Author: mikael 

I am lazy. There’s no two ways about it.

If people really knew what filled a typical day for me, they would probably be appalled. For instance, I’ve never held a full time job longer than two months in my whole life. Currently I don’t have a job at all and I don’t intend to get one. Neither do I have a driver’s license, or any savings, or a ‘life’ at all by any standard. I’m also getting fatter and heavier by the day – so much so I can barely recognise myself and I’m spotting new stretch marks on my shape-shifting body on each occasion I take a shower. And yet I’m apathetic. I’m 24 now. Oh, and I live with my parents.

I’m a creative person but even then I don’t create nearly enough to truly warrant wearing that badge. Sure, I have a few ‘achievements’ to show for myself – some drawings demonstrating skill, folders full of attempts at poetry and short stories, a pointless film production degree, a moderately successful short film that’s won an award, some scripts and a film or two in the works, the ability to edit videos and tell effective stories through montage, the odd painting, a few songs. Some might even look on all this and fall victim to the illusion that I do ‘so much’!

Nope.

For the past six or seven years its been impossible for anyone to gain a proper understanding of just how lazy I am simply because I don’t allow myself to be seen. I’m not on facebook anymore. I refuse to buy credit for my phone. I reject event invites and now I no longer receive any. I’m never around. Because for years I’ve hidden myself out of sight in a stinking hot bedroom, ruminating in depression; living as a recluse, a ghoul, emerging only in the odd and unpredictable times I‘ve felt brave enough to polish up my face and show it to the outside world.

And throughout my growing and changing relationship with depression I’ve battled with the question (kind of like a ‘chicken or the egg’ thing) of whether or not I’m lazy because I’m depressed or depressed because I’m lazy.

For some this is probably a no-brainer.

And maybe I have no brain.

Maybe if I just got off my butt and went to the gym, lost this weight. Had myself a daily dose of endorphins and learned to like what I see in the mirror. Maybe if I sucked it up and got myself a job – a shitty job – and gave myself that regular routine, no matter what it was. And then I guess I’d have more money and an overall ‘higher standard of living’ than what I’ve acclimatised myself to with the dole. Perhaps the thought alone of ‘earning my keep’ will instil in me a sense of pride. And maybe if I just bit down on my social fears and went out and tried to make friends – maybe it could actually produce a friend? Friends are good? Maybe if I just dedicated myself to my creative endeavours. Whole-heartedly. And drew every day. All day. And wrote every day. And turned these scripts into films. These sketches into comics. These guitar riffs into songs. These ideas into reality.

But this one thought finally occurred to me the other day, which put me at ease, at least a little.

Laziness may be a symptom of depression – but depression is not necessarily characteristic of laziness.

That is – laziness in itself does not directly result in a damning disbelief in yourself or lead unswervingly to the demonising thought to hurl yourself in front of a train or slash open your arms or find some other violent way to kill yourself.

Laziness doesn’t bully you into not enjoying yourself (your time or who you are). It doesn’t strip away your desire to socialise and be with friends, doing the things that give pleasure. Rather, by nature, laziness encourages pleasure. Laziness doesn’t demand that you focus your thoughts on the things that bring you zero pleasure at all and place you in the corner away from the others like a bad child.

In other words, laziness does not equate self-hate.

So as I have beaten myself up with the thought that ‘I need to do more’ in order to be happy, it’s been depression that has told me not to move. It was depression that smothered me if the thought to move ever flickered in my brain. It was depression that worked tirelessly to slow me down to a halt at all times and humiliated me whenever I gave it a try. It was depression that ever fed the thought that I was a lazy, no-good-for-nothin’ bum in the first place.

But all this being said there have been periods in my life that I haven’t been followed around with depression.

I remember one such time last year on an afternoon I wasn’t feeling quite as ‘chirpy’ as I had been. And as I almost slipped into confusion as the familiar feeling of darkness threatened to encroach I had to tell myself ‘Don’t confuse laziness with depression!’ Then it was an easy fix.

Laziness is curable. Simply do something and it’s gone. Depression isn’t so simple.

And so now the problem remains more or less the same. Nothing changes the fact that for nearly a decade I’ve been depressed. And that doesn’t change the fact I’ve been lazy. And these two problems will continue to fuck like an incestuous family of maggots in my brain until something entirely fresh and new comes into the equation to make more sense of it.

Editor’s note: Mikael (the dude who wrote this) drew that fat elephant. His talent really does shine, though he’d probably say otherwise. Visit his Tumblr: Mikael

It’s a manic world.

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  1. Pingback: Lazy or Depressed? | talkingbella

  2. Kristina

    Mikael,
    I can’t tell u how much this makes such sense to me. Totally chicken and the egg. Madness. Thank you for moving yourself to write this. I can barely move myself to say even this, so I know your pain. K

    Reply

    1. oliver d

      Kristina and michael, i can’t agree more. i do have a steady job and i do workout. But just getting off of the couch is sore. i mean the type of sore that’s not normal for someone like myself who is in shape. i am a recluse also. i don’t get invites to anything anymore because i always turn them down. im the only one of my friends that is single and doesn’t have a kid or kids.i am very very insecure which is why i workout and still, it doesn’t help. thats another thing, working out is not something i look forward to like i used to. I have started a pain pill addiction again to numb myself after being sober for 8yrs. i tried anti depression pills only to choose depression over being happy because i the anti dep pills curved my appetite i couldn’t eat. and was loosing weight which is what my insecurity mainly consist of. uugghh, so now i think to myself, am i just lazy or depressed? i used to wash my car every week and a half when i was younger, now, shoot, once every 3 months if that. i had dicipline with everything in my life. now im nearly 40, i have a steady but not a well paying job i am in better shape then 90% of men my age but still i cant find myself to be greatful for the simple things like food, job, and the ability to exercise in comparison to people who cant workout at all because of a physical disability. so i cant get happy, i cant get social and doing the simplest of task is rocket science to me now. i plan on seeing a psychiatrist soon before i go broke and ill really be in the shit. thanks for your input michael and everyone else.

