27 Idioms for Depression + Quiz


Depression is a challenging emotion to put into words. It’s often a complex mix of sadness, hopelessness, and despair that can be hard to express. That’s where idioms come in handy.

Idioms are phrases or expressions that convey a specific meaning beyond the words themselves. We’ll break down each idiom, explain its meaning, and provide an example sentence to help you understand and use these expressions effectively.

idioms for depression

What is an idiom for depression?

Idioms for depression help us describe those moments when we’re feeling down, overwhelmed, or just not ourselves.

Let’s dive into the list of idioms and unpack what each one means.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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1 / 20

What is a simile?

2 / 20

Identify the simile in the following sentence: “She swims like a fish.”

3 / 20

What is a metaphor?

4 / 20

Which of the following is a metaphor?

5 / 20

What is an idiom?

6 / 20

What does the idiom “break the ice” mean?

7 / 20

What is an adjective?

8 / 20

Choose the adjective in the following sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

9 / 20

What is an abbreviation?

10 / 20

What does the abbreviation “e.g.” stand for?

11 / 20

What is a verb?

12 / 20

Identify the verb in the following sentence: “The cat sleeps on the sofa.”

13 / 20

“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

14 / 20

Which of the following is an adjective?

15 / 20

The abbreviation “NASA” stands for:

16 / 20

Choose the metaphor in the following sentence: “Time is a thief.”

17 / 20

What does the idiom “hit the books” mean?

18 / 20

Which of the following sentences contains a simile?

19 / 20

“LOL” is an abbreviation for:

20 / 20

Identify the verb in this sentence: “They whispered secrets into the night.”

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IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
Feeling blueFeeling sad or downhearted.After her dog passed away, Sarah has been feeling blue all week.
Down in the dumpsFeeling extremely unhappy or depressed.Ever since he lost his job, Mark has been down in the dumps.
On a downward spiralExperiencing a series of worsening situations or emotions.His grades started slipping, and he found himself on a downward spiral.
In a dark placeFeeling emotionally troubled or overwhelmed.She’s been in a dark place since her breakup.
Walking on a tightropeFeeling as if you’re in a precarious or risky situation.Juggling work and family life sometimes feels like walking on a tightrope.
Lost in the fogFeeling confused or disoriented.After the accident, he felt lost in the fog of his thoughts.
In a black holeFeeling trapped or inescapably stuck in a difficult situation.Debt can sometimes make you feel like you’re in a black hole.
Carrying a heavy heartFeeling burdened by sadness or grief.She was carrying a heavy heart after the loss of her best friend.
Suffering in silenceExperiencing pain or hardship without expressing it openly.He had been suffering in silence for years, not wanting to burden anyone with his problems.
Swimming against the tideStruggling against difficult circumstances or going against the flow.Trying to make ends meet in a tough economy feels like swimming against the tide.
Stuck in a rutFeeling trapped in a monotonous or unfulfilling routine.James realized he was stuck in a rut with his job and decided to explore new opportunities.
Caught in a stormExperiencing a period of intense difficulty or trouble.Their relationship was caught in a storm of arguments and misunderstandings.
Under the weatherFeeling unwell or not at your best emotionally.She’s been a bit under the weather since her cold started.
Down and outFeeling completely defeated or without hope.After losing everything in the fire, they were down and out.
Weighed down by sadnessFeeling overwhelmed by feelings of sorrow.The news of her grandfather’s passing left her weighed down by sadness.
Struggling to stay afloatExperiencing difficulties and trying hard to manage them.With all the bills piling up, they were struggling to stay afloat financially.
Seeing through a glass darklyHaving a pessimistic or unclear view of the future.After the breakup, her outlook on relationships was seeing through a glass darkly.
Living in a shadowFeeling overshadowed or unnoticed.As the youngest sibling, he often felt like he was living in his older brother’s shadow.
Feeling like a cloud is hanging over youFeeling as if something gloomy or negative is constantly present.Ever since the accident, she felt like a cloud was hanging over her.
DownheartedFeeling disheartened or discouraged.He couldn’t help but feel downhearted after failing the exam.
In a funkFeeling in a bad mood or experiencing a period of low spirits.She’s been in a funk ever since her plans got canceled.
Tied up in knotsFeeling anxious or nervous.The upcoming presentation had her tied up in knots.
Going through the motionsDoing something without enthusiasm or interest.Since her pet passed away, she’s been going through the motions at work.
Burying your emotionsSuppressing or hiding your true feelings.Instead of talking about her problems, she was burying her emotions deep inside.
Navigating a maze of emotionsTrying to understand and manage a complex mix of feelings.After the breakup, he was navigating a maze of emotions, including anger, sadness, and confusion.
Carrying the weight of the worldFeeling an overwhelming sense of responsibility or burden.As a single parent, she often felt like she was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.
Wading through treacleExperiencing something slow and difficult.Trying to get her life back on track felt like wading through treacle.

