Am I Depressed or Lazy | How To Find Warning Signs of Severe Depression

warning signs of severe depression

Depression can affect anyone – adults or children, male or female, rich or poor – irrespective of race, religion, cultural and national identity. It can affect people at any point in their life.

When experiencing the first episode of depression, one may often wonder – ‘Am I depressed or lazy’? This is because many people who suffer from depression will immediately spot lack of energy and laziness in their daily work. While some others may even miss to recognize the warning signs of severe depression, and neglect their recovery.

Am I Depressed or Lazy?

Usually, if you are just feeling lazy, it is a mood that will pass in a day or two. Soon you will get up, go to your work or do what is needed.

But, just because you are feeling unmotivated one day – to get out of bed, go to work – doesn’t mean that you are depressed. According to the American Psychiatric Association – most people who suffer from depression experience despair, disappointment, unmotivated, and lonely for weeks or months.

Being lazy once in a while is normal. But when that laziness appears for a span of weeks, months or even years, it may be a sign of depression.

What is Depression?

When you are hurt, or experience a sudden loss, or undergo a strange life situation – it affects you both mentally and physically. Sometimes the effect continues for weeks interfering with the person’s work, relationships and their ability to enjoy life. Some people feel emptiness when experiencing the hopelessness associated with this condition.

Depression is such feelings of sadness for weeks or months often accompanied by a sense of hopelessness, a lack of energy and taking little or no pleasure in things that one joyed in the past.

People who suffer from depression might feel completely unmotivated to get things done, even which are usual in daily life like – waking up in the morning, getting dressed or eating at mealtime.

Inability to experience happiness is quite common in people suffering from depression. Depression can also have physical symptoms like headaches, joint pain, and muscle fatigue.

Intensity of depression may vary from person to person. Depression can also appear in children and young people, which often look more like anxiety or anxious behavior.

However, a severe episode of depressioncan be disastrous, and change everything in one’s life. 

Sadness vs Depression

Sadness is a normal human emotion. We all have experienced it. Sadness is usually triggered by a hard, disappointing, or challenging experience or event. But our sadness goes away, when our emotional hurt fades, when we have adjusted or gotten over the loss or disappointment.

Depression is a health condition that affects our perceptions, thinking, emotions, and behaviors in a chronic way. It drains our energy, motivation, ability to experience happiness, satisfaction, and relationships. It makes everything less enjoyable, less interesting, less important, less hopeful and less worthwhile. Persistently, it makes people more impatient, quicker to get frustrated, and it takes longer to bounce back.

Despite some overlap between sadness and depression, they are different. Being sad is different from having depression. For example, both sadness and depression may involve withdrawal from usual activities, but they are also different in important ways.

  • In sadness, self-esteem is usually maintained. In major depression, a feeling of worthlessness is common.
  • Depression lasts longer than sadness.

Distinguishing between sadness and depression is important, as it will guide to get the proper treatment for recovery.

Difference Between Depression and Laziness

Am I Depressed or Lazy

Warning Signs of Severe Depression

Depression shows itself in different ways. The symptoms of depression vary from one person to another. Common depression symptoms are:

  • fatigue and loss of energy
  • persistent feelings of sadness
  • feeling of loneliness
  • lack of interest in social and enjoyable activities
  • slow, restless, irritable, or withdrawn
  • disconnected with friends or family
  • lack of confidence and self-esteem
  • poor concentration lack of attention
  • lack of motivation in doing things you once loved
  • difficulties in doing daily tasks, or remembering things
  • trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping (also sleeping during daytime)
  • unusual eating habits (too much or too little, avoiding mealtimes)
  • significant weight loss or gain
  • feeling of guilt, worthlessness, hopeless
  • addiction to drug or alcohol
  • indecisiveness or trouble in making decisions
  • even thoughts of death or suicide.

However, someone who suffers from depression may experience only a few of them continuously for two weeks, a month or more. Most people who feel depressed don’t experience every symptom, and the severity of experience also varies from person to person.  

Causes of Depression

The exact causes that trigger depressive condition are still being researched. Depression can be prompted by a stressful life event. But a combination of personality, psychological factors, family history, and social factors in growing up have influence in driving a person to such condition.

It is also associated with a variety of genetic and biochemical factors. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, factors for depression can include mood disorders, major life changes, trauma, accident, or diseases.

Reasons for depression may also include – changes in hormone levels, overstress, acute grief, certain medical condition, and difficult life circumstances.

Environmental factors like exposures to violence, abuse, discrimination, exploitation, neglect, or poverty may make some people vulnerable to depression.

Losing a job or being a victim of assault or a major disaster can also lead some people to depression.

What is the Consequence of Depression?

People experiencing depression are unable to function normally. It interferes with work, relationship, and normal life activities.

