The body language of depression

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Body language can tell emotional states

Can body language show that someone is depressed?
The short answer is yes.

Body language can tell you a lot about the emotional state the person is in during a specific moment. Because depression is a powerful mood disorder it affects all aspects of a person's life including their own body language.

In this article i will tell you about the body language signs that show that someone is depressed. Note that the more depressed the person is the more obvious those signs will be.

The body language of depression

  • 1) Moving slowly: When a person becomes very depressed they lose a significant amount of their energy. This results in a slow overall movement of the body and feet. The person will walk as if they are dragging their feet and their natural movements will become much slower than they used to be. See Walking style and personality
  • 2) Bent back most of the time: The back is one of the body parts that directly tells how happy a person is. As the person gets sad their back will become bent. Depressed people will have bent backs most of the time. When they sit in a chair they will slide down their bodies and so their backs won't be properly resting on the chair's back. See also Body language of the back
  • 3) Head tilted down: Depressed people tend to look down more than they look up. A typical body language gesture of depression is tilting the head forward slightly so that the person ends up looking a bit down. A depressed person might also look down on their plate while eating instead of looking forward. See also Depression warning signs
  • 4) Less frequent moves: When a person becomes depressed they move less frequently. A happy or an excited person might do lots of moves while talking or sitting. A depressed person on the other hand will be more still and less likely to move. See How to tell if you are depressed
  • 5) Talking less frequently: Some people talk less by nature and this is why you must compare the person's normal habits to his new habits. If a person who used to talk a lot started becoming more silent then probably they are feeling down. See also Depression explained
  • 6) Adopting closed body language gestures: A depressed person will take more closed body language gestures in such a way that they will take less space. Crossing arms and legs are among the most popular closed body language gestures. See also Negative body language gestures.
  • 7) Lying in bed often: Because of their lack of energy depressed people might feel like lying in bed instead of sitting. While all normal people lie in bed from time to time depressed people will tend to lie in bed more often
  • 8) Low energy while speaking: A depressed person will speak without energy. They will use few words and pause a lot while talking. The overall lack of energy gets reflected in the way the depressed person talks. See 13 tips that can help you deal with depression
  • 9) Bad posture: A depressed person won't just have a curved back most of the time but they will also have a bad posture. Their legs will hardly be straight, they might not stand on two legs in the same time and their head will usually be pointed downwards. Also the shoulders of a depressed person will probably not be stretched backwards. See State of confidence">the body language of confidence
  • 10) Less emotional reactions: When a person gets depressed their emotional reactions will become muted. While a normal person might react emotionally when something exciting or provoking happens the depressed person might not get emotionally affected at all

Watch out for changes in behaviour patterns

Every person has got some habits that they usually stick to. In order to read body language well you need to spot the changes in the pattern instead of just watching the person's behaviour.

Once you find a change in the normal habits know that something might be going on.

The book The ultimate guide to getting over depression was released by 2knowmyself, the book provides a 100% guarantee for feeling better else you will be refunded.
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