If you listen to it, you can imagine the loss of control Shostakovitch was feeling, as well as the feeling of desolation and apathy. The symphony is rather long, but if you listen to just the beginning then skip around, you'll get a feel for the emotion he portrays.
As a side note, Shostakovitch would include his German initials in several of his compositions - D. Sch. These translate to the note names D, E-flat, C, and B. The combination of these notes appear as a main motif in many of his compositions, especially his String Quartet No. 8. The theme is the first thing you hear in this quartet, and if you keep listening, you can hear it change from the slow motif to a more quick, agitated version of the same notes.