Depression and sadness are different mindsets. As J. K. Rowling put it, “It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling—that really hollowed-out feeling.”
Depression is a problem that feeds on itself, so to speak. Without a glimmer of light at the end of some mysteriously long, winding tunnel, a sufferer struggles to feel emotions, to sense that relief will eventually come.
Not only a heartache, depression is also a lack of connection between the heart and the brain. Uncertainty fills the void. A sense of purpose seems to be absent, and life looks meaningless. Sometimes the underlying cause of the problem is disempowerment, when a person’s initiatives are thwarted by other people who rob them of dignity and direction.
Clinical depression entails loss of interest in the person’s usual daily activities, eating and making any sort of effort. It can be caused by chemical imbalances, a maladjusted aka immature look at life, or poor nutrition and a lack of sufficient exercise.
Self-pity is a leading candidate for causing depression, by the way. That line of thought rejects a sense of responsibility for creating your own future, taking responsibility for your attitude, and finding solace in purposeful activity.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is in a class of its own because it has little, if anything, to do with the choices a person made. A result of chemical interactions in women who recently gave birth, PPD is amenable to a line of treatment which addresses that reality.
No matter the cause of a depressive state, though, the result is oppressively debilitating. A depressed person sees no way out of their situation, as you can figure out from the following depression quotes:
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu, philosopher
“Here is the tragedy: when you are the victim of depression, not only do you feel utterly helpless and abandoned by the world, you also know that very few people can understand, or even begin to believe, that life can be this painful. There is nothing I can think of that is quite as isolating as this.” Giles Andreae
“You don’t have to live a lie. Living a lie will mess you up. It will send you into depression. It will warp your values.” Gilbert Baker
If you don’t feel worse yet, you might when you read the next few depression quotes:
“There is no negativity in the moment of new creation. While the energy of creativity is flowing, depression and despair are impossible. The spiritual root of depression is lack of growth in the personality. When time ticks away and nothing new is being built, when all is static, the soul feels the cold hand of death. The sadness of the end of life is that activity is no longer possible, no change can be generated, and all is frozen. That is the essential difference between life and its opposite, and a soul has a premonition of that final state when it is inactive in this world. This is a great secret in the understanding of depression, and this is the reason that the cure for depression is activity; at first, any purposeful activity, but leading as soon as possible to activity of the soul, the movement of growth.” [ED: A person’s spiritual’s stagnancy is a major cause of depression] Rav Akiva Tatz
Comedian Woody Allen, whose life illustrates depression, once remarked “Everybody feels that pain and existential loneliness and terror,” said Allen. “When you see it in a comic persona, you tend to think it’s special because the person is so funny and seems to be the very antithesis of gloom… It just looks more ironic on him as he makes his living as a funnyman.”
“As a confirmed melancholic, I can testify that the best and maybe only antidote for melancholia is action. However, like most melancholics, I suffer also from sloth.”
― Edward Abbey
“Depression is Anger without enthusiasm.” Anonymous
Here’s an observation for parents and anyone 10 years or older: “Adolescence is that time of life when you discover your ability to be depressed.” Solomon Short
David Gerrold (1944 – ) science fiction author.
Music, the arts, helping other people and a few other can-do activities are known for helping people out of depression. Humor does, too. You can search the Internet for thousands of depression quotes, and some of them are quite funny. The humor points out the irony of the depressing situation and lets you take on life with a renewed zest for life. This quip is one such example of that: “It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it’s a depression when you lose yours.” Harry Truman (1884 – 1972) 33rd U.S. president
Yocheved Golani is a popular writer whose byline has appeared worldwide in print and online. A certified Health Information Management professional, she is a member of Get Help Israel. Certified in Spiritual Chaplaincy (End of Life issues) and in counseling skills, her life coaching for ill people puts healthy perspective into a clients’ success plan for achieving desired goals.