Poems For Describing Depression
Published: July 2017
Depression and sadness are not the same. We all experience sadness from time to time, but those feelings go away within a short period of time. Depression is a diagnosable condition characterized by a prolonged feeling of sadness and loss of interest in things that were once enjoyable. It can also have lasting symptoms such as changes in sleep, energy level, and concentration. The United States has one of the highest depression rates in the world, and women are more likely to suffer from this than men.
For someone who has never experienced depression, it can be challenging to understand. These poems provide a glimpse of what depression feels like and what's it’s like to fight against depression. Depression becomes all-consuming and affects every aspect of a person’s life.
If you suspect you or someone you love is living with depression, please reach out to get help. Know that you are not alone. Hundreds of millions of people around the world are fighting depression every day.
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18 Poems To Explain What Depression Feels Like
"I'm tired," I say,
And in a way, I guess it's true.
In every other way,
It's a lie.
Tonight you ask me
What depression feels like.
I think, then tell you
That it's sort of like
Slowly clicking up a roller coaster hill,
Waiting and waiting to peak,
But never reaching the top.
You seem confused
But don't ask anything else.
Soon enough you're gossiping about
How that girl we know got pregnant.
You don't understand that
I am still climbing that godforsaken hill.
People call me heartless,
I wonder if they realize
How difficult it is to function
When you're not sure if you even exist.
And here I am,
Dodging your politely, forcefully concerned gaze,
As you ask me what's wrong.
"I'm tired," I say,
I wish I could explain depression to you
Once again and scream about
How I wish I could feel anything.
Do you really want to know what depression is like?
Depression is like having a disinterested corpse
Skillfully stowed in the shell of my body.
"You seem so sad lately.
Can't you at least pretend to care?"
Oh, honey, if you only knew.
You ramble on about this and that,
But I'm no longer listening.
You could dig for centuries
And never strike my dying core.
And THAT, my innocent, naive fool,
Is what depression feels like.
Hiding the hurt, hiding the pain,
Hiding the tears that fall like rain.
Saying I'm fine when I'm anything but.
This ache in my soul rips at my gut.
My skin is on fire; I burn from within.
The calm on my face is an ongoing sin.
The world must stay out; I've built up a wall.
My fragile lie will collapse should it ever fall.
Loneliness consumes me; it eats away the years
Until my life is swallowed by unending fears.
Waiting for someone to see I wear a mask
And care enough to remove it; is that too much to ask?Featured Shared Story
Thank you so much! I'm so happy my experiences can have an affect on others. I always felt so alone, but it's time for all of us to realize we aren't alone, and we need to stand together and...
3. The Darkness
You would never know it,
The constant pain I feel,
Because in the light of day
It almost isn't real.
Sure, I'll play, I'll laugh,
I'll sing some songs,
But that pain is always lurking
Because it's been here all along.
And when the darkness comes
With its all-consuming power,
It slowly takes my soul
Hour by dreadful hour.
But they tell me that I'm strong enough.
They swear that it gets better.
They say, "If you can just hold out
and bear this stormy weather."
They tell me, "You will be happy one day.
All you need do is fight."
But what they seem to forget
Is after each day comes the night.
And so I act along.
I play my part
While this crushing darkness
Slowly breaks my heart.Featured Shared Story
This poem is so relatable. I grew up with a drug addict father who abused my mom. Now that I have gotten older and I understand what addiction is, all it does is break my heart. I always put...
Depression is oppression.
It's a deadly hidden message
Defined by self-hate.
It seals its prisoner's fate.
It holds you captive and throws out the key.
It stabs and jabs just to see you bleed,
Inflicting wounds that scar for life.
Destruction is its mother and death its wife.
You can cry, but it will always ignore your screams.
It terrorizes your soul and haunts your dreams.
It sends you false hope through a bottle or pill.
It destroys your goals and inflicts its will.
You can't run, nor can you hide.
By its rules you will abide
Until it celebrates that you have died.
Open your eyes, or you will be its prey.
It will blur your vision in the most twisted way.
It will seek your destruction and call for your head.
You will lie and wait but never rest in your bed.
Peace will come to those who want peace,
But as long as you feed him, you will see the beast.
You can't run, nor can you hide,
But if you conquer the beast, you will survive.
Prayer and hope can lead the way.
