Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Depression

"A religion giving dark views of God, and infusing superstitious fear of innocent enjoyment, instead of aiding sober habits, will, by making men abject and sad, impair their moral force and prepare them for intemperance as a refuge from depression or despair." - William Ellery Channing

"The lessons of adversity are often the most benignant when they seem the most severe. The depression of vanity sometimes ennobles the feeling. The mind which does not wholly sink under misfortune rises above it more lofty than before, and is strengthened by affliction." - Richard Chenevix, fully Richard Chenevix Trench, Archbishop of Dublin

"Measure yourself by your best moments, not by your worst. We are too prone to judge ourselves by our moments of despondency and depression. We have all felt the desire, at times almost victorious desire, to get away from everything and retire into a cottage in the wilderness. But we don't do it, because we are better men and women than we think we are." - Robert Willard Johnson

"There is no depression for good deeds, and that is all that business consists of, and that is our real business." -

"Depression is the inability to construct a future." -

"Depression comes, not from having faults, but from the refusal to face them." - Fulton Sheen, fully Archbishop Fulton John Sheen

"Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression." - Dodie Smith, fully Dorothy Gladys "Dodie" Smith

"One of the best ways to properly evaluate and adapt to the many environmental stresses of life is to simply view them as normal. The adversity and failures in our lives, if adapted to and viewed as normal corrective feedback to use to get back on target, serve to develop in us an immunity against anxiety, depression, and the adverse responses to stress. Instead of tackling the most important priorities that would make us successful and effective in life, we prefer the path of least resistance and do things simply that will relieve our tension, such as shuffling papers and majoring in minors." -

"Thrift is not, as many suppose, a self repression. It is self expression, the demonstration of a will and ability to raise one's self to a higher plane of living. No depression was ever caused by people having too much money in reserve. No human being ever became a social drifter through the practice of sensible thrift." - Harvey A. Blodgett

"The alternative to recalling and interpreting dreams is not always pleasant. Individuals cannot expect to drift forever. If they do not puzzle out their identity, and the direction of their lives by the aid of their dreams, then they may be brought, by the relentless action of their own pent-up souls, into some crisis which requires that they come to terms with themselves. It may be a medical crisis. It may be the end of a marriage or of a job. It may be depression or withdrawal." - Edgar Cayce, known as the "Sleeping Prophet"

"There is no separation between a patient’s neurobiology, spiritual life, life perspectives, and quality of life force. Words, and spiritual/therapeutic interventions can tangibly affect a patient’s neurochemistry and physical health just as assuredly as psycho-pharmacological drugs can tangibly affect a patient’s feelings and thoughts... I have found that working with the meaning of a patient’s illness can profoundly alter not only the prognosis but can influence and give meaning to all other aspects of a patient’s life. Depression, for example, is often a direct communication from the soul that one’s belief system is not working... It is all too easy, and part of the human condition, to be misled by our lower half into believing that the sensory world is all that’s real." - Brian Greer

"Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body, the producers and consumers themselves." - Herbert Hoover, fully Herbert Clark Hoover

"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." -

"One cannot have faith without optimism. Faith and hope are inseparable. Depression is a great obstacle in the spiritual life and we must strive to conquer it... Cheerfulness is one of the essential spiritual qualities we must guard ourselves against dejection, self-denunciation, or even feeling a little down-hearted... Dejection invariably distorts our vision - it magnifies our troubles." - Paramananda, fully Swami Paramananda, born Suresh Chandra Guha-Thakurta NULL

"It required the Great Depression to open the eyes of the American people to the economic, cultural, social, political, and spiritual values inherent in a great democracy. For this I am thankful. As a distinctly finite being, man learns only through tragic experiences. Progress and Pain are Siamese twins." - Melvin Tolson, fully Melvin Beaunorus Tolson

"The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, and is not preceded by a period of worry and depression." -

"Depression boils down to one of two things: either dwelling excessively on the past or fantasizing excessively about the future. They have no present. Living in the past or living in the future produces a spiritual and emotional numbness to the present. And a depressed person chooses that numbness over facing the pain of the present." - Ezriel Tauber

"Depression, almost invariably, is a reflection of an individual's low estimation of oneself, because the depressed person feels that: "Things are going badly in my life;" and, "I am too weak and inadequate to handle these things or make them better, and therefore I am a pretty bad person."" - Albert Ellis

