In this guide, we will discuss the depression symbolism around us in nature and art.
We are constantly surrounded by depression symbolism, things that remind us of sadness, lost hope, and a bleak future. There are so many everyday objects that are associated with depression and are now used in art, literature, music, and movies to depict depression without making it obvious. We all recognize these symbolisms as depression symbolism and use them to depict the inner struggle one feels inside their minds.
Some of the common Depression Symbolism around us that can be seen are:
- Gray skies
- Stagnant Water
- Poplar trees
- North as a direction
- The fruit Pomegranates
- Dead leaves
- Dark clouds
- Broken glass
- Lying in a fetal position
- A dead phone
- A pile of unopened letters
- A semicolon tattoo
The fog is seen as misty and when there is fog around us we are unable to see anything. We are unable to make out what is kept right in front of us at times. Fog is a perfect depression symbolism as it showcases the uncertainty and lack of clarity felt by someone in depression. Fog represents the sudden mist that surrounds our life and no matter how much we wave our hand around to make it disappear, it stays.
Another commonly used depression symbolism in art and movies is rain. Rain creates an atmosphere and weather of sadness, hopelessness, darkness, and loneliness. We feel disconnected from our loved ones and trapped inside our homes. The rain brings a feeling of fear with its heavy downpour. Rain is a depression symbolism as it too represents the aloofness we feel and the distance we experience from our friends and family.
Like rain, gray skies are also seen as depression symbolism as they too cause us to feel gloomy, unenergetic, and lazy. We feel tired without doing anything and wish to lay in bed all day doing nothing. Gray skies represent slow-moving life that is unproductive and without any goal or mission to look ahead or work towards. Like depression, gray skies bring the feeling of defeat and sadness in our lives.
Flowing water is seen as a symbol of growth and life moving forward, therefore stagnant water becomes a symbol of life that is not moving and one that is stuck. Stagnant water is used as a depression symbolism as it represents a life that has stopped growing and moving forward. It is seen as a symbol of sadness, loneliness, and a disease breeding area that needs to be cleared out immediately.
Poplar trees are often associated with feelings of sadness, grief, and unhappiness. They are seen as depression symbolism because of these factors. They are also seen as representing funerals which are sad and represent the end of life.
A half-moon is a depression symbolism as it shows the two conflicting sides of a person with depression. The two sides being sad, hopeless, and lonely and the other side trying to fight these dark thoughts and be happy. The half-moon shows the dark and the light side of a person in depression where despite having depressed thoughts they still have the will to fight them and get rid of them.
Fire since ancient times has been used to symbolize fear, destruction, and anger. A fire has always been a thing of caution that scared our ancestors for many years. It continues to represent those as well as is a depression symbolism. Fire is seen as something that destroys lives when unleashed, similar to what depression does to a person and the ones around them.
North as a direction
North direction has always been associated with feelings of coldness, loneliness, and hostility, making it another depression symbolism. The north symbolizes aloofness that comes along with feelings of loneliness. It is similar to what a person going through depression experiences. The individual feels like they have moved away from their family and friends to a remote cold place where they are completely alone.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
The fruit Pomegranates
From Greek mythology, the depression symbolism pomegranates come where the God Hades used Pheresphone to trap her with him in the underworld. Pomegranates represent the cold lifeless place of death called Hell. It is used to depict the entrapment one feels in a place where nothing happy happens and is only filled with sadness and pain. It represents the eternal suffering and pain one goes through in hell.
Lilies are also known as the flower of sadness and are associated generally with deaths, sadness, and funerals. They are therefore used as depression symbolism cause they represent the sadness and despair one feels during depression. The feeling of death and suicidal ideations are associated with lilies being the symbol of sadness and depression. From all the flowers in the flower kingdom, lilies are the ones associated the most with funerals and deaths. One should seek professional help if feelings of suicide are present.
