Sad Depression Quotes: Quotes To Help You Feel Understood

Reviewed by Rashonda Douthit, LCSW

Published 06/24/2022

If you've ever experienced depression, you know how isolating it can be. Quotes are short phrases that serve a variety of purposes, from summing up points in a way that is concise to providing people with comfort to motivating people through their days. Here are some quotes about depression and sadness that can help explain how you feel and gain a sense of understanding. 

Quotes On Sadness Vs. Depression

There's a difference between sadness and depression. Depression is a diagnosable mental health condition, where sadness is an emotion that everyone faces. Here are some quotes about the reality of depression and depression vs. sadness.

"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. Depression is like cancer." - Barbara Kingsolver

"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

"Others imply that they know what it is like to be depressed because they have gone through a divorce, lost a job, or broken up with someone. But these experiences carry with them feelings. Depression, instead, is flat, hollow, and unendurable. It is also tiresome. People cannot abide being around you when you are depressed. They might think that they ought to, and they might even try, but you know and they know that you are tedious beyond belief: you are irritable and paranoid and humorless and lifeless and critical and demanding and no reassurance is ever enough. You're frightened, and you're frightening, and you're "not at all like yourself but will be soon," but you know you won't." - Kay Redfield Jamison

"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

Quotes On What Depression Feels Like

Depression is hard to explain. Here are some quotes about what depression feels like.

"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 

"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 couldn't be with people and I didn't want to be alone. Suddenly my perspective whooshed and I was far out in space, watching the world. 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." - Marian Keyes

"Depression presents itself as a realism regarding the rottenness of the world in general and the rottenness of your life in particular. But the realism is merely a mask for depression's actual essence, which is an overwhelming estrangement from humanity. The more persuaded you are of your unique access to the rottenness, the more afraid you become of engaging with the world; and the less you engage with the world, the more perfidiously happy-faced the rest of humanity seems for continuing to engage with it." - Jonathan Franzen

"That's the thing I want to make clear about depression: It's got nothing at all to do with life. In the course of life, there is sadness and pain and sorrow, all of which, in their right time and season, are normal - unpleasant, but normal. Depression is an altogether different zone because it involves a complete absence: absence of affect, absence of feeling, absence of response, absence of interest. The pain you feel in the course of a major clinical depression is an attempt on nature's part (nature, after all, abhors a vacuum) to fill up the empty space. But for all intents and purposes, the deeply depressed are just the walking, waking dead. And the scariest part is that if you ask anyone in the throes of depression how he got there, to pin down the turning point, he'll never know. There is a classic moment in The Sun Also Rises when someone asks Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt, and all he can say in response is, 'Gradually and then suddenly.' When someone asks how I love my mind, that is all I can say, too." - Elizabeth Wurtzel

"Need a whole new syntax for fatigue on days like this" - David Foster Wallace

"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

Grief And Depression Quotes

There are differences in grief vs. depression, but they can go hand in hand. Here are some quotes related to feelings of depression or sadness that are related to grief specifically.

"Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim." - Vicki Harrison

"So it's true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love." - E.A. Bucchianeri

"Grief is depression in proportion to circumstance; Depression is grief out of proportion to circumstance." - Andrew Solomon

"I wasn't prepared for the fact that grief is so unpredictable. It wasn't just sadness, and it wasn't linear. Somehow, I'd thought that the first days would be the worst and then it would get steadily better, like getting over the flu. That's not how it was." Meghan O'Rourke 

"The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not 'get over' the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to." - Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

"You will lose someone you can't live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn't seal back up. And, you come through." - Anne Lamott

"There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief." - Aeschylus

Nostalgic Depression Quotes

At times, nostalgia has a way of making you feel sadness as you reminisce about the past. Here are some quotes about nostalgia that might help if this is what you're going through.

"Nostalgia is something we think of as fuzzy. But, it's pain. Pain concerning the past." - Peter Carey

"Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell." - Edna St. Vincent Millay

"Nostalgia paints a smile on the stony face of the past." - Mason Cooley

"Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days." - Doug Larson

"You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time." - Charles Kettering

"A feeling of sadness and longing/That is not akin to pain/And resembles sorrow only/As the mist resembles the rain." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Hopeful Depression Quotes

To finish this list, here are some quotes that you can look to for some help. The truth is the depression is a treatable mental health condition, and that if you suffer from depression, you are not alone, and things can get better.

"Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand." - Patti Smith

"Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow." - Dan Rather

"There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn't." - John Green

"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

Take The Mind Diagnostics Depression Test

If you think that you may be experiencing depression, or if you feel sad consider taking the Mind Diagnostics depression test. The Mind Diagnostics depression test is not a replacement for medical or mental health advice, nor is it a replacement for a diagnosis, but it can give you some insight into what you might be going through.

Click here to take the Mind Diagnostics depression test.