"When we’re unemployed, we’re called lazy; when the whites are unemployed it’s called a depression, which is the psycho-linguistics of racism." - Jesse Jackson, fully Jesse Louis Jackson

"When blacks are unemployed, they are considered lazy and apathetic. When whites are unemployed, it’s considered a depression." - Jesse Jackson, fully Jesse Louis Jackson

"[The Depression] is not a crisis of poverty, but a crisis of abundance. It is not the harshness and the niggardliness of nature which are oppressing us, but our own incompetence and wrong-headedness which hinder us from making use of the bountifulness of inventive science and cause us to be overwhelmed by its generous fruits." - John Maynard Keynes

"Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression." - Karen Horney, born Danielsen

"Depression, achievement, and physical health are three of the most obvious applications of learned optimism. But there is also the potential for a new understanding of yourself." - Martin Seligman, Martin E. P. "Marty" Seligman

"Optimism is just a useful adjunct to wisdom. By itself it cannot provide meaning. Optimism is a tool to help the individual achieve the goals he has set for himself. It is in the choice of the goals themselves that meaning - or emptiness - resides. When learned optimism is coupled with a renewed commitment to the commons [common good], our epidemic of depression and meaninglessness may end." - Martin Seligman, Martin E. P. "Marty" Seligman

"Action is the greatest tonic for depression... Every action you perform is important." - Mary T. Browne

"The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy." -

"Even at the depths of the 1930s Depression, which was objectively much worse than today, people were never hopeless the way they are today. Most people felt it's going to get better, we can do something about it, we can organize, we can work. Today what people mainly feel is, it's going to get worse, and there's nothing we can do about it. So what we're faced with is a combination of a very high degree of disillusionment, and a very low degree of hope and perception of alternatives. And that's exactly where serious organizers ought to be able to step in." - Noam Chomsky, fully Avram Noam Chomsky

"Depression is rage spread thin." - Paul Tillich, fully Paul Johannes Tillich

"Pain, it is true, transmuted, so to say, by its own fiery heat into anger, loses every appearance of depression and feebleness; the angry man makes a show of energy, as the man in a high fever does of natural heat, while, in fact, all this action of soul is but mere diseased palpitation, distention, and inflammation." - Plutarch, named Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus after becoming Roman citizen NULL

"Depression is the inability to construct a future." - Rollo May, fully Rollo Reese May

"Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity." - Socrates NULL

"There is nothing neutral about the soul. It is the seat and the source of life. Either we respond to what the soul presents in its fantasies and desires, or we suffer from this neglect of ourselves. The power of the soul can hurl a person into ecstasy or into depression. It can be creative or destructive, gentle or aggressive. Power incubates within the soul and then makes influential its influential move into life as the expression of soul. If there is no soulfulness, then there is no true power, and if there is no power, then there can be no true soulfulness." - Thomas Moore

"One of the best ways to properly evaluate and adapt to the many environmental stresses of life is to simply view them as normal. The adversity and failures in our lives, if adapted to and viewed as normal corrective feedback to use to get back on target, serve to develop in us an immunity against anxiety, depression, and the adverse responses to stress. Instead of tackling the most important priorities that would make us successful and effective in life, we prefer the path of least resistance and do things simply that will relieve our tension, such as shuffling papers and majoring in minors." - Denis E. Waitley

"Many an attack of depression is nothing but the expression of regret at having to be virtuous." - Wilhelm Stekel

"When you feel an emotion such as despair or in a depression, that is a low frequency current of energy. It has very little energy. And someone who is in despair or in a depression soaks up energy." - Gary Zukav

"Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body - the producers and consumers themselves. " -

"Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity." - Isocrates NULL

"There is this difference between depression and sorrow - sorrowful, you are in great trouble because something matters so much; depressed you are miserable because nothing really matters." - J. E. Buckrose, pseudonymn of Annie Edith Foster Jameson

"The seeing commit a strange error. They believe that we know the world only through our eyes. For my part, I discovered that the universe consists of pressure, that every object and every living being reveals itself to us at first by a kind of quiet yet unmistakable pressure that indicates its intention and its form. I even experienced the following wonderful fact: A voice, the voice of a person, permits him to appear in a picture. When the voice of a man reaches me, I immediately perceive his figure, his rhythm, and most of his intentions. Even stones are capable of weighing on us from a distance. So are the outlines of distant mountains, and the sudden depression of a lake at the bottom of a valley." - Jacques Lusseyran

"It is so often true that whether a person carries with him an atmosphere of gloom and depression or one of confidence and courage depends on his individual outlook. " - James Keller

