Depression Quotes

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. See our disclosure for more info.

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and lack of interest, to the extent that it interferes with your daily life. It is a common mental health problem that affects around 7% of the American population in a given year.

There are lots of reasons why a person might be diagnosed with depression, from simple biological causes to psychological and social issues. Whatever causes depression, it’s important to remember that there is help out there for everyone.

If you’ve found this page because you’re feeling low, please reach out to someone – whether it’s a friend, family member, counselor, doctor, or online service.

These depression quotes are all about defining what depression is, how it makes us feel, and how it can be overcome.

They remind us that we are not alone. Even successful, rich, and famous people feel down sometimes and struggle with depression. We hope reading these words will help you understand your feelings and bring you a better mindset.

Depression Quotes

Depression on my left, loneliness on my right. They don’t need to show me their badges. I know these guys very well.

Elizabeth Gilbert
Rollo May depression quote "Depression is the inability to construct a future"
“Depression is the inability to construct a future.” – Rollo May

Keep yourself busy if you want to avoid depression. For me, inactivity is the enemy.

Matt Lucas

At times, I feel overwhelmed and my depression leads me into darkness.

Dorothy Hamill

Depression taught me the importance of compassion and hard work, and that you can overcome enormous obstacles.

Rob Delaney

You largely constructed your depression. It wasn’t given to you. Therefore, you can deconstruct it.

Albert Ellis

Depression is living in a body that fights to survive, with a mind that tries to die.

Danny Baker, Depression is a Liar
Stephen Wright depression quote "Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm"
“Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.” – Stephen Wright

Perhaps depression is caused by asking oneself too many unanswerable questions.

Miriam Toews

The only thing more exhausting than being depressed is pretending that you’re not.


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

I was so scared to give up depression, fearing that somehow the worst part of me was actually all of me.

Elizabeth Wurtzel

I used to be good friends with my depression, saying oh I’m so depressed, or life is terrible.

Tony Curtis
Osho depression quote "Suffering is not holding you; you are holding suffering"
“Suffering is not holding you; you are holding suffering.” – Osho

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

A depressing and difficult passage has prefaced every page I have turned in life.

Charlotte Brontë

Depression is, in part, grief for your own life not turning out how it should; grief for your own needs not being met.

Johann Hari

The five stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance – are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Janet Fitch quote "Depression, suffering and anger are all part of being human"
“Depression, suffering and anger are all part of being human.” – Janet Fitch

Depression lies. It tells you you’ve always felt this way, and you always will. But you haven’t, and you won’t.

Halley Cornell

Many depressed people can only see their pains, and their hurts, and their resentments, and their failures. They can’t see the blue sky and the yellow leaves, you know?

Bill Richards

Every thought a person dwells upon, whether he expresses it or not, either damages or improves his life.

Lucy Mallory

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
George Santaya quote "Depression is rage spread thin"
“Depression is rage spread thin.” – George Santayana

I’ll never forget how the depression and loneliness felt good and bad at the same time. Still does.

Henry Rollins

I have had issues with depression all my life, and it’s probably true to say there was a tendency towards it even when I was very young, during my schooldays. There was often – and this is quite common with comics – a sense of not feeling as if I belonged anywhere.

Jack Dee

That’s how depression hits. You wake up one morning, afraid that you’re gonna live.

Elizabeth Wurtzel

Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself.

"It’s a bit like walking down a long dark corridor, never knowing when the light will go on"
“It’s a bit like walking down a long dark corridor, never knowing when the light will go on.” – Neil Lennon

Enthusiasm is followed by disappointment and even depression, and then by renewed enthusiasm.

Murray Gell-Mann

Depression is frustrating. It’s knowing there’s so much to be grateful for and happy about and to enjoy, but you just can’t get there.

Allie Griffin

There are times when explanations, no matter how reasonable, just don’t seem to help.

Fred Rogers

Depression isn’t about, ‘Woe is me, my life is this, that and the other’, it’s like having the worst flu all day that you just can’t kick.

Robbie Williams

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
Douglas Coupland quote "Depression is when you have lots of love, but no one's taking"
“Depression is when you have lots of love, but no one’s taking.” – Douglas Coupland

Our generation has had no great war, no Great Depression. Our war is spiritual. Our depression is our lives.

Chuck Palahniuk

It’s recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours.

Harry Truman

Frustrations come because we impose our illusions on reality.


I might look successful and happy being in front of you today, but I once suffered from severe depression and was in total despair.

Ji-Hae Park

I start to think there really is no cure for depression, that happiness is an ongoing battle, and I wonder if it isn’t one I’ll have to fight for as long as I live. I wonder if it’s worth it.

Elizabeth Wurtzel
"When people don’t know exactly what depression is, they can be judgmental"
“When people don’t know exactly what depression is, they can be judgmental.” – Marion Cotillard

That terrible mood of depression of whether it’s any good or not is what is known as The Artist’s Reward.

Ernest Hemingway

I was only able to start changing my life when I realized my depression was not a malfunction. It’s a signal. Your depression is a signal. It’s telling you something.

Johann Hari

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

Depression begins with disappointment. When disappointment festers in our soul, it leads to discouragement.

Joyce Meyer

Grief is depression in proportion to circumstance; Depression is grief out of proportion to circumstance.

Andrew Solomon
"Depressed means you need deep rest from the character you’ve been playing in the world"
“Depressed means you need deep rest from the character you’ve been playing in the world.” – Jim Carrey

Anger is energizing. The opposite of anger is depression, which is anger turned inward.

Gloria Steinem

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

Almost everyone is overconfident except the people who are depressed, and they tend to be realists.

Joseph T. Hallinan

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
"Perhaps depression is caused by asking oneself too many unanswerable questions"
“Perhaps depression is caused by asking oneself too many unanswerable questions.” – Miriam Toews

Pain is always emotional. Fear and depression keep constant company with chronic hurting.

Siri Hustvedt

I do suffer from depression, I suppose. Which isn’t that unusual. You know, a lot of people do.

Amy Winehouse

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

Only those with skin as thick as elephant hide can hope to sail through their teens unscathed by self-doubt and bouts of depression.

Mariella Frostrup

Quotes about Depression

Depression isn’t a disease; depression is a normal response to abnormal life experiences.

Johann Hari, Lost Connections

Depression and anxiety are a symptom of too much consumption and too little creation. You were put on this earth to create.

Bill Masur

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

Jo Nesbo
Bill Richards quote "Depression is a kind of constricted consciousness"
“Depression is a kind of constricted consciousness.” – Bill Richards

Depression is melancholy minus its charms – the animation, the fits.

Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor

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

Lily Singh

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

I’ve suffered through depression and anxiety my entire life. I just want these kids to know that this modern thing, where everyone is feeling shallow and less connected…that’s not human.

Lady Gaga
Atticus depression quote "Depression is being colorblind and constantly told how colorful the world is"
“Depression is being colorblind and constantly told how colorful the world is.” – Atticus

The opposite of play is not work – the opposite of play is depression.

Stuart Brown

Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced… It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. 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.

J.K. Rowling

Clinically speaking, depression is a pessimistic sense of your own capabilities, and despondent lack of energy.

Jane McGonigal

Things like depression and obesity are global challenges.

Jane McGonigal
Atticus depression quote "Depression is being sad and not remembering why"
“Depression is being sad and not remembering why.” – Atticus

Depression isn’t a war you win. It’s a battle you fight every day. You never stop, never get to rest. It’s one bloody fray after another.

Shaun David Hutchinson, We Are the Ants

Depression is a medical condition. We need to create a world where people are as comfortable seeking care for their minds as they are for their bodies.

Adam Grant

Depression doesn’t take away your talents—it just makes them harder to find.

Lady Gaga
"Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer"
“Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer.” – Dorothy Rowe

All depression has its roots in self-pity, and all self-pity is rooted in people taking themselves too seriously.

Tom Robbins, Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates

The fundamental delusion – there is something out there that will make me happy and fulfilled forever.

Naval Ravikant

I’ll never forget how the depression and loneliness felt good and bad at the same time. Still does.

Henry Rollins

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 Shultz
"Depression and I are old friends but I do not court his company."
“Depression and I are old friends but I do not court his company.” – Laura K. Rhodes

The world of manic depression is a world of bad judgment calls.

Carrie Fisher

Inspiration to Overcome Depression

Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.

Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle

No storm, not even the one in your life, can last forever. The storm is just passing over.