      Reply

  3. Rose

    Wow. Stumbled across this when researching laziness and depression, well said. I knew I was depressed back in high school and was too afraid/embarrassed to talk to anyone about it. Nowadays I fair better when I’m away at school, but during the breaks when I don’t feel like doing ANYTHING I was originally looking forward to doing (draw, watch movies, read about any of the things I was looking forward to reading, cook the things I wanted to cook while on break), I begin to struggle with whether I’m just lazy or still stuck in a sort of depression and what I should do if it’s really the latter. Sometimes I feel like if I just got out of the house more/eat better/actually do the things I want to do I’d feel better, but that doesn’t change the fact that I can’t bring myself to do them and I don’t know why. Depression and/or incredible laziness have been the only two explanations I can think of.

    Reply

  4. Meghan

    I looked up depression or laziness in Google because I was confusing the two. I couldn’t tell if my inability to get up and do something productive was because I was lazy or because I see no point in getting up and struggling for nothing. Is it laziness that says ‘might as well not exercise because even if I get skinny, I’ll still be useless’? Is it laziness that makes it so difficult for me to get out of bed to take care of my kids? Or is it my depression eating away at whatever pathetic excuse of a life I have?
    It probably isn’t laziness when I think about what ways I can commit suicide so that my kids and husband still receive benefits.
    I try to change but I don’t think I can anymore. Certainly not by myself. What use am I, that I can’t get a job, can’t finish school, find it so hard to function in a world where everyone else can just la-te-da through…

    And no one near me seems to understand how hard it is for me to function. I’ve grown way too comfortable wearing this face that says everything is ok. Even my husband believes it…

    Reply

    1. Shanna

      Dear Meghan,

      I have had depression/anxiety for about 6 years. It’s off and on, some days better than others. It really is hard looking at other people and thinking how easy they seem to have it. I’ve found that listening to dr. paul ogilvie’s relaxation therapy videos on youtube has helped me, as well as journaling. I also use essential oils, and the lemon especially is really uplifting. I’ve found I absolutely have to recharge myself and heal my emotions or else I completely break down and feel like I’m going crazy. Also, don’t be so hard on yourself. Depression doesn’t define who you are, it’s just the place you’re in right now. Just some thoughts and ideas from another depressed person 🙂

      Reply

    2. Tanya cass

      I am also a victim of this paralysis. I have to force myself to get the kids ready for school, clean the house, have rudimentary conversations etc. Whilst not currently experiencing a depressive episode, the depressive undercurrent has lingered and expresses itself in low motivation. I wish I could be normal and share in that inner drive that everyone else has been blessed with.

      Reply

    3. Dianna Mifflin

      Meghan, I understand how you feel. For years now I have only done the absolute basic, basic things I can do to get by and I’ve struggled with figuring out if I was just lazy or if it was depression that was causing my symptoms. Even saying that “depression” is causing my inability to do things sounds like a cop-out to me.

      I have children and a husband as well. We are struggling financially but I can’t seem to just go out there and get a job. I’ve been underpaid in every job I’ve ever had anyway so sometimes I don’t see the point of trying. I definitely feel your pain. Just thought you should know that you’re not alone.

      Reply

    4. asasmom40

      Wow! I honestly thought I was the only person, or at least one of maybe a few people whose life has been consumed by these feelings. Thank you so very, very much Meghan for allowing yourself to actually put your thoughts here for someone like me to see. Unless you’ve lived this, it’s very difficult to understand. In spite of all this though, I do believe that God is a very present help in times of trouble. And that He is close to the broken-hearted. No matter what we feel!! Please try/continue to seek Him out in your thought life in the same manner we’re all communicating now. Here are 2 things that really seems to bring me out of the dark & I pray that we all find strength in them:
      1. K-Love (listen/download the app)
      Awesome station!
      2. Intouch.org (listen/download the app) Charles Stanley has something for
      everyone give him a try.
      Thanks again for sharing. You’ve succeeded in making me see that I’m truly not alone in this. Someone else knows/shares these feelings/thoughts … “Lazy & Depressed”
      hmm thought it was just my personality for over 30 years!? I pray we all find “normal”, peace & freedom in Him.
      … I know, but He does believe in each of us.
      God Bless you all.

      Reply

    5. Meghan

      I’m still alive, still struggling.

      I’ve got a job but I swear monkeys could do it.
      I’m getting a divorce, too, and I don’t know how I’ll afford to live and support my kids. I don’t want to be all alone either, although I’m the one initiating the divorce.
      I’m so depressed all the time. If I killed myself, my husband would get the life insurance and the kids but he honestly sucks as a parent. He “can’t” discipline them and constantly undermines me, I’m always the bad parent and they don’t like me.
      If I died, he’d be raising them solo and they’d turn into little shits so I can’t do that but I want to so bad.
      I just want to die – I’m sick of struggling every day. I hate it and myself so much.

