider. Remember that depression is not your fault. By asking for support, you are helping yourself and your family.
Am I Depressed or Lazy Quiz
Take our Am I Depressed or Lazy Quiz. The Am I Depressed or Lazy Quiz is a 1-minute exercise to enable you to learn more about your personal depression case. If your “Am I Lazy or Depressed Quiz” questions responses score 50 points or more, feel free to reach out to one of our specialists for further support.
This brief test will help determine if you may need to see a mental health professional for the diagnosis and treatment of depression. Only a mental health professional can accurately diagnose depression, and if needed, recommend a treatment plan.
Am I Depressed or Just Lazy?
Searching for the difference between laziness and depression? The following questions from CDC may help you determine if you are experiencing depression.  During the past two weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the problems listed below?
Little interest or pleasure in doing things?
- Not at all.
- Several days.
- More than half the days.
- Nearly every day.
Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless?
- Not at all.
- Several days.
- More than half the days.
- Nearly every day.
To answer your question, “how do I know if i’m depressed or just lazy?” If you answered “more than half the days” or “nearly every day” to either question above, you may be depressed and should seek help. Depression can be treated with counseling, medications, or both. Depressed or lazy if your feelings crush you and affect your daily functioning. You must seek help.
What is Laziness?
Laziness – whether in the sense of an allergy to the effort, a morally questionable reluctance to pull your weight when there is work to be done, a fondness for shortcuts, or a well-developed appetite for the pleasures of idleness – has probably always been with us. Laziness may well be part and parcel of what it means to be human. A machine could never be lazy; nor, it might be argued, could an animal.
Some members of the animal kingdom are lazy by reputation (cats, koalas, possums) or by name (sloths). Still, when we accuse such creatures of work-shy behavior, we are exhibiting our all-too-human habit of seeing aspects of ourselves in non-human animals.  If you’re looking for therapy for laziness, speak with a mental health professional who can help you determine if other underlying issues cause you to be lazy.
ADHD vs Laziness
Lazy people typically don’t try to complete work, school, or home tasks. ADD/ADHD people, however, may try hard but still can’t tackle what they want to accomplish. This can lead to frustration, low self-esteem, and feeling bad about your abilities.
Is Laziness a Disease?
Is laziness a mental illness? Laziness may be a transient state or an issue of character, but it is not a psychological disorder. Moreover, if you’re concerned you might be lazy, ask yourself if you’re feeling deeply sad, have disengaged from things you used to love, and are having problems with sleep, energy levels, or your ability to concentrate.
Signs of a Lazy Person
There are so many questions about “lazy vs depression.” What makes a person lazy? Are you a lazy person? Is it laziness or depression? Is there such a thing as “extreme laziness disorder?” To better understand laziness, here are a few signs you’re lazy and examples that can help you identify if you are a procrastinator:
- You’ll always find a good reason to postpone any sports session.
- You are too lazy to go to bed.
- When you’re always looking for someone else to do your tasks, it’s one of the top signs you are lazy.
- You delay replying to text messages.
- You have a chair full of clothes.
- You watch movies you don’t like because the remote control is too far away.
- You will phone call or text someone who’s in a room beside you.
- Taking a break often, especially when things get serious.
- You don’t want to leave what you are doing because you would have to walk down many stairs.
- Nothing makes you happier than seeing your plans canceled.
Is Laziness a Sign of Depression?
Are you thinking, “depression makes me lazy?” Is it depression or laziness? Depression can make you lazy. A lack of motivation and a general disinterest in life are both side effects of depression. The combination of these side effects often makes the person feel or appear lazy. Many professional organizations and advocacy groups have drawn attention to the undertreatment of depression and the need to increase public and professional awareness.
Depression, a commonly occurring disorder in the general population, is seen even more frequently in available medical settings and is associated with marked individual and family suffering, an elevated risk of suicide, functional impairment, and a high economic toll in healthcare costs and lost productivity.
Barriers to diagnosing and treating depression in general medical settings include those related to stigma:
- Patient somatization and denial
- Patient adherence to treatment
- Restrictions on specialist, drug, and psychotherapeutic care.