"Gentlemen, a depression is for capitalism like a good, cold douche." - Joseph Schumpeter

"Credit expansion can bring about a temporary boom. But such a fictitious prosperity must end in a general depression of trade, a slump." - Ludwig von Mises, fully Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises

"Reading is at the threshold of the spiritual life; it can introduce us to it. It does not constitute it ... There are certain cases of spiritual depression in which reading can become a sort of curative discipline ... reintroducing a lazy mind into the life of the Spirit" - Marcel Proust, fully Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust

"Positive emotion alienated from the exercise of character leads to emptiness, inauthenticity, to depression and, as we age, to the gnawing realization that we are fidgeting until we die. " - Martin Seligman, Martin E. P. "Marty" Seligman

"The values of solitude - one of its values - is, of course, that there is nothing to cushion against attacks from within, just as there is nothing to help balance at times of particular stress or depression. A few moments of desultory conversation...may calm an inner storm. But the storm, painful as it is, might have had some truth in it. So sometimes one has simply to endure a period of depression for what it may hold of illumination if one can live through it, attentive to what it exposes or demands. The reasons for depression are not so interesting as the way one handles it, simply to stay alive." - May Sarton, pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton

"The Federal Reserve definitely caused the Great Depression by contracting the amount of money in circulation by one-third from 1929 to 1933." - Milton Friedman, fully John Milton Friedman

"It is a great thing to hear music from a holy person playing on an instrument for the sake of heaven. Because through this, false fantasies are dismissed, the spirit of depression is dispelled, and the person merits happiness. Through this the memory is preserved, that is, the memory of the world to come, and a person is able to understand the hints that Hashem is constantly hinting to him everyday. Furthermore, through this a person can reach the level of the spirit of prophecy and divine inspiration, and he will be able to pour out his heart like water before Hashem." - Nachman of Breslov, aka Reb Nachman Breslover or Bratslav, Nachman from Uman NULL

"To have courage means to claim your freedom, to reconnect with your will power, to reach the source of your resoluteness and determination as a person ... Seizing that freedom, claiming that truth, actually living out our lives in the experience of our freedom means being wiling to face grave anxiety, uncertainty, and doubt. It means facing guilt, anger, and depression -- what Saint John of the Cross called "the dark night of the soul" and Jonas called "the belly of the whale." It means that we accept pain as natural to growth, as the actual feeling of maturation. We recognize that the meaning of life is to be deep rather than to have fun, to understand rather than be entertained, to see rather than to be blind. We come face-to-face with our self-deception, with how we deny our true nature. We discover the perniciousness of ignorance and the worthlessness of superficiality. And these become emotional insights and experienced confirmations." - Peter Koestenbaum

"A little reflection soon shows how inconceivable it is really to love others (not merely to need them), if one cannot love oneself as one really is. And how could a person do that if, from the very beginning, he has had no chance to experience his true feelings and to learn to know himself? For the majority of sensitive people, the true self remains deeply and thoroughly hidden. But how can you love something you do not know, something that has never been loved? So it is that many a gifted person lives without any notion of his or her true self. Such people are enamored of an idealized, conforming, false self. They will shun their hidden and lost true self, unless depression makes them aware of its loss or psychosis confronts them harshly with that true self, whom they now have to face and to whom they are delivered up, helplessly, as to a threatening stranger. In the following pages I am trying to come closer to the origins of this loss of the self. While doing so, I shall not use the term narcissism. However, in my clinical descriptions, I shall speak occasionally of a healthy narcissism and depict the ideal case of a person who is genuinely alive, with free access to the true self and his authentic feelings. I shall contrast this with narcissistic disorders, with the true self's solitary confinement within the prison of the false self. This I see less as an illness than as tragedy, and it is my aim in this book to break away from judgmental, isolating, and therefore discriminating terminology." - Alice Miller, née Rostovski

"It is a great thing to hear music from a holy person playing on an instrument for the sake of heaven. Because through this, false fantasies are dismissed, the spirit of depression is dispelled, and the person merits happiness. Through this the memory is preserved, that is, the memory of the world to come, and a person is able to understand the hints that Hashem is constantly hinting to him every day. Furthermore, through this a person can reach the level of the spirit of prophecy and divine inspiration, and he will be able to pour out his heart like water before Hashem. " - Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav or Breslov, aka Reb Nachman Breslover or Nachman from Uman NULL