      Reply

      1. Elsie

        I keep thinking of an easy way to kill my self. Almost 25, no money, no home and no direction whatsoever. Don’t even have the money to overdose on sleeping pills and alcohol. Plus, absolutely no one I can share my feelings with. It does help to have a friend, someone who doesn’t necessarily have to be going through the same things, but who just understands and pushes you. I’m totally lacking in that area. Just 24 but have been depressed for 7 years.

      2. Itanlianma7

        I know how you feel. My daughter is the only reason why I am here today. I work full time as a nurse. I help everyone else but can’t seem to be able to help myself. Mentally or physically. Everyday is a struggle to get out of bed. I’ve always had a history of depression but the past few months it’s been worse than ever.

    6. Meghan

      Hey guys.

      Hopefully some of you are still reading this and you’re doing better than you were.
      My divorce finalizes next month on the 17th and that’ll be nice.
      Money is still super tight, I’m negative $400 and have some credit card debt I can’t afford. Hell, I’m so poor that nelnet wants to have me pay $0 a month for the next 20 yrs.
      I’m looking for a second job, though. Something online or that I can remote to because I have to be here for my babies. It’s bad enough I work graveyard primarily. I’d never see them if I got another job that required me to be there in person.
      Depression is still crashing like waves upon me, pulling me under, threatening to drown me. It’s mostly the money, I think. Gotta keep pushing forward.
      My 7yo is doing poorly in school, acting out so badly they’re moving him to a class for students with problems behaving. Nothing I’ve tried works. I don’t know what to do.
      My 9yo is having issues too but at least they’re not moving him.

      So there’s the update. I’m drowning and can’t seem to catch my breath. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to be better anytime soon.

      I hope you guys are doing better.

      Reply

      1. Meghan

        June 30th 2018. I’ll get everything ready for then, put my finances in order and ensure I have a will in place.

        Kids are gonna be at their dads and done with school, I’ll make sure Brad is on a weekend with his friends or is gone completely by then and then I’m done. I give up and now I’m just gonna work toward ensuring my life isn’t too big of a mess for someone to clean up.

        It’s nice knowing things will be over soon

  5. austin

    Hey Mikael,

    First off, I really like your elephant drawing! And that last sentence is such a perfect conclusion. Made me laugh out loud. You definitely have a knack for writing! It’s interesting how many people including myself go through this kind of struggle and yet we tend to think we’re alone in it. Anyway, I hope you continue to draw and write and inspire random google searchers. peace n love.

    by the way, where can i see more of your work?

    Reply

  6. DownrightCinéphile

    Thank you so much for clearing this up. I don’t know why I never thought of this problem in that way. I have been concerned whether I am lazy or depressed, and the fact that I don’t enjoy a single moment of my life shows that I am not just lazy…I don’t feel depressed either anymore. I don’t feel anything to tell you the truth. Well, at least you’ve got something going for you – you helped all of us understand our conditions better 😀

    Reply

    1. Then Came To Kill

      these days i tend to feel more like you…. not much of anything. sometimes i’d prefer to be downright depressed. but thats ridiculous in the end.

      Reply

  7. Kai

    I relate to this, I think part of it might be economic. I’m in my 20s and don’t live at home but have always lived in poor neighborhoods, been a student or low income. I’m also “a creative” our jobs were first to cut. After graduating with a masters, losing two friends our age to suicide I find the idea of working all day for $9hourly without medical or sick leave depressing. I feel unimportant to my employers and keep resisting the urge to call in sick–keep getting sick really—when my friends died last year in November I figured I was mourning… Now, all I want to do is make music (though admittedly, sometimes I lay in bed “meditating”). I don’t always sleep well. If I was being paid a fair wage for my education to debt ratio I could afford to work the hours I want and still follow my art. I’m trying to figure out how to get out of this cycle. It’s overwhelming, your not alone and we all need help. I just don’t know where we are all going. Hoping for our futures sometimes feels like smiling at a funeral.

    Reply

  8. Kp

    Stumbled across this looking for laziness and depression difference. This was such an interesting read. You definitely have the talents to capture an audience with the way you write, anyway. I have just got out if a mental health hospital, after being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I was shocked to find I was not diagnose with anxiety or depression. Since being released I have been reluctant to go outside and basic things make me feel like I would rather kill myself than do them. I have reached a new low for me because there are days when I can’t even force myself to care enough to wash my face. I was shocked I was not diagnosed with depression or anxiety, which I feel have inhibited me. Now I worry I’m just lazy. But this article made me feel a lot better. It makes so much sense.

    Reply

    1. Maria

      I can relate. I feel I only have the energy to do the bare minimum. I haven’t been diagnosed with BPD but after reading up on the symptoms, most of them hit home. I also struggle with other mental health issues. I wish we all lived closer to one another.. maybe we wouldn’t feel so isolated. It’s so hard to connect to people when you feel stuck in your thoughts and emotions.

      Reply

  9. jo

    Hi, stumbled upon this via mindless browsing and i was surprised to find some of my own thoughts and musings echoed here. it is a comfort to know there are others out whose life has also ground to a halt due to crippling depression.

    For years i had this idea that i just needed to find that certain hobby or meet that certain person and everything would fall into place and suddenly make sense and then my life could truly begin! i have gradually come to the realization that this will never happen and that nothing or no one is coming to the rescue.

    It sounds awful but like everyone i have good and bad days. I just wish believed in myself more, unfortunately it’s hard to put faith in someone you hate.

