Nowadays, people use the word “depressed” so casually, but what they really mean is that they’re sad or struggling with other negative emotions.
Being sad for a day or two doesn’t mean you’re depressed. Depression is a mental condition characterized by loss of interest in activities, loss of will to live and being persistently in a low mood.
A Bad Mood vs. Depression
Rather than label yourself as “depressed” every time you’re in a bad mood, try to name what you’re really feeling. Here are common emotions people conflate with depression.
Sadness is an emotion every human being experiences. It could be triggered by a challenging, hurtful, or disappointing situation or experience. But with time, the feeling of sadness fades away.
Depression, on the other hand, makes you feel sad about everything, all the time. As Guy Winch Ph.D. explains, depressed people feel horrible for no reason.
We all feel lonely every now and then but people tend to think they’re depressed when they’re lonely for a long period.
The good news is loneliness is easier to overcome than depression. For instance, getting involved in charity work can alleviate the feeling of loneliness.
There’s a strong link between anxiety and depression. However, being anxious doesn’t always mean you’re depressed.
It’s okay to feel anxious especially when you’re trying something new like running your first 5k. But being anxious all the time for no reason could mean you’re depressed.
It’s normal to feel stressed if you’re overwhelmed with work or you have to make a difficult decision. This kind of stress is sometimes good since it motivates you to take action.
Chronic stress, on the other hand, is more detrimental. And it shares many symptoms with depression.
Boredom is a temporary state that you can easily get out of. You might be bored because you don’t enjoy what you’ve been doing lately but you have the potential to enjoy something else.
Depressed people don’t seem to enjoy anything. They lose interest in their hobbies, adventures, and sex.
Have you ever wondered if you’re depressed or lazy? It’s common for people struggling with depression to feel like they’re just being lazy.
Other times, laziness simply means you’re demotivated or you’re afraid you might fail in whatever you want to do.
What is depression? Here are symptoms to look out for.
Laziness (or any other state mentioned above) could be a sign of depression, if you have at least five of the depression symptoms below:
- You’re in a bad mood all the time.
- You’ve lost interest in everything, even the activities you used to enjoy.
- You feel tired and having low energy most days.
- You have thoughts of suicide or dying.
- You feel guilty and worthless almost every day.
- You have sleeping problems.
- You have trouble thinking clearly or focusing on anything.
- You feel restless and anxious most days.
If you struggle with most of these symptoms, seek advice from a qualified mental health professional.
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