Sometimes no amount of quiet reflection or deep contemplation can ever lead us to the right words that speak to our heart. Humans, as social creatures, look to each other for inspiration and a way to communicate things we thought never could be shared.
This is why societies around the world created things such as music, movies, and books in order to express and translate our thoughts and feelings across the world. Through these outlets, millions have shared their personal experiences and expressed their pain through words. Some of the more profound examples of these words are based on the feelings of anxiety and depression. Here are some of the best quotes of people expressing their mental struggles:
“It was like being at the bottom of a hole, looking up and seeing the top, but having no rope to climb” out.
Brushing my teeth, combing my hair, taking a shower, or fixing meals were almost insurmountable tasks most days. Gradually it got better and I was able to leave my apartment. I started doing things with friends again, but I still felt safest at home.
“I felt as if I was going to die. I could not breathe, my body felt as if it was burning from the inside out, and I had to pull off of the road to get out of the car and get air. I walked for two or three hours to try to gather myself before having to call my father to come and pick me up. It has been a touch-and-go experience since that day eight years ago, and an ever-evolving relationship with anxiety.”
“Feeling intense shame and a nagging fear that people would think my attacks were all in my head, I decided to hide my symptoms from even my closest friends and family. “
“The worst era of my anxiety disorder was the time before I knew I had it. I knew something was wrong, but not what.”
“For 50 years, my mental illness has caused me marked shame, job stress, possible physical damage, and lifestyle restrictions. For 50 years, I’ve desperately tried to disguise my anxiety and its symptoms—and heightened both. For 50 years, I’ve felt like a lone lunatic unable to perform things normal people do naturally, a disguised intergalactic alien who can’t quite get the hang of imitating and interacting with the earthlings among whom he’s crash-landed.”
“Was I going to spend the next 40 years making clever excuses about why I was unable to participate in living, laughing, and being whole?”
“After I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, I felt immense relief because it meant that there was a name for my suffering. I wasn’t crazy or weird, like I thought for so many years”
“My biggest lesson learned is that sometimes it seems impossible to cope with your anxiety and that it will never end, but you have to trust that the feelings are normal due to life events. They’re real, it’s not weakness and you will be able to find happiness again”
“People need help. And asking for it isn’t a weakness. Admitting you need help and asking for it? That is acknowledging fear and gaining strength from it. “
“At my lowest moments, everything and everyone in the world was a threat. Not just people I knew, but people I knew I’d never meet. Brad Pitt’s looks? A threat. Same for Peyton Manning’s arm, Josh Groban’s voice, Justin Timberlake’s talent, the neighbor’s house…all things to threaten me, instead of for me to simply enjoy.”
“Depression hurt physically, a pain like a pit in the stomach that won’t go away. “
“Eventually, I began a tailspin that I am convinced led directly to losing my job, further intensifying these unidentified, uncontrollable, and fearful feelings.”
“For me, depression feels like losing the will to live. I stop caring about everything and anyone, especially myself. Even getting out of bed becomes an insurmountable obstacle, so I just don’t even try.”
“A recovery story is a messy thing. It has dozens of beginnings and no final ending. Most of the conflict and drama is internal, and there’s a lot more inaction than action. The lead character hides in the shadows much of the time, so you can’t even see what’s going on.”
– John Folk-Williams
“I had never told anyone I felt depressed. I hated having to leave work early for counseling sessions and how some questions about feelings left me reaching for the tissue box. But what kept me returning to therapy was my sense of relief when I climbed the stairs to the office. However embarrassed I might have felt, I was unburdened after talking. Therapy helped me learn how my loss of interest in everyday activities, intrusive thoughts, and rumination were symptoms of depression. Thanks to my therapist (a term I had trouble saying at first), I learned that if I wanted to get out of depression, I had to leave behind my downbeat mindset.”
-Michael E. Reagan, Jr.
“There is no one cure for depression. But there is a cure for depression inside each and every one of us. The only problem is that you have to find it within yourself. Mine happened to be my unconditional love for others.”
“Once I’d started talking openly about it and not being ashamed or embarrassed, the pressures I’d placed upon myself in previous years – knowing something was up but not confronting it – all but dried up. The support from family and friends when we talked was immense. The texts from the lads every now and again with a simple “how’s tricks?” was ample evidence that me opening my mouth and saying something was the biggest help of all.”
“It took time, but even I (so skeptical) learned to envision a recovery. And I envisioned myself writing about my recovery, helping others even if I wasn’t quite sure if I would recover. I battled my inner demons for more four years. I thought I wanted to be perfect, but it turns out that I never quite knew what that really was.”
“You would never wag a finger in the face of a diabetic and shame them for taking insulin. Nor should you look upon a homeless man and tell him to get up and go to his house and stop talking to himself. Until we begin to see that mental illness attacks an organ in our body that needs medical attention, therapy, and understanding, we will still run into the ridiculous few who see those in a wheelchair as lazy.”