Boredom is Actually a Form of Depression

“Life is never boring but some people choose to be bored.

The concept of of boredom entails an inability to use up present moments in a personally fulfilling way. Boredom is a choice; something you visit upon yourself, and it is another of those self-defeating items that you can eliminate from your life.

When you procrastinate, you use your present moments doing nothing, as an alternative to doing anything.

Doing nothing leads to boredom.

The tendency is to blame boredom on the environment. “This town is really dull” or “What a boring speaker.” The particular town or speaker is never dull, it is you experiencing the boredom, and you can eliminate it by doing something else with your mind or energy at that moment.

Samuel Butler said, “The man who lets himself be bored is even more contemptible than the bore.” By doing what you choose, now, or using your mind in creative new ways now, you can insure that you’ll never again choose boredom for yourself. The choice, as always, is yours.”

-Wayne Dyer, Your Erroneous Zones
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wayne dyer on motivation

Boredom is a self inflicted psychological disorder.

We’ve created a generation of children that are unappreciative of the opportunities they have today that we didn’t. Too many times I hear children say they are bored and too many times I hear adults say they are bored and unhappy.

Boredom is mind boggling, there is no such thing as boredom, only boring people.

There are so many things to do these days that it causes a decision paralysis where people don’t know what to do so they fail to keep themselves occupied or do nothing instead.

Todays level of entertainment and expectations have been raised to an unrealistic and impossible to satisfy level for these bored people. It creates an unfulfilling cycle for them.

Ask someone that’s bored what they want to do and they will normally say “I don’t know, anything…something” and when you suggest things they say anything but that and it goes on and on until you’ve exhausted possibilities. For the most part, they don’t actually feel like doing anything except complaining.

There is always something to do, when you don’t want to do anything, this is actually a state of depression disguised as boredom, not boredom itself. Remember, boredom doesn’t exist, boring people do, but sometimes boring people, are actually depressed people.

And for most people, depression is only a state of mind supported by your thoughts. It’s what you tell yourself that keeps you feeling the way you do. Remove the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones and your state of mind changes almost instantly.

In a state of depression people don’t feel like engaging in any activities whatsoever and have a hard time picking one. They feel they want to do something, perhaps something they haven’t done before, but they can’t tell you what that is. They pass on the responsibility of keeping themselves happy to other people and most of the time the other people have no idea what to do for them either.

So the cycle continues;
“What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know what do you want to do?”
“I don’t know, I’m bored.”
“Me too.”

Boy a lot was accomplished in that conversation.

Instead of doing something they do nothing and just sit around complaining about being bored while blaming everything else but themselves.

There are an infinite amount of excuses:

  • Nobody that wants to do anything exciting
  • People are busy
  • This area sucks
  • It’s too late
  • It’s too early
  • That’s too far
  • That cost too much money
  • We did that last week

cure for depression

Maybe the point of expressing you’re bored is to bring someone else down to a depressed level to share your boredom with because most of the time that is what ends up happening after you wear out their suggestions.

With so many things to do it can be overwhelming to pick just one especially if you’re one of those people that has done so many activities that you’ve developed an activity cool down timer where you can’t repeat it for a certain period of time. People have this problem with food because they live to eat instead of eating to live.

There are plenty of happy people that do nothing but go to the beach everyday and surf, they are enthusiastic about life and enjoy that hobby. There are many people who are very happy with their lives even though they may seem routine to the depressed, it just works.

People are able to keep themselves occupied with very few activities, the ones that seem to have the most problems with depression are those that are all over the place doing everything.

I’ve heard people complain about going on vacation because it’s to a spot they’ve already been before, meanwhile they’re surrounded by a ton of people that never go on any vacations and are happy and not bored.

It’s not the activity or the location that determines your state of mind, it’s your state of mind that determines whether or not you’re going to be happy or bored. If you view everything in a negative light and don’t appreciate the little things, you’re going to experience mental boredom, aka depression.

Just to think that 200+ years ago depression and unhappiness was a term reserved for the enslaved or people being compelled against their will, now it’s something used in common language to simply explain that you don’t “feel” like doing anything.

It’s only getting worse as time goes on and we are able to travel further and do more and more things through electronics. More people are becoming bored and unhappy at an alarming rate. People start to feel as if they are missing out on something and everyone is always looking outside of themselves to fulfill their quest for happiness.

kids before electronics

Go for a drive in the country, get out of your car, leave all your electronics behind and walk for a mile out into the middle of the woods. When you get there, take a look around; what you see is almost all people had 200+ years ago when the words unhappy and bored barely existed.

If these people were able to be content with their life and keep themselves occupied, then what excuses do we have?

