As a follow up to last month’s post Quotes About Anxiety I’ve selected a collection of quotes on coping with depression. Many people who experience serious depression refer to it in terms of deep emotional and spiritual pain. The writer John Styron in Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness describes his depression as an assault on his mind: “my brain had begun to endure its familiar siege: panic and dislocation, and a sense that my thought processes were being engulfed by a toxic and unnameable tide that obliterated any enjoyable response to the living world.”
Of all the books, essays and other attempts to describe what it feels like to live with depression, Styron’s is among the best. The problem with this approach is that no one who has not actually experienced serious depression can ever really know the pain it causes. Former talk show host Dick Cavett places depression in the “small category of things like combat that, if you haven’t been in it, you can say you can imagine it all you like. But it’s truly different.”
In this collection of quotes from notable people who have struggled with depression the emphasis is on how they coped, not how bad they felt. Their words are not the darkness visible, but the shining light at the end of the tunnel.
“My sense of worth was so low. I had to re-program myself to see the good in me. Because someone didn’t love me didn’t mean I was unlovable.”
– Halle Berry (Academy Award-winning actor)
“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.”
– Sally Brampton (English writer, author of Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression)
“The thing that finally gave me freedom, and took me forever to figure out, is you need to separate your issues from your identity. Your pain is not your personality.”
– Kevin Breel (Canadian writer, comedian and mental health activist, author of Boy Meets Depression: Or Life Sucks and Then You Live)
“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 (English comedian, actor and political activist)
“I’ve had some dark nights of the soul, of course, but giving in to depression would be a sellout, a defeat.”
– Christopher Hitchens (English writer and literary critic)
“Depression doesn’t take away your talents. It just makes them harder to find… You just have to go back to… find that one little light that’s left.”
– Lady Gaga (American singer-songwriter and outspoken anti-bullying advocate)
“I thought postpartum depression meant you were sobbing every single day and incapable of looking after a child. But there are different shades of it and depths of it, which is why I think it’s so important for women to talk about it.”
– Gwyneth Paltrow (Academy Award-winning actor)
“I remember feeling, ‘I can’t complain about anything, because I’m so lucky, I’m so lucky.’ After that I realized I needed to take time off…”
– Winona Ryder (American actor)
“Listen to the people who love you. Believe that they are worth living for even when you don’t believe it. Seek out the memories depression takes away and project them into the future. Be brave; be strong; take your pills. Exercise because it’s good for you even if every step weighs a thousand pounds. Eat when food itself disgusts you. Reason with yourself when you have lost your reason.”
– Andrew Solomon (American writer, author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression)
“I had to choose to get out of bed and do whatever I needed to do to be happy.”
– Michelle Williams (American singer from Destiny’s Child)
“That is all I want in life: for this pain to seem purposeful.”
– Elizabeth Wurtzel (American writer, author of Prozac Nation)
Do you have a positive quote about depression you’d like to share with other readers? Let us know in the comments below.
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4 thoughts on “Positive Quotes on Coping with Depression”
When I was in intensive out patient therapy, one therapists kept saying the same quote over and over, and I think it finally sank in, ” Depression is a liar!”
I also liked the quote by Sally Brampton about suicide, “We are simply defeated by the long, hard struggle to stay alive, rather than that somebody simply gave up.” It is a hard struggle.
Thanks for commenting. That’s a good one by your therapist. Definitely going to add it to the collection!
The idle mind is the devils playground
Depression is a unfair fighter with many tricks, but I would rather lose and fought with dignity and honor then win by handout. No meds, just me and passion.