Are You Really Lazy? Being Unproductive Could Be a Symptom

Are You Really Lazy

Everyone, at some point, becomes unproductive. Sometimes, it is difficult to find the energy and the motivation to complete a task, no matter how simple or complex it is.

People often refer to it as laziness, the unwillingness to carry out an activity. People are lazy not because they are incapable of doing it but because they are disinclined to do it because it requires effort. Therefore, instead of exerting effort toward completing a task, they do not. They remain idle and spend their time doing something less demanding of their focus or something that they find more interesting.

Laziness has negative connotations. It is often leveled as a criticism or an insult. It is a trait that no one wants to have and no one wants to be associated with.

However, what if laziness is a symptom of something else?

Lazy or Chronically Fatigued?

Despite getting at least eight hours of sleep every night, some people continue to feel tired and exhausted all the time. It is not an immediate emergency that pushes them to seek medical attention. Still, the constant feeling of lethargy negatively influences their lives, affecting their social relationships and performance at work.

It is called “chronic fatigue,” characterized by lack of energy, lack of motivation, and physical and mental exhaustion. That is why, often, chronic fatigue is confused with laziness. It also does not help that chronic fatigue is hard to diagnose because numerous illnesses might cause persistent tiredness. Moreover, not enough is known about the disorder. Why it happens continues to be a mystery to scientists.

Because of the lack of research, treating chronic fatigue is challenging but doable. People who suffer from it should find specialists who will understand their symptoms and then provide a treatment plan to address the underlying cause behind it.

Lazy or Depressed?

There is a possibility that laziness is a sign that someone is suffering from depression. The same symptoms that are associated with laziness also occur in someone who has depression. That is why, often, a person who is depressed is mistaken as lazy.

Depression has a huge influence on energy and motivation. Someone with extreme depression might not have the energy and motivation to do the most basic actions such as showering or eating. They might not even have the energy or motivation to get out of bed every morning.

Depression affects concentration, too. They will find it harder to pay attention to the task at hand and be “in the zone,” the state of mind in which a person becomes hyper-focused and at their most productive. If they cannot give their full attention, the quality of their output is compromised.

Depression is easy to separate from sheer laziness. While the latter is situational, meaning it occurs depending on the circumstances, the former can last several weeks and months. Not even an activity that they usually enjoy can motivate them.

Moreover, depression usually presents other symptoms such as emptiness and hopelessness.

To diagnose depression, a person needs to seek a consultation with a mental health professional. A psychologist or a psychiatrist can determine if the person has depression and which treatment options suit their condition best.

Lazy or Anxious?

Anxiety can also be mistaken as laziness. However, unlike depression, the problem with anxiety is not the lack of energy or motivation. What makes them seem “lazy” is avoiding a task for as long as possible.

Anxiety leads to avoidance behaviors, actions that a person does to escape a situation. Because the anxiety they experience is too severe, they refuse to tackle the problem head-on and get it over with. They avoid the people, the places, or the events that are involved in it.

But, of course, it is rarely productive. Things do not resolve themselves if you hide and do nothing. Instead, problems might become more serious when ignored over long periods. Moreover, avoidance does not help a person feel calm. The thought of the unfinished task nags and causes more anxiety.

If the problem is avoidance due to anxiety, then the problem can only be addressed by medication and therapy. A mental health professional can help you better cope with your overwhelming emotions and teach you techniques to calm your body and mind. The practice of focused deep breathing exercises is known to improve anxiety.

Laziness is not always the reason why a person is unproductive and unmotivated. It can be a symptom of a disorder or an illness zapping their energy and influencing their ability to focus. People should explore the underlying issue behind laziness to address it and prevent it from happening again.

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