Sadness is a feeling we all experience from time to time. We probably wouldn’t know what happiness was without it. But what if the sadness won’t go away and turns into hopelessness and despair?
According to the World Health Organization, depression is a common mental illness with more than 300 million people affected worldwide.
How depression manifests varies from person to person, but its symptoms include feelings of sadness, a loss of interest in daily activities once enjoyed, sleep and appetite changes, irritability, problems focusing, loss of energy, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness. The more symptoms you might have, the more serious your condition might be — and it’s imperative to seek professional help.
The good news is that with help and support and adequate treatment, those symptoms can be improved.
Meanwhile, check out our list of depression quotes that will help you remember there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Depression quotes about sadness and despair
Sadness is a basic human emotion we all feel every now and then, and sometimes it can be quite painful. It’s okay to feel sad and in fact, it’s healthy to allow ourselves to feel the whole range of possible emotions as they come up, instead of suppressing them. The difference is that when depression strikes, feelings of intense sadness feel inescapable and impossible to overcome. The following depression quotes are proof of that.
It can be difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never experienced it and sometimes it’s helpful to read something you can connect to, in order to make better sense of it all. Knowing other people understand what you’re going through can make you feel less alone and provide some reassurance that it’s possible to feel happy again, even if for now it feels completely out of reach.
If you or someone you know is depressed, we hope these quotes about depression bring comfort in challenging times.
Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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.
Everyone wanted me to get help and rejoin life, pick up the pieces and move on, and I tried to, I wanted to, but I just had to lie in the mud with my arms wrapped around myself, eyes closed, grieving, until I didn’t have to anymore.
That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it’s a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different.
I saw the world in black and white instead of the vibrant colors and shades I knew existed.
Depression is being colorblind and constantly told how colorful the world is.
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.
A melancholy-looking man, he had the appearance of one who has searched for the leak in life’s gas-pipe with a lighted candle.
I’ve got a bad case of the 3:00 am guilts – you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right? Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression and self-loathing.
I am in that temper that if I were under water I would scarcely kick to come to the top.
There were days when she was unhappy, she did not know why,–when it did not seem worthwhile to be glad or sorry, to be alive or dead; when life appeared to her like a grotesque pandemonium and humanity like worms struggling blindly toward inevitable annihilation.
There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.
Laurell K. Hamilton
Anyone who has actually been that sad can tell you that there’s nothing beautiful or literary or mysterious about depression.
Grief is depression in proportion to circumstance; depression is grief out of proportion to circumstance.
Killing oneself is, anyway, a misnomer. We don’t kill ourselves. We are simply defeated by the long, hard struggle to stay alive. When somebody dies after a long illness, people are apt to say, with a note of approval, He fought so hard. And they are inclined to think, about a suicide, that no fight was involved, that somebody simply gave up. This is quite wrong.
The sadness of the world has different ways of getting to people, but it seems to succeed almost every time.
Depression on my left, Loneliness on my right. They don’t need to show me their badges. I know these guys very well.
Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.
I saw the world from the stars’ point of view, and it looked unbearably lonely.
Shaun David Hutchinson
What depression feels like quotes
As humans, we are capable of doing amazing things, but sometimes, the thoughts in our heads can leave us incapacitated.
We cannot tell you exactly what depression feels like — we experience emotions on different levels. However, we can share with you a few depression quotes that come from famous people who have experienced this condition.
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.
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.
Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore.
I am so demanding and difficult for my friends because I want to crumble and fall apart before them so that they will love me even though I am no fun, lying in bed, crying all the time, not moving. Depression is all about If you loved me you would.
Because wherever I sat—on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok—I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.
I could see millions and millions of people, all slotted into their lives; then I could see me—I’d lost my place in the universe. It had closed up and there was nowhere for me to be. I was more lost than I had known it was possible for any human being to be.
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 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.
When you are depressed, the past and future are absorbed entirely by the present moment, as in the world of a three-year-old. You cannot remember a time when you felt better, at least not clearly; and you certainly cannot imagine a future time when you will feel better.
Depression and anxiety quotes
It often happens that depression and anxiety go hand in hand. When you don’t feel drained you may experience symptoms of anxiety. For no particular reason, your heart starts racing and you might feel like something bad is about to happen.
Depression affects all areas of your life. When you experience it at a deeper level, you might ignore your friends, your partner or your job. At some point you might realize that you’re pushing people away or that you’ll lose your job. That’s when anxiety kicks in and you enter a vicious circle where you worry about things and people that you may lose, but you also feel like there’s nothing you can do about it.
Here are some depression and anxiety quotes you may resonate with.
I tend to get pretty depressed and I have some issues with anxiety and things like that… For me, it’s more psychological. Exercise is a means of expelling those demons.
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.
It weren’t too loo long before I seen something in me, had changed. A bitter seed was planted inside of me. And I just didn’t feel so, accepting, anymore.
I go dreaming into the future, where I see nothing, nothing. I have no plans, no idea, no project, and, what is worse, no ambition. Something – the eternal ‘what’s the use?’ – sets its bronze barrier across every avenue that I open up in the realm of hypothesis.
But when you get that depressed you don’t care. Apathy, because you’ve lost a sense of worth. It doesn’t matter whether you feel better because you have no worth.
Philip K. Dick
In every way that counted, I was dead. Inside somewhere maybe I was screaming and weeping and howling like an animal, but that was another person deep inside, another person who had no access to the lips and face and mouth and head, so on the surface I just shrugged and smile and kept moving.
This fall I think you’re riding for — it’s a special kind of fall, a horrible kind. The man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom. He just keeps falling and falling.
