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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- National Institute of Mental Health: "Depression."
- American Psychological Association: "Overcoming Depression: How Psychologists Help with Depressive Disorders."
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: "Good Mental Health Is Ageless."