    Reply

    1. First Aid For Emotions

      You know, if a friend were going through what you are you probably wouldn’t “hate” the person. 🙂 Got to love yourself the same way. You might enjoy listening to the “Divine Mother of the Universe” by Ben Lee. It’s available online, free of cost. An emotional “jump starter” I’d recommend is the “Energetic Cleanse and Connection to Teraphim”, on repeat (I prefer earphones to speakers). This one you can get at the Love Energy Techniques Online Store. It has got me through some serious dumps. Detoxing and comforting at the same time. Just a few suggestions for you to consider or not 🙂

      Reply

    2. asasmom40

      You guys are all awesome minds – really. So very intelligent and articulate the way you’re mirroring my thoughts/feelings for what seems like my entire life. No one truly understands unless they’ve lived it. Here I was thinking it was just my personality for more than 30 years now. Hmm, “Lazy & Depressed ”
      Well, I just want to thank you all very much for sharing and would like to offer 3 things that have seemed to be the only “real help” that pulls me out of the dark:
      1. K-Love (listen /download) Awesome station! Truly positive & encouraging.
      2. Intouch.org ( listen/download) Charles Stanley has something for everyone.
      3. Prayer (I just spill my guts to God just as we’re talking now asking for help –
      and guidance through it all.)
      Hope it helps someone & pray we all find strength, peace & zest to live life.
      God bless you all with great mental health.

      Reply

      1. Jo

        Great read I am so glad I came across this site you are so talented.
        I really identified with the thought and feelings you have expressed@asasmon thank you for that I think I go into a deep place of my mind n thoughts and at time its hard when even though I personally know what God can do and that he can go deeper than all pain when you call on him…at time I just stay in my mind rather than Do….I Am now over weight but my mind must be skinny it never stops…. This is the first time I’ve ever shared this this. Thankyou to all of you every comment makes sense!!!! Pls to those who want to end it don’t cause it. Wont always be this way don’t let your loved ones feel this depression after you’ve gone.
        Thanks for being real
        God bless you x

  10. Michael Vipperman

    In depression, the stress system is chronically elevated… you can’t get anything done because their system is at war with itself and way too busy with that to do other things. In PTSD and ADHD on the other hand, glucocorticoid levels are typically deficient, so there’s insufficient arousal instead of excessive arousal. Either can interfere with productivity. And you can have both to varying degrees (maybe your stress levels are too high one day and too low another). Both are usually (but not always) a result of how your HPA axis (the stress system) adapted to early life adversity… that is, kids who were neglected, bullied, abused, lived in severe poverty or otherwise experienced extreme and chronic stress, often grow up to be adults with dysfunctional stress systems which can either be too high or too low.

    So the solution to chicken and egg can probably be found in early childhood. Also btw genotype influences how you will respond to early stressors (if you carry certain genes, then you’ll likely end up depressed, whereas if you carry certain others you’ll probably end up schizophrenic instead), so that’s the other egg involved.

    We’re the chickens. I also suffer from these problems (but not as extreme as you — I still maintain an active social life, because I know I feel even worse without it). By commenting here I’m procrastinating from writing a paper I feel is important and which will more than justify by mostly lazy existence. Here’s another way to think about it: because we’re not constantly absorbed in a single modality and task, we constantly discover new information and modalities, which we can then recombine when our elusive creativity finally comes back around. We awake in a secret orchard of trees laden with low hanging fruit, and we have but to pick our selection and feast. What have we lost by spending our time other than cultivating only a single tree?

    Reply

  11. James

    Dude, I’m right there with you. I work out and in good shape, but the depression still finds me! Even when I had a full time job it made little difference! I’m unemployed now as i was fired. I’m trying to start my own business but it’s very difficult when you don’t think you can achieve anything. I’ve removed myself from all social media and don’t want to see my friends.

    I hope everyone reading this and who has commented is happy and healthy. Depression is a burden! x

    Reply

  12. similar situation

    you sound like me at 24. i did have a license, and kept thinking that a change of geography would change my problems – it didn’t. “Maybe if I sucked it up and got myself a job – a shitty job – and gave myself that regular routine”
    that’s what you must do. then try to keep it, then get another, then try to keep that one, until you finally gain discipline. yes, it’s not ideal, but look into the future, and see if your current path will lead you to a better place than that. you’ll probably be saving yourself some trouble. and it won’t be as bad as death, because nothing should be an excuse to die. lastly, thankfulness: focus on that regularly, not because it could be worse, but because in the midst of our sad thoughts, we are blessed with life and many other things. and thankfulness sometimes brings a heart to joy. i’m thankful for your post!

    Reply

    1. asasmom40

      And now I’m thankful for your post because you sort of read my mind.
      Being thankful does not make things worse but has real potential to make things better. God bless you guys. Perhaps these posts can make the difference if we go through together – Let’s be grateful for that it’s something.

      Reply

  13. notnow

    wow. I have also stumbled on your blog searching for depression, laziness. I am a single mother to a teenager, with no help and very little support. I have managed trying to avoid the abyss until a month ago. everything has fallen apart. it takes an incredible amount of energy to take her to school. all chores and basic requirements for living are just too much. I used to be a competive powerlifter and sculptor. have not been to gym in ages and have not created anything for the longest while. I am broke. don t feel like doing anything. had horrible experience with anti -depressants.
    thank you for sharing your experience.
    since some time has elapsed, I hope you have been able to shift into a different space.

