30 Short Stories & Poems About Depression

30 Short Stories & Poems About Depression 30 Short Stories & Poems About Depression

At The Depression Project, we pride ourselves on being deeply community-driven - which in short, means that we listen closely to members of our 3,000,000+ person social media community, and focus on producing the content that they tell us would be the most helpful to them. And, on that note, something we often hear is:

It would be great to read some short stories or poems about depression.

So, in response, we decided to create a variety of short stories and poems about depression, in order to, depending on the short story or poem in question:

  • Help you feel like you are not alone;
  • Help you feel encouraged and supported;
  • Learn some simple strategies to help you cope with and overcome depression.

You can read our collection of short stories and poems about depression below, and over time, we plan on adding more and more to this collection as well!

Table Of Contents: Our Current List Of Short Stories & Poems About Depression

  1. A "Depression Breakthrough" At My Local Cafe
  2. Today I Showered For The First Time In 9 Days
  3. Go Away, Even Though I Love You
  4. The Fun Friend Who Hides Their Depression
  5. A Poem From Someone With Depression To Their Partner
  6. Grieving The Loss Of The Life I Had Before My Depression
  7. Life After Mental Abuse
  8. Negative Self-Comparisons Are My Kryptonite
  9. I've Lost Countless Hours To Depression At Night
  10. A Short Story About Supporting A Loved One With Depression
  11. Seeking The Love I Deserve
  12. The Struggles Of Having Depression And Being An Empath
  13. The Best "Depression Text" I Ever Received
  14. Time Does NOT Magically Heal Everything!
  15. Why I Sometimes Find Happiness Scary
  16. Always On A Guilt Trip
  17. Depression Makes Me Write Everything Down
  18. It's Been 67 Days Since I Last Self-Harmed! (*Trigger Warning)
  19. I Told Myself I Didn't Have Time To Get Better
  20. I'm So F***ing Hard On Myself
  21. Silent Supporting
  22. All Alone With Depression
  23. What I Tell Myself When I Feel Hopeless
  24. I'm Sorry
  25. What Do You Have To Be Depressed About - You've Got Such A Good Life!
  26. Childhood Neglect Made Me A Boss At Video Games
  27. When You Have Depression, You Get Judged For Just Trying To Survive
  28. The Importance Of Saying "No" When You Have Depression Or Anxiety
  29. How I Know My Depression's Deteriorating And I'm In "Survival Mode"
  30. A Breakthrough I Had With My "Depression Shame"

1. A"Depression Breakthrough" At My Local Cafe

I had a mental health breakthrough today ‚Äď at my local cafe where I've been countless times.

As always, I thanked the barista for making my cappuccino, and then, she told me it was her last day ‚Äď since she'd gotten married and was moving cities.

"Wow, congratulations!" I smiled. "I'm so happy for you!"

"Thank-you!" she beamed. "And thank-you for always being so polite. You know, I don't think there's ever been a day when you didn't smile and say thank-you, and I've always thought that was really sweet of you."

I found this so moving, because I'd never thought of being "polite" as something worth liking about myself.

And, it made me have this little breakthrough, where I figured, maybe I'm not as bad as I usually tell myself I am.

Maybe there's more good in me than I can see.

Maybe my depression has just been lying to me.

*

Can you relate to this short story? If so, then you may also find our blog post helpful titled Reasons Why You Should Love Yourself.

2. Today I Showered For The First Time In 9 Days

During those weeks, time had erased.

The passing days seemed like a haze.

I'd sit alone in bed,

The little things, bigger,

In my head.

But today was different ...

I felt the strength to get up.

I brushed my teeth

And had a shower.

It was these "small"

Tasks that gave me

Power.

And although my

Emotions are still raw,

I feel tomorrow I'll be able

To do some more.

3. Go Away, Even Though I love You

Sometimes, I push people away ... even those I love the most.

The last thing I want to do is hurt them ... or for them to think that I don't care about them.

But deep down, I don't feel worthy enough to have them. I feel unlovable even though they tell me otherwise. I feel I have to "protect them" from my suffering because they deserve better.

So, I push them away ... as much as it hurts to do so.

I'm not saying it's the right thing to do ... I feel guilt and shame as I know this hurts them, too.

