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How do I know if I'm depressed or just lazy or unmotivated?

110 Answers
Last Updated: 06/02/2021 at 2:57am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lindsay Scheinerman, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

My work with clients is to help them recognize and build on their strengths to find solutions for the conflicts presented in their lives.

Top Rated Answers
June 3rd, 2016 2:29am
Depression comes with many other symptoms. You may want to look them up online to see if you fit with any others.
June 11th, 2016 12:13am
Asking that question in itself is a good sign. Depression drains all your energy and nags at you about all the things you "should have done" at the same time. If you feel as though you cannot "pull yourself together", I take that as a sign of depression rather than laziness.
June 29th, 2016 5:14am
You might consider skipping the self-diagnosis and focusing on the symptom -- the lack of motivation. Try to focus on things that matter to you. Start small. Sometimes we just need to find the right environment, or people, or goals to feel motivated. If you work hard to stay active and healthy and still find yourself lacking motivation, then you might want to look into the etiology -- the cause. Some research into CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) techniques might be a good place to start. Many of these techniques are straightforward, easy to apply on your own, and have immediate impact on our thoughts and behavior.
June 30th, 2016 4:42pm
Usually you'll feel guilty about being lazy when you're depressed. If you were just lazy you probably wouldn't care which you obviously do since you're asking for advice.
July 1st, 2016 6:21am
The simple answer is: because your depression is telling you that you're a lazy person. Even though my depression negatively affects my daily functioning and I have been professionally diagnosed (though I self-diagnosed first, and that is also valid), I still have days where I'm convinced that I'm just incredibly lazy and have tricked myself and others into thinking it's depression. This happens almost weekly, and the reason is that when you're depressed, you think that there is something fundamentally wrong with who you are as a person, even though that isn't true.
July 1st, 2016 6:39pm
It is a different feeling to be unmotivated when you're lazy vs depressed. You feel empty when depressed and do not want to do anything. Being just lazy would equal you wanting to do something but favoring doing nothing.
July 3rd, 2016 10:38am
Well for me I know I'm lazy but I still love to practice my music and competitive swimming but when I'm unmotivated thanks to depression I loose intrest in things I love to do normally
July 8th, 2016 1:15pm
Just think about before: were you a lazy person or you enjoyed doing things? You can see if you are always lacking of energy and if you have to sleep a lot to recover from your day. You could consult a doctor, he will be able to help you find if you are depressed or not.
July 10th, 2016 8:46am
It just feels different. When you're depressed, you don't want to do anything. When you're extremely lazy, chances are you still do other things.
July 14th, 2016 5:43am
When you're lazy, you are choosing not to do stuff because you don't feel like it. When you're depressed, sometimes you want to do things but you just don't have the energy to do much but sit and do nothing all day.
March 13th, 2016 11:46pm
You know because you will think all or your favorite sport doesn't interest you anymore and whenever someone asks you to go you just end up acting even more sad.
March 25th, 2016 1:04am
there's obvious signs of depression if you know what to look for, it just depends on the case, if you feel that you are depressed then you should seek help from a professional.
March 29th, 2016 9:07pm
You should see a doctor to be on the safe side, but it is your choice to realize this its your life i hope you are safe and healthy
March 31st, 2016 7:07pm
The only way to find out if you're depressed is to visit a therapist, counsellor or a doctor. You won't know for sure until visiting one of those and being diagnosed. :)
April 2nd, 2016 8:56pm
Well, along with having no motivation, you will experience some of the other symptoms of depression as well. If you want to learn more about depression read
April 24th, 2016 5:05am
Whether it's depression or laziness, if you're seriously unmotivated, it's worth addressing and seeking support. We need a healthy level of motivation to care for ourselves, develop and sustain relationships, and pursue education or a career. All of those things suffer when we're unmotivated. Learning some strategies to tackle a lack of motivation or getting some professional help might really improve your life.
May 5th, 2016 11:40pm
you can consider it from both of those points of view, however. depression is complicated and drags you down deeper than usual, you arent being lazy if you generally like to do an activity but you seriously cannot find the motivation to do it no matter the amount of effort you put into it
May 28th, 2016 10:37am
You might find it helpful to talk to a therapist in your area about your issues with depressive episodes. If that is difficult, your general doctor might be able to help!
May 28th, 2016 11:28am
You know it When you are trying to find solutions to come out of the situation instead of avoiding/escaping from everything that comes in the way.
May 29th, 2016 7:49am
Well you can of course look at the symptoms of depression which includes lack of motivation, loss of appetite and sleep among other things, and if you have other symptoms, it's probably because of your depression. Either way, you shouldn't be worried about why you're unmotivated, if you believe that it's because of your depression then that's fine.
June 1st, 2016 1:33am
Normally you can tell the difference between depressed and lazy, depressed is not wanting to do anything due to the emotional state you are in and lazy is just not wanting to do a certain thing because you just don't want to put in the effort
June 1st, 2016 7:49pm
If you show thoughts that are alarming (such as feeling sad and unmotivated most of the times). If you are experiencing this kind of feelings, you should try to seek help.
June 1st, 2016 8:18pm
There is a big difference between battling depression and being lazy. Being lazy is if you know you can do something but don't do it because of the effort involved. Instead of doing that certain task, you prefer not to do anything or do a different activity where less effort tis involved. You're depressed if you find that your mood is constantly low and you think that nothing will ever get better in life. You will also lose interest in your daily activities, pastimes and hobbies that you once enjoyed.
June 5th, 2016 7:26am
Well, if you can't find interest in the things you usually do find interest in then there is a possibility that you are depressed. Also, just feeling generally numb or sad is also an indication.
June 7th, 2016 6:40pm
Depression takes many different shapes in a persons life that may not be the same for everyone. A week or so ago #MyDepressionLooksLike was trending on many social media outlets. I would say search the hashtag and see if you can relate with the thousands that too part in the movement. If you are depressed simply reading some of the post will show you that you are not alone and if you are not depressed you still gain the enlightenment of other peoples struggles including what to look for.
June 11th, 2016 1:43am
You would need a professional to know for sure, but negative thoughts frequently accommodate depression. If you have frequent negative thoughts over a long period of time.
June 11th, 2016 7:36am
The perfect way of knowing what you are is by asking yourself the question to yourself. You're the only person that knows who you are.
June 11th, 2016 6:30pm
If you are a very lazy person, sometimes you want to do the things you are supposed to do. But if you are depressed there's a rare chance that you would get up and do something. And there's the second situation where you would go somewhere, even if you are lazy, but you feel unhappy with no apparent reason. That looks more like depression. Of course, if this all happens rarely, then you are just human.
June 12th, 2016 10:21pm
Being unmotivated by depression is completely different to being incredibly lazy. Being unmotivated due to having depression is more like when you physically and emotionally dont do something, as if you dont really care. Being super lazy, is just when you 'cant be arsed' to get something or do something physically. Being unmotivated by depression sucks because you want to do something but you just can't because all of a sudden you have a feeling of not caring what happens.
June 15th, 2016 6:53pm
I think there's a point where it can be easy to tell that someone is no just being lazy. I think it's when their constantly "lazy" and they don't have the energy to do anything. It's not that they don't want to do anything, it's that they physically and mentally can't.