Iyanla Vanzant
Jean-Paul Sartre quote "Life begins on the other side of despair"
“Life begins on the other side of despair.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

There is no normal life that is free of pain. It’s the very wrestling with our problems that can be the impetus for our growth.

Fred Rogers

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 Poli Schultz

If you are depressed and anxious, the main thing I want to tell you is: your pain makes sense. It has meaning. You aren’t a machine with broken parts. You are a human being with unmet needs. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re crazy or broken. You deserve love and practical support.

Johann Hari
Joe Dispenza quote "Love your future more than your past"
“Love your future more than your past.” – Joe Dispenza

There will always be suffering. But we must not suffer over the suffering.

Alan Watts

Whereas pain is a physical experience, suffering is a mental one. It is the sense that things should be other than they are. Its antidote is acceptance.

Wu Hsin

We cannot simply sit and stare at our wounds forever. We must stand up and move on to the next action.

Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

I struggled with anxiety and depression and questioned whether or not I wanted to be alive anymore. It was when I hit this low that I decided to reach out and ask for the help of a licensed therapist. This decision ultimately helped save my life. You don’t have to wait for things.

Michael Phelps
"Anything that instills a sense of hope will at least temporarily help treat depression"
“Anything that instills a sense of hope will at least temporarily help treat depression.” – Irving Kirsch

Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.

Eckhart Tolle

With depression, one of the most important things you could realize is that you’re not alone.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Don’t trust your thought when you are depressed. It is highly unlikely that it is true. Whatever you are depressed about won’t last forever.

Haemin Sunim

Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Do not become bitter or hostile. Be hopeful, be optimistic.

John Lewis

Only stepping out of old ruts will bring new insights.

Andy Grove
"The scientific evidence is clear that exercise significantly reduces depression and anxiety"
“The scientific evidence is clear that exercise significantly reduces depression and anxiety.” – Johann Hari

I’ve had some dark nights of the soul, of course, but giving in to depression would be a sellout, a defeat.

Christopher Hitchens

I need one of those long hugs where you kinda forget whatever else is happening around you for minute.

Marilyn Monroe

There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them we will understand why they were there.

Paolo Coelho

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.

Ryan Reynolds

You don’t have to live a lie. Living a lie will mess you up. It will send you into depression. It will warp your values.

Gilbert Baker
"Honor yourself by not criticizing, judging, or denying what you feel"
“Honor yourself by not criticizing, judging, or denying what you feel.” – Iyanla Vanzant

I’m not grateful for depression, but it honestly made me work harder and gave me the drive that I have to succeed and to make it work.

Lili Reinhart

Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.

William Gibson

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

Choose everyday to forgive yourself. You are human, flawed and most of all worthy of love.

Alison Malee

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
"My recovery from manic depression has been an evolution, not a sudden miracle"
“My recovery from manic depression has been an evolution, not a sudden miracle.” – Patty Duke

It’s brilliant, being depressed; you can behave as badly as you like.

Nick Hornby, High Fidelity

It is okay to have depression, it is okay to have anxiety and it is okay to have an adjustment disorder. We need to improve the conversation. We all have mental health in the same way we all have physical health.

Prince Harry

To get rid of depression, I swim with dolphins.

Patt Stanger

Art saved me; it got me through my depression and self-loathing, back to a place of innocence.

Jeanette Winterson

Through my own struggles with depression, I discovered that knowledge, therapy, medication and education can provide the strength to get through it in one piece.

Susan Polis Schutz

Depression and anxiety can’t fit in your head if you’re cultivating feelings of joy and inspiration.

Austin Butler
"No darkness lasts forever. And even there, there are stars"
“No darkness lasts forever. And even there, there are stars.” – Ursula K. Le Guin, The Farthest Shore

We hope these quotes about depression have helped you express your feelings more clearly, and made you realize that however you are feeling today, you are never alone.

Photo of author

Natalie Seale

Natalie Seale is a writer and researcher with an MA, MSc, and PhD in History from the University of Edinburgh. Natalie is an avid reader, a keen traveller, and enjoys cooking and walking with her English Spaniel. Her posts focus on inspiring ideas and tips that help people learn, gro, and inspire others.

1 thought on “Depression Quotes”

  1. “Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself.” – Pythagoras

    One of my favourite in this list… 🙂


Leave a Comment