Several programs are underway to reduce these barriers, but undertreatment remains a serious problem. The stigma of depression is alive. The stigma of depression is different from that of other mental illnesses and largely due to the negative nature of the illness that makes depressives seem unattractive and unreliable. Depressed or lazy if your emotions overcome you and affect your daily living. You must seek help.
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What is Depression?
Depression is a common psychological illness affecting over 8%  of American adults. It affects all aspects of life, from how you think to how you feel and behave. Not only is depression characterized by deep, unrelenting sadness, but depression also causes people to lose the ability to feel pleasure. As a result, people lose interest in things they once enjoyed, withdraw from social life and relationships, may lose or gain weight without trying, and can suffer from various physical problems.
Depression causes a person to feel tired and lethargic. It also ruins one’s ability to be interested in anything, particularly activities that were once enjoyable (anhedonia). Depression also causes one’s energy levels to collapse, even though one may sleep much more than usual. Hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) is one of the most common symptoms of depression.
For a depression diagnosis, symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. The most common symptoms  in their respective categories are:
- Extreme sadness, mostly every day, usually without any identifiable cause
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness, in the absence of any cause
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyable (anhedonia)
- Feeling cut off or unable to engage with others, activities, or former interests
- Feelings of emptiness
- Excessive worry, rumination
- Elevated anxiety
- Snappishness, irritability
- Brain fog (muddled or fuzzy thinking)
- Difficulty concentrating, inability to focus one’s thoughts
- Diminished attention span
- Problems with one’s memory
- Negative outlook (“it’s all my fault, nothing will change, nothing will get better”)
- Thoughts of suicide
Behavioral and Physical:
- Persistent lack of energy
- Slowed movements, difficulty with or reduced speed in simple physical tasks (psychomotor retardation)
- Sleep disturbances
- Social withdrawal
What Causes Depression?
Our thoughts and emotions are regulated by complex chemicals called neurotransmitters and neuromodulators. Our nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord, depends entirely on these chemicals for proper functioning. Researchers believe that when the production of neurotransmitters falls outside of normal levels, depression and other psychological disorders result.
Without adequate chemical messengers, our brain works slower and less efficiently. For example, one neurotransmitter, dopamine, is responsible for our ability to feel pleasure. Another serotonin helps us experience and modulate our emotions. We suffer when brain tissue has a problem appropriately responding to or producing neurotransmitters.
When approached this way, it’s easy to see that although depression is experienced psychologically, it’s very much a physical ailment.
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Does Depression Make You Lazy?
Sometimes, symptoms of depression can look a bit like laziness. If you find yourself doing fewer activities or struggling to complete tasks, you may wonder if you are depressed or lazy. However, depression is a medical condition that has nothing to do with being lazy, and it is important not to confuse the two concepts. Understanding the key differences between laziness and depression can help you get the support you need.
Some of the depression symptoms that may be confused with laziness are:
- Lack of interest in things you used to enjoy
- Low energy and motivation
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty starting and completing tasks
Can depression make you lazy, or can depression cause laziness? First, Laziness is not a formal symptom of depression. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders outlines eight symptoms of clinical depression (also known as major depression or major depressive disorder). For a person to receive a diagnosis, they must exhibit five or more symptoms for at least two weeks. These symptoms are:
- Experiencing a depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
- Significantly decreased interest in everyday activities
- Significant weight loss or weight gain, or changes in appetite
- A noticeable slowing down of thought or physical movement
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
- Difficulty thinking or making decisions
- Recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal ideation, or suicide attempt
While laziness is not included on the list, several depression symptoms can look like what we understand as laziness. Depressed or lazy if you’re feeling intense sadness, and it affects your daily functioning. You must seek help.
Treatment for Depression
Searching for “how do I stop being depressed and lazy?” Many helpful treatments for depression are available. Treatment for depression can help reduce symptoms and shorten how long the depression lasts. Treatment can include getting therapy and/or taking medications. Your doctor or a qualified mental health professional can help determine the best treatment for you.
