Short Depression Quotes That Explain What It's Really Like

Published 06/22/2022

Major Depressive Disorder or MDD is a mental health condition that affects roughly 6.7% of those aged 18 or older. Though it's common, it can be hard to explain Depression - especially to someone that doesn't have it. It feels lonely, but while it's not an easy thing to face, Depression is highly treatable. Here are some depression sayings and quotes that explain what it's really like. 

Best Quotes To Explain What Depression Is Really Like

Depression often makes one feel misunderstood, but these depression quotes hit the nail on the head. Feeling understood and listened to is important, and it can offer relief when it comes to mental health. Check out these quotes that explain what Depression really feels like.

"A lot of people don't realize that Depression is an illness. I don't wish it on anyone, but if they would know how it feels, I swear they would think twice before they just shrug it." - Jonathan Davis

"Sometimes", says a fellow depressive, "I wish I was in a full-body cast, with every bone in my body broken. That's how I feel anyway. Then, maybe, people would stop minimizing my illness because they can actually see what's wrong with me. They seem to need physical evidence." - Sally Brampton

"There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds." - Laurell K. Hamilton

"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

"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

"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

Quotes About Breaking Depression And Mental Health Stigma

One of the important pieces of explaining Depression is to break the stigma surrounding it. Here are some quotes about breaking the stigma surrounding depression and mental illness.

"My brain and my heart are really important to me. I don't know why I wouldn't seek help to have those things be as healthy as my teeth. I go to the dentist. So why wouldn't I go to a shrink?" - Kerry Washington

"Telling a person who is depressed to have positive thoughts is the same as telling a sick person not to be sick. It doesn't work." - Yong Kang Chan

"I wish people could understand that the brain is the most important organ of our body. Just because you can't see mental illness like you could see a broken bone, doesn't mean it's not as detrimental or devastating to a family or an individual." - Demi Lovato

"A child's mental health is just as important as their physical health and deserves the same quality of support. No one would feel embarrassed about seeking help for a child if they broke their arm." - Kate Middleton​

"It's so common, it could be anyone. The trouble is, nobody wants to talk about it. And that makes everything worse." - Ruby Wax

"Healing takes time, and asking for help is a courageous step." - Mariska Hargitay 

"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

Quotes For When You Feel Alone

Feeling alone is common in those with depression even though it's considered a very common condition. It has a way of making you feel like you're all by yourself, but you're not. Here are some quotes to turn to when you feel alone.

"When all these people surround you, 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

"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

"Being sad and being depressed are two different things. Also, people going through Depression don't look so, while someone sad will look sad. The most common reaction is, 'How can you be depressed? You have everything going for you. You are the supposed number one heroine and have a plush home, car, movies. What else do you want?'" - Deepika Padukone

"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

"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

"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 That Help Explain Depression Symptoms

Symptoms are both hard to explain and hard to understand at times. If you have a friend or family member with depression, or seek understanding and have depression yourself, read these quotes.

"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

"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, "The Bean Trees"

"There are times when explanations, no matter how reasonable, just don't seem to help." - Fred Rogers

"When people don't know exactly what depression is, they can be judgmental." - Marion Cotillard

"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

"The only thing more exhausting than being depressed is pretending that you're not." - Author Unknown

Depression Quotes For When You Need Some Hope

If you're looking for Depression motivational quotes, you're in the right place. Here are some depression quotes that can give you hope when the going gets tough. 

"I found that with depression, one of the most important things you could realize is that you're not alone." - Dwayne Johnson

"Depression doesn't take away your talents; it just makes them harder to find." - Lady Gaga

"It's amazing how much you're missing in a depressive state until you start to come out on the other side. It's like breathing again after being underwater for far too long." - Jenny Lawson

Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony, and music inside me. - Vincent Van Gogh

"You are the one thing in this world, above all other things, that you must never give up on. When I was in middle school, I was struggling with severe anxiety and Depression and the help and support I received from my family and a therapist saved my life. Asking for help is the first step. You are more precious to this world than you'll ever know." - Lili Reinhart

"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

"I've found that it's of some help to think of one's moods and feelings about the world as being similar to weather. Here are some obvious things about the weather:

It's real.

You can't change it by wishing it away.

If it's dark and rainy, it really is dark and rainy, and you can't alter it.

It might be dark and rainy for two weeks in a row.


it will be sunny one day.

It isn't under one's control when the sun comes out, but come out it will.

One day.

It really is the same with one's moods, I think. The wrong approach is to believe that they are illusions. Depression, anxiety, listlessness - these are all are real as the weather - AND EQUALLY NOT UNDER ONE'S CONTROL.

Not one's fault.


They will pass: really they will.

In the same way that one really has to accept the weather, one has to accept how one feels about life sometimes, "Today is a really crap day," is a perfectly realistic approach. It's all about finding a kind of mental umbrella. "Hey-ho, it's raining inside; it isn't my fault and there's nothing I can do about it, but sit it out. But the sun may well come out tomorrow, and when it does, I shall take full advantage." - Stephen Fry

How To Use Depression Quotes

Depression sayings and quotes can offer comfort. They can become mantras that help you get through the toughest times. They can give you a glimpse of hope or understanding that you need, even if just for a moment, or they can help you explain depression to other people who want to learn more about what it's like. What quotes aren't, however, is a replacement for medical or mental health treatment. If you're experiencing depression or think that you might be, reach out to a medical or mental health professional who can help. depression is painful, but there is hope.

Take The Depression Test

Do you think that you might have depression? Consider taking the Mind Diagnostics depression test to see if you could be facing depressive symptoms. While it's not a replacement for a diagnosis or individual mental health advice, it can give you some insight into what you're going through.

Click here to take the Mind Diagnostics Depression test.