    Reply

    1. J

      I have also had bad experiences with quite a few antidepressants.You might try enhancing vitamin d levels and Omega 3 fatty acids.Also be sure you are getting sunshine 10 minutes a day, exercise can help if you can even get yourself to do a little and music, especially classical, can impact the brain to improve mood.One antidepressant which didn’t cause me a problem was Wellbutrin. I hope things get better for you and others on this site. Hope you see this post
      .

      Reply

    2. Italianma7

      I am in the same situation as you are. I am a single mother of a teenager. I work as a nurse. I suffer from depression. I can’t motivate myself. It’s really taking a toll on me. It just seems to get worse and worse. Feel free to email me anytime.

      Reply

  14. michaela

    I really enjoyed your story, I sort of have a similar situation too you. I am what I characterize as “lazy” but am really scared that it’s something more than just laziness. I’ve struggled with thoughts of suicide since I was about nine Or ten, I’m really now just hoping I’m lazy and not depressed, but even if I were my parents wouldn’t believe me. They’d say I was trying to get “the attention” that I “crave”…. Any way, thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply

  15. Walter

    Sorry but time for a reality check. Some people are not lazy or depressed in the state you are describing. In my opinion, you are a drama queen. After all, you’ve just created a little mini drama for you to enjoy. Am I depressed, am I lazy, am I coping with some internal life struggle that would make a great art house movie? It’s probably a lot more thrilling to enjoy some art house type drama while knowing Mom and Dad really won’t force you to face the consequences of having no job (I think you know you won’t be on the street anytime soon). The biggest realization of my adulthood has been waking up to how many people are desperate to dismiss the value of day to day life to escape into the world is out to get me or what I am struggling with type self-absorption. While also dismissing the potential mental health issues that get created by absorbing television dramas, movie dramas, theatre dramas with our culture’s exposure to 24/7 dramaville. You need to turn off the television, get away from the artistic side of yourself and be okay with the day to day. No you won’t be apart of some television movie of the week overcoming obstacle story. But you might realize that you just chose to feel sorry for yourself for a long-time, why? Because you enjoyed it.

    Reply

    1. gingerwaffle

      I think there is some truth in what you’re saying, Walter. There are some people who enjoy the drama or for whom the drama is the starting point. I also believe that most people who suffer from thoughts like this are not drama queens. They have spent a lot of time hating themselves for everything they cannot do and looking for reasons why it is their fault. Of course, it takes some self-honesty to see the difference between actual self-hatred and the foolishly romanticised idea of the concept.

      Reply

  16. Dana

    I have read this about… idk… maybe 4 times now and it has brought tears to my eyes. This was beautiful, because while I was reading it I saw myself. You have spoke to many people, and maybe even taught some people who constantly tell depressed people to, “get up and do something!” too many stop and think…..

    Reply

  17. anonymous

    this is the best post I have ever read. just wondering if his tumblr is still active or changed it? I would love to read more.

    Reply

  18. Kathy

    Thank you for sharing this painfully accurate description of the battle which I have been fighting for most of my adult life. As a child, I was full of joy, and deeply compassionate for those who, for one reason or another, were not experiencing happiness as I was. This wonderful quality of empathy eventually translated into a career and ultimately, into a lifestyle of care-taking. As a young adult, my ability to experience joy in average daily living activities decreased, except when it came to care-taking. In caring for others, I would experience great relief (which I mistakenly identified as happiness). As depressive episodes increased in severity and longevity, my attempts at relief by care-taking no longer were effective, and instead, became added burdens zapping my waning energy. My frantic search to feel good drove me to experiment with other distractions…reading, art, music, religion/spirituality, new relationships, education…all pursued with a zealousness that would lead to remarkably amazing accomplishments….and each temporarily relieving the pain of depression. However, each of these trajectories of exploration and activity eventually proved impotent when facing the innate nature of depression to resurface…each time with more strength and doggedness. Psychotropic medication and psychotherapy offered the same false hope of long-term relief. Eventually, my energy reserves have become depleted. I feel that I am losing my ability to pull myself together to fight one more time…because that is exactly what it is. When depression rules my body, it is a fight to move…let alone take on even the simplest of projects. It is a fight to think about how to get through a morning…let alone think how to problem-solve at the level that any job requires. It is a fight to maintain relationships that are normally easy…let alone interacting with strangers or with more “difficult” people. Suicide is a consideration, however when I am “in the pit”, it requires too much planning, too much thought when weighed against the lesser burden of “putting one foot in front of the other” “one day at a time.” Perhaps somewhere deep inside I continue to have hope that I will awaken one day with a mind absorbed in planning the activities of a routine day rather than waking to a mind that berates me before I can even turn off the alarm clock. A mind that darkens every circumstance and now distrusts every hope. A mind that seeks to stop me, dead in my tracks, as if pouring concrete into my boots and then scoffing at me for not being able to keep up in the race. A mind that continues to be filled with love and compassion for others, yet hates, with a vengeance, the very body that it calls home…me. Oh, to be “normal”….

    Reply

  19. John

    I just randomly googled this. I’ve been ‘lazy’ so long now. I think it might be chronic. I had a job last year, but was let go due to contract. Flex workers we are called in my country. But we are just disposable pions… Bah. We may work on the future of a company but said company doesn’t give a shit about your future. I’m still pissed about it as you can tell.

    I always feel like I’m lazy. Since I’ve been out of a job I haven’t looked for work once. I haven’t applied for welfare – something that is a right in my country not living in the usa – most people are confused why I haven’t. The truth is last time I did it I felt like a lazy leach. Now I’m slowly eating my savings because it’s comfortable for me this way.

