17 Depression quotes

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This blog lists various quotes that illustrate what depression is, what it feels like, and what it is like to live with depression.

The blog also briefly explores what depression is. 

What are some depression quotes?

Here is a list of quotes about depression as well as quotes that inspires recovery from depression:

Quotes that describe depression 

A quote that describes the hidden impact of depression has been well put in this quote by  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and oftentimes we call a man cold when he is only sad.”

Rainbow Rowell describes what it is like living with depression on the daily when she wrote:

“I don’t want to do anything. I don’t even want to start this day because then I’ll just be expected to finish it.” 

I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless, and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that. – Robin Williams

There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds. – Laurell K. Hamilton

Sometimes, all you can do is lie in bed and hope to fall asleep before you fall apart. – William C. Hannan

The stigma around depression and the lack of awareness about depression and mental health has been illustrated well in this quote:

“It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.”

 ― Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places

The feelings of hopelessness that is present in depression has also been described in the following quotes as well the lack of emotions or apathy that arises when depressed. 

“Losing your life is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is to lose your reason for living.”

― Jo Nesbo

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. – Elizabeth Wurtzel

“Even when I try to stir myself up, I just get irritated because I can’t make anything come out. And in the middle of the night I lie here thinking about all this. If I don’t get back on track somehow, I’m dead, that’s the sense I get. There isn’t a single strong emotion inside me.” 

― Banana Yoshimoto

If you feel everything intensely, ultimately, you feel nothing at all. – Elizabeth Wurtzel

The ever present weight of depression has also been well illustrated by writer Jeffery Eugenides when they wrote,

 “Depression is like a bruise that never goes away. A bruise in your mind. You just got to be careful not to touch it where it hurts. It’s always there, though.” 

The distinction between depression and sadness has also been illustrated in the following quotes:

It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there because it’s not sadness.

 -J.K. Rowling

 “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 greyness and numbness.” 

— Dan Reynolds

Similarly the distinction between depression or mental illness from physical illness has also been described by C.S Lewis as he wrote:

“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.’ 

The feelings of loneliness and isolation, or the general feeling that you are misunderstood and alienated that is prevalent in depression as well as when people struggle with mental illnesses has been described very well here:

“When you’re surrounded by all these people, it can be lonelier than when you’re by yourself. You can be in a huge crowd, but if you don’t feel like you can trust anyone or talk to anybody, you feel like you’re really alone.” 

― Fiona Apple

Depression Quotes to Help You Through

Some quotes that encourage and inspire as well as empathise with people who battle depression on a daily basis includes the following:

The following quote by David Mitchell describes how depression is not a sign of weakness but rather to live with depression is a sign of strength.

“You say you’re ‘depressed’ – all I see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn’t mean you’re defective – it just means you’re human.”

 ― David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

This quote also highlights what one can do for someone who is depressed or is struggle with depression as a friend and family member.

“Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.” ― Stephen Fry

These quotes by anonymous individuals speak of strength, resilience, and the battle of moving forward with hope.

 “I am bent, but not broken. I am scarred, but not disfigured. I am sad, but not hopeless. I am tired, but not powerless. I am angry, but not bitter. I am depressed, but not giving up.” 

— Anonymous

“I have depression. But I prefer to say, ‘I battle’ depression instead of ‘I suffer’ with it. Because depression hits, but I hit back. Battle on.” 

— Anonymous

“There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind.” —C.S. Lewis

On the topic of healing and getting mentally fit, this quote summarises what it is like and why it is important to do so:

“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

On the topic of hope and thinking ahead, Reeve speaks honestly and optimistically in this quote:

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.” —Christopher Reeve

“The greatest degree of inner tranquillity comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.” —Tenzin Gyatso

Famous teacher Helen keller, on becoming mentally fit, says:

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” 

On the power of attitude and power, 

“A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you.” —Joyce Meyer, Power Thoughts: 12 Strategies To Win the Battle of the Mind

On the issue of perspectives, 

“Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.” 

—Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes From Underground

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” —Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.” —Madeleine L’Engle, A Ringless End of Light

What is Depression?

Depression or clinically known as major depressive disorder, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders, is a  serious mood disorder where people affected by it experience persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. 

Apart from these emotional distress, people with depression can also experience physical symptoms such as chronic pain, or changes in their behaviour such as social withdrawal or slowed movements.

For someone to be diagnosed with clinical depression, symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. Let us look at the various symptoms that must meet the criteria for a diagnosis of depression. 

The Diagnostic and statistical manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed) DSM-V outlines the following criterion to make a diagnosis of depression. 

The individual must be experiencing five or more symptoms during the same 2-week period and at least one of the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure. 

These symptoms should indicate change from normal functioning. 

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day- either by their own observation or observation made by others.
  • Diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia. 
  • A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

To be diagnosed with depression, these symptoms must cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. 

These symptoms should also not be the result of substance abuse or another medical condition.


This blog listed various quotes that illustrate what depression is, what it feels like, and what it is like to live with depression.

The blog also briefly explored what depression is. 

FAQ related to depression quotes

What words describe depression?

Words that describe depression include:

  • blue,
  • dejected,
  • depressed,
  • despondent,
  • down,
  • droopy,
  • hangdog,
  • inconsolable,

What are the Causes of depression?

Some causes of depression include:

  • Abuse.
  • Older age
  • Medication
  • Life stress
  • Life changes
  • Trauma
  • Gender
  • Adjustment issues
  • Childhood experiences
  • Family history and generic vulnerability
  • Death and loss

How many people does depression affect?

Depression is a common illness and various statistics approximate that 3.8% of the worldwide population is affected. 

Women more than men, young adults and elderly individuals being more affected than other age groups. 


Paul.S 16 Inspirational Depression Quotes to Help You Through. Nowpsych. Retrieved on 24th January 2022. https://nowpsych.com/depression-quotes/

It’s Hard. 13 Quotes that Illustrate Depression. YouthDynamics. Retrieved on 24th january 2022. https://www.youthdynamics.org/its-hard-13-quotes-that-illustrate-depression/

101 Quotes About Depression to Help You Not Feel So Alone in Your Struggle. Parade. Retrieve don 24th january 2022, https://parade.com/946073/parade/depression-quotes/

15 Quotes That Lifted Me Up When I Was Depressed. Mindbodygreen. Retrieved on 24th january 2022. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-15367/15-quotes-that-lifted-me-up-when-i-was-depressed.html

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