How to explain depression, according to Twitter

Sharing is caring!

What is depression?

I love this quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, about how to explain depression: “Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”

That’s so true isn’t it? We all carry weights on our shoulders, like those water bucket carriers from days of old.  What sort of sadness is sloshing around in those buckets? Do you keep your buckets covered and their contents secret, or do you let people see what’s inside?

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 vary from person to person. For me, it is fatigue, lack of motivation, and fluctuations in appetite.  For others, it can be anger, or issues with sleep.

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

Like my posts?
Thanks so much! Subscribe right here + get a set of FREE printable positive affirmations cards (plus, a few other PDFS to help you out)
I respect your privacy and only send a couple emails a week.

Also, I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Just someone who has lived with anxiety for many years who is passionate about sharing her experiences and tips for success. If you are in crisis call your doctor, then click here for some good mental health resources.

How to explain depression

“Darkness embraced me and is now the closest lifelong friend I’ll ever know, who robs me of any ability to enjoy or care or function or try.” @arcanedrag0n (dragonscodex.net)

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

“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 (www.ashleyrunals.com)

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

“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 (www.chronicallycaffeinatedmom.org)

“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 (www.kellymartinspeaks.co.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:/www.sheedahsunshine.wordpress.com)

“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 (www.meditativeowl.wordpress.com)

how to explain depression

“I think it’s like being 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 (www.themindberg.com)

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

“Living in a fog.  Like living through life sleepwalking while carrying around burdens that you can’t seem to unload…” @Tiffanys_Blog (www.4youiwill.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 (www.digitalbutterfly.life)

“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 (www.howtorelationship101.blogspot.com)

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 (www.disableddisney.com)

“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 (www.tenderfootnurse.com)

“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 (www.momminintherealworld.com)

what is depression

“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…”(katemartin.co)

It 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.” (www.daringwomaninc.com)

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

“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 (http://www.talesofaprofessionalprocrastinator.wordpress.com)

“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 (www.mysmalltravelguide.com)

“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…”(www.simplytink.wordpress.com)

“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 (www.blackgirlandanime.com)

how do you describe depression

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 15 people, 100% said that they had suffered from some form of depression at some point in their life.

An overwhelming number. It just goes to show how far we have to go when it comes to resources and support.

Let me know in the comments what your best way of describing it would be. And don’t forget to share this article if you found it helpful!

How would you describe depression?


Join my mailing list and I’ll send you the secret password to my Free Resource Library that has several useful mental health PDFs you can download and print. Thanks for reading!

I respect your privacy, and only send a couple emails a week. Unsubscribe at any time.

Related posts about what depression is:

Depression Explained in 140 Characters or Less

How to Recognize the Physical Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety

Eating for Depression and Anxiety

7 Interesting Facts About Anxiety

5 Simple Ways to Avoid Burnout

50 Must Have Mental Health Resources

Sharing is caring!

68 thoughts on “How to explain depression, according to Twitter”

  1. This is a great post and channel that allows people to feel like they are not alone. Thanks for helping me understand what people with depression go through.

  2. Oh, how I can relate to some of these. It clearly feels different to everyone but some of these are written in such a heartbreakingly beautiful way. Thank you for compiling this list.

  3. sara lafountain

    Some of these tweets are so insightful! Thank you for sharing. My son has depression and this helps me understand it.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that he has depression, but I am glad you think the post helped you understand him better. Thanks so much!

  4. Depression is a very sad period in someone’s life. It’s so important to know how you can help your dears.

  5. This is really a serious and a must-discussed topic. Depression can be life threatening to whoever is experiencing this. Thank you for sharing your thought about this. I will spread the words.

  6. I love the descriptions people used for depression! So many times I’ve tried to describe it to people who could never really understand what I have gone through. Thanks so much for this! Sometimes, the fact that others understand make me feel more hopeful.

    1. It definitely helps. Since I’ve started speaking more openly about my issues, I’ve felt more hopeful myself. Thanks for reading!

  7. I know several people who have suffered from depression and/or anxiety. Even though they didn’t put it into words to me, I’m sure that they would relate to these quotes. It is really painful to watch someone you love struggle with depression. Although it took quite a while to get an appointment with a health care professional, my loved one was finally able to get the help she needed. The in-between time was absolutely awful for everyone who loves her, as well as the individual.

    1. That’s such a hard part of it, the time it can take to get in to see someone, as well as the occasional insurance issue. I’m glad she got help!

  8. It is interesting to read the quotes and understand how different it can be for different people. It is so necessary to be able to talk about it so that it can be understood.

  9. I didn’t know I was depressed, clinically, until my wife insisted I speak with someone. I’m grateful I finally put my pride to the side and headed her advice.

    I’ve learned so much from reading the quotes from other people just about how widespread depression really is and what depression means or feels like to different people.

    I’ll refer to this post often. Thank you. It makes one not feel so alone.

    1. Thanks! Sometimes it helps just to look at it in a different way, and I think this could help with that. Feel free to share!

  10. Like being at the bottom of a pit, you can, sometimes, just see a glint of light, you try and pull your way towards it and sometimes you get closer and sometimes the rubble below your gives way and you fall back.

  11. A very interesting post and it is so true that everyone has experienced depression of some kind. This was such goood food for thought and has helped me examine my own feelings of depression

  12. For me, I definitely get very irritated when I’m having mood fluctuations. That may be because of the constant switching from high to low confusing my brain and irritating me, or it may be that I’m just irritated with myself for not being able to get out of bed. I also always feel super fatigued and have no motivation whatsoever. It’s definitely different for each individual, but there are some symptoms that most people have! xx

  13. Pam Wattenbarger

    As a person who’s dealt with depression for years, I’m glad we’re finally able to talk about it. I know it feels different for everyone, but I can identify with all those quotes.

  14. Such an incredibly thoughtful and touching post. Every summary touched me in such a way I didn’t realise 140 characters could. Great post and fantastic idea!

  15. Although every account sounded different, for someone who battles with depression and anxiety, I identified with every quote made by Twitter followers. I really love that Longfellow quote by the way. I’m so glad that mental health awareness is a thing now. I feel like my family finally understands why I need medicine and that I’m not just taking an easy way out. Oh I almost forgot, I got the deck of affirmation cards you mentioned in another post. I absolutely love them.

  16. So glad depression is coming into the limelight and everyone talks about it without feeling ashamed. Thank you for sharing such an important post.

  17. As a therapist these quotes are a great representation of how different depression can present for adults and kids too. The dsm criteria gives us a standard way to diagnose but it’s really a change in that baseline that should be a red flag!

  18. These assessments of depression, from people of Twitter, were chilling because I knew, but hadn’t processed how widespread depression is and how it affects people in so many different ways.

  19. It’s fascinating to read about other people’s perspective of depression. I personally would describe it emptiness. You have no appetite even when you’re hungry, you can’t sleep even if you’re tired. You can’t feel a thing even if you’re consumed by hopelessness. It’s a strange feeling. But it can be comforting to know that I am not alone.

  20. I’m so glad depression is coming into the light more instead of being a “shameful” diagnoses to have. It is a chemical imbalance that can be corrected, not a doomed life. Cheers to spreading awareness! 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *