There exists, at the bottom of all abasement and misfortune, a last extreme which rebels and joins battle with the forces of law and respectability in a desperate struggle, waged partly by cunning and partly by violence, at once sick and ferocious, in which it attacks the prevailing social order with the pin-pricks of vice and the hammer-blows of crime.
—Victor Hugo (1802–85) French Novelist
Depression is the inability to construct a future.
—Rollo May (1909–94) American Philosopher
The only way to escape the abyss is to look at it, gauge it, sound it out and descend into it.
—Cesare Pavese (1908–50) Italian Novelist, Poet, Critic, Translator
This is my “depressed stance.” When you’re depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand. The worst thing you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you’ll start to feel better. If you’re going to get any joy out of being depressed, you’ve got to stand like this.
—Charles M. Schulz (1922–2000) American Cartoonist, Writer, Artist
Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.
—Grenville Kleiser (1868–1935) Canadian Author
Don’t say, “I am depressed”. If you want to say, “It is depressed,” that’s all right. If you want to say that depression is there, that’s fine; if you want to say gloominess is there, that’s fine. But not: I am gloomy. You’re defining yourself in terms of the feeling. That’s your illusion; that’s your mistake. There is a depression there right now, but let it be, leave it alone. It will pass. Everything passes, everything. Your depressions and your thrills have nothing to do with happiness. Those are swings of the pendulum. If you seek kicks or thrills, get ready for depression. Do you want your drug? Get ready for the hangover. One end of the pendulum swings over to the other.
—Anthony de Mello (1931–87) Indian-born American Theologian
In all things it is better to hope than to despair.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.
—Dodie Smith (1896–1990) British Novelist, Playwright, Writer
The reason why all men honor love is because it looks up, and not down; aspires and not despairs.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach for another is to risk involvement.
To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To believe is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their attitudes they are slaves; they have forfeited their freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.
It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose your own.
—Harry S. Truman (1884–1972) American Head of State
He did not mean to depress us, rather to free us from expectations which inspire bitterness. It is consoling, when love has let us down, to hear that happiness was never part of the plan.
—Alain de Botton (b.1969) Swiss-born British Philosopher, Author
If the heart of a man is depressed with cares, The mist is dispelled when a woman appears.
—John Gay (1685–1732) English Poet, Dramatist
The term clinical depression finds its way into too many conversations these days. One has a sense that a catastrophe has occurred in the psychic landscape.
—Leonard Cohen (1934–2016) Canadian Singer, Songwriter, Poet, Novelist
Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
—Steven Wright (b.1955) American Comedian, Actor, Writer