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36 Depression Quotes That Capture Exactly What You’re Feeling

You'll laugh. You'll cry. And then hopefully you'll feel just a little bit less alone in your struggles.

Depression doesn’t heal itself and there is no ‘cure,’ which is why ongoing treatment is so important,” says Hanna Simmons, PhD, a clinical psychologist and therapist in Denver, Colorado. “Don’t blame yourself for your mental illness—there are many reasons that it strikes, including trauma, a genetic predisposition, as a side effect of other health conditions, or for no clear reason at all. But focus on doing things that help you feel better and keep moving forward in your life.”

This can include seeking professional help from a psychotherapist or getting medication. There are also lifestyle changes—like getting enough sleep, adopting a meditation practice, spending time in nature, and going for a walk. (Here’s why health and psychology professionals say walking is one of the best exercises.)

Another thing that can help? Reading quotes about depression. Depression quotes can help you realize that others can relate to the way you feel… and they may even help brighten things up a bit.

Atticus Poetry Depression QuoteThe Healthy

It’s like losing a sense

“Depression is being colorblind and constantly told how colorful the world is.” —Atticus poetry

Not sure if this describes you? Here’s how to tell if you have depression.

Dan Reynolds Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Sometimes it’s numbness, not sadness

“People who have never dealt with depression think it’s just being sad or being in a bad mood. That’s not what depression is for me; it’s falling into a state of grayness and numbness.” —Dan Reynolds, Imagine Dragons

You may have atypical depression, one of the 9 different types of depression.

Andrew Solomon Depression QuoteThe Healthy

If you can’t believe yourself, believe your loved ones

“Listen to the people who love you. Believe that they are worth living for even when you don’t believe it. Seek out the memories depression takes away and project them into the future. Be brave; be strong; take your pills. Exercise because it’s good for you even if every step weighs a thousand pounds. Eat when food itself disgusts you. Reason with yourself when you have lost your reason.” ―Andrew Solomon

Family is one of the 10 keys to true happiness.

Unknown Depression QuoteThe Healthy

The worst thing to lose is yourself

“Depression is feeling like you’ve lost something but having no clue when or where you last had it. Then one day you realize what you lost is yourself.” —Unknown

Depression can stem from anticipatory grief, defined as when you anticipate a loss that hasn’t happened yet.

Susan Sontag DepressionThe Healthy

There’s nothing glamorous about it

“Depression is melancholy minus its charms.” ―Susan Sontag

Related: check out the 7 best sunrise alarm clocks for seasonal affective disorder.

Carrie Fisher Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Never forget: You are a survivor

“In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of. They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.” ―Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking

These are the 8 signs of bipolar disorder everyone should know.

Pete Wentz Depression QuoteThe Healthy

It becomes a way of moving through the world

“The hardest thing about depression is that it is addictive. It begins to feel uncomfortable not to be depressed. You feel guilty for feeling happy.” ―Pete Wentz

Feeling guilty makes depression that much harder. Here’s how to stop feeling guilty all the time.

Jim Carrey Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Drop the fake smile

“Depression is your body saying, ‘I don’t want to be this character anymore. It’s too much for me.’ You should think of the word ‘depressed’ as ‘deep rest.’ Your body needs to be depressed. It needs deep rest from the character that you’ve been trying to play.” —Jim Carrey

Presenting a false happy face is a type of emotional labor. This can be exhausting and hurt your health.

Michael Phelps Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Even Olympians get depressed

“After every Olympics I think I fell into a major state of depression, and after 2012 that was probably the hardest fall for me. I didn’t want to be in the sport anymore. I didn’t want to be alive anymore. I think people actually finally understand [depression is] real. People are talking about it and I think this is the only way that it can change.” —Michael Phelps

Find out how 16 people just like you deal with their depression.

Lilly Singh Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Depression isolates you from loved ones

“A big part of depression is feeling really lonely, even if you’re in a room full of a million people.” —Lilly Singh

Try these 50 science-backed tips to not feel lonely.