But somehow, I feel I'll hurt them more if I don't push them away.

4. The Fun Friend Who Hides Their Depression

I've always been known as the bubbly one, the fun one, the one who makes everyone laugh.

But for a long time now, I've been faking it. Faking it to hide my depression.

I know everybody would be shocked - if they knew how much I am suffering.

If they knew about the voice in my head that tells me I'm worthless and that I'll never be good enough.

If they knew that some nights I just lie in bed for hours, beating myself up for all the mistakes I've ever made.

If they knew just how much energy it takes to fake a smile and survive my darkest days.

If they knew that sometimes when I say "I'm OK", I want someone to look me in the eyes, hug me tightly, and say "I know you're not".

*

Can you relate to this short story? If so, then we also encourage you to read an article we wrote titled MASKED / HIDDEN DEPRESSION: An In-Depth Guide.

5. A Poem From Someone With Depression To Their Partner

I watch as you speak

But I hear no sound,

My mind seems to wander

As my eyes look around.

It's not that I don't care

I didn't mean to be ungrateful,

But I don't feel a thing

When you hand a gift across the table.

You say I bring the mood down

As I sit looking glum,

I wish you understood

That everything feels numb.

It's hard to be present

When my life feels surreal,

Please know that I do love you

As I take these next steps to heal.

6. Grieving The Loss Of The Life I Had Before My Depression

Every now and then, I lie on my couch and look through old photos - like those of me playing sports in my childhood; laughing with some friends in a high school classroom; drinking at parties on college campus; or of everyone throwing their hats up in the air at graduation - full of pride and confidence and ready to take on the world.

When most people look through pictures like this, they're happily reliving old memories. But me? I'm grieving the loss of the life I had before my depression.

The life that I'd give anything to have again.

The life that, because of this ghastly illness, I'm scared to death is lost to me forever.

*

ÔĽŅAs common as it can be to have nostalgia for a life before depression, we'd like to share with you a¬†real-life update from Depression Project co-founder Danny Baker:

"The above words were true for me in 2008, but these days, I’m happy, healthy, and have been depression-free for the last 10-years-and-counting. It is possible for life to be good again - I promise you."

7. Life After Mental Abuse

I feel trapped, like I'm wearing a sweater that's too tight ...

But I'm also happy ... because I've just met this amazing person, and they really seem to like me!

But the closer they come, and the more they compliment me and want to be with me, the tighter my sweater gets.

It's shrinking, making it hard to move ...

So, I push my new friend away - as much as it hurts me to do so - because it's the only way to stop the sweater getting smaller.

I want to rip it off - to fight my way out of it - to show my friend how happy I really am underneath. To show them my true self.

But last time I let my guard down, I got hurt. Really badly.

So, I push this amazing person further away, for my safety, in case I get hurt again. 

And now, the sweater is a bit more comfortable.

But I feel guilty, and I can't stop crying.

8. Negative Self-Comparisons Are My Kryptonite

I have this destructive habit of negatively comparing myself to other people. Of course, this makes social media really dangerous for me - what with so many people posting pictures of their perfect bodies, luxurious holidays, happy weddings, beautiful children and so on and so forth. But lately, I've been remembering to tell myself something that my therapist recently mentioned:

"Try not to compare your behind-the-scenes moments with other people's highlight reel."

Now of course, this is easier said than done - but even just reminding myself of this seems to be a positive step in the right direction. Some days, I just repeat it over, and over, and over again to myself like a mantra, and usually, it helps me to feel at least a little bit better about myself.

*

Can you relate to this short story? If so, then you'll likely found our "Social Media Depression" Journal really helpful.

9. I've Lost Countless Hours To Depression At Night

I've lost so many hours of sleep to depression and anxiety - just worrying and stressing and overthinking the night away.

So, I asked my new therapist what I can do about this, and they suggested that at some point in the day, I set aside time to journal.

To be honest, when they said this, I didn't really understand how it would help.

But, my therapist then explained three important things.

Firstly, that throughout the day, you're often too distracted by "life" in order to deal with the worry, stress, and whatever other unresolved emotions you have.

