How do I identify if I am really depressed or just chronically lazy and sad?

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Long post, bear with me.

I am a graduate student and recently started my degree in a new country.

My problem is that I am not able to concentrate on studies.

1. No interest to study despite knowing that it's the only thing I have to do.

2. Feeling sad for apparently no reason and indifferent, dormant feeling most of the times. Complete emotional numbness to literally everything.

Like when I got a part-time job and it's a happy thing for me, but I was like meh and when I was leaving my home country I didn't feel much sad as I thought I would be.

3. Little alteration in sleeping and eating habits and gained some weight.

4. Sometimes (Rarely) sudden jump in mood from sad to happy just for very simple things which I am aware are not that big a deal.

5. Completely insecure that I won't be able to cope up and live up to the expectations which I set up myself and it's making me more anxious.(They are in no way bigger than what I am normally capable of achieving in this type of situations)

6. The most terrifying of all is that when I realized my problems and googled the symptoms, weirdly I felt a little complacent feeling that I got a reason to justify my inability to concentrate on studies by blaming it on a medical issue rather that getting the urge to deal with it.(I know that this is how laziness takes over a persons lifestyle.)This is the reason why I believed that it's just laziness that's effecting me and I can get over it.(at least I thought so)

7. No suicidal thoughts but had really frustrating episodes when I was unable to perform.

I am in a position where i am in the middle of two different feelings, that I don't need someone's help and at same time I also feel that I cannot deal with it on my own. I did consult a certified counselor at my university and was told that I had some symptoms of depression, anxiety and was asked to track my behavioral patterns for some days to have a better view of the situation.

I am not sad or blue all the time,I do manage to get out of this feeling once in a while and enjoy certain activities with friends and watch a movie something once in a while.Generally when this kinda stuff happens I sit and jolt down all my issues along with the specific reasons for the problem and then try to deal with them, and mostly I do succeed in this kind of things. Right now I am not sure what's taking a toll on me and not able to pin point my issue.

I am not sure whether it's me being

1. Chronically Lazy, due to the fact that I had a couple of months free time before starting my grad school and I am used to being free and not doing things. and maybe I just need to discipline myself much more strictly.

2. Inferiority complex from the peers who are more experienced and knowledgeable than me. (This could be it)

3.. Overwhelming feeling to do it all and the fear to start from the first.

4. Home sickness-- I know this might be a possible thing as I am an international graduate student in another country far from home, but that cannot be the situation as I've been living away from family for past 6 years in my home country.

5. Just the fact that the college life is not similar to what I had in Undergrad or what I expected.


may be considering the fact that all my life things have come to me pretty easily ( with a little less effort than what's normally required) and it pushed me into a comfort zone where I don't get the urge to force myself to study.

In the end I am just not sure whether it's one of the above or all of them have combined and made it overwhelmingly hard on me to understand it clearly.

(Me two weeks ago)

The ultimate problem is that i just don't have a clear picture of what's going and where my life is headed and this is just not how I pictured myself in this endeavor of Masters degree(very important phase of my life).

It's not like I am hopeless about my future as I know and was sure that when the real-deal situation comes up I can get things done, but this mindset I am having right now is something that's bothering me more. Some of the above mentioned traits are the ones I had for a long term but they never effected my academic life. May be this is not a big deal and I am just looking it in a magnifying glass.

(Me now) Where things took rather unexpected turn

Right now I am not sure that I can handle it. All the above statements and points were my opinion about my condition but everything changed when I had my mid-terms ( of 3 subjects) recently and I just let them pass without putting any fight to study which I was expecting I would be able to exert on myself this time (considering the fact that these are the real-deal situations), and I felt like it wouldn't matter even if I don't show up to the exam.It's just unacceptable to be thinking that way. It's completely off limits even for the laziest version of me or for anyone else. I am not able to push myself to concentrate no matter what I do.

Now I am really scared of what's going on with me as I am not sure what I'm trying to deal with. Is it just my laziness that has reached to chronically severe levels or am I really depressed or something ??? But I don't have anything to be depressed about. I used to be a happy-go-lucky guy and also have no traumatic past incidents or anything like that.