Anonymous Just Be Happy QuoteThe Healthy

The magic cure!

“Whenever someone tells me to ‘Just be happy,’ I want to yell, ‘Oh, hey, depression’s gone! Why didn’t I think of that?’ But usually I just roll my eyes instead.” —Anonymous

This is just one of many things never to say to a person with depression.

Jk Rowling Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Repeat after me: Depression is not the same as sadness

“It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling—that really hollowed-out feeling.” —J.K. Rowling

Do you know these warning signs of depression?

Alexis Depression QuoteThe Healthy

At least with paint, you feel like you accomplished something

“What they don’t tell you about depression is that sometimes it feels a lot less like sadness and a lot more like the emotional equivalent of watching paint dry.” —Alexis, Tumblr

Check out what psychologists wish people knew about depression.

Elizabeth Wurtzel Depression QuoteThe Healthy

The real fear of depression isn’t dying, it’s living with yourself, forever

“I was so scared to give up depression, fearing that somehow the worst part of me was actually all of me. ” —Elizabeth Wurtzel, author

Did you know that scientists have found a gene for depression?

Anonymous Twitter Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Now turn that frown upside down… even if it means standing on your head

“The only thing more exhausting than being depressed is pretending that you’re not.” —Anonymous, Twitter

Sound like someone you know? Try these 12 ways to help someone who’s depressed.

Ned Vizzini Depression QuoteThe Healthy

I’ll take one depression, on the rocks

“Sometimes I just think depression’s one way of coping with the world. Like, some people get drunk, some people do drugs, some people get depressed. Because there’s so much stuff out there that you have to do something to deal with it.” —Ned Vizzini, author

Do you have any of these signs of high-functioning depression?

Anonymous Twitter Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Hope is giving your pain meaning

“The broken will always be able to love harder than most because once you’ve been in the dark, you learn to appreciate everything that shines.” —Anonymous, Twitter.

Here are 21 depression memes to help you feel a little better.

Soren Kierkegaard Depression QuoteThe Healthy

But will depression give you a foot rub?

“In addition to my other numerous acquaintances, I have one more intimate confidant… My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known—no wonder, then, that I return the love.” —Søren Kierkegaard, philosopher

Here’s how to deal with a depressed spouse.

Debihope Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Legit question

“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by a**holes.” —@Debihope, Twitter

It could be both, actually: Nicer people are more prone to depression.

Chuck Palahniuk Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Well, that’s depressing

“Our Generation has had no Great war, no Great Depression. Our war is spiritual. Our depression is our lives.” —Chuck Palahniuk, writer

If you agree, take this test to help see if you have depression.

Elizabeth Wurtzel Depression Quote 2The Healthy

If you can’t survive tomorrow, just survive today

“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key.” —Elizabeth Wurtzel, author

Check out this intriguing brain treatment that helped one woman finally emerge from the fog of depression.

Matt Joseph Diaz Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Repeat after me:

“My mental health problems are real and they are valid. I will not judge myself for the bad days when I can barely get out of bed. I will not make myself feel worse because someone else appears to be handling their mental illness better than I am handling mine. Recovery is not a competition.” —Matt Joseph Diaz, Tumblr

Not sure how to start recovering? Try these science-backed ways to help depression.

John Keats Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Follow Dory’s advice and just keep swimming

“I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.” —John Keats, poet

One thing that helped Keats deal with his depression: Getting out in nature.

Lena Dunham Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Sometimes the annoying people are right

“To those struggling with anxiety, OCD, depression: I know it’s mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me about 16 medicated years to listen. I’m glad I did. It ain’t about the ass, it’s about the brain.” —Lena Dunham, American actress

What you do counts: Are you doing any of these daily habits that raise your risk for depression?

Stephen Fry Depression QuoteThe Healthy

This question? Again? Really?

“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.” —Stephen Fry, author

Here are short inspirational quotes that will bring a smile to your face.