    Even the things I enjoy feel empty. I’m a avid gamer. But I don’t feel the enjoyment anymore. I just do it for a bit. Move on. At least I’ve picked up a new hobby (saxophone) a year or so back that I still enjoy. It’s the only thing in life I truly enjoy. Never been social. I have friends but I notice that at the end of the evening I can’t wait to be alone again. I’m not giving up on having friends though, I can see that is the wrong path to take and will lead to my downfall.

    I’m rambling again and I guess besides being lazy I’m also pretty self absorbed when I look at my shitty long-ass reply…

    Anyway just wanted to say I’ve been struggling with the lazy/depressed chicken/egg conundrum as long as I can remember. I was when I was about 13/14? I don’t even know for sure. I’m 32 now.

    Great article an with kind regards,

    John

    Reply

  20. Leanne

    I have suffered from depression for several years, for ages I didn’t do anything about it because there are people with problems a lot worse than mine. Even though I’m receiving therapy now I often feel like a fraud; a lazy person who has no one else to blame for her lack of progress in life. Your story makes me feel that I may be wrong. Thank you

    Reply

  21. Elizabeth Prater-Meyer

    This brought tears to my eyes. I too find it difficult to do just the bare minimum for the sake of the few people that care about me. I have had people tell me growing up that I am good for nothing and useless and belong locked up away from society so I can’t bother anyone because I am always in the way of everyone and only keeping people from living their lives. It’s so hard to get these thoughts out of my head even with the last 2 years I met a few people who have seen the real side of me and see nothing like that wrong with me. Still I seem to have that battle in my head constantly. Thankfully I am getting my depression meds in a week or so when I can get the money for them. I have been on several different depression meds growing up. Some helped and some didn’t. I used to always want to do things naturally without medicine but I have found out that it is alot easier said than done. I thought I was alone with this struggle but now I know that I’m not the only one with this dilemma in my head. Thank you for sharing this with the world! It means alot to me! And thank you to the people who commented on it too!! I know this post is a little old but depression doesn’t die of old age. (Wish it did)

    Reply

  22. jamie

    Hi, it’s like I’m reading something I wrote. It’s good to know I’m not alone in this. Thanks to everyone

    Reply

  23. Maria

    Mikael, I can totally relate to this. I’ve been asking myself that question a lot lately about which came first, laziness or depression, and I really like how you expressed your thoughts. Thank you for sharing! Btw, that’s a great drawing! You’ve really got skill. ☺ You’re not alone, man, I feel just like you do. Hugs.

    Reply

  24. Cassie

    my mom hasn’t been diagnosed with depression but she doesn’t have a job she doesn’t have friends she doesn’t cook, clean, smile, laugh. all she does is fight and argue((it seems like the only thing she enjoys doing is being pissed off))blame me for any & everything, and she sleeps for days((literally DAYS))only waking up to use the bathroom or to go to the kitchen to see if she can find any food in our empty pantry. I’m very concerned because it has never been this way. when I try to help her she gets so angry at me and she just continues to blame me!! I’m very confused and I just want to help her. it is very hard for me to live like this. I just want to be happy and my mom to be happy. this has been going on for a little over a year but it’s only getting worse.. will it ever stop? what should I do..

    Reply

  25. fizzyfroglegs

    It’s so relieving to find this. I relate so much to this that it’s scary. I used to draw and write all the time and now I just can’t find the motivation. And I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life almost, but a couple years ago I started working out and dieting and lost so much weight, but then I just stopped being motivated and gained it all back.

    I am constantly telling myself to just draw, just write, just exercise and it’s do easy in my head, but then when it comes time to follow through, I just can’t move. I don’t WANT to move. It’s a struggle every day. I know I should seek out therapy, but I can’t find the motivation for that either. Sigh.

    Reply

  26. CN (@Nottodayorever3)

    I relate to this article in a way. I suffer from laziness and I just don’t know if it’s a sign of depression or just being lazy. I’m 26 years old and my friends are living their lives working etc and I just stay at home and take my brothers to school and extracurriculars. I have no motivation to do anything productive in my life. I hate 9-5 jobs, interviews and writing cover letters gives me anxiety. I’m insecure as well. It’s just a mess. I plan to see a therapist soon.

    Reply

  27. oliver d

    i hope we can continue communicating with one another. i just came to ask myself this question just 2 days ago. Am i lazy or depressed? could be a combo of both maybe? i know i was 100% more active when i was 20 yrs younger no dought. things that were so easy to do in the past like umm, washing my car or running simple errands were not an issue. now, getting off of my couch is like a job, wth? going to the gym,also not fun anymore at all even though i do not have a phsical job, i should have abundant energy for the gym. i am in good shape for a 39 yr old and in better shape then every male in my graduating class but thats not the point because i feel like it’s a job now going to the gym and i find myself breathing hard like 70 yr old. again, wth. everything is a chore to me, getting off of the couch requires a moan lol, so sad and a sore muscles that arnt supposed to be sore. i don’t get invited to outings by friends anymore because i always turn them down. part of the reason is because i dont have kids or a gf and that makes me feel insecure in addtion to my physical apperance which has always been an issue for me since 13 and well i dont have a dream job but it’s steady, so does that mean millions of men and women are depressed because they dont have a fun job that pays great? no, but i think in addition to my other insecurities it turns into the elephant in the picture. hard to do anything. cant seem to grasp the notion of gratitude for anything as well. for example, a roof over my head, a loving family, food, and to be able to go to the gym and workout in comparison to people who arnt because of a physical disability. i mean i have a friend who has one leg because he got into an accident and didn’t even get money out of it nor did the other person get any jail time but he seems hell a happier then me. you know i even chose misery over anti dep pills because the anti dep pills would curve my appetite and i dont like loosing weight. loosing weight makes me so upset that my stomach burns like a fire. but im at a point now where enough is enough and i feel like i need to try anti dep pills. thank you all for your input and hope we can continue to support and talk about these issues.

