Is always staying busy a sign of depression? (7 signs of depression) 

This blog post will answer the question , “ Is always staying busy a sign of depression ? and why is it a negative coping mechanism and also cover topics like what research says about relation between keeping busy and having depression and also will discuss ways to positively cope with it.

Is always staying busy a sign of depression ? (7 signs)

Yes , staying busy is a sign of depression because we all live in a very busy world , which demands a lot from us in return . We are expected to excel in our work , relationships and in every domain of our life. 

But we usually don’t understand when we start to prioritise work over everything and when we start overworking to avoid our emotions which in the long run becomes a defence mechanism to suppress our feelings . Because staying busy feels much better than facing what’s going on in our life.

1.You feel exhausted all the time 

There’s just so much we can do. People have limits and assuming we press those limits our body will begin to tell us.

2.Start avoiding everyone 

Meeting people and spending time with them feels very uneasy and difficult for you .


3.Always thinking about work 

You always try to add and pile work and always overthink about it to avoid anything else that comes to mind.

4.People always point on how busy you are 

Your friends ,   family always complain to you about how busy you are, how you are always working , not giving attention to anything else . This could mean something .

5.You never take a day off 

Even Sundays are always occupied for you . You never like to take a day off from your work , not even when you are sick . This is avery negative sign.

6.Your relationship with your family is not good 

 As you always keep yourselves , always on your phone , laptop . your relationship with your family is getting worse day by day and you can’t do anything .

7.Slowing Down is very difficult for you 

You can’t organize things , make decisions , or just take things easy . You always occupy yourself with something or other .

Let us understand first what depression is in brief –.

According to APA “Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act”. 

Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home . 

Symptoms of Depression 

  • Loss of appetite
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Difficulty thinking and concentrating
  • Feeling of  worthlessness and guilty for everything 
  • Doesn’t feel like doing basic things .
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Loss of energy
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping 

Why is “always being busy” a bad coping strategy?

I wanted to figure out why I was so busy, but I couldn’t find the time to do it.” – Todd Stocker

The art of remaining occupied constantly seems as though difficult work, isn’t that right? In truth, many individuals utilize the reason of ‘busyness” as a way of dealing with stress and to try not to manage their sentiments. 

This could transform into a fixation that can make it more hard than help your life and wellbeing and slowly lead to affecting your mental health .

When someone always tries to keep themselves busy , they are running from a lot of things in their life , it can be related to family , close relationships or loss of a loved one . 

Staying busy can help in many ways but in the long run if it is not balanced then it might lead to many mental health disorders such as severe stress , anxiety and major depression and to severe burn out .

3 signs you are addicted to  being ‘busy’ and its related to emptiness and depression 

1.You Feel guilty when doing nothing 

 If we are relaxing doing nothing we feel shame guilt and start overthinking about our life issues and constant feel empty . To avoid this we keep ourselves busy all the time.

2.Facing the truth  

When we keep ourselves busy , we don’t have to face the reality of life , our problems , our fears . By always staying busy we tend to avoid our feelings and avoid acting on our problems which can lead to suppressed feelings and can cause depression.

3.Avoiding negative emotions

Being always busy helps us to avoid our most difficult emotions. A few of us use being occupied as a method for staying away from troublesome feelings,” Ms Bloch said. “At the point when our brain isn’t busy with a task, work we are left with our contemplations and our feelings.

What does Research say ?

Various scientific studies show that there is a relation between keeping yourself busy and a sign of depression .

Study conducted on male and depression .

A study done by Warren states that men use external coping mechanisms usually negatively as they don’t share anything with others .

The thesis is presented with supporting evidence that men are intolerant of depression because the experience of depression is incompatible with the male sex role and masculine socialization. Psychotherapy is recommended .

Study conducted on Rape Victims

A study done by Frazier and brunet states that Rape Victims uses keeping themselves busy occupied and suppressing their thoughts for coping with their distress . Staying home and withdrawing from the outside world were the most used coping mechanisms by them . 

