It’s been…a day. I wanted to write to you about several things today; a fountain pen, a poppet made of human hair the Finnish folk/black metal project Wyrd. But my trusted words failed me and left me spending much of the afternoon coiled around my pillow blasting myself with rays from my light therapy lamp. (I’ve a feeling my medication is going to need to be increased.) So instead I’ve collected some quotes about depression which capture what it is to exist with this horror of an illness.
p.s. I’m currently reading Sally Brampton’s Shoot The Damn Dog. If you’re living with depression or want to know how to better support someone who is, I highly recommend it.
“I am living in a nightmare, from which from time to time I wake in sleep.”
– Ursula K. Le Guin
“We are not easy to help. Nor are we easy to be around. Nobody with a serious illness is easy to be around. Although not obviously physically disabled, we struggle to get things done. Our energy levels are dangerously low. Sometimes, we find it hard to talk. We get angry and frustrated. We fall into despair. We cry, for no apparent reason. Sometimes we find it difficult to eat, or to sleep. Often, we have to go to bed in the afternoon or all day. So do most people with a serious illness. We are no different.”
“The smiles of the unhappiest are often the widest.”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
“Losing your life is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is to lose your reason for living.”
— Jo Nesbø
“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.”
“It seemed silly to wash one day when I would only have to wash again the next.
It made me tired just to think of it.”
“My creative powers have been reduced to a restless indolence. I cannot be idle, yet I cannot seem to do anything either. I have no imagination, no more feeling for nature, and reading has become repugnant to me. When we are robbed of ourselves, we are robbed of everything.”
“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.
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
“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
“If I can’t feel, if I can’t move, if I can’t think, and I can’t care, then what conceivable point is there in living?”
― Kay Redfield Jamison
“How could death not be appealing, when the only thing that gave him comfort in life was being unconscious?”
― Krystal Sutherland
“He had the feeling that there was something physically behind his eyes, blocking the light.”
― Jeffrey Eugenides
“I’ll say it again – mental illness is a physical illness. You wouldn’t consider going up to someone suffering from Alzheimers to yell, “Come on, get with it, you remember where you left your keys?” Let us shout it from the rooftops until everyone gets the message; depression has and nothing to do with having a bad day or being sad, it’s a killer if not taken seriously.”
― Ruby Wax
“It is two years since I emerged from depression and I no longer want myself dead. I want myself alive. I am no longer my own enemy. Depression is the enemy. The monster lives at my gate. My hope is that, with sufficient effort and luck, I can keep it there.”