Difference between Boredom and Depression

Key Difference: Boredom and depression are simply two different things. Boredom is a state when people get disinterested with the continuous work or activity. Whereas, depression is defined as a state of low mood and aversion to activity.

Boredom and depression are two different medical conditions that a person can deal with. However, they appear the same in an adult; and so boredom becomes confused with depression.

Boredom is a state when a person is not at all in a mood of doing any activity. The idiom ‘boredom’ was first expressed in 1852, in the novel 'Bleak House' by Charles Dickens. The term was mainly derived from the French word ‘ennui'.

Boredom is a lack of interest, a lack of feeling, and a lack of connection towards life and people. Boredom is an emotional state when a person has control on his thinking, but his mind does not allow his body to respond. This state of boredom is like an emotional oxymoron. The type of endless boredom happens more to men and people with brain injuries and certain psychotic disorders. For drug addicts, fighting boredom can predict their success in kicking their habit as well. The biggest thing is to keep watching the symptoms of the person who is bored, in order to see whether he is just bored or depressed? That means, if a person is bored and his mood changes after sometime, it is boredom; but if the boredom extends for a longer period of time, then it will be known as depression.

Depression is a state when a person is of low mood and aversion to activity. This is usually caused by a biochemical imbalance in the brain, which hampers the nerve cells’ ability to communicate with each other. These cells communicate using chemicals called neurotransmitters, some of which help maintain moods.  If there is a deficiency in these chemicals, the person can experience depression.

Depression could be of a shorter period of time, or it can get worse. One might even need to take medication to correct the imbalance. Symptoms of depression include low energy, a loss of interest in normal activities, change in appetite, weight gain or weight loss, excessive sleep, insomnia, and the loss of ability to concentrate. Continued stress can also bring on depression. Depression can have some severe consequences, such as an impact on personal relationships, job performance, and can cause physical deterioration through lack of care.

Comparison between Boredom and Depression:





Boredom is a state of disinterest. Boredom is a lack of interest, a lack of feeling, and a lack of connection towards life and people.

Depression is a state when a person is of low mood and aversion to activity.

Origin of the Word

French word ‘ennui’

Latin word ‘deprimere’, meaning ‘press down’.

Signs / Symtpoms

  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow processing
  • Inability to think continuously for more than a few seconds
  • Reduced blinking speed
  • Inability to move
  • Unwillingness to change the song or put a new one
  • Incapable of plugging out the ear phones
  • Irritable when being spoken to
  • Excessive staring at anything
  • Day dreaming
  • ‘Closed mouth’ yawning
  • Overtly comfortable while seated
  • Low energy
  • A loss of interest in normal activities
  • Change in appetite
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Excessive sleep
  • Insomnia
  • The loss of ability to concentrate
  • Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty


There can be various, due to which boredom is caused. A major cause of boredom is lack of variety.

Depression is caused by a number of factors in a person’s life. Some known causes include abuse, certain medications, conflict, death or a loss, genetics, major changes, personal problems, serious illnesses and substance abuse.


  • Indifferent – appear relaxed, calm and withdrawn
  • Apathetic – helplessness; they show little arousal and a lot of aversion
  • Calibrating – their thoughts wander
  • Reactant – negative emotions
  • Searching – experiencing negative feeling disagreeable restlessness
  • Clinical depression
  • Chronic depression
  • Atypical Depression
  • Bipolar Depression (Manic Depression)
  • Seasonal Depression (SAD)
  • Psychotic Depression

Overcome / Cure

  • Listen to your favorite music and/or dance
  • Get a part-time job if you are free for longer period of time
  • Learn something new in your life
  • Find Something to Do
  • Avoid day-dreaming
  • Play a game
  • Write a list on any subject
  • Write a letter, story, poem, or anything of your interest
  • Take a long drive
  • Depending on the worseness of the depression, it can be treated through medicine, therapy and various other measures.

Image Courtesy: neuropsy.it, rebellesociety.com

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