Depression Explained in 140 Characters or Less

How would you describe depression?

Depression is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as:

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.

Symptoms of depression can vary from person to person. It can mean extreme fatigue, it can mean lots of crying, and it can mean distancing yourself from friends.

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How would you define it? I asked Twitter to define depression in 140 characters or less. This is what they came up with.

Depression explained by Twitter

“Depression is like drowning. I always feel the weight of the worthlessness and hopelessness choking me.” @thestrugglejugg (

“Depression is putting on make up, getting dressed, and going to work while no one knows that you had to lay in bed for 2 hours to do it.” @ashley_runals (

“Depression is dark, it stops you from doing the simplest of things, answering the phone, isolation, personal hygiene…” @ladyfibro (

“Depression is a black hole with no escape. Each wall taller than the other, there’s no light shining through. Everything is gray and bleak…” @CCaffeinatedmom (

“Depression feels like you’ve been carrying the weight of the world for too long and you’ve forgotten your worth and value.” @KellyMartin_UK (

“Depression on me looks like someone who stays in bed all day, doesn’t shower, and cries in the walk-in closet. It’s also not calling anyone…” @sheedahsunshine (http:/

“Depression is like having a thick, black tar that seeps through your mind. It turns the good stuff bad & makes your thoughts jumbled, dark…” @MeditativeO (

“I think it’s like surrounded by fear: fear of making mistakes, fear of people judging your every move, fear of saying No, fear of loss…” @snumanali

It’s a sense of apathy.

“A sense of apathy and disconnect that leaves me not caring about anything.  Whilst conversely feeling so sensitive and full of shame…” @TheMINDBERG (

“Depression is like drowning in darkness. You’re continuing to fall down this void and can’t imagine a way out…” @lifebeautymom (

“Living in a fog.  Like living through life sleepwalking while carrying around burdens that you can’t seem to unload…” @Tiffanys_Blog

“Like you fell into a deep well and can’t find the strength or will to climb up the sides or find a way out.  There is no point to anything…” @lindengroveblog

“Depression is like falling into a deep, dark well. The further you fall, the further the light becomes. Then you feel nothing.” @DgtlButterfly

“It feels like my emotions have been taken away from me and all I’m left is with unending apathy. Like there’s a void within me…” @Caedere4 (

Depression explained in 140 characters or less
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It’s like a boulder.

“Depression is like that famous boulder… it rolls over you but you can’t out run it! And it weighs you down!” @DisabledDisney (

“Depression is my thief in the night, silently stealing my hope, joy, faith. Who would even want to steal from such an empty hole?…”

“It’s like that scene in Never Ending Story. Where Atreyu and his horse are in the swamp of sadness.”

“It feels like a permanent state of exhaustion and hopelessness. And always wanting someone to have a magic wand to make it better.” @Tenderfootmum (

“Waking up every morning under six feet of sand you have to claw through before getting dressed. Then if you even make it out, you feel unproductive…””For me, depression manifests as sadness, lack of interest in everything, & lack of desire to do anything…” @MomminReal (“For me, depression was voices. It was someone screaming in my head. It was the voice in my brain telling me I would never be good enough…” (

It’s can’t always be seen.

“Depression can’t always be seen. Often those who are seemingly the happiest, are the most depressed. It’s not something we can just get over.” (

“Depression wears many faces and mine is rooted in pain. I live in emotional and physical pain every day.” @DragonsCodex 

“Depression feels like a fog. You’re living in the gray, you can’t see the sun. The fog is thick and moving through it takes all your strength.”

“Depression can make you feel like your alone despite being surrounded by hundreds of people. It can talk you out of pretty much anything…” @TalesofJenn (

“Depression by itself is a negative emotional state. It’s a fight with your thoughts, feelings and acts. It’s an emptiness and darkness…” @small_guide (

“On most days, my depression is subtle. It’s like coming up for air except, each breath is shallow and rushed rather than paced and natural…”

“Depression to me has been making myself do everyday things like go to work & take care of my son but all I want to do is be left alone…” @blu_temptation (

How common is depression?

I gave my Twitter followers a poll. I asked them who considered themselves depressed or had in the past, and who did not. Out of 22 respondents, 82% said: They are depressed or have been before. That is about 18 out of 22 people. An overwhelming number. It just goes to show how far we have to go when it comes to resources and support.

How would you describe depression? Could you do it in 140 characters or less?

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42 thoughts on “Depression Explained in 140 Characters or Less”

  1. Especially 2020 and going forward, depression is taking on a whole new reality for people. I love all the quotes. Encouraging post! Personally, this is something I needed to even read!!! Thank you! Beth, WiseMommies

  2. I have seen so many of these signs come and go through quarantine. I’ve always struggled with depression, but it was easy to be in denial when busy life got in the way. Now that we’re constantly home, it’s hard to hide from. It was really eye opening reading the different definitions and experiences from Twitter. It truly helps knowing I’m not alone!

    1. I’m so glad you found it helpful! I think you’re right, that’s what’s hard about this pandemic is being home all the time, you have no place to hide from it. Thanks so much for reading.

  3. On the show A Million Little Things, depression was described as wearing a heavy coat all the time – I found myself relating to that description.

    This was an interesting read, thank you for sharing! It helps others know they are not alone.

  4. I totally related to some of these as someone with clinical depression. It really does feel like drowning sometimes, except no one can see you drowning so you have to save yourself.

  5. For me, it’s choosing to be in the dark, even if it’s scary, even though you’re alone. Because you know those you expected to be there can’t or won’t try to understand and that’s even more painful.

  6. I can really relate to some of these. I love that by including the opinions of such a vast number of people, you’re able to show that it’s honestly not the same for everyone – that’s one of the biggest misconceptions, I believe

  7. What a stunningly beautiful, raw and real post! When I was going through a divorce, I became depressed without realizing it. It wasn’t until my mom sent me a video about a man describing depression that I realized I had it.
    He said, “depression is feeling like it is so terribly bright outside and all you want to do is close the window but you can’t.” He ended the video by saying, “I can’t dim the sun for you, but I can sit under a blanket with you until your eyes adjust to the light.”

  8. Pingback: Bipolar Disorder: The Definition & Treatment - Diffusing the Tension

  9. Thanks so much for including me. Some very powerful descriptions here, and some interesting looking blogs to check out.
    Think it’s might be a post people keep returning to as a reminder that they’re not alone in their depression.
    Peace and love,
    Spence ?

  10. This is such a powerful post. It serves to prove just how wide spread depression is.

    I love the idea of defining it in 140 characters because it feels like a huge thing to sum up but people have done it so beautifully x

  11. A sad way to show the numbers of people who struggle or struggled with depression. So many quotes here resonated with me for I have known depression, however briefly, and love the poetic way many people have described it.

  12. There is always the official description that seems rigid and then the true description of an illness by those who live with it. It is the latter that I choose to try and take understanding from.

  13. Seeking Serenity and Harmony

    I have a long history of a battle with depression. When it is at its worst I can’t even find words to describe it to someone else. I think these responses you have sum it up very well. It is concerning the high numbers.

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