In Deborah’s helpful and interesting most recent post about the necessity of sloth she talks about how a period of sloth can provide a much needed period of renewal. As a psychotherapist I am interested in offering some clarity for anyone reading this blog about when could sloth really be a warning sign of depression. Here are some questions you can ask yourself and if you answer yes to five or more of these questions it would be prudent to consider consulting a mental health professional. (Have you been feeling any of the following nearly every day for at least two weeks?)
Have you been sad, blue or down in the dumps?
Have you lost interest or pleasure in all or almost all the things you usually do ? (work, hobbies, time with friends and family)
Have you noticed a loss in appetite or are you overeating?
Do you have a problem either falling asleep or nighttime awakening? (or oversleeping) ?
Do you feel low energy?
Do you feel restless or agitated?
Do you feel a desire to isolate ( and this is not typical of you)?
Do you fail to experience pleasure when positive things happen?
Do you have feelings of inadequacy or are you overly self-critical?
Do you feel less able to manage the daily tasks of living?
Do you have poor concentration and difficulty making decisions? (and this is not usual for you)
Do you think or talk of death and suicide?
It is important to remember that unless you consult a mental health professional and a medical doctor it would be difficult to know if these are symptoms of depression or symptoms of a medical condition. There are different types of depression and this information is merely a preliminary guideline to help you assess if you need professional help.