    Reply

  28. Missy

    Thank you. Conversely, this has motivated me to get off my ass and do the shit I need to do today. In the end one needs the discipline of a good to for list. And if you are doing something, you don’t have much time to ruminate on how lazy or depressed you are.

    I have a nice app on my (Android) phone called ToDo. Try it. Not a marketing person gof it. I just find it convenient and useful… which reminds me: wash car, and get oil change.. gotta put that on the list today! Thx whoever mentioned that.

    BTW, if you have a “drone” job you hate, get your license in something that can give you a bit of independence… I don’t know:
    – cosmology – real estate – barber – bartender
    Those paths can lead to your own business.

    I know its not as easy as that for some, but it may be for others.

    Gotta go. Got stuff to do!

    Reply

  29. Rayna

    Thank you so much for posting this. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others so much but I do and it really helps to hear about someone going through the same situation as I am. I’ve been just hating myself for the past few months because I spent them doing absolutely nothing when I had planned to do so much. I’ve was diagnosed with depression years ago but a new psychiatrist thinks I may actually be bipolar which makes sense because despite the medication I seem to go back and forth, working my way out of depression only to suddenly fall back into it.
    I used to be a really good student and a creative type as well. I loved to draw, write, and act. I got a full ride to a good university that impressed my peers and teachers from high school. I used to be really social.
    However, last year in school I had a breakdown and didn’t finish two of my finals. I failed a class for the first time in my life and I don’t know why I couldn’t just finish that one stupid paper. I met a guy who said he’d give me an internship next fall and I jumped on the opportunity to take a break from school and do something else. I should have known the guy was flaky and the offer wasn’t a real job and I felt incredibly stupid and started questioning whether I was smart enough to live. That sounds like a complete overreaction but with my background of choosing bad friends and lovers (including several sociopaths) I started to wonder if my dumb choices would always make my life miserable. I told myself I would get a job and make money but I could barely get myself out of bed every day. I’d end up watching Netflix and playing games all day every day for months. I absolutely hated myself and felt so guilty thinking I was just a lazy piece of shit. My friends would act confused as to why I couldn’t just be more productive. I finally had to come back home and stay with my mom where I continued holing up in my room. What sucks about this state of depression is that you can’t see anything physically wrong with you so you feel like it’s your fault. I worry a lot about how I’ll explain this wasted time to people when/if I go back to school. It’s almost impossible to explain to people who’ve never experienced it, especially all the smart hardworking kids I go to school with.
    I remember in high school when a teacher wrote on my report card that she was afraid I was “slipping” because I got a B- instead of my usual A (which seems ridiculous now). I remember that that was probably the scariest word I’ve ever heard. Slipping. And that’s how I feel now. I was supposed to be smart and hardworking. I was supposed to succeed. I’m afraid everyone will be disappointed in me and I know I shouldn’t care what other people think so much but sometimes I think I’d rather die than face them. They’ll never understand how this feels. Its reassuring to hear from someone who does.

    P.S. I also don’t have my drivers license and am almost 21

    Reply

  30. redelm

    I find myself wondering the same thing time and time again. I mean I’m diagnosed with depression and I have meds which i think I’m withdrawing from right now but sometimes I think to myself maybe I’m not depressed maybe I’m just too lazy like right now I have two term papers due next week i should be working on but instead im doing this but whatever you know and what really sucks is when you just get undepressed enough to get out of your cave – that’s what my mom calls it – and try to do shit whether that’s a degree you’re working on or a job or even just friends and you try and try and try but you just keep failing and no matter how much you get back up and push yourself to do what every cell in your body is telling you can’t or shouldn’t or don’t want to do you just fail and eventually it gets you down and out. Fuck this sucks. sorry for my french

    Reply

  31. pete

    Do you love yourself?
    just read this, thought it was awesome:
    love has to spring spontaneously from within: and it is in no way amenable to any form of inner or outer force. love and coercion can never go together; but though love cannot be forced on anyone, it can be awakened in him through love itself. love is essentially self-communicative. those who do not have it catch it from those who have it. true love is unconquerable and irresistable; and it goes on gathering power and spreading itself until eventually it transforms everyone whom it touches.

    Reply

    1. L

      Pete,
      I believe what you say is true.. that “love has to spring spontaneously from within”… i have felt this before many times.
      Yet, this is what makes my current experience of feeling lost in life so confusing & distressing. This source of love & energy within seems absent, out of reach… blocked somehow.

      And, without love, life is meaningless & devoid of joy.

      In my current case, there is no real outer problem. Loving husband & grown children, enough money, good health, etc. Plus, we have enough time to do whatever I might like to do. But, the motivation to do most everything is gone. I even wake up wishing I were dead to escape the pointlessness of living & the feelings of anxiety, confusion & worthlessness.

      Perhaps this is the “dark night of the soul”… but, is there an end to it? And, what to do in the meantime? I pray often, but do not hear guidance, nor do I feel heard.

