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I’m talking about the days when all you want to do is eat in front of the TV or spend hours mindlessly scrolling through social media.
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Sometimes we do this even though we know we have a list of tasks to complete by the end of the day. Other times we choose to do nothing because there is nothing to do.
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But when this general state of idleness goes on for days (even weeks) on end, you start to wonder:
In general, we tend to attribute negative connotations to laziness. Whenever we see or hear that someone is messing around or wasting time on trivial things, we immediately assume that he/she is a lazy person with no goals and no future.
But the attitude we see and call “laziness” may be the result of something much more painful and complex.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard clinically depressed clients complain that people call them lazy, unmotivated, and in other words that I can’t reproduce here.
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Therefore, I want to take this opportunity to shed some light on why laziness is not always the result of carelessness and indifference.
As people struggling with depression struggle with a lack of motivation, feelings of helplessness, and an overall bleak outlook on life, they often spend most of the day in “idle mode.”
There are times when the depression is so overwhelming that you barely have the strength to get out of bed and cook something to eat.
And when you feel like the whole world is falling apart, all you want to do is curl up under the covers and avoid anything that might require some effort on your part.
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On the outside, this attitude may look like laziness, but people with depression are paralyzed by hopelessness and emotional pain inside.
In short, before you rush to call someone “lazy”, make sure you know their story. You may be surprised to discover that their apparent lack of purpose and direction has more to do with carelessness.
Comparing the two is even more difficult, given that depression encompasses a range of cognitive, emotional and behavioral responses. At the same time, laziness is just an attitude that people can display for various reasons.
In my opinion, if you’re struggling with this dilemma, the first (and best) thing you can do is take a closer look at yourself.
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To determine whether laziness is a problem or not, you need to start by looking at how this attitude affects your daily life.
If we want to understand how laziness can lead to depression, we need to look at this condition from a slightly different angle.
When we think of depression, we often think of a sad, pessimistic person who finds no joy in anything and has a dark outlook on life.
Experts call it “depression in disguise” because it hides behind somatic symptoms that are easily mistaken for illnesses.
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For example, you may experience back pain, headache and tight gluteal muscles, which create a general feeling of physical tension and exhaustion.
As a result, you’re more likely to spend your day doing the bare minimum and waiting for the pain to subside so you can be more productive.
And the more you give in to this feeling and put things off for the sake of comfort, the more you contribute to your feeling of helplessness.
A bad day turns into a bad week, which turns into a bad month, and before you know it you sink into a state of comfortable idleness.
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But the most painful thing is that even if you realize that something much darker is hidden behind the apparent lack of motivation and energy, it will take a considerable effort to restore (or discover) your happiness and productivity.
And I’m not saying this to demoralize you, but to help you understand what you’re up against, set realistic expectations, and adopt a baby-faced approach.
From a cognitive point of view, depression encourages a negative outlook that overshadows any positive experience that life may surprise you with.
In addition, negative thoughts and irrational interpretations associated with this condition are accompanied by sadness, irritability, emptiness, frustration, hopelessness, anxiety, indecision, guilt and loss of self-esteem.
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But let’s take a look at these symptoms and better understand how depression interferes with your personal and professional life.
From headaches and nausea to back pain and even digestive problems, long-term physical discomforts that aren’t caused by an illness can indicate depression.
If the slightest unpleasant event pushes you to the brink of an outburst of anger, or if gloom and bitterness have become your daily mood, you are most likely struggling with depression.
Experts estimate that about 50% of all depressed people feel angry, resentful and lazy most of the day.
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Although emotional overeating can increase serotonin levels, which causes short-term pleasure, over time it will lead to weight gain, accompanied by feelings of shame and guilt.
While recreational drinking and smoking is completely normal and harmless, when you get to the point where one glass of wine a night isn’t enough, chances are you’re facing more than just a bad day.
Just like emotional eating, alcohol and substance abuse can have a temporary calming effect, keeping you away from painful aspects of your life.
Whether it’s work, going to the gym, meeting someone or enjoying a delicious breakfast, each of us has a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
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But when these activities don’t bring you any joy or satisfaction, motivation dwindles, and bed becomes your only source of peace and comfort.
When things that once brought smiles or tears leave you cold and you act like a zombie, making you seem cold and distant, you are most likely dealing with depression.
In my experience, this is perhaps the worst symptom that can accompany depressive episodes. I’d honestly rather feel hurt, frustrated, or frustrated than “nothing.”
Have you ever wondered how many hours a day you spend fantasizing about a better and happier life? (Instead of doing something about it)
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While letting your imagination run wild is perfectly normal, spending too much time outside of reality can be a sign of depression or trauma.
Experts call this “maladaptive daydreaming,” a tendency to escape reality and create fantasies that provide short-term pleasure.
Like daydreaming, social media offers an alternate reality where you don’t have to face emotional pain and solve your problems.
While browsing social media gives you a much-needed sense of relief and fulfillment, the long-term effects can be devastating. Current evidence suggests that social media use is associated with increased depression.
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The more time you spend looking at other people’s ideal lives, the worse you will feel about yourself.
Again, your lack of motivation and the fact that you no longer find joy in anything keeps you in a state of idleness where even the smallest decisions seem too difficult.
Or it could be because you have lost confidence and no longer feel able to take responsibility for the choices you make.
The moment you stop making decisions, your life “freezes” in a state where absolutely nothing happens, good or bad.
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Eventually, you reach a point where you are too ashamed of yourself to even try to change something and start taking care of yourself.
But the saddest thing is that people are often too quick to judge you and don’t realize that your lack of interest is not a sign of laziness, but a symptom of depression.
It’s a type of depression that’s hard to detect because of all the distractions (social media, shopping, workaholism, emotional eating, substance use, etc.) you surround yourself with to look good.
When your friends, colleagues, or family members start worrying about you, it might be time to be honest with yourself and consider the possibility that you’re dealing with something serious.
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4 Habits That Will Help You Cope With Depression 1. Stay in touch with your emotions (even if it hurts).
It is never easy to stay in touch with painful emotions such as hopelessness, fear, shame, guilt or self-hatred.
But we do it because it is the only way to increase emotional resilience and cope with depressive episodes without losing focus and purpose.
These emotions exist (and hurt) for a reason. It’s your mind’s way of letting you know that something deep inside you needs your immediate attention.
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Although they may seem a little uncomfortable at first, these practices allow you to process your emotions in a healthy and conscious way.
From online shopping and social media to TV shows, comfort food, and video games, we’re practically surrounded by all kinds of relaxing activities that keep our attention focused on everything but ourselves.
And when all this wide range of activities are just a click away, it’s no wonder we get so easily distracted.
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