Depression and the Passage of Time

2015-0308 Depression and Time

A recent study found time seems to pass slowly, or even stand still, when a person suffers from depression. Psychologists say people with depression experience time differently from those without symptoms of depression. Although depressed people are able to accurately judge a duration of time, such as five minutes, they have a subjective feeling that the time is passing more slowly, researchers found.

Researchers explained people without depression tend to perceive time based on subjective criteria pertaining to a specific situation. For example, time might drag on if a person is waiting for something, or seem to speed up if an important deadline is fast approaching. In this study, researchers found depressed people tend to perceive a given length of time passes more slowly than for someone without depression.

According to the World Health Organisation, 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression worldwide. Furthermore, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.


Thanks to Madlen Davies for writing the article; MailOnline for committing its resources to the article; Bing for helping me find the article; and all the other people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text I used in this post.


  1. Scott, being aware of why one is late is important. Keeping track of when latenesses occurs can offer insight into individual problem areas. I recommend a book, introduced to me by a professional in the field of rehabilitation, “Time Management from the Inside Out” by Julie Morgenstern. I also recommend a cell phone application called, “Manage my Fatigue.” Both resources help tailor strategies to combat time-related problems.

  2. Scott-

    After rereading the article I realized my answer was in no way associated with what I read.

    I would like to correct my previous response with:

    That could explain my tardiness.


    1. Esther, there are many reasons why tardiness occurs. People who are tardy are not necessarily depressed. Tardiness might be caused by lack of time, overcommitting, lack of interest, insufficient planning, poor scheduling, unrealistic estimates, and possibly other factors. ~ Scott

  3. Scott–

    According to statistics, I fall into the group labeled “most likely, to have depression,also known as “anger without enthusiasm”; and I have major issues with time.

    Depression can be unremitting thats why combat strategies must also be consistent and unrelenting.

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