Charles M Schulz QuoteThe Healthy

Well this kinda explains Charlie Brown, to be honest

“This is my depressed stance. When you’re depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand. The worst thing you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you’ll start to feel better. If you’re going to get any joy out of being depressed, you’ve got to stand like this.” —Charles M. Schulz, cartoonist

These 29 cartoons will help you get through this week.

Matt Haig Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Explaining is exhausting

“It is very hard to explain to people who have never known serious depression or anxiety the sheer continuous intensity of it. There is no off switch.” —Matt Haig, writer

P.S. Here’s how to just say no to the annoying things in your life, like people who keep asking you to explain your mental illness.

Deepika Padukone Depression QuoteThe Healthy

How can I be depressed? Watch me.

“Being sad and being depressed are two different things. Also, people going through depression don’t look so, while someone sad will look sad. The most common reaction is, ‘How can you be depressed? You have everything going for you. You are the supposed number one heroine and have a plush home, car, movies… What else do you want?'” —Deepika Padukone, Indian actress

Although, to be fair, counting their blessings is one of the things happy people do every day.

Susan Polis Schutz Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Hold on to this hope: You can get better from depression

“Getting better from depression demands a lifelong commitment. I’ve made that commitment for my life’s sake and for the sake of those who love me.” —Susan Polis Schutz, poet

Here’s how to hang on to your hope when the going gets tough.

Anonymous Depression QuoteThe Healthy

So whatever you do, just keep fighting

“Depression is like a war—you either win or die trying.” —Anonymous

These are the foods that can help fight depression.

Stephanie Perkins Depression QuoteThe Healthy

Hello darkness, my old friend…

“Because that’s the thing about depression. When I feel it deeply, I don’t want to let it go. It becomes a comfort. I want to cloak myself under its heavy weight and breathe it into my lungs. I want to nurture it, grow it, cultivate it. It’s mine. I want to check out with it, drift asleep wrapped in its arms and not wake up for a long, long time.” —Stephanie Perkins, author

It’s not all bad: Smart people have a darker sense of humor, according to science.

Cs Lewis Depression QuoteThe Healthy

I have a heartache, not a headache

“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: It is easier to say ‘My tooth is aching’ than to say ‘My heart is broken.’ —C.S. Lewis, author

Broken heart syndrome is a real thing, actually.

Michelle Obama Depression QuoteThe Healthy

It’s past time to ditch the stigma about depression

“Whether an illness affects your heart, your arm, or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there shouldn’t be any distinction. We would never tell someone with a broken leg that they should stop wallowing and get it together. We don’t consider taking medication for an ear infection something to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t treat mental health conditions any differently. Instead, we should make it clear that getting help isn’t a sign of weakness—it’s a sign of strength—and we should ensure that people can get the treatment they need.” —Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States

Postpartum depression in men is a very common mental illness that rarely gets attention.

Lao Tzu Depression QuoteThe Healthy

#wisdom, 7th Century style

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” —Lao Tzu, philosopher

Want more mantras? Try one of these 14 daily mantras to help you reach your goals.

Nina Lacour Depression QuoteThe Healthy

The sun always comes out eventually

“The sun stopped shining for me is all. The whole story is: I am sad. I am sad all the time and the sadness is so heavy that I can’t get away from it. Not ever.” —Nina LaCour, author

Here’s how to know if it’s clinical depression or everyday sadness.

Victor Hugo Depression QuoteThe Healthy

In the end…

“The pupil dilates in darkness and in the end finds light, just as the soul dilates in misfortune and in the end finds God.” —Victor Hugo, author

This factor predicts whether or not your depression will return.

Sources

Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Charlotte Hilton Andersen, MS, is an award-winning journalist, author, and ghostwriter who for nearly two decades has covered health, fitness, parenting, relationships, and other wellness and lifestyle topics for major outlets, including Reader’s Digest, O, The Oprah Magazine, Women’s Health, and many more. Charlotte has made appearances with television news outlets such as CBS, NBC, and FOX. She is a certified group fitness instructor in Denver, where she lives with her husband and their five children.