Cling on to every word you pray.
Hope is in truth.
Hate is in lies.
Pray for your soul and open your eyes.
Featured Shared Story
This poem is very well written and it gave me chills because of how amazing it is. I'm going through these poems in search of one to use for prose and poetry, an academic event, i take part...
I smile and laugh wildly, having fun with my friends.
They don't know what huge lie I have to pretend.
To my friends, I'm the funny girl who's so full of life.
They don't know how many times I'd held a bloody knife.
To them, I'm the girl who loves to strut down the street.
They don't know that I feel so incomplete.
To my friends, my laughter can spread.
They don't know that inside, my happiness is dead.
To my friends, my smile can brightened up their day.
They don't know I've shut my feelings away.
I'm locked in a prison, one I cannot escape,
A place my soul is repeatedly raped.
In the prison, there is no love, there is no spark.
I'm all alone, tired, desperate, and left in the dark.
In the dark, there is a monster waiting painfully for the kill.
The danger sends out a terrifying chill.
I've faced the monster before, so I know its disguise.
My spirit breaks down further, silently releasing its cries.
I knows it's no one's fault; I'm the one to blame,
Because I'm the only one who's causing myself this pain.Featured Shared Story
They say "be happy." Do you really think I want to be happy? I do, but the cruel people in the world hate me. I try and try and try. But I always just let go. All my friends are so happy...
I'm feeling broken down, my body aches
My heart, it bleeds from past mistakes
Can't stop the tears; they fall like rain
The words are spinning 'round my brain
So scared and feeling so alone
The coldness fills my every bone
No food, no sleep, can't think at all
Each way I turn, another wall
This darkness haunts my very soul
My world seems dead; I've lost control
The only weapon is my pen
Depression has moved in againFeatured Shared Story
The poet has penned down his pains in a truly pictorial ways that draws the picture of his mental condition of broken heart in the mind of the readers.
It is the darkest, deepest place one can travel to alone,
A solo journey filled with struggles and groans.
Every day is a new battle against the same foe,
But the enemy fights back with psychological blows.
It creeps up on you in your most vulnerable state,
Especially when there's no one around who can relate.
Thoughts in your mind begin to swirl and swell,
Which drag you into your own subconscious hell.
Figments and entities from your past
Serve as the pain, which you can't outlast.
Finally sleep always comes as a welcomed friend,
But it the morning the ceaseless battle begins yet again.Featured Shared Story
This is an awesome poem! This is how I feel most days.
8. Living A Lie
Walking into a typhoon,
Swimming against the tide,
That's just how it feels,
When my truth I have to hide.
Pretending you're really happy,
When inside you want to cry.
Feeling unbelievably low,
But your exterior shows you're high.
Forgetting how to feel happy,
'Cause your default is set to sad.
Forgetting all the good times,
Just remembering the bad.
Not wanting to leave the house
Or talk to anyone today.
Walking with my head down,
In my bed I want to stay.
Not seeing a light at the end,
Just stormy skies up ahead.
I can't see a way out of this.
Maybe I'd be better off dead?!
A feeling of guilt arises,
For two lives depend on me.
My special boys I love so much,
If only they could see...
These dark thoughts I have inside,
The bad things I want to do,
The hurt I cause to myself,
These scares upset me too.
The one wish that I have
Is my kids never feel this pain
Or the feeling of self-hatred
Under dark clouds filled with rain.
As I look into the future,
The old me will resurrect one day.
I'll then smile a real smile and say,
"I really do feel good today."
What do you call it when all you feel is pain?
When your loved ones look at you and all you feel is shame?
When you're tired of living and playing this game?
When you know your life is meaningless and you're the only one to blame?
What do you call it when the hurt is in your soul?
When you smile and laugh but you know it's all a show?
When you feel like you've hit your all-time low?
When nothing makes you happy and the darkness around you grows?
What do you call it when you feel so alone?
When you're in your house but it don't feel like home?
When you look back in your life and every choice you made now seems wrong?
When the wait to die seems too long?Featured Shared Story
Sadly, nowadays that's how a good bit of the world's population describes how they feel and the thoughts on their emotional state about their life in general. It's sad. It's NOT you it's...
10. Depression Blues
My head is not right today.
I have no idea why it's this way.
It switches from one thought to another.