I am not sad and down all the time in a day or have any self-harm thoughts. I don't think these are the traits of a depressed person , are they ???

Mostly it happens with studies but coming to other day-to-day stuff I don't have this big of issue in getting them done and this is where my conscience is arguing with me that it's just my laziness and procrastination that's effecting me in a colossal way.I am just torn between these arguments of me and my conscience and reached an impasse.I really need an external evaluation of the situation.

I need to know what's it happening to me here,

Is it me just being melodramatic by looking at things from an extreme point?


just the fact that I might be having some medical condition made it hard for me to accept it and I am just blaming my shortcomings?


am I just starting to show symptoms of some problem?


am I really having any of the issues for real ???


am I simply taking incredibly long time to adjust to a new place???


Is it just hypochondriac feeling that's making me feel this way ???

All these confusing thoughts have made it really hard on me to exactly point out what is going wrong here.

In the end I really feel guilty that all this is just some bullsh*t I made up in my mind to satisfy my laziness and stop doing stuff, but it's unbearable for me to fight it off

The reason I am writing all this is that I would really appreciate if any of you people care to give your opinion based on your point of view as to what might be my problem. I am not able to go beyond this stage. It's hard to pin point on my problem or the source of it. Do you really think I have an issue or is it just the combination of certain situations that have thrown me off the norm for a while?

Any and every suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

P.S I did make an appointment with the counselor next week.

1 like, 11 replies

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi naren,

    Certainly no problem listing what may be the problem!!!

    To condense, I would feel that as you state you are used to things coming easy,

    Never had to prove yourself, never had to stretch yourself you are now completely open, to criticism, inspection and examination.

    It's dawned on you that whatever you now do you cannot fly it, you have to stand up to your decisions, right or wrong.

    In other words, you have to grow up.

    Welcome to the real world. One which bites you when your wrong, one where decisions you make now could shape your future forever

    And your terrified of it. Just like most of your fellow members. Unsure, unwilling to put things down on paper, just in case your wrong. Not wanting to step out of line,

    and draw attention to yourself, becoming the ugly duckling.

    Get councilling, it might help, but also try to adapt to your new life, only not overnight, you won't be alone.


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    • Posted

      Hi mike.

      Thanks for your opinion.

      It felt like you've concenrated bit more on the easy life part, but FYI I had my fair share of bruises and experiences from the "real world" which you mentioned.It's not like I've never had to prove myself or stand up for myself.

      But, yes I would like to hear more from on this.


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  • Posted

    Hi as I'm sure you are aware none of us can diagnose you over the net.  You do seem to have some symptoms of depression.  Have you tried doing online depression tests? There are plenty there and this might give you a good guide. 

    What do you think the answers are if you are depressed?

    How about if you are chronically lazy?   What can you do about it? 


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  • Posted

    You didn't mention if you went to a doctor for any blood draw. have you been checked for things autoimmune? like celiac disease? it can give the appearance of being "lazy" (i hate that word). i can tell you are an over acheiver, if you are feeling this way, it is physical, manifesting itself as mental "(lazy). you are far from lazy. 

    go get some blood work if you have not yet and don't stop hounding the medical folks until you get an answer.


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  • Posted


    You are questioning all your motive to much. We go through our early life and arrive  at a time where we begin to look to deaply at our lives and what we want. It seems you are wondering where you want to be in life and you are asking yourself what you really  want Sad to say only you can address your concerns

    Talk to your UNI Trick Cyclist and work out what you want. Do not look to deep you will not be happy there and just be confused.

    Attend your appointment, we can support if needed


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  • Posted

    My depression started that way. I didn't think I should be feeling that way, but gradually it got worse and I didn't want to do anything or see anyone. I became almost completely dysfunctional. The only symptom of depression I didn't have was that I wasn't suicidal. A psychiatrist finally diagnosed me with major depressive disorder with psychosis. That may not be your problem but do talk to your counselor and don't assume you are just lazy.

    Let us know how you are doing. This is a wonderful site to talk about your feelings with people who understand and won't judge you.

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