To explore more metaphors for depression, you can visit this link: Metaphors for Depression. Similarly, similes provide comparisons that make depression more relatable, such as saying it’s as suffocating as a weight on one’s chest. Discover additional similes for depression here: Similes for Depression.

Idioms for Depression

1. Feeling blue

Meaning: Feeling sad or downhearted.

In a Sentence: After her dog passed away, Sarah has been feeling blue all week.

2. Down in the dumps

Meaning: Feeling extremely unhappy or depressed.

In a Sentence: Ever since he lost his job, Mark has been down in the dumps.

3. On a downward spiral

Meaning: Experiencing a series of worsening situations or emotions.

In a Sentence: His grades started slipping, and he found himself on a downward spiral.

4. In a dark place

Meaning: Feeling emotionally troubled or overwhelmed.

In a Sentence: She’s been in a dark place since her breakup.

5. Walking on a tightrope

Meaning: Feeling as if you’re in a precarious or risky situation.

In a Sentence: Juggling work and family life sometimes feels like walking on a tightrope.

6. Lost in the fog

Meaning: Feeling confused or disoriented.

In a Sentence: After the accident, he felt lost in the fog of his thoughts.

7. In a black hole

Meaning: Feeling trapped or inescapably stuck in a difficult situation.

In a Sentence: Debt can sometimes make you feel like you’re in a black hole.

8. Carrying a heavy heart

Meaning: Feeling burdened by sadness or grief.

In a Sentence: She was carrying a heavy heart after the loss of her best friend.

9. Suffering in silence

Meaning: Experiencing pain or hardship without expressing it openly.

In a Sentence: He had been suffering in silence for years, not wanting to burden anyone with his problems.

10. Swimming against the tide

Meaning: Struggling against difficult circumstances or going against the flow.

In a Sentence: Trying to make ends meet in a tough economy feels like swimming against the tide.

11. Stuck in a rut

Meaning: Feeling trapped in a monotonous or unfulfilling routine.

In a Sentence: James realized he was stuck in a rut with his job and decided to explore new opportunities.

12. Caught in a storm

Meaning: Experiencing a period of intense difficulty or trouble.

In a Sentence: Their relationship was caught in a storm of arguments and misunderstandings.

13. Under the weather

Meaning: Feeling unwell or not at your best emotionally.

In a Sentence: She’s been a bit under the weather since her cold started.

14. Down and out

Meaning: Feeling completely defeated or without hope.

In a Sentence: After losing everything in the fire, they were down and out.

15. Weighed down by sadness

Meaning: Feeling overwhelmed by feelings of sorrow.

In a Sentence: The news of her grandfather’s passing left her weighed down by sadness.

16. Struggling to stay afloat

Meaning: Experiencing difficulties and trying hard to manage them.

In a Sentence: With all the bills piling up, they were struggling to stay afloat financially.

17. Seeing through a glass darkly

Meaning: Having a pessimistic or unclear view of the future.

In a Sentence: After the breakup, her outlook on relationships was seeing through a glass darkly.

18. Living in a shadow

Meaning: Feeling overshadowed or unnoticed.