Secondly, that when you turn off the lights and get into bed - BANG! There's suddenly nothing left to "distract" you, which is why all of your thoughts and emotions bubble up and you can't fall asleep.

Thirdly, that if you can set aside time beforehand to address what's troubling you - e.g. by journalling - then by default, you won't have to do so at night when you're trying to fall asleep.

So, for the last 2 months, I've been dedicating the half-hour train journey home from work to writing down my thoughts and what I'm feeling.

And, while I wouldn't have guessed it, throughout this time I've been sleeping better.

*

Does depression also keep you awake at night? If so, then we think you'll find our "Night Time Depression" Journal really helpful.

10. A Short Story About Supporting A Loved One With Depression

I will never, ever get tired of hearing my partner say that depression is a liar, and that I'm so much more than my mind is telling me I am.

It really helps to have this reminder when I feel too exhausted to clean the house, and therefore criticise myself for being lazy.

It really helps when I'm comparing myself to other people, and thinking about how much of a failure I am.

And, it really helps when I'm consumed with hopelessness, and can't envision my life ever getting better.

Even though I tell them all the time, I don't think my partner will ever understand just how much their reassurance means to me.

11. Seeking The Love I Deserve

I recently realised that the reason I've dated narcissists, had friends who've used me and stayed in jobs where I was treated like s**t is because on some level, it was comfortable.

Comfortable because thanks to my family, I grew up used to being mentally abused.

Comfortable because I'd never felt worthy of being treated any better.

But, I've been working a LOT on myself lately, and I'm finally starting to realise that I do indeed deserve to be treated much better. That I deserve to be treated just as well as I treat others.

Being treated like s**t needs to stop being the norm. I deserve respect, kindness, honesty, and all of that good stuff.

12. The Struggles Of Having Depression And Being An Empath

I tend to feel more for others than I feel for myself. I abandon my own needs by pouring energy and love into other people.

Even when I'm alone, I still focus my attention on others and read into their emotions ... which fuels the already negative thoughts in my head. Small things begin to trigger a deeper reaction than they should.

Sometimes, it can be so exhausting absorbing other people's feelings that I'm prone to feeling tired and I socially withdraw.

It is in those moments that I want to reach out for help. But, I fear that I'll be a burden on others.

And, in this way, it can be hard to strike a balance between having empathy for others and having compassion for yourself.

13. The Best "Depression Text" I Ever Received

The best text message I ever received simply said: "I hope you feel better soon, and I look forward to seeing you then :) "

It was from a girl called Sally who I've had three really nice dates with, and have been eagerly awaiting going on a fourth.

But then, just before we were due to meet, my depression set in, and I was so consumed with negative thoughts and feelings of worthlessness that I knew I had to cancel.

Initially, I thought of lying, and making up an excuse like "sorry but I need to work late" or "I have to help my friend out with something".

But in the end, I decided just to tell her the truth ...

Hey there, I texted, I'd really been looking forward to our date, but I'm really sorry to say that I sadly have to cancel. Unfortunately, I have depression, and while I'd been feeling pretty good over the past few weeks, my symptoms have flared up, and I need a bit of time to myself to get better.

I signed off by saying that when I felt more up to it I hoped to see her again, but I didn't have much hope that I would.

She probably won't even respond, I thought. And even if she does, it'll be to say that she's no longer interested.

But to my delight, I couldn't have been more wrong!

Hey, you! she replied. No problem, I completely understand (my sister also has depression). I hope you feel better soon, and I look forward to seeing you then :)

I can't even put into words just how much this helped me ... knowing that she cared, knowing that she wasn't giving up on me, knowing that I still had seeing her to look forward to after I got through this rough patch. It really did give me a much needed boost, and no matter what happens with Sally in the future, I'll always remember her text message as the most lovely one ever.

14. Time Does NOT Magically Heal Everything!

When I was first diagnosed with depression, I had a friend comment that "time heals everything".

And, while I know they meant no harm, they also couldn't have been more wrong, because what this implies is that depression is simple to overcome - that all you need to do is just wait for time to magically fix everything.

But this friend had no idea that healing from depression is a thousand times more complex than that.

They had no idea that it would require me to love- and value myself instead of always thinking I'm not enough.