- Therapy. Many people benefit from psychotherapy—also called therapy or counseling. Most treatment lasts for a short time and focuses on thoughts‚ feelings‚ and issues in your life. In some cases, understanding your past can help‚ but finding ways to address what is happening now can help you cope and prepare for future challenges. With therapy, you’ll work with your therapist to learn skills to help you cope with life, change behaviors that are causing problems‚ and find solutions. Do not feel shy or embarrassed about talking openly and honestly about your feelings and concerns. This is an important part of getting better. Some common goals of therapy include:
- Getting healthier
- Quitting smoking and stopping drug and alcohol use
- Overcoming fears or insecurities
- Coping with stress
- Making sense of past painful events
- Identifying things that worsen your depression
- Having better relationships with family and friends
- Understanding why something bothers you and creating a plan to deal with it
- Medication. Many people with depression find that taking prescribed antidepressants can help improve their mood and coping skills. Talk to your doctor about whether they are right for you. If your doctor writes you a prescription for an antidepressant‚ ask exactly how you should take the medication. Let your doctor know if you are already using nicotine replacement therapy or another medication to help you quit smoking. Several antidepressant medications are available‚ so you and your doctor have options to choose from. Sometimes it takes several tries to find the best medication and the right dose for you, so be patient. Also, be aware of the following important information:
- When taking these medications‚ it is important to follow the instructions on how much to bear. Some people feel better a few days after starting the medication‚ but it can take up to 4 weeks to obtain the most benefit. Antidepressants work well and are safe for most people‚ but it is still important to talk with your doctor if you have side effects. Side effects usually do not get in the way of daily life‚ and often go away as your body adjusts to the medication.
- Don’t stop taking an antidepressant without first talking to your doctor. Stopping your medicine suddenly can cause symptoms or worsen depression. Work with your doctor to safely adjust how much you take.
- Some antidepressants may cause risks during pregnancy. Talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or might be pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
- Antidepressants cannot solve all of your problems. If you notice that your mood is worsening or you have thoughts about hurting yourself, it is important to call your doctor immediately.
Quitting smoking will not interfere with your mental health treatment or make your depression worse. Research shows that quitting smoking can improve your mental health in the long run.
4 Reasons Why You Might Struggle with Being Depressed or Lazy
How to stop being depressed and lazy? First, if you think you have depression, seeking help as early as possible is the best action. Some people who are depressed may think about hurting themselves or committing suicide (taking their own life). If you or someone you know is having thoughts about hurting themselves or committing suicide‚ please seek immediate help.
Laziness reflects that a person’s health and wellness need examination. Looking for answers to “do I have depression or am i just lazy?” What are the four reasons why you struggle with being depressed or being lazy?
The below tips can help you lessen laziness and start seeing things from different perspectives. If you’re asking yourself, “why am I so lazy and depressed?,” “am I depressed or unmotivated?,” or “am I lazy or mentally ill?,” try some of the tips below. If you still have persistent sadness and very low interest in activities and productivity, then it’s time to seek professional help.
- You may have issues with value linking.
To figure out if you have depression or lazy, here’s an example you may try to do first. At work, we’re often assigned tasks that seem mindless or useless. If you get tripped up by value linking, you will probably have difficulty completing an important lesson for your boss—even if it’s a top priority and due tomorrow—if you think the task has no value. Most of us can suspend our thoughts around “value linking” enough to work on projects assigned to us by our superiors. However, some people find it nearly impossible to do work with little perceived value.
Speaking to your boss about this is essential if you’re a value-linking person. Make sure you ask why a project or task is so important. Dig in deep until you can align to the overarching value of a task so you can finally get it done. Otherwise, you’ll reject getting started, continue procrastinating, and be labeled “lazy.”
- You’re addicted to social media.
Focus on reducing your time spent on social media. We will be so distressed to see the long-term effects of apps like Instagram on our mental health in years. Also, consider muting and unfollowing accounts that make you feel bad about yourself. Many forms of social media are often what make people lazy currently.
- You may be struggling with substance abuse.
Is being lazy a mental illness? Being lazy alone doesn’t mean you have a mental illness. However, laziness and depression could be symptoms of a substance abuse problem. Self-medicating can appear lazy (showing up late, missing appointments, ghosting friends), but it’s an addiction problem. One growing type of addiction is Adderall, a medication to help with ADHD. People often abuse Adderall to combat laziness because it provides energy and intense focus; however, “Adderall addiction” can eventually lead to feeling depressed.
- You’re lazy because you have too much to do.