In a Sentence: As the youngest sibling, he often felt like he was living in his older brother’s shadow.

19. Feeling like a cloud is hanging over you

Meaning: Feeling as if something gloomy or negative is constantly present.

In a Sentence: Ever since the accident, she felt like a cloud was hanging over her.

20. Downhearted

Meaning: Feeling disheartened or discouraged.

In a Sentence: He couldn’t help but feel downhearted after failing the exam.

21. In a funk

Meaning: Feeling in a bad mood or experiencing a period of low spirits.

In a Sentence: She’s been in a funk ever since her plans got canceled.

22. Tied up in knots

Meaning: Feeling anxious or nervous.

In a Sentence: The upcoming presentation had her tied up in knots.

23. Going through the motions

Meaning: Doing something without enthusiasm or interest.

In a Sentence: Since her pet passed away, she’s been going through the motions at work.

24. Burying your emotions

Meaning: Suppressing or hiding your true feelings.

In a Sentence: Instead of talking about her problems, she was burying her emotions deep inside.

25. Navigating a maze of emotions

Meaning: Trying to understand and manage a complex mix of feelings.

In a Sentence: After the breakup, he was navigating a maze of emotions, including anger, sadness, and confusion.

26. Carrying the weight of the world

Meaning: Feeling an overwhelming sense of responsibility or burden.

In a Sentence: As a single parent, she often felt like she was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.

27. Wading through treacle

Meaning: Experiencing something slow and difficult.

In a Sentence: Trying to get her life back on track felt like wading through a treacle.

10 Quizzes About The Idiom in The Article

  1. Question: What does the idiom “Feeling blue” mean?
    • A) Feeling excited
    • B) Feeling sad or downhearted
    • C) Feeling hungry
    • D) Feeling energetic
  2. Question: If someone is “Down in the dumps,” how are they likely feeling?
    • A) Extremely happy
    • B) Extremely unhappy or depressed
    • C) Excited about life
    • D) Energized
  3. Question: What does the expression “On a downward spiral” refer to?
    • A) Gradually improving
    • B) Experiencing a series of worsening situations or emotions
    • C) Feeling carefree
    • D) Climbing to success
  4. Question: If you’re “Walking on a tightrope,” what kind of situation are you in?
    • A) A relaxed and stress-free situation
    • B) A risky or precarious situation
    • C) A situation full of opportunities
    • D) A comfortable situation
  5. Question: What does it mean to be “Stuck in a rut”?
    • A) Experiencing new and exciting things
    • B) Feeling trapped in a monotonous routine
    • C) Going on adventures
    • D) Achieving success
  6. Question: If you’re “Caught in a storm,” what kind of situation are you facing?
    • A) Clear skies and calm weather
    • B) A period of intense difficulty or trouble
    • C) A peaceful and relaxing time
    • D) A situation full of joy
  7. Question: What does it mean when someone is “Under the weather”?
    • A) Feeling energetic and lively
    • B) Feeling unwell or not at their best emotionally
    • C) Experiencing perfect health
    • D) Feeling calm and collected
  8. Question: If someone is “Down and out,” what is their emotional state?
    • A) Extremely happy and optimistic
    • B) Completely defeated or without hope
    • C) Energetic and enthusiastic
    • D) Focused and determined
  9. Question: What does it mean to be “Tied up in knots” emotionally?
    • A) Feeling relaxed and carefree
    • B) Feeling anxious or nervous
    • C) Experiencing great joy
    • D) Having a clear and positive mindset
  10. Question: If you’re “Navigating a maze of emotions,” what are you trying to do?
    • A) Experiencing a single emotion
    • B) Trying to understand and manage a complex mix of feelings
    • C) Avoiding emotions altogether
    • D) Expressing emotions openly and honestly

Feel free to use these quiz questions to test your knowledge or share them with others to help reinforce the understanding of these idioms related to depression.

Conclusion

Using idioms for depression can help you express your feelings in a unique and vivid way. These expressions offer a way to communicate the complexity of emotions that often accompany depression.

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