They had no idea it would require me to finally confront two traumatic events I'd been through, and learn how to let go of the anger and heartbreak surrounding them.

They had no idea it would require me to change my lifestyle - including finding a brand new job that doesn't stress the absolute s**t out of me.

They had no idea it would require me to ultimately end a two year relationship with my partner - whose constant judgments and put downs did my mental health much more harm than good.

Like I said, like many people who've never experienced depression, my friend made the mistake of thinking that depression has a "quick fix".

*

Want to learn more about how to overcome depression? If so, then we think you'll find our cognitive behavioural therapy-based Depression Bootcamps extremely helpful.

15. Why I Sometimes Find Happiness Scary

Does anyone else with depression sometimes find happiness scary?

Most non-sufferers I know find this really hard to understand, because how can you not enjoy being happy, right?

But in my experience, after long periods of unhappiness, happiness can feel really unfamiliar and uncomfortable.

And, even though I'm relieved to have temporarily escaped the black dog, I sometimes can't help but wonder: how long will it be until it all comes back?

How long will it be until I'm consumed with negative thoughts telling me that I'm a "failure" and a "f**k up"?

How long will it be until I'm so miserable and broken that I can't get out of bed?

How long will it be until I feel so hopeless that - ironically - I can't imagine myself ever being happy again?

For me, this f**king rollercoaster is what I hate most about depression, and the fact that, even on your good days, it has a way of sabotaging you.

16. Always On A Guilt Trip

You know, I often find myself feeling guilty for things that aren't my fault ...

For example, my partner having a bad day ... even when they tell me they're upset about their work or something their family said.

Or my children when they're crying ... regardless of what it is they're crying about.

Or my co-workers when they're stressed and overwhelmed ... even when I've already done everything I can to help.

When I told my therapist this, they said it's because I have low self-worth - and that instead of always blaming myself for everything, I should instead try to firstly, ask myself whether if my best friend was in my position, I would similarly blame them (which helps me realise that I'm being overly hard on myself).

And secondly, they suggested trying to replace self-criticism with self-compassion - by telling myself "I'm a good partner / parent / co-worker", etcetera, and then making a list of reasons why this is true.

Of course, it's a brand new way of looking at things for me. But, the more I get used to it, the more I'd also say that it's definitely a better way.

17. Depression Makes Me Write Everything Down

Everywhere I go, I carry with me a little blue diary - which I use to write down everything I need to remember.

For example, any appointments or events that I have coming up ...

The due dates of the bills that I need to pay ...

Any groceries that I need to buy on the way home from work (regardless of whether it's 1 item or 20 items) ...

Whether or not I've taken my anti-depressant medication that day ...

And, the recent purchases I've made - so that I know not to buy them again.

Once, a friend of mine was looking through my little blue diary and said, "but surely you can just remember most of this stuff, right?"

However, that's one of the things about depression that most people don't know - it takes up so much space in your mind that it can make it hard to remember things.

18. It's Been 67 Days Since I Last Self-Harmed! (*Trigger Warning)

It's been 67 days since I last self-harmed, but that's not because I haven't felt the urge to do so.

It's because rather than turning to it, I've instead been trying to get that same "feeling" I'm after in a different way.

For instance, if I've been deep in depression and desperate for relief, I've gone straight to Netflix to watch re-runs of Friends or one of my other favourite shows.

If what I've needed is a release from my pent-up emotions, I've gone running and running around the block until I'm exhausted.

If I felt numb as anything and needed a reminder that I'm still alive, I've gone and had a freezing cold shower.

I guess what I've finally realised is that self-harm isn't your only option. There are other things you can do instead, and as long as I can remember this, I think I can keep my streak going!

*

NOTE: If you engage in self-harm, then we really encourage you to read our blog post titled SELF-HARM: 50+ Quotes, 40 Alternatives & What To Do If You Relapse.

19. I Told Myself I Didn't Have Time To Get Better

Looking back, one thing that definitely held me back from dealing with my depression was feeling as if I didn't have time. I just always felt too busy to do things like go to therapy, set aside time for self-care, read a book about how to treat depression or Google something like "strategies to overcome negative thoughts", for example. But then, a friend told me something that really changed my perspective:

"You've got to put your recovery first, so that in the long-run, everything else doesn't come last."