      I’ve never taken anti-depressants or been to a counselor to talk to someone about this yet. I have made a call to get a referral to a professional & at this point would even consider medication to help.

      The only thing I want is to reconnect with this love within. To be happy & to have love to share with others once again.

      L

      Reply

  32. Alia poli

    I was doing so well at school, hadn’t had a break from school in years or work and one day I couldn’t get up from my bed. Parents moved me back to there house and now I just can not muster the energy to get out of bed besides to use the restroom and occasionally eat. My friends are far and all I want to do is did. I’ve looked for painless says I just don’t know how to do it. Everything is a mess around me snd it is my fault

    Reply

  33. Elsie

    Hi Mikael, I am 24 years old also and your situation is exactly like mine. Exactly. No steady jobs, still living with my parents although just recently I relocated to my sister’s couch. I enjoy writing and have piles and piles of journals, short stories, poems etc. Also, I consider myself creative and I love the arts, plus I do not want to get a regular job although I will be forced to by financial troubles. I really hope you see this and contact me on +2347038486226. I would have left my bbm pin instead but I haven’t bothered to buy credit for my phone. Deleted all my social media accounts but trying to get back on them to see if I could actually get a life. Please do contact me, I need a friend right now.

    Reply

  34. Get real

    At least u got parents to live with .. I know people who did not have any parents to lean on who went on to college got a job and there was no excuses

    Reply

  35. rhino

    Thank you so much for this. For the longest time I’ve been attacked by my “support group” for how lazy I am. For not being able to get out of bed, for my space being cluttered, etc. But I’m not lazy. I’m in pain. All. The. Time. In fact normal shit is so difficult for me that the effort it takes just to go to the store is tenfold what it is for a normal person. How is that lazy?

    And during brief periods when my depression subsides I get a lot done. I went to school full time, and held down a job getting only a few hours of sleep at night and still found time to work out and go out with friends all while raising my kid.

    Sothose everyone who doesn’t have depression: you don’t know what the fuck you’re taking about so bite my ass

    Haha that felt good

    Reply

  36. Sm p

    I am you but with a worthless acting degree (and female) I’ve had to move back home because well I just fail at life … I’d like to think people(the very few that see me) think I’m funny..so Yh that’s a plus I suppose…

    Reply

  37. Afb

    Glad to see people are still posting on this. Several things stick out to me:

    1. I have a full time job – Not a bad job, but at 45 I should be much further in my career. Due to my introverted nature i’m passed up for promotions. Socially I’m not the greatest and look at politics as completely evil. I see people who consider themselves smart and laugh cynically all day long at them because they are not. Its all about ego, which I have none of. You shouldn’t have to suck ding ding to get ahead in life, but that’s how it works.
    2. I obsess over things that occur daily and find myself backtracking all day to not “hate” things or people. Generally it fails and I slip into my own world again.
    3. I go home and stare at the walls, obsessing once again
    4. I feel lazy, but I don’t get excited about anything. I pretend to be excited for my kids and I love them dearly, but if they only knew the garbage floating around in my head they would probably stop talking to me.
    5. I have a 1/2 assed garden I try to attend to but it pretty much dies off after a while.
    6. I have no goals! When I set goals my anxiety goes through the roof and it fails completely.
    7. Sleep is all over the place so I “self medicate” to make sure I do fall asleep. Not an addiction.
    8. Winding up on the couch hiding under a blanket every night isn’t cool.
    9. I got divorced because of all of this and more 15 years ago and haven’t dated since. Not interested in the drama nor do I want to drag someone down my path again. Save the sympathy and smack me upside the head.

    I could keep going but there is no point. We all have to try and find a way to cope. Psychology is a joke to me. The head candy they hand out does nothing but give you a placebo affect for the first 2 weeks, then the side affects kick in and you realize it isn’t doing anything. “how does that make you feel” is NOT how you get to the bottom of things. Yes, changing the thought process is key…..but it doesn’t last when stress kicks in.

    I always think about becoming a farmer in the middle of nowhere so I can be at peace…..but will I really be at peace or drum up more awful feelings? Nature helps, get out and stare at the sky like you were 5 again. Fleeting but helpful.

    Brains suck!

    Reply

    1. Judy

      I loved reading this whole page because I felt like I was reading about myself, but your post hit the closest to home– maybe because you’re the closest to my age. Anyway, maybe you are doing a little better now. I’ve suffered on and off with depression since my teen years and now I just had my first manic episode. This was so foreign and I honestly thought I was cured of my depression, but now I know that’s not true so that’s extremely disappointing. I feel like I’m just completely done. I’ve tried every career known to man and in my manic phase I wrote a book but now I don’t like it because it would take too many people down. I feel like I’m at the end of my rope. Even writing this takes all my effort. I just feel mostly dead. But it does help to know there are others out there, although of course it also makes me sad 😦

      Reply

  38. Nicholas a hull

    Lol been trying to come up with words and an explanation for what I’m feeling, ya nailed it. Also, professional help is absolutely stupid, psychiatrists/ologists are apathetic non-understanding expensive thus greedy inhuman robots that hold very binary conversations with you (these words= these scripted medically-approved replies). But Hell, I LOVE to do a good job. I LOVE to work hard at something and get so involved I both lose track of time and I become pleasurably engrossed with it, whether it’s work or play. But it is a B*TCH to sweep the depressing thoughts and apathy out of the way to get to those things! So amen, trick is to get over that mountain in the first place, which is highly illogical because there’s no motivation, other than possibly getting into a better mood.

    Reply

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