20 Quotes on Courage to Help With Your Depression


Courage is essential for coping with depression.Living with depression — and especially coping with chronic depression — demands courage over any other virtue: the courage to incorporate the lessons we’ve learned from the past in our strategies for better health in the future; the courage to ask for help when we need it, and to persevere in new directions of healing; and the courage to keep moving through self-defeating thoughts, meeting our pain with compassion, and keeping our body and mind in motion — on the path toward emotional resilience.

If you are like me, you need all the pep talks you can get to practice courage day in and day out. Here are some of my favorite inspirational quotes:

  1. Courage is not the absence of despair; it is, rather, the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair. — Rollo May
  2. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. — Eleanor Roosevelt
  3. Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. — Leonard Cohen
  4. We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear. — Martin Luther King, Jr.
  5. Courage is grace under pressure. — Ernest Hemingway
  6. We can do anything we want if we stick to it long enough. — Helen Keller
  7. Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.
 — Mary Anne Radmacher
  8. When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen: There will be something solid for you to stand upon, or you will be taught how to fly. — Patrick Overton
  9. Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. — C. S. Lewis
  10. Consult not your fears, but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but what is still possible for you to do. — Pope John Paul XXIII
  11. Courage is being scared to death … and saddling up anyway. — John Wayne
  12. The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live. — Leo Buscaglia
  13. You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. — Steve Jobs
  14. A man can only do what he can do. But if he does that each day, he can sleep at night and do it again the next day. — Albert Schweitzer
  15. Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. Everything passes away except God; God alone is sufficient. — St. Teresa of Avila
  16. Courage is fear holding on a minute longer. — George S. Patton
  17. The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart. — Robert Green Ingersoll
  18. True courage is like a kite; a contrary wind raises it higher. — John Petit-Senn
  19. Instead of seeing the rug being pulled from under us, we can learn to dance on the shifting carpet. — Thomas Crum
  20. It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds. — Black Elk

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Photo by: John Angerson/Alamy

Originally published on Sanity Break.

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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6 Responses
  1. Monika Lauer

    I remember a book that helped me during the worst of my breakdowns. It was The Spiritual Gifts of a Painful Childhood.
    Every time I read your writings I have the belief that you are truly one of the most beautiful people to exist. “You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, so beautiful…” “I saw an angel today…” These are your songs. Play them often.
    You blow me away angel. Never forget who you really are. The world needs more Therese Borchards.

    Much love and tremendous thanks for all you do
    Monika Lauer

  2. Monika Lauer

    Briefly, my story—
    I grew up one of 12 children to a violent father who suffered PTSD from the war and a narisstic (sp)? Mother. I was sexually abused by 5 family members, witnessed daily beatings resulting in blood shed and broken noses. I lived in constant fear of possible death. I became pregnant at 16 and gave birth alone. Was forced to marry the alcoholic father or give up my baby. 3 years into the marriage I had a complete nervous breakdown including psychosis. I didn’t know if I was dead or alive. I lost control of my bodily functions, could not eat and disrobed for the male patients offering myself to them. I developed a side effect from one of the major tranquilizers which involved unrelenting inability to be still I paced for days on end. This breakdown was followed by a series of others after one of my brothers attempted suicide and shot off half his face. I spent months taking him to surgical revisions. This was followed by the sudden death of my oldest brother who ended up on life support at the age of 43. During this my marriage ended and my ex successfully took my children from me 2/3 of the time. I was completely devastated. They were my reason for living. For 18 yrs he tormented me by taking me back to court for numerous reasons. I hung on by a thread.
    I prayed a lot, just to get through the day ahead of me. I did everything possible to get better. I remember the uncontrollable tears and a friend’s simple words “just accept it”.
    I am a nurse and also have a degree in art therapy. I have a dream which you have helped inspire. I would love to share it with you.

    Monika Lauer

    1. Ron Lindsay

      Hi Monika,
      I’ve just read your post re your life’s journey so far. I am absolutely full of admiration for the amazing courage you have. I was initially going to offer a few comments regarding Therese’s list of 20 inspirational quotes on courage. My story and experiences are very different as I experience chronic anxiety and severe depression every day and have done for many years. You are someone very special and even if I only manage for a few minutes I will take what I can from your amazing testament of courage and character.

  3. Glenn

    Thank you for the great list, Therese! I created a sentence of my own that helps me with my resilience:

    “Courage is embracing your own essence when everything in your situation suggests you don’t belong.”