That hit me right between the eyes, because of course, depression was taking so much out of me, and affecting every single aspect of my life. So, I started putting a much bigger emphasis on my mental health. In the short-term, it was a challenge, since I wasn't used to looking after myself like that. But in hindsight, it's probably the best decision I've ever made - since not only do I feel much better now, but because depression isn't weighing me down anywhere near as much, I also have so much more to give to everything else that matters to me.

20. I'm So F***ing Hard On Myself

Being self-critical is definitely a huge part of my depression. There are so many different examples of this I could share with you, but the most recent one is when I sat my university exams, and aimed to get 75% in each of them. My results were 81, 79, 84 and 68 - and as soon as I saw that 68, I started berating myself ...

"You're so bad at that subject!"

"You're so lazy for not studying harder for it!"

"You're not smart enough to achieve your goals!"

"You've failed once again like you always do!"

It's like, my mind completely dismissed the three really good marks I got, and focused exclusively on the bad one. My therapist said this is an example of "filter thinking" - and I'm trying to learn more about this and how to stop doing it.  But, at this point in time, at least, it's hard to imagine my brain working in any other way.

21. Silent Supporting

I know that in the past when depression made me completely shut down and unable to speak, my partner felt powerless to help.

But somewhere along the way, they realised there were ways to support me without actually talking.

So, if I shut down these days, then maybe they'll wrap a warm blanket around my shoulders and hold me.

Or take the initiative to run me a bubble bath.

Or order me a meal they know I love.

Or do a chore that I don't have the energy to do.

After one depressive episode I had, they admitted that what they were doing didn't feel like much. But, I looked them right in the eye, and told them it meant more to me than they would ever know.

22. All Alone With Depression

One of the worst things about depression is just how lonely it can make you feel.

One reason is because you sometimes feel so miserable, broken and exhausted that you'd rather be by yourself.

But, it's also because so many people don't understand what you're going through, due to the fact that ...

Depression can be so difficult to put into words - especially when your symptoms are extremely intense.

Faking a smile and pretending to be OK is considered more "socially acceptable" than saying how depressed you're really feeling.

And, even when you do try to open up, you're often shut down with comments like "we all have bad days", "stop feeling sorry for yourself", "look how lucky you are" or "just get over it".

So where does this leave you? Nowhere, but alone with your depression.

*

Can you relate to this short story? If so, then we have two resources which you may find helpful: How To Explain Depression To Someone You Love & MASKED / HIDDEN DEPRESSION: An In-Depth Guide.

23. What I Tell Myself When I Feel Hopeless

If I'm being honest, I really do feel hopeless and broken right now.

The misery, the negative thoughts and the feelings of worthlessness - it's all just too much, and I really can't see a way out of this hell.

But, when I'm going through something really hard like this that seems impossible to survive and makes me want to give up, there's one thing that I try to remind myself:

That I've been here before and I've survived every time ... which is proof that I can survive this time, too.

If you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel either right now, then maybe this thought can give you a little bit of strength as well <3

24. I'm Sorry

For me, coming out of a depressive episode usually involves a lot of saying "sorry".

Sorry to my friends for being absent.

Sorry to my colleagues for struggling to do my share of the work.

Sorry to my partner and children for snapping at them.

Sorry to anyone who I missed an appointment with.

Sorry to my dog for being too tired and run down to take them for a walk.

Hell, there's usually so much guilt and shame that it feels like everyone deserves an apology.

*

Can you relate to this short story? If so, then we encourage you to read our blog post titled The Biggest Causes Of "Depression Shame" And How To Overcome Them.

25. What Do You Have To Be Depressed About - You've Got Such A Good Life!

I hate it when people tell me "but what do you have to be depressed about - you've got such a good life!"

I know what they're talking about - my nice home, good job and of course my family - but there's also so much that they don't see.

The don't see the negative thoughts in my head, telling me that I'll never be good enough and that my family would be better of without me.

They don't see the pain from my past, and the mental abuse I endured over and over again.

They don't see all of my regret and the blame I place on myself - even for things my therapist says are not actually my fault.

They don't see the many parts of my depression that I hide - because I fear being a burden more than anything.

