Being depressed is not the same as being lazy

Being lazy is not a criminal, but it’s good to acknowledge when it starts to affect your life in negative ways and do something about it.

During my depressive states, I’ve heard many sentences like:
– “You’re just lazy”.
– “You can do it, you just need to try harder”.
– “If I/he/she can do it, you can do it too”.
– “You’re using a word depression just as an excuse”. And many more.

This is all true if you’re actually just lazy. And it’s really nothing wrong, while you’re taking a full responsibility for not taking the action.
But if you’re depressed, the story isn’t that simple, even though it might look like.

You can choose to stop being lazy, while coming out of depression takes a different approach. And much more energy.

How to stop being lazy?

  1. Understand why are you lazy
  2. Stop making an excuse for doing things
  3. Use positive self-talk instead of negative and focus on your strengths
  4. Avoid distractions
  5. Create a realistic plan around your goals and avoid perfectionism
  6. Acknowledge your own accomplishments and reward yourself
  7. Ask for help

If you really can’t follow these tips from the above, you might be moving towards depression. Don’t hesitate to seek some professional help.

Difference between being depressed and being lazy

If you’re depressed, you really don’t have the energy to do things, while being lazy, just means that you can, but don’t want to.
Depressed people don’t like this feeling, while lazy might even enjoy it (but not neccesarily).

Further reading:
Am I Depressed or Just Lazy?
How do I know if I’m depressed or just lazy or unmotivated?
How to Overcome Laziness

15 thoughts on “Being depressed is not the same as being lazy”

  1. I discern my self admitted laziness from depression by asking or myself if I am energized and being a whirlwind with things I enjoy doing while letting the house become a biohazard…Or am I just feeling so depressed, so lethargic, like my entire body is leaden and I some days just *can’t* do certain things.

    80% of the time it’s the depression because I don’t even have the zest or energy for the things I normally love and receive pleasure from.

    Laziness is selective. Depression is all encompassing.

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  2. Yes this is absolutely true! I think this is part of the stigma of depression, people sometimes dismiss it as you being lazy and that you need to try harder, whereas that is not the case!

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  3. Yeah, I’d say all the same for OCD too šŸ˜†. You even have OCD stopping you doing things whilst not depressed, though over time it will certainly lead to depression!

    Super difficult for people to experience these things, especially when they don’t yet know why or have a name for it. I’d say another difference between bad mental health/laziness would be in the level of self-criticism too. Of course you can be self-critical about being lazy too, but along with the not-enjoying it aspect of depression/OCD comes the intense self-criticism. It’s extra-ironic to suffer the criticism of others whilst you’re already criticising yourself a lot šŸ¤¦ā€ā™‚ļø. A very difficult place to be in!

    Like you I also try to be non-judgemental about laziness, especially since learning all this mental health stuff. We live in a time where it’s especially easy to be lazy, and if laziness isn’t making you depressed then there’s even a biological logic to it. It’s not a given that we will all find things to be motivated by, basically.

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