It's not uncommon for people to confuse laziness with depression. However, while it may be tempting to label someone who spends all day in bed as lazy, the “Spoon” theory suggests that this behavior could actually be a sign of depression rather than laziness.
In a now-viral video, TikToker Ben Carpenter shares his own experience of being called "disgusting" for not being able to shower due to his depression.
"I never assume that you are lazy," Ben starts the video by stating.
In explaining his belief that nobody should be quick to call someone “lazy,” he introduces the “Spoon” theory, a popular analogy that originated as a way of describing life with chronic illness.
The idea of this theory is a person has a certain daily amount of energy represented by a certain number of spoons.
“Consider these spoons as your energy for the day, when you choose to do a big task, it costs you a spoon,” he explains, noting that bigger tasks like a brutal day at work would cost you more spoons.
Ben says that people are the ones who choose how to spend their available spoons, whether it be on things like socializing, making dinner, looking after their kids, or any other tasks.
However, someone with a chronic illness cannot allocate their spoons in the same way because the tasks that may seem simple to others can be incredibly difficult for them.
They may not even have enough spoons to get out of bed in the morning, shower, get dressed, make breakfast, drive to work, or complete a full day of work.
Ben explains, “Someone with really bad depression might feel like they've used all their spoons just getting out of bed in the morning.”
Drawing from personal experience, he sheds light on the reality of living with chronic depression. At his lowest, Ben didn't even have the energy to shower more than once a week and was unable to work or cook for himself. All he could do was lie down all day, every day.
@bdccarpenter Spoon theory originated as a way to describe life with a chronic illness, but then evolved to describing mental health conditions. I think it can actually teach people about energy, mental bandwidth and the misunderstanding of “laziness” #spoon #spoonie #spoontheory #health #mentalhealth #illness #chronicillness #disease #chronicdisease #fitness #fit #fittok #gym #gymtok #workout #personaltrainer #lazy #laziness #exercise #fyp #fypシ ♬ original sound - Ben Carpenter
“I remember a family member judging me because I only showered once per week because that's disgusting. and they thought I was being lazy. but I wasn't being lazy,” he recounts.
“I woke up every single day feeling like I barely owned one f...king spoon. and that one spoon was being used in its entirety. just trying to keep myself alive.”
Continuing on, he shares that although this analogy was originally used to describe chronic illness, it still holds an important lesson for those who mistake laziness for depression.
Personal trainers, for example, may accuse their clients of being lazy when they struggle to make it to the gym. However, there could be underlying factors that the trainers are not aware of, such as depression, physical health conditions, exhaustion, or lack of mental bandwidth.
Ben then wraps up his point, “Almost ironically, I think jumping to conclusions and assuming you are lazy every time you struggle with something is an intellectually lazy way of judging your circumstances.”
- 25 Popular Things Women Wear That Men Secretly Hate
- 33 Dirty Company Secrets Revealed By Employees That We Are Not Supposed To Know
Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.