As people suffer from lack of energy, they stop participating in social gatherings and activities they used to enjoy in past.

Moreover, fatigue in depression can be overpowering and destructive. The person living with depression finds it difficult to get out of bed. He or she might need a lot of effort for just moving around, receiving a phone call, preparing meals or even watching television.

Depression has serious impact in people’s lives. It affects one emotionally, cognitively and physically. It slows down everything, damages creativity, lowers self-esteem, reduce self-confidence and works as barrier to function normally.

Depression can rob one’s sense of worth. In extreme cases, it can even lead to feelings of complete hopelessness and suicidal thoughts or acts.

Best Way to Deal with Depression 

Practicing good habits is important to maintain a healthy mind. Following is a list of daily habits which can help tremendously to deal with depression.

Daily Habits to Deal with Depression
  • Write – writing is a great way to release emotions
  • Read – whatever make you feel good and rests your mind
  • Take adequate sleep (good routine) – sleep recovers our body
  • Exercise regularly, it improves mood and ability to focus
  • Art and drawing heals our painful feelings
  • Drink plenty of water, remain hydrated
  • Connect with friends in person, join a friend for tea
  • Plan for swimming, aerobics, tennis etc.
  • Go out and be social
  • Adjust your expectations on daily basis
  • Think positive, appreciate others
  • Eat healthy, maintain mealtimes
  • Meditate regularly – it will bring your mind to a peaceful state
  • Be kind, compassionate and caring to yourself and others

When Should You Get Help?

The symptoms that a person can experience as a result of depression are mentioned above. However, one may not experience all of them and the degree of intensity is also different from one person to another.

If someone suffers from some of these symptoms (approximately five or more) continuously for a period of two weeks or more, he/she may have depression and should seek advice from a doctor or physician for a conclusive diagnosis.

A physician or mental health professional can conduct an assessment to determine if depression is present and recommend appropriate treatment.

Depression Treatment: Recovery from Depression

According to the National Institute of Mental Health and many other research studies, depression can be treated with counseling, psychotherapy and antidepressant medications. Psychotherapy is the most effective treatments for all types of depression.

Mental health specialists like – psychologists, psychiatrists, or clinical social workers can help pinpoint from where the depression is coming from and carry out required treatment to overcome the condition.

Many people, affected with mild depression, start with self-help activities and emotional support. Increased regular exercise and discipline in dietary habit can have a positive effect in the treatment for depression.

However, recovery from a depressive episode requires your desire and willingness for change. You can start by talking to someone about your feelings, and finding some immediate emotional support.

The best is to seek a professional help to recover. This typically includes working with a therapist and, for some people, taking medication as well.

Besides, there are many self-help books, apps, online support groups or courses that can help you learn positive thinking patterns. Many people also like to begin by reading books on depression and emotional healing (check the list below: Best Self-Help Books to Overcome Depression) or join the online support groups.

The first step is yours to take. Be brave and know that in taking it, you’re starting down the road to recovery.

13 Best Self-Help Books to Overcome Depression

Name Of The Book And Author

How It Can Be Helpful

01.The 10 Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques by Margaret Wehrenberg Psy.D.: Guides to understand what you can do to encounter depression
02.Preventing Bipolar Relapse Well by Ruth C. White PhD MPH MSW: Help you maintain balance between your life and emotion
03. Children of the Depressed by Shoshana S. Bennett PhD: Helps to heal the childhood wounds
04.Catch The Sun by Brook Waters: Guide to young people affected with anxiety and depression
05.Declutter Your Mind by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport: Guides to relax and eliminate negative thinking
06.A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle: Helps readers learn how to turn their sufferings into peace
07.The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey: Cartoons, quotes and stories makes it ideal for young adult
08.You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero: Enhance self-confidence and self-esteem
09.What Are You Hungry For? by Deepak Chopra M.D.: Solution to well-being and lightness of soul
10.The Wisdom of Sundays Conversations by Oprah Winfrey: Insights to bring changes in life
11.The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz: Guide for self enhancement
12.Empath by Alex C. Wolf: Step by step guide for emotional healing
13.Heal Your Life by Carolle Jean-Murat: 25 ways to unleash your innate healing power

Final Words

No matter how hopeless things may feel today, depression is treatable. Don’t hurt yourself. With proper treatment depression can be managed and individuals can live enjoyable and productive lives.

The key to successful treatment depends on the individual in – a) recognizing the problem, b) seeking out treatment for it, and c) following the treatment plan. This requires a lot of effort, but it can be done.

Are you depressed or lazy?

If you are finding that you are having symptoms of depression, it’s important to tell someone. There are options and people that will help you. If required, see a doctor or therapist and learn how to get your life back to where you want it. Depression doesn’t have to be a lifelong battle. 

Daily Habits to Deal with Depression