When we think of depression, what comes to mind? Sadness? Hopelessness? Although sadness and
hopelessness play a role in depression, there are many other symptoms of depression. In learning about
how depression is expressed, we can then learn how to manage depression, not only for ourselves but
for others.
Depression has many faces. When a person is feeling depressed, this can often be expressed through
fatigue, loss of energy and sleep and appetite disturbance. These are subtle but important cues for
depression. Depression can also impact a person’s emotional expression, where they may not only
experience feelings of sadness but also irritability. These behaviors and emotions are important to be
aware of because they can be indicative of signs of depression.
Socialization, or lack thereof, is also impacted by depression. Have you ever had a friend who started
excusing themselves early from parties, appeared disengaged during social gatherings or have recently
been making excuses for not being able to attend a social event? Sometimes, these isolative behaviors
can be signs of depression. People suffering from depression often experience a lack of pleasure from
previously enjoyed activities, which can result in isolating behaviors. If you or your friend are exhibiting
some of these behaviors, they may be experiencing depression.
What can I do? When we feel depressed, being able to emerge from it can feel hopeless, at times. This
can lead to feeling adrift in an abyss of negative emotions. Therapy can be a life raft, providing the
necessary help and support. This is done by working with a therapist to address and manage your
symptoms. In learning about how you express your depression, you can then start to take steps to
manage your symptoms. Lastly, therapy helps a person to develop adaptive coping strategies so to
enable a person to take back control in their lives.

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