I feel like I am being smothered.
I can't finish just one thought.
In a group is where they are brought.
I'm under so much stress.
There are things I should confess.
Some people say I am so strong,
But in reality, they couldn't be more wrong.
The outer part of me puts on that smile
While the inner me has been dying for a while.
I hate this part of my disease.
It literally brings me to my knees.
From a great mood to nasty as hell.
Which it's gonna be, I can never tell.
Most of the days I can push through.
Today I don't know what to do.
It comes with no known trigger.
It's not going away; it's only getting bigger.
Bigger, louder, and extremely strong.
I wish I knew what was wrong.
I want to cry, but I don't know what for.
I hate this disease; I don't want it anymore.
I get these terrible pains in my chest.
Feels like the Lord is gonna lay me to my final rest.
Will these feelings only last for today?
'Cause it feels like they will never go away.
In reality it will not.
A life sentence is what I got.
The meds that make me manage
Are the same meds that cause me damage.
I could be flying high in the fluffiest cloud.
Then, bam, I crash onto the ground.
I wonder if people truely understand
What really goes on in my land.
How could they when even I don't?
How could they when they simply won't?
This not only takes a toll on me,
But it affects my friends and family,
Especially those days I cannot hide
The deep dark depression I feel inside.
Some days I'm just not strong enough.
Some days are just too tough.
But most of the days I seem to manage
To get through them without serious damage.
Well at least to others
Is what I mutter
Things aren't usually this bad,
But you won't know which I have had
'Cause that is what we do.
We pretty it up for you.
I can't keep that clear though in my head.
I'm done with this crap; I am going to bed
No words for a state that I cannot express
Like gravity just holds me here in this mess
An invisible force stealing my air
A looming dark cloud and no one's aware
The strength of a lion becomes a small mouse
The whole of my world consists of my house
Feigning my comfort, I internally cry
Rationalize the how and the why
12. Behind This Face
Behind this calm face there is a raging storm,
Like a war in my head since the day I was born.
Behind this smile there is a lonely sad frown,
Acting oh so happy when really you are down.
Behind these blue eyes is a bright burning fire,
Flames flickering out of control, getting higher.
Behind this laugh when I'm laughing out loud,
There's a tear like a rain drop from a dull cloud.
Behind these dry eyes is a waterfall of pain,
Trying to plug the leak, but the effort is in vain.
Behind this confident man is a shy little boy,
The youngster from school, so lonely and coy.
Between my ears is a fight inside my head,
Happy against sad or living battling dead.
Behind this big heart it is shattered like glass,
Still not healed from the bully in the class.
Behind the happiness lies sadness deep down,
Swimming against the tide trying not to drown.
13. Tidal Wave
In our darkest nights and our brightest days,
emotions fill us like tidal waves.
They can drag us down and pull us in,
trying to drown us from within.
They can raise us up or let us down,
but if you don't know how to swim, you'll simply drown.
There are storms across my seven seas,
lightning strikes, sharks circling me.
My legs are tired, my chest is tight.
I'm not sure how much longer I can fight.
I gasp for air, I scream and shout,
But these tidal waves try to drown me out.
14. Chasing Sunsets
Having depression and anxiety is like being thrown into a raging, surging ocean
When you don't know how to swim.
Meanwhile, the whole world expects you to keep swimming forward,
To keep excelling and moving onward in this thing called life.
But you feel like you're dying.
You're gasping for air.
Every breath is a struggle.
Your feet can't touch the floor.
You feel all alone,
Waves crash over your head and pummel you with water.
You want to give up the fight to stay afloat.
Help comes in the form of pills.
They become your floatation device.
You're no longer relying on sheer willpower to stay alive.
Now at least you won't drown,
But you still don't know how to swim.
Therapy teaches you how to swim.
Soon you are swimming forward again.
Yet even with the best swimming lessons and floaties...
The. Waves. Still. Come.
Bad days still exist and people don't understand.
They assume that you should be all better.
They assume that one bad day means you're relapsing.
You feel ashamed of your bad days,
Like you have to hide them,
But those people just don't understand the journey.
You're still trying to swim forward when waves and currents and rapids are against you.
There's a constant battle going on in your mind.
No wonder you're so tired all the time.
No wonder bad days come sometimes.
