35 Depression Quotes About What Being Depressed Really Feels Like

depression quotes

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 6.7% of the American population age 18 or older is affected by depression in a given year. Despite it being one of the most common mental disorders, explaining what depression feels like can be tough, but these depression quotes do a pretty good job. 

Sadness is a normal emotion to have; however, depression is much more than just feeling sad — technically, it is a mood disorder that persists for more than two weeks and interferes with a person’s daily life.

When someone is depressed, they may feel low, hopeless, and unmotivated.

Whether it's caused by genes, hormonal changes, stress, grief, or substance abuse, depression knows no race, education level, or economic background — everyone is at risk.

If you have depression, you might find it difficult to express the way you feel. Others might not understand what you are going through and might try (with good intentions) to try to cheer you up, only to end up confused as to why you are still depressed. Some people might not understand that telling you to “just be happy!” won’t fix your depression.

When you’re going through something like depression, it can help to read something you can relate to.

Depression Quotes

RELATED: 9 Subtle Signs Of Depression I Was Too Depressed To Notice

We’ve gathered the best depression quotes to help you interpret your feelings of sadness, help you determine if you need to seek help, and to remind you that you are not alone in your emotions.

1. “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

Sometimes we come off cold when really we're just sad inside.

2. “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

You're allowed to feel the way you feel.

3. “Sad hurts but it's a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different.” ― J.K. Rowling

It's totally okay to feel sad, but depression is a whole other beast.

4. “If you are chronically down, it is a lifelong fight to keep from sinking ” ― Elizabeth Wurtzel

Depression isn't something that just disappears.

5. “Don't try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night.” ― Philip K. Dick

Be careful to not base your decisions on how you're feeling when you're severely depressed. Seek help instead.

6. “One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.” ― Aristotle

Someone with depression can feel happy, but the days are few and far in between.

7. “Depression is melancholy minus its charms.” ― Susan Sontag

It's hard to escape depression without outside help.

8. “I am living in a nightmare, from which from time to time I wake in sleep.” ― Ursula K. Le Guin

Depression can make you feel like it's impossible to escape.

9. “Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. 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.” — Albert Camus

Sometimes the best way to deal is to take good time for yourself to work through your thoughts.

10. “You think you deserve that pain but you don't.” — Me and You and Everyone We Know 

You deserve to be happy.

11. "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.” — James Branch Cabell

Depression is not the end.

12. "When you’ve suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.” — Yann Martel, Life of Pi

It hurts even more to experience failures when you're already depressed.

13. "Very jaded and tired and depressed and cross…Must fill my mind with air and light, and walk and blanket it in fog.” — Virginia Woolf

Your mentality with depression can make even the good days seem fair.

14. “Have you ever been so melancholy, that you wanted to fit in the palm of your beloved’s hand? And lie there, for fortnights, or decades, or the length of time between stars? In complete silence?” — Sarah Ruhl, Melancholy Play

Having someone there to hold you while you're down is sometimes the best way to heal.

15. "I drank to drown my pain, but the damned pain learned how to swim…” — Frida Kahlo

Using alcohol to numb your feelings doesn't work. it makes them worse.

16. “You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” — Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting 

You'll come out of your dark days stronger than you were before.

17. "Need a whole new syntax for fatigue on days like this” — David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

Depression is feeling decades worth of tired.

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RELATED: 8 Subtle, Often Ignored Signs You're Actually Depressed

18. "It was against my principles and all, but I was feeling so depressed I didn't even think. That's the whole trouble. When you're feeling very depressed, you can't even think.” — J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

It's impossible to think straight and make decisions when you're severely depressed. Keep that in mind.

19. "Tonight, once more, life sinks its teeth into my heart.” — Simone de Beauvoir

The nights are the hardest.

20. "That is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful.” ― Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

It can feel like your pain doesn't have a reason, which makes it harder to heal something that had no beginning.

21. “Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.” ― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Sometimes the first step to battling your depression is to find yourself.

22. "I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are evil." — J.R.R. Tolkien

It's okay to cry.

23. “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

Just because it can't be seen doesn't mean it's not there.

24. “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

"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

25. “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

One of the hardest things to come to terms with is that depression isn't curable — it's manageable.

26. “Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear." — C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

"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

27. “The worst type of crying wasn't the kind everyone could see — the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it." — Katie McGarry, Pushing the Limits

It feels like you'll never get out from under it.

28. “Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.” — Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle

You have to take small steps forward day by day.

29. "Seek out the memories depression takes away and project them into the future." — Andrew Solomon, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

You will get through this.

30. "Once you're grown up you can't come back." — Peter Pan

When you're depressed it's easy to become nostalgic for older, better times.

31. “I don't want to see anyone. I lie in the bedroom with the curtains drawn and nothingness washing over me like a sluggish wave." — Margaret Atwood, Cat's Eye

Depression creeps into every part of your being.

32. “I'll never forget how the depression and loneliness felt good and bad at the same time. Still does.” — Henry Rollins, The Portable Henry Rollins

When it's what you're used to, depression feels comfortable.

33. "Depression, instead, is flat, hollow, and unendurable. It is also tiresome." — Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

It's more than just sadness.

34. “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

It's hard for others to understand.

35. “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, Hold Still

You constantly feel like you're in the dark.

If you or someone you know is dealing with depression, call SAMHSA's National Helpline (1-800-662-4357) for free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information. For free and confidential emotional support, call 800-273-TALK no matter what problems or type of stress you’re dealing with.

RELATED: 10 Agonizing Truths Depressed People Never Talk About

Helen Luc is a frequent contributor to YourTango. Her writing focuses on love, relationships, and pop-culture topics.