Approximately 16.1 million American adults have experienced at least one major depressive episode at some point over the last year, a struggle that impacts every area of your life.

Presenting itself in a variety of different ways, from the masked internal struggle of high-functioning depression, appearing as though everything is fine on the outside, to losing all motivation to even get out of bed – it is hard to truly put your thumb on what it’s like to live with depression as it is such an individual experience.

The term ‘depression’ refers to more than just feeling sad or ‘off’ for a short period of time, or specifically in response to an upsetting situation. This is an ongoing battle that may not even provide an identifiable trigger, a battle of the mind. Symptoms of depression last most of if not all day, for a minimum of two consecutive weeks. It can isolate you from friends and family, negatively impact your career and rob you of the true joy that life brings.

If you are currently battling depression you may find yourself feeling isolated and alone, as if no one else in the world truly understands. This is further perpetuated by society’s belief that all depression looks the same. If you don’t fit into the accepted description, many are left wondering whether they are really battling something serious at all, or if it’s just a situation they have made up in their own mind.

The way that you experience depression is largely dependent on your personality traits and the way that you experience the world. By applying this concept to the zodiac signs, you can paint a fairly clear, and surprisingly accurate, picture of how each sign will manifest this experience. Why is this important? By developing a more specific understanding of how depression will impact your life directly you can learn to identify your triggers and early warning signs, empowering you to better manage your mental health.

This is the reality of depression, according to your zodiac sign:

Aries (Mar 21 – Apr 19)

While you don’t generally show your depression outwardly, determined that you can ‘handle it’ on your own, depression for an Aries is all about your relationships and connections with others. You may try to come across as a strong, independent individual but you crave social interaction. Your depression is often triggered by feelings of loneliness, isolation or being ignored by the people around you. You, in turn, respond by pulling away from others sending yourself further into the pit of isolation.

Taurus (Apr 20 – May 20)

You are a hard and dedicated worker, and genuinely find your happiness from being productive and accomplishing the things that you set your mind to. This is important to understand as it is the absence of productivity, aka boredom, that will send you spiraling. When you aren’t productive the negative thoughts set in, eroding at your self-confidence by making you feel as though you lack a purpose or meaning to your life.

Gemini (May 21 – Jun 20)

One thing is certain, regardless of where you are at in your roller coaster of emotions, you are going to appear like you are doing okay to everyone around you. You refuse to allow yourself to be anything but the life of the party and will go to great extremes to keep up appearances. However, if your depression is settling in, there’s an emptiness behind your eyes, robbing you of the joy that you once felt in social gatherings. You keep yourself moving and busy so as to push the emptiness from your mind as long as possible, but when you come home at the end of the day it all comes crashing down.

Cancer (Jun 21 – Jul 22)

You are an incredibly sensitive and emotionally driven individual, and for this reason, when your emotions are ‘off’ there is no hiding it from the world. You wear your emotions for the world to see, and your depression is no exception. Not only do you battle mood swings and tears (okay, the tears aren’t anything new in your world, you cry easily when you’re doing well), but you also start to let your personal hygiene fall to the wayside. You may go days without showering, wearing ‘comfy’ dress-down clothing and skipping the makeup or more time-consuming hairstyles.

Leo (Jul 23 – Aug 22)

As a complete control freak, the concept of losing control of your own mind and thoughts scares you far more than any of the other zodiac signs. This often leads you into a state of complete denial, quickly putting up even bigger and stronger barriers to keep others from recognizing what’s happening in your world. You find yourself feeling overwhelmed, and while you will fight to keep going, eventually you will reach your breaking point, and everything will come crashing down.

Virgo (Aug 23 – Sept 22)

As a perfectionist, you like to think that you have everything in your life figured out at all times. However, if something doesn’t quite work out according to plan, or an unexpected situation hits, this can throw you into a total downward spiral. Not only will you struggle with the situation at hand, but you will find yourself second guessing every thought, action, and decision in your life. This toxic and pessimistic way of thinking will leave you frozen, unable to bring yourself to make any choices out of fear that you are only going to make things worse.

Libra (Sept 23 – Oct 22)

You work hard to bring peace and harmony to everyone around you, but there is going to come a time that your efforts just aren’t enough. The very idea of failure will send you into a dark place, filling your mind with toxic, negative thoughts that question whether there really is such thing as harmony, or if it’s just you that’s not ‘good enough’ to make it happen. At this point you will pull away from everyone around you, feeling as though you will bring nothing but darkness and bad luck into their lives. This will leave you alone at the very moment you need to lean on others most.

Scorpio (Oct 23 – Nov 21)

You are already an anxious person, driven by your intense passion. This is the reason that you come across as secretive and mysterious, as you so carefully protect your private life from the outside world. Should a situation arise that heightens this fear you quickly become swept up in it, your anxiety coupling with the feelings of depression to send you into an incredibly dark place. It’s not going to be easy to pull out, especially given the fact you are secretive about what you are dealing with at any time in your life.

Sagittarius (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

Your friends are an incredibly important part of your life, the source of the very positive energy that keeps you moving. Your depression will first manifest as an indifference to getting out and actually doing anything which is incredibly out of character for you. After all, your life revolves around adventure and new experiences. As it takes hold, you will pull away from your friends and family, however, this isn’t how it’s going to appear to you. Blind to your own actions, you will believe that your friends are no longer interested in being part of your life, leaving you feeling alone in the world, the worst possible feeling for a Sagittarius.

Capricorn (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

Your depression is slowly going to move into your life, sapping you of all energy. You will struggle with feelings of exhaustion – physically, mentally and emotionally – an exhaustion that no amount of sleep can fix. Once one of the most productive and driven signs, you no longer have the motivation to do anything. You may even find yourself living the stereotypical life of a depressed individual, staying in bed all day with no desire to face the world. The only way to break free is to push yourself to get up and actually do something.

Aquarius (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

While the initial feelings of depression won’t hit you too hard, feeling like nothing more than a slight sadness or discouragement, these negative feelings will continue to grow and take over your mind. Eventually, there will come a moment when you are forced to acknowledge what is happening and the idea that you no longer control your mind and your own thoughts will leave you feeling so weak that you will plummet head first into a dark, toxic pit. Failing to see your strengths, as you will much of the time, will only leave you suffering in this position longer.

Pisces (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

The first sign of depression will be easily managed in your world as you will simply escape into your own dream world, head in the clouds and free from the harsh reality around you. This darkness will slowly spread, making it increasingly difficult to ignore and escape until such time that you are surrounded. This realization is going to hit hard, and you will immediately retreat to the privacy of your home, isolating yourself from everyone in your life. You need your friends and family if you are going to pull yourself free from the darkness.

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