Days when getting out of bed is a struggle
And all you want to do is stay under the covers.
But you don't, because the world is waiting for you to show your face.
You choose to get up and take a shower.
You make breakfast and put salt and pepper on your eggs.
You cling to the warmth of your cup of coffee.
You take in the slim amount of theology your brain can handle.
You watch the sun rise and chase the sunset.
You remind yourself who you are.
Bad days still come.
Bad days will come.
But it's different now.
You still feel like you want to die.
You still wish you could.
But Hope's voice is louder,
And Grace's streams run deeper.
Tomorrow might be better.
Tomorrow is already full of new mercies.
Tomorrow there are moments you want to live for.
Sunsets you want to chase,
People you want to hug,
Laughs you want to share and tears you want to cry.
Memories you want to make,
Deep conversations you want to have,
Sand you want to squish between your toes,
Presence you want to live in,
Favorite foods you want to savor and coffee you want to drink.
Pancakes you want to flip,
Music you want to get lost in,
Gifts you want to give,
Love you want to find.
So you choose to keep swimming.
You choose grace.
You choose to remember who you are,
Because brighter days are coming.
His mercies are new every morning.
There are more sunsets to chase,
And someday you will breathe again.Featured Shared Story
I am 17 years old and have been struggling with depression and anxiety for six years. The people who notice don't care enough to help me get help. I would love just for a day to get a...
15. The Darkness
I had sight, but the darkness offers me no light.
I had visions, but the darkness suppresses them.
I had self-belief, but the darkness overshadows my confidence.
I had freedom, but the darkness shackles me.
I had empathy, but the darkness makes my thoughts so very cold.
I had compassion, but the darkness brings me only indifference.
I had knowledge, but the darkness offers me only ignorance.
I had wisdom, but the darkness clouds my mind.
I had well-being, but the darkness offers me only pain.
I had strength, but the darkness weakens me.
I had laughter, but the darkness made me shed only tears.
I had joy, but the darkness offers me only anguish.
I had feelings, but the darkness brings me only numbness.
I had passion, but the darkness gave me only repulsion.
I had love, but the darkness fills me with loathing.
I had hope, but the darkness brings me only despair.
I have only the darkness and the darkness has me.
in Hate Poems
The burning hate,
so severe, everlasting,
the hate you take every day,
that you absorb,
the burning hate that you despise,
You hate the tired, the draining exhaustion that burns,
you can't get rid of it, no matter how much rest.
You hate the pent up anger
that you release into the world to handle,
but you don't care,
but deep down under the hate, you do.
You hate the sadness,
You have too many emotions to tell.
You are alone, no matter how much someone loves you.
You are alone, almost scared.
You hate the confusion,
the haze you live behind,
you dread the next day,
and what lies ahead.
but hardly does it help.
The headache, stomachache, muscle aches,
pain to the bone.
inside and out,
You forget what it's like to
smile, laugh, be loose, be fun, be social,
be what you used to be.
And what you hate the most
is the stress,
the hair yanking,
indescribable stress.Featured Shared Story
I am very touched by this poem . I have favored it and I will show it to others if asked about depression. Thank you!
17. Demons Inside
It's hard to explain those
the daily struggle,
the daily ride.
When will they go?
When will they end
these terrible thoughts
that they send?
They make me
They fill my head
with torture and doubt.
I'm tired of crying,
I'm tired of trying,
I wish I could believe
those demons were lying.
It's a constant battle
between them and me.
I just want to end it all
and be free.Featured Shared Story
This poem really catches something in me. I'm 17 and have struggled with depression since I was around 12. Diagnosed when I was 15 and hospitalized twice for trying to end my life. Depression...
It's like a plague that never goes away,
Or an animal and its prey.
And waits...until you're ready.
Then closes in and devours you...
From the inside out.
ALL you see is shadows of the ones you once knew.
No more happiness,
No more laughter,
No more love.
It's like a thunderstorm that blocks your soul.
Your soul becomes a black hole.
Whatever said, heard, or learned
Is forgotten, never brought up again,
No longer does anything matter.
It's all darkness,
Like a plague that never goes away.Featured Shared Story
Yes .very true..and other people think that you're weak minded..its been 2 years since my divorce. I was with my wife over 16 years ..I gave everything for her and my kids..but she said...
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