Anyone who has suffered from depression will tell you that one of the hardest aspects is feeling isolated. Depression itself is hard enough to manage, but when you feel like others don’t understand you — or even that they judge you and look down upon you for feeling as you do — it only makes your feelings more intense and more difficult to cope.
Let’s face it: most people don’t have a good conception of what depression is. They think of it as just being “really sad.” They believe that thinking positively or talking a walk outside is all it takes for a depressed person to feel better. They don’t understand that clinical depression is a diagnosable mental illness that requires proper treatment from licensed professionals. It’s not just something that you can “get over” or “push through.”
It’s also easy to feel like you are the only person who feels this way. The truth is, though, millions of Americans suffer from depression. The problem is that most of us don’t talk about it.
Quotes That Capture What Depression is Really Like
We gathered some quotes from real people (and some fictional) about what it’s really like to live with depression. Reading these quotes may give you comfort, or at least make you feel less alone.
- “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
- “There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”― Laurell K. Hamilton, Mistral’s Kiss
- “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
- “I didn’t want my picture taken because I was going to cry. I didn’t know why I was going to cry, but I knew that if anybody spoke to me or looked at me too closely the tears would fly out of my eyes and the sobs would fly out of my throat and I’d cry for a week. I could feel the tears brimming and sloshing in me like water in a glass that is unsteady and too full.”― Sylvia Plath
- “I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”― Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind of a Funny Story
- “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, The Problem of Pain
- “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.― Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation
Quotes To Help Lift The Darkness
While it’s true that depression has no “magic cure,” getting treatment for your depression is possible. It can be motivating to read anecdotes from people who have done that and are living happier, more peaceful lives. Let these quotes about overcoming depression — or at least moving through it more easefully — inspire you as you journey through healing and recovery.
- “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
- “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
- “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 Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
- “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
Resources For Further Help
Reading quotes about depression can help you feel less alone — and can even inspire you to work through your depression so you can lead your best life. But you shouldn’t do it alone. If you are suffering from depression, please reach out to a therapist or online counselor for help. There are so many options these days, including online therapy, which is an especially good option for someone who feels unsure about starting therapy, is looking for a more cost-effective choice, or is unable to travel to a therapy appointment.
If you are considering suicide or self-harm, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255).
Most of all, remember that you are amazing and resilient. Depression definitely sucks, but you’ve got this.