When you work remotely, you are inundated with work from every angle. Your computer. Your phone. Your Apple watch pings you when your Zoom meeting starts. It’s too much. Many people respond to this overwhelming experience with what looks like laziness. They hide. They pull the covers over their head and use their avoidance and unresponsiveness to say, “I’m overwhelmed.” Depressed or lazy if it’s overwhelming you. You must seek help.
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How to Encourage People with Depression and Mental Health Problems
Recognizing that depression can cause physical health problems can help a person seek treatment and make changes to help manage their symptoms. But in conclusion, Depression is treatable. A doctor may recommend a combined approach, using a medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. And most importantly, with the right support, a person can manage both the physical and mental health effects of depression.
One of the top ways to completely deflate and degrade someone is by being called lazy when depressed. Language has power when you see someone lazy at work; pause and consider how to inspire them. Consider swapping out the word “lazy” from your vocabulary altogether. Laziness has a negative connotation and can bring harmful feelings.
The We Level Up FL primary mental health center stands ready to help. We Level Up FL can inspire a support system through our mental health treatments to make you feel valuable. You can trust the treatment backed by leading recovery specialists practicing evidence-based therapy. We Level Up FL Treatment Center offers therapy under one roof. Get comprehensive therapy for mind, body & spirit.
Call us now for a free mental health assessment! In addition, for the substance abuse or dual diagnosis approach, our inpatient treatment, inpatient medical detox, and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at our affiliated facility. Still asking yourself, “am I depressed or lazy?” For more mental health treatment resources, call us about your symptoms, and we can help you determine the cause and develop a treatment plan.
We Level Up Treatment Center provides world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope. We work as an integrated team providing information about depression and other aspects of treatment. Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation.
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Am I really depressed or just lazy?
Depression vs lazy. The difference is that depression affects one’s mental health and mood, while things outside their control just unmotivate lazy people because they lack self-awareness or insight into what motivates them.
How to know if you re lazy or depressed?
To know if you are struggling with laziness or depression. First, laziness is more of a situational experience. Some days you may feel lazy because you’re tired from a busy week. On the other hand, depression can last for weeks or months, regardless of how much rest you get.
Can anxiety make you lazy?
If you are worried about “am I lazy or sick?” Then you must be feeling overwhelming anxiety. It is too much. Anxiety can make you “look” lazy. For example, someone with social anxiety may retreat from social situations. They may spend more time at home because being around others causes stress.
Are depressed people lazy?
Depression and laziness have a lot in common, which is why many people are mislabeled as lazy. Depressed or lazy, if your emotions overwhelm you and affect your daily functioning. You must seek help.
Are you lazy or depressed?
These are the signs you are depressed not lazy. What are the three major signs of depression? If you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression: Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood. Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism. Feelings of irritability, frustration, or restlessness.
Does depression cause laziness?
Those suffering from depression are often referred to as unmotivated or lazy when the truth is entirely different. It only creates a stigma. Stigma is when someone negatively views you because you have a distinguishing characteristic or personal trait that’s thought to be, or is, a disadvantage (a negative stereotype). Unfortunately, negative attitudes and beliefs toward people with mental health conditions are common.
How do you know if you re lazy or depressed?
From the outside, the attitude of depressed people may look like laziness, but people with depression are paralyzed by hopelessness and emotional pain.
Am I just lazy or is something wrong with me?
Laziness is often a symptom of something more significant, like depression or anxiety, and it should not be something we judge harshly.
Am I lazy or depressed or ADHD?
Laziness vs ADHD and depression. The main difference between laziness and ADHD is that ADHD is a psychiatric disorder. Laziness, on the other hand, is not a mental health disorder.
Is laziness a sign of ADHD?
Is laziness a symptom of ADHD? It’s a common myth that people with ADHD are lazy. The difference between ADHD and laziness is that ADHD can also cause hyperactive or impulsive behavior, and some people with the condition say it can also cause tiredness.
Is there a connection between “BPD and laziness?”
Yes. Many people with borderline personality disorder procrastinate and have trouble finishing activities because they outrun their internal self-support when they self-activate.
Search We Level Up FL “Am I Depressed or Lazy?” Topics & Resources
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 Medical Encyclopedia → Depression – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health
 Depression – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health