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Depression is many things.  It is the feeling of hopeless when you wake in the morning, it is the pressure that never seems to leave your chest.  Although many of us suffer from it, we struggle to talk about it.  There are symptoms of depression that are obvious and others that are subtler or hard to explain.  Depression can be described using it’s own letters as an acronym.  Each letter represents the unique and lonely experience that one may have if they are struggling with depression.

D: Dark

Depression can feel very dark.  Some people describe depression as a shadow that never leaves.   Others describe it as feeling as though they will never feel the sun or light of day again.   The world may feel grey and tinted.


E: Exhausted

Exhaustion is one of the subtler symptoms of depression.  The exhaustion ranges from feeling as though one never gets enough sleep, to being unable to get out of bed.   The exhaustion contributes to brain fog, feeling like you are walking through water, lethargy, and difficulty engaging in activities.

P: Painful

Living life in a dark place can be agony.  It is possible to feel both emotional and physical pain when struggling with depression.  Depression can contribute to headaches, body, and chest pain, as well as a deep sense of hopelessness.


R: Relationships

When someone is depressed, it is very difficult for to connect with others.  When the world feels like a fog, hanging out or reaching out to people can feel exhausting.  On the other hand, some people will still communicate with others but keep them at an emotional distance.

E: Emotional

Feelings often fluctuate when someone is experiencing depression. Sometimes depression shows up as irritation, anger, and frustration.  Other times it looks like sadness, and emptiness.  Sometimes the difficult emotions impact a person to the point where they consider hurting themselves.

S: Sadness

The most well known symptom of depression is sadness.  For some people, the sadness is more obvious, while for others it is not.

S: Silent

Depression is often silent.  People who suffer from depression may wear a ‘mask’ to protect themselves.  They may seem happy to their friends and family, but be struggling on the inside.  There is also a stigma associated with depression, which makes it difficult to talk about.  Individuals struggling with depression may also feel like they might be a burden to others, so they hesitate to talk about their problems.

I: Isolated

Often times individuals struggling with depression isolate themselves from others.  Whether it be physically or emotionally (or both), depression is described as being a lonely struggle.

O: Overwhelmed

Being consistently overwhelmed and stressed out are other symptoms associated with depression.  Even simple tasks may feel overwhelming and difficult to do.

N: Numb

Many individuals describe a persistent feeling of being numb or empty.  They often stop doing regular hobbies or activities and keep to themselves.   Things that used to make them feel happy are now emotionally tasteless.


Depression is highly treatable through the use of therapy and medication.  It can be difficult to ask for help, but there is a way through the darkness.   Therapists can help provide a safe and supportive environment for you to explore your concerns, discover your strengths, and to build resiliency in yourself.  You do not have to suffer alone- recovery is an option!




If any of these symptoms resonate with you, check out our Depression Symptom Checker and see if you may be suffering from depression*

Kylie Chaffin, Licensed Mental Health Counselor.








*information from this blog is not intended to treat, diagnose, or substitute as therapy.  If you have concerns regarding your mental health, please seek out treatment from a trained professional.