Compared to them, we have everything available to us right now, but you see that statement is actually just a misleading paradigm.

Back then they had everything they needed and today we pretend we need things we don’t. Back then they had it all and today we have nothing because the difference between the two is that they were self reliant and emotionally stable people while people today are psychotic and insane by comparison.

In this paradigm we actually have less and less as technology advances because we have less and less of ourselves and more and more things we don’t need to keep us occupied which makes us less self reliant.

Even 30 years ago people were lucky if they had any gaming system or a TV in their house. They fished, played kick the can, rode their bikes, and enjoyed life. If you tell an 8 year old to do what they did 30 years ago they’d have a panic attack, but that’s what really needs to be done.

Send your kids outside with nothing into the middle of nowhere, make them learn to be happy on their own with nothing. Let them gain some appreciation for things we have, remember they don’t remember another time. Kids these days take everything for granted. Kids 30 years ago were happier and grew up with more appreciation when all they had for excitement was to take a stick and dig a hole.

The age of technology has created a lazy generation of dependency and unhappiness. The only thing we have accomplished is reducing our physical activity and health which has led to a generation sicker than any other in history.

Having a spouse or significant other that reverts to a bored state of depression can be extremely hard on a relationship. In a relationship, the other person always wants to do what they can to help the other person find themselves and be happy but at some point you have to draw the line.

If you make yourself responsible for their boredom or unhappiness you’re setting your relationship up for failure and will probably fall into the same state of mind as they are.

severe boredom meme

It can be extremely stressful and frustrating to solve their depression by offering suggestions and trying to help them through it. Most of the time they will be short and rude toward you while offering suggestions and make comments that indicate that you’re somehow at fault for their state of mind because you failed to setup a proper agenda and activity level for them.

This is bullshit, don’t take responsibility for their faults.

You have to separate it and realize that their boredom is their problem not yours. If they wanted to do stuff they would plan it, schedule it, and invite you or at least discuss things with you before they became “bored”.

The reason why there is nothing planned and you are blindsided by their boredom attack is because it’s a form of depression, a psychological disorder, that can be brought on very quickly just by their thoughts.

Again, there is nothing you can do for them, if you jump to action and try to please them it won’t cure or solve their problem. They’ll expect you to rescue them again but the more troubling thing is that they will never be satisfied. You do one thing for them that was a huge sacrifice for you and it can be the very next day when they are at your throats or causing you stress again because they are bored.

You must understand what boredom really is and what it really means, it’s the only chance you have of eliminating it from your life.

14 thoughts on “Boredom is Actually a Form of Depression”

  1. Whoever wrote this, this is the most infuriating piece of garbage. As someone who suffers from depression and lives in a tiny town with no attractions besides bars, I am not doing this to myself. I do not have the money to move or drive elsewhere for activities. And I’m not one to sit in front of the tv, and even reading books becomes boring after days on end.

    1. You are exactly who he is talking about. And OMG, I thought you were me for a second until I remembered that I did not write what you said. There are so many things I could do but mostly, I just want a house of my own, a pitbull, and a warm beach with some sunshine. I am making all these things my goal. Planning can help you get out of a funk.

  2. The author of this article has obviously never had depression once in their life, nor have they ever cared to understand someone who has.

  3. People will read this and they won’t like it. But i’ve never read anything closer to the truth. I’m one of those people who is constantly bored and never feels like doing anything and this article describes me perfectly. Other people will rubbish it, because they’re in denial. But you are absolutely spot on. This generation has an expectation level that can never truly be met. We get caught in a trap of repetitive tasks and complain how bored we are, while being too afraid to leave the little bubble that we’ve trapped ourselves in. There’s alternative things to do. Old things have become new things again and need to be rediscovered.

    1. Fraser, I completely agree with you, this was written about me too. Let’s face it, we were looking for help when we typed in our problem. Sometimes we need a kick in the seat so that we realize that if we don’t make the choice to change, we could bring others down or we could be left all alone (we do not want that).

  4. If depression and boredom and the cure for it could be explained and fixed this easily, why is everyone still bored and depressed?

  5. Modern psychiatry still seems to want to paint everyone with the same brush when it comes to depression. The field of psychiatry will probably always be more nonsense than fact.

  6. It’s not so much about being in deniel or needing tough love. Depression is more complicated than making somebody get out of bed and get sunlight. My friend, spouse, or other family member is so depressed they can’t even move, I should just ignore them for bringing me down? That is horrible advice. I mean no one ever killed themselves over that. People weren’t happier a long timeago. Things like mental illness was frowned on. Even in today’s society people with serious depression are told to just shake it off, that they are crazy, or pray the negative feelings away. Basically, you’re talking about a time period were people kept their mentally challenged kids locked away out of embarrassment.

