10 Ways Depression Will Change You

by Jerry Kennard, Ph.D. Medical Reviewer

Like any chronic illness, depression can be life-altering. You may no longer feel like yourself. Your personality shifts. You start withdrawing from close friends and family. You stop doing the things you once enjoyed. You might even start to dress differently. It's important to recognize the symptoms of depression. Here are some of the ways in which depression changes a person.

Indifference: Things that used to matter or were once felt to be important fade into the background. You lose enthusiasm and interest.

Energy Loss: It’s very common to feel you’ve done a full day of heavy labor when in fact the day hasn’t even begun. Energy loss and fatigue are common symptoms of depression.

Enjoyment bypass: For some reason things don’t smell or taste as good as they once used to. Your senses lose their edge and the pleasures once enjoyed diminish.

Guilt: The most human of errors are judged disproportionately. Minor mistakes or indiscretions, even distant memories, may be thought of with shame or guilt.

Tears or Torpor: Some people with depression feel great despondency and sadness and cry a great deal. Others go emotionally flat. They feel flat and hollow inside as though their emotions have been drained.

Aches and Pains: There is often an increase in physical symptoms when people become depressed. They may complain of back pain, headaches or stomach upsets or just a vague sense of feeling generally unwell.

Hopelessness: When people are depressed the world and their future in it seems an altogether bleak prospect. There’s often a sense that no matter what you say or do nothing will ever change except perhaps for the worse.

Anxiety: When depression strikes it is invariably accompanied by worry and anxiety and, not uncommonly, one or more stressful experiences is the culprit. The way we respond and adapt to stressful situations can have an important bearing on our vulnerability to depression.

Moodiness: Irritability and general moodiness are common ingredients in the depression mix. You may find yourself becoming impatient, tetchy, argumentative and intolerant.

Sensitivity: People with depression are on high alert for anything that fuels their vulnerabilities. Implied or direct criticism or rejection aren’t received well and reinforce a state of worthlessness and hopelessness.

Jerry Kennard, Ph.D.
Meet Our Writer
Jerry Kennard, Ph.D.

Jerry Kennard, Ph.D., is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Jerry’s work background is in mental health and, most recently, higher education. He is the author of various self-help books and is co-founder of positivityguides.net.