Aloe though being very medicinal and having the ability to heal is also used for depression symbolism. Aloe represents sorrow because of the bitter taste it has and its effects on the body leave the soul sorrowful and full of grief. Aloe is seen as something that brings acute sorrow, similar to what depression fills a person’s world. Depression brings sadness, grief, and pain to a person who suffers from it like the bitter sorrowful taste that aloe fills one’s body with.
Among other depression symbolism used dead stack of leaves are also one. The late autumn season with dead leaves on the roads, broken and lifeless represents the mental state of a person with depression. The sadness and lifeless feeling that one experiences with the feeling of getting separated from life and being happy. Dead broken leaves show the state of a person who is tired of fighting depression and is on the verge of giving up. The feeling of hopelessness is seen in dead leaves.
As the gray sky, dark clouds also can be used as depression symbolism as they show how dark and cold things can get. Once light and fluffy clouds are now filled with a harsh rain that moves about bringing darkness. They are seen as the predictors of rain which is another depression symbolism. Dark clouds represent the dark thoughts that fill the mind of a person with depression.
Broken shattered glass is seen as a depression symbolism as it represents the mental state of a person who is broken and in need of help. The broken state of a person who does not feel like themselves anymore and is hanging on by a thread to survive. It shows how depression shatters the lives of people who have depression and hurt the people around them too who try to put them back together.
Lying in a fetal position
The fetal crying position is seen and used as a depression symbolism as it represents the feelings of loneliness and sadness. Where the person no longer wants to interact with the outside world and just wants to be left alone. It is seen as a symbol because the person is no longer to open to experiences or the world and is left inside a cold world of theirs.
A dead phone
A dead phone represents the disconnect between the person and the outside world. It shows that the person is no longer willing to face the outside world and has cut themselves off completely. As a person with depression, feels lonely and can not go to their friends and family for help, a dead phone is used as depression symbolism. When the person is unable to call someone neither are they able to pick the call shows that the person is unwilling to let others inside their life.
A pile of unopened letters
A pile of unopened letters is a depression symbolism just like a dead phone is. It represents the person being cut off from the outside world. The person to not even have the energy to open the letters send. The person is not lazy but they are just constantly tired and having to open and replying to the letters just takes too much effort. The level of effort they do not feel they can exert anymore.
A semicolon tattoo
One of the most common symbols that is being used as a tattoo is the semicolon which is used for depression symbolism and to symbolize other mental health problems that an individual might be facing. It represents that the life of the person has not come to a stop, though it may seem like that. But in fact, when the person’s life was close to ending they fought back and continued living. It shows the world that the person is a fighter and is successful in fighting against their mental health problems.
In this guide, we discussed the depression symbolism around us in nature and art.
FAQs: Depression Symbolism around Us
What animal symbolizes depression?
The Monarch Buttery is chosen as the animal that symbolizes depression and for people who experience mental illness. As in its early stages of development, the buttery is in a cocoon-like shape and structure, it resembles the feelings of depression and withdrawal one feels during depression.
What does the depression tattoo mean?
The depression tattoo, the semicolon punctuation mark (;) means that the life of the person has seen a near-end but continues. It is a message of affirmation and solidarity against suicide, addiction, depression, and other mental health problems. The depression tattoo means that the person’s life came to pause not an end.
What things symbolize sadness?
One of the things that symbolize sadness is rain. Rain is a commonly used symbol to depict sadness and is used in a lot of art in movies too. It is so because, in reality, the weather associated with rains brings about feelings of depression, sadness, darkness, and loneliness.
Why do depressions happen?
A lot of factors do lead to depressions happening in individuals, like stress, hormonal imbalance in the brain, usage of drugs and alcohol can cause depression. Some physical health conditions may also be the reason for depression happening among individuals. For example, health problems like hypothyroidism are known to cause depression-like mood in many people.
What is the symbol of strength?
A horse since ancient times is one of the most commonly found symbols of strength across various ancient cultures. The horse is seen as a symbol of strength, intelligence, and speed. In Chines symbolism along with the horse, a dragon is also used recurrently as a symbol of strength.
What we recommend for depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.