    I’ve worked with people who are 60+ and lot of them have told me they had depression before, especially when they were younger, and all they could do was put on a happy face and suffer in silence. This author is obviously just one of those people who blames the new society on their own problems. “Kids these days are so lazy. That’s why this has happened,” or “Millenials are screwing this country up.”

    Society changes and so does the problems and obstacles that come with it. In 50 more years, this generation will be complaining about how easy we had it and so on. Even the parents of kids who grew up with Elvis gasped as he gyrated into their kids’ hearts.

    My take away is if you have been relatively happy with your life and don’t show signs of major depression than maybe you have just hit a rut and need to make a few changes and try something new. However, if you feel like you are depressed and don’t enjoy the things you use to, I suggest seeking help from a friend who want brush you off, like this author would, or a professional. Don’t let somebody guilt trip you about your legimate feelings/problems, but also don’t let that be your excuse about getting help, if needed.

  7. Well I was bored until I read this well what I consider bored. it is true if nothing changes nothing changes

  8. Interesting article but I disagree. Boredom is not a choice. Depression is not a choice. But I agree on the point that boredom can be a form of depression.
    Actually when I don’t have internet nor the energy to go out, I feel bored. When I was younger and was in school I was bored. I guess it’s the same for most people who can’t go out nor communicate to people they share enough interests with, for example people who are in prison, in psychiatric hospitals, or even people who are stuck at home because of depression/social phobia/whatever.
    Also I think that sometimes depression can be useful. When my life is too much hard to live, I have a long period of depression when it is useful to me not to do anything until I regain my energy.
    Also not doing anything and feeling bored is not the same. It is frequent to just feel like wanting to rest in your bed inventing stories to yourself. It is not necessarily depression. When in depression sometimes I make myself feeling worst and worst by thinking of bad things, but I can’t do anything to change that.
    Also when I’m bored actually I want to do something but don’t know what and it is painful. Sometimes it is so painful that it makes me think about suicide, and in that case it’s generally correlated to a period of severe depression.

  9. When I was a kid this often happened to me and I was always hurt by the responses I got…ie: go play with something or somebody, stop feeling sorry for yourself etc. The subtle or not so subtle suggestion that I was bad for feeling bad, just never helped. It did make me understand that telling the truth was usually a bad thing and that it didn’t matter how I felt, I had to learn to say only what was expected to be respected.
    And in adulthood I go through this too. The lack of focus turns into helplessness and then depression and it can really pack a wallop.
    Here’s the problem: Our lives are too often just bloody absurd and pointless. Kids and all of us need meaningful connection and instead they and we are given (at best) diversion and sooner or later the scam shows itself. For adults the same problems they had as kids can hit much deeper and it can be that much harder to psych oneself out of it. Feeling aimless is not self pity. It is nothng to be ashamed of. It is a recognition that out lives are all too often just really empty and/or mindless, and that includes our (mostly) exploitive and idiotic and underpaid jobs and our makeplay pasttimes and our countless attempts to escape and break out of the routine only to find the new “solutions” just as demeaning and cut-off as the stuff we broke out of.
    Depression in general is just the end result of countless moments like this, when we finally get the message that we ourselves absolutely do not matter in the grand (and often smaller) scheme of things.
    People are more than trained monkeys but in this modern life we’re always supposed so grateful for any seemingly “healthy” or “gainful” occupation or activity, no matter how irrelevent to what our soul really craves, which is significance and purpose, and not just to oneself but to others and the world around us. How many of us really get to do that? How hurtful is it to see certain others engaging in what looks like fulfilling activity, only to find out it wasn’t really like that for them? Then we have to feel even more ashamed that we even looked around at the lives of others in comparison. What to do next is to pretend and feign satisfaction in some contrived experience to hide the shame and panic. But that only leads to a vicious circle and forestalls the inevitable truth, and that is that our lives in general are really artificial and often pointless, and most of have satisfactorily adapted and we are amiss for not having satisfactorily adapted. So we get depressed and no amount of “happy pills” or “self-help” or “therapy” will cure this cultural disease. The solution is a radical makeover of society itself from the inside out. Something has been stolen from all of us as a culture and it desperately need to be restored. What did you think I would say if you read my piece this far? How many other endemic social problems could find their solution in just that one insight? I know I won’t make any friends by saying any of this and I don’t care. The most eloquent social critics today don’t get much serious press, because they aren’t supposed to be really heard. Society needs a radical restructuring from the inside out so people have a reason to be here. Right now most of us are redundant and superfluous. It is really that ghastly and children complaining that there’s nothing to do are saying the truth. So am I.

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