J. D Salinger
Some people are just not meant to be in this world. It’s just too much for them.
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.
I can’t eat and I can’t sleep. I’m not doing well in terms of being a functional human, you know?
Depression quotes about fighting and overcoming it
Fighting depression is really demanding because you have to confront your own irrational thoughts. It can drain you of your energy, rob you of your motivation and leave you feeling hopeless. Once, your mind was your ally, but now it has become your enemy. How will you become functional again when your mind seems to be working against you?
The truth is there’s no universal recipe to recovering from depression. We are all unique, have different problems and experience emotions at different levels. However, there are small steps that we can take each day — little things that we can tell ourselves to slowly overcome our condition.
We hope that the following depression quotes on fighting and overcoming it will inspire you and make you feel better, even if just for a moment.
I can do this… I can start over. I can save my own life and I’m never going to be alone as long as I have stars to wish on and people to still love.
Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
St. Francis of Assisi
A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you.
You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall.
Rainer Maria Rilke
When you are depressed, you need the love of other people, and yet depression fosters actions that destroy that love. Depressed people often stick pins into their own life rafts. The conscious mind can intervene. One is not helpless.
If you are in a bad mood go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood go for another walk.
There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind.
Meditation can and will order your thinking and therefore your mind. As we heal the wounded places in our minds, we grow.
When you do not get to the root of the problem, you cannot solve it in any meaningful manner.
You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.
When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don’t see the one that has opened for us.
Alexander Graham Bell
Promise me you’ll always remember — you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.
If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.
One of the most healing things you can do is recognize where in your life you are your own poison.
Only you can make yourself strong. Nobody else can do it for you.
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.
Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you will start having positive results.
What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.
It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly.
If you have been brutally broken but still have the courage to be gentle to other living beings, then you’re a badass with a heart of an angel.
In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.
A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived.
In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.
Have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew.
Saint Francis de Sales
I’m learning. I’m learning to make things nice for myself. I’m learning to save myself. I’m trying, as I always will.
When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don’t see the one that has opened for us.
Alexander Graham Bell
I wonder if that’s how darkness wins, by convincing us to trap it inside ourselves, instead of emptying it out. I don’t want it to win.
Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me,’ and when you have found that attitude, follow it.
Inspirational depression quotes
Depression can feel overwhelming. You may feel sad, hopeless, unmotivated and start questioning if you will ever feel better. Sometimes, it can be helpful to draw on the wisdom of others to inspire a shift in perspectives and brighten up your mood. Battling depression can lead feelings of isolation and there is comfort in simply knowing someone else understands what you’re going through.
A simple yet thought provoking sentence can give you insight into your own experience with depression and hopefully, if the message resonates deeply enough, it may as well serve as a great catalyst for your healing.
If you’re living with depression, take your time reading through these inspirational depression quotes to help you navigate your struggle, and let them remind you that you’re not alone.
You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.
David Foster Wallace
If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one.
Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine.
There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.
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.
Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, ‘There now, hang on, you’ll get over it.’ Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes.
There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
Losing your life is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is to lose your reason for living.
Find meaning or don’t find meaning but ‘steal’ some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.
Those with a grateful mindset tend to see the message in the mess. And even though life may knock them down, the grateful find reasons, if even small ones, to get up.
In times of pain, when the future is too terrifying to contemplate and the past too painful to remember, I have learned to pay attention to right now. The precise moment I was in was always the only safe place for me.
Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.
Viktor E. Frankl
Uplifting quotes for when you’re feeling down
It’s time to move to happier and more positive thoughts! Since we have already enlisted quite a few sad depression quotes, we thought it would be a great idea to share with you some quotes that can instantly lift up your mood.
While we need other people’s insight to better understand what’s happening to us when we’ve been sad for too long, we also need some uplifting sayings. The following positive quotes about depression will help you see that all is not lost and that you are resilient enough to overcome your current mood.
I learned there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead, others come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready, you see. Now my troubles are going to have trouble with me.
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.
Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.
There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.
Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it.
The pupil dilates in darkness and in the end finds light, just as the soul dilates in misfortune and in the end finds God.
I will be stronger than my sadness.
Depression quotes about strength and hope
Living with depression can make you feel like you’ve been stripped of your own power and of any sense of hope for the future. Hopelessness is a heavy emotion and a key element of depression that can keep you feeling stuck in a downward spiral that seems impossible to overcome but the truth is, change is possible even when you’re feeling defeated.
There are actionable steps you can take to break free of depression, and the first thing is to acknowledge how you’re feeling. If you or someone you know is struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel, these powerful depression quotes will remind you of how resilient you are and hopefully inspire a change in perspective, towards a more positive outlook.
I hope to one day see a sea of people all wearing silver ribbons as a sign that they understand the secret battle, and as a celebration of the victories made each day as we individually pull ourselves up out of our foxholes to see our scars heal, and to remember what the sun looks like.
STRENGTH DOESN’T COME FROM WHAT YOU CAN DO. IT COMES FROM OVERCOMING THE THINGS YOU ONCE THOUGHT YOU COULDN’T.
ONCE YOU CHOOSE HOPE, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
YOU MAY HAVE TO FIGHT A BATTLE MORE THAN ONCE TO WIN IT.
HOPE IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT CAN MAKE THE PRESENT MOMENT LESS DIFFICULT TO BEAR. IF WE BELIEVE THAT TOMORROW WILL BE BETTER, WE CAN BEAR A HARDSHIP TODAY.
THICH NHAT HANH
Editor’s Note: Struggling and feeling hopeless? You are not alone. Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).