Study conducted in Workplace 

A study conducted by Bonnie and Jennifer states that in the workplace men are expected to be always ‘busy’ to show their dedication for their work and company . 

They conducted a research to see if always being busy is related to serious mental health issues . 

The final study shows that workplace expectations for busyness are abundant and it can lead to severe anxiety , depression and clinical stress .

Time Pressure and Mental Health 

A study conducted by susane rozburgh examine the association between subjective time pressure and depression and consider whether time pressure mediates the relationship between roles and depression, whether social and economic resources moderate the association between time pressure and depression, and whether time pressure explains gender differences in depression. 

Results of a telephone survey  indicate that time pressure is significantly associated with distress for men and women, and that subjective time pressure accounts for the significantly higher depression of employed women. 

In spite of the ubiquity of time pressure in the North American context, the depressing consequences of this subjective experience are not distributed equitably, suggesting that the capacity to manage time pressure and avoid depression may be another benefit associated with strategically advantageous social locations.

Instead of ” Keeping oneself Busy,” here are 5 better methods to cope with depression.

  1. Don’t Avoid your emotions , face it 

Challenge your negative emotions , it will take time but once you start doing it you will realise its benefits .start Doing positive self talk everyday . 

  1. Have a work life balance  

Spend time with your family and loved ones . Go outings , play games , cook with your family and spend every day some hours with them .

  1. Good Diet and Exercise is the key 

What we put inside our body is directly related to how we feel about ourselves . For keeping your mind and body healthy a good diet and food is very necessary to maintain .

  1. Talk it out 

It will be very difficult in the beginning , but try to take small steps to express your feelings to someone you are close to .

  1. Proper sleep hygiene

 Have a good amount of at least 6-8 hours of sleep . Lack of sleep leads to severe stress and leads to bad coping mechanisms . 

Yoga and Meditation also plays a great role in helping cope with depression and other health problems . This ancient Indian act of exercise, breathing, and meditation has been around for around 5,000 years, and presently specialists are discovering the reason why millions of  Americans practice yoga to ease depression, anxiety, and stress. Indeed, the American Yoga Association says only a couple of moments of yoga 3 times consistently can adjust your body and mind and get your depression. on the run.


This blog post answered the question ‘ Is always staying busy a sign of depression ?’ We understand that if one is trying to be too busy , he/she is avoiding the real situation and suppressing their feelings which can lead to mental health issues such as depression .

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs): Is always staying busy a sign of depression

Does keeping busy help with Mental Health ?

Studies show that Keeping yourself busy can help with overall mental health and help you stay from anxiety , depression . But overdoing it leads to extreme mental health issues , as some people keep themselves extremely busy to suppress their emotions , and avoid real life situations .

Is staying busy a coping mechanism ?

Keeping yourself occupied can help you to stay away from stress and anxiety but when bysyness takes over all our time and we stop enjoying and giving time to family friends , it becomes a negative coping mechanism .

Can you be addicted to being busy all the time ?

Yes , being all time can be an addiction . People think being busy is something to be proud of . But it’s very negative and addictive .

Can being too busy make you sick ?

Yes , if someone keep themselves  too occupied with work  it directly  affects their physical health as well mental health . Beacause we dont keep track record of our sleep or eating habits and lots of stress leads to poor health .

Why do I feel constantly need to be busy ?

People usually keep themselves busy when they are trying to avoid something they dont want to face. It can be related to family issues , relationship issues , or been through a traumatic event , loss of a loved one etc.


Roxburgh, S. (2004). “There Just Aren’t Enough Hours in the Day’: The Mental Health Consequences of Time Pressure. Journal of health and social behavior, 45(2), 115-131.

Warren, L. W. (1983). Male intolerance of depression: A review with implications for psychotherapy. Clinical Psychology Review, 3(2), 147-156.

Lashewicz, B., Mitchell, J., Boettcher, N., Jones, E., & Wang, J. (2020). You better be as stressed as I am: Working men’s mental health amidst workplace expectations for busyness. Work, (Preprint), 1-12.

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), Fifth edition. 2013.

National Institute of Mental Health. (Data from 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.)