They don't see how lonely I am - because I don't feel like anyone knows the real me.

*

Can you relate to this short story? If so, then you'll likely find two of our cognitive behavioural therapy-based journals particularly helpful:¬†ÔĽŅYou Can Have A Good Life And Still Have Depression and You Are Not A Burden.

26. Childhood Neglect Made Me A Boss At Video Games

Whenever I played video games at my friends’ homes after school, regardless of what we played, I won every time.

They used to admire me for this, and even brag about my skills to other people.
But, they never knew why I was so good.

They never knew I only "practiced" so much at my own home because my parents hardly paid any attention to me.

They were always so wrapped up in their own lives that throughout my childhood, I felt unwanted, unloved and lonely.

And so, I played video games to pass the time.

I played video games to distract myself from all the hurt and the sadness.

And, I played video games because I wanted my friends to keep on praising me ‚Äď since my parents never congratulated-, encouraged- or supported me at all.

27. When You Have Depression, You Get Judged For Just Trying To Survive

Does anyone else with depression watch the same movies and TV shows over and over again?

Personally, the Harry Potter Series is one of my favourites - from which I could quote you every single line from every single movie.

The same goes for the Lord Of The Rings and the Pirates Of The Caribbean series.

And don't even ask how many times I've watched Friends!

Unfortunately though, I've had some people judge me for watching so much TV.

They've said things like "you're so lazy", "what a waste of time" and "you should do something more productive".

But, what they don't understand is that re-watching my favourite things gives me a feeling of safety and comfort. And, when your depression is at its worst, that's the number one thing you need.

28. The Importance Of Saying "No" When You Have Depression Or Anxiety

A while ago, my therapist said something that really struck me - that sometimes, practicing self-care involves saying "no".

I'd always thought that saying "no" would make me a bad friend, bad co-worker, bad partner, bad everything. That it meant I was selfish.

But, what I'm finally starting to see is that I deserve better than to feel burnt out, exhausted and taken advantage of.

What I'm finally starting to see is that it is NOT selfish to also value my own needs, and to say "no" to things that I'm uncomfortable doing or that I'll later regret.

It's a really different way of thinking for me, but I guess that's what healing from depression and anxiety often involves, right?

29. How I Know My Depression's Deteriorating And I'm In "Survival Mode"

Probably the biggest sign for me that I'm entering "survival mode" is when I let go of good habits ...

Like not exercising because I feel too exhausted ...

Or eating easy-to-access junk food because I can't be bothered cooking ...

Or staying in bed all day and not even trying to be productive.

I used to always beat myself up for this, which would make me feel ashamed, guilty and even more depressed.

But these days, I'm trying to be more self-compassionate, and instead say nice things to myself like "you're doing your best" and "it's normal given how hard depression makes it to function".

Being kind to myself like this doesn't immediately make everything better again, but it definitely helps with the shame and the guilt.

And, as a result, it ultimately makes the transition from "survival mode" back to "living mode" a whole lot smoother.

*

Can you relate to this short story? If so, then we encourage you to read our blog post titled The Biggest Causes Of "Depression Shame" And How To Overcome Them.

30. A Breakthrough I Had With My "Depression Shame"

You know, I've always been ashamed of what I call the "consequences of depression".

In particular, breaking down and crying over something small.

Comfort-eating for a pick-me-up and gaining 40 pounds.

And, being too exhausted to do the dishes, take the trash out or even shower.

But recently, my therapist asked me a question that changed my perspective:

"If your best friend was the one in your position, would you think as badly of them as you think of yourself?"

And straight away I was like, "oh wow - I would NEVER think of my best friend as weak, pathetic, fat, lazy and disgusting if they were in my position! And, if that's what they thought of themselves, I would tell them that they have absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of - because they're doing the best they can, and just surviving is a victory in itself."

And of course, this made me realise: "wow, I really do treat myself badly. I really should try to be kind to myself instead."

*

Can you relate to this short story? If so, then we encourage you to read our blog post titled The Biggest Causes Of "Depression Shame" And How To Overcome Them.

We Really Hope You've Found These Short Stories And Poems About Depression Worth Reading :)

All our love,

The Depression Project Team.

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