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31 Writing Prompts About Depression

Writing Prompts about Depression

Our minds are like big buildings with lots of hallways, some lit up with bright thoughts and happy feelings, but there are also dark corners we tend to avoid.

Depression is that feeling of being stuck in one of those dark corners – it’s a mix of bummer vibes, feeling totally numb, and being super sad.

Most people don’t like to talk about it, which can be confusing and lonely. But just like a detective story, depression is begging to be figured out. That’s where writers and artists come in – they’re the brave ones who jump into the shadows with a flashlight.

These prompts are like a map to explore this whole depression thing. We’re not just trying to understand it, we want to use words and stories to make things better, maybe even inspire people to find their way out of the dark corners.

So, let’s dig in and find stories that hit us hard, help us heal, and maybe even give us a little hope.

Writing Prompts About Depression

  1. Imagine a diary that captures not only the day-to-day events of a person’s life, but the weight of their darkest thoughts and emotions. The person writing in this diary struggles silently with depression, never showing the outward signs. The diary becomes a vessel of their secret pain. Write entries from a week in this diary, illuminating the stark contrast between their internal world and the external one.

  2. Sarah discovers a sealed letter behind a drawer while cleaning her grandmother’s house. The letter, penned by her grandmother during a particularly trying time in her youth, describes the depths of her depression and the societal stigmas she faced. Craft this poignant letter, and describe Sarah’s reactions and reflections upon reading it.

  3. Depression is often referred to as a silent companion. Write a story where depression is personified as a constant, invisible companion to a character named Alex. Describe their interactions, conversations, and how Alex copes. End with a pivotal moment when Alex confronts this companion.

  4. In a small coastal town, there’s a lighthouse that no longer lights up. The lighthouse keeper, an elderly man, is known to be reclusive and mysterious. As a journalist ventures to learn about the history of the lighthouse, she unravels the keeper’s personal battles with depression and how the lighthouse’s fate mirrors his own journey. Chronicle her findings and the life lessons she gleans from the keeper’s story.

  5. Lily has a garden that was once full of vibrant flowers and greenery, but due to her spiraling depression, she has neglected it, and it’s now overrun with weeds and decay. However, a kind stranger passing by sees potential in the desolation and offers to help her bring it back to life. Write about their time together in the garden and the metaphoric parallels between the garden’s revival and Lily’s mental health journey.

  6. An art gallery holds an exhibition showcasing paintings that depict the various stages and faces of depression. Each painting is accompanied by a short story from the artist’s life. As visitors walk through, they hear whispered conversations reflecting their interpretations and connections to the art. Detail the transformative impact the exhibition has on both the visitors and the artist.

  7. Mara, a professional dancer, suffers an injury that halts her career, leading her into a deep depression. Unable to communicate her anguish verbally, she decides to choreograph a dance that embodies her emotional journey. Describe the powerful performance and the audience’s reaction, capturing the raw emotion and catharsis experienced.

  8. While sorting through his father’s belongings after his passing, Jack finds an old cassette tape. It’s a recording of his father playing the guitar and singing about his silent battles with depression, a side Jack never knew. Narrate the experience of Jack listening to the tape, the revelations it brings, and how it reshapes his understanding of his father.

  9. In a world where every individual wears a scarf that grows heavier with the burden of their sorrows and depressive thoughts, Vanessa tries to hide the weight of her scarf. But one day, a stranger with a similarly heavy scarf approaches her. Write about their encounter and the shared understanding that emerges from their conversation.

  10. Every morning, Jamie looks in the mirror and sees not only his reflection but also a visual manifestation of his depression. It might take the form of clouded vision, distorted features, or even symbolic imagery. Describe a week of these reflections and how they change as Jamie navigates his emotions and experiences.

  11. Imagine a train station where each platform represents a memory. Olivia, grappling with depression, finds herself at this station. As she moves from platform to platform, she confronts memories that have contributed to her mental state. Detail her journey through these platforms and the decision she makes about which train to board.

  12. Unopened Messages: Adrian’s phone is filled with unread messages. They are from friends, family, and coworkers, all expressing concern, love, or simple greetings. As he grapples with his isolation, he decides to open one message per day. Chronicle a month of these messages and Adrian’s emotional responses to each.

  13. In Clara’s family home, there’s a grandfather clock that hasn’t ticked in years. It’s said to have stopped the very moment her great-grandmother succumbed to depression. When Clara herself begins to feel the tendrils of depression, she becomes determined to get the clock ticking once more. Describe her efforts to fix the clock and the family history she uncovers along the way.

  14. Every evening, Leo visits the same cafe and sits in the same corner with his notebook, penning down his struggles with depression. One evening, Mia, a regular who has noticed him, leaves a note on his table. Craft their ensuing series of notes to each other, illustrating the silent camaraderie and understanding that develops between them.

  15. In a society where people emit colors based on their emotional states, gray represents depression. Emily, who has been emitting a radiant gold for years, suddenly starts turning shades of gray. Detail the reactions of those around her and Emily’s own journey to understand and confront her changing hues.

  16. Thomas stumbles upon a unique library where books contain the emotions of their authors rather than words. Drawn to a section filled with somber gray covers, he begins to read the tales of those who faced depression, gaining insight into their struggles and solace. Write about the most impactful story he encounters and the decision he makes after reading it.

  17. In a town where everyone communicates their emotions through music, Eleanor can’t seem to find her tune due to her deepening depression. As her silence becomes more noticeable, a local musician takes it upon himself to help her find her song. Detail their musical journey together and the melody they ultimately create.

  18. In a futuristic society where people can download and experience others’ memories, Jenna chooses to share her memories of living with depression to increase understanding and empathy. Write about the reactions of those who choose to download her memories and the impact it has on societal perceptions.

  19. Picture an underwater realm where the depth at which individuals live correlates with the severity of their depression. Samuel, who lives closer to the surface, embarks on a mission to reach out to an old friend who has descended to the murky depths. Describe his perilous journey and the encounters he has along the way.

  20. On her beach walks, Lila starts finding bottles with messages inside. Each message shares a personal struggle with depression from unknown senders. Lila decides to respond. Narrate the series of exchanged messages and the bond formed through shared vulnerability.

  21. Every year, the town holds a festival where residents bring forth their “shadows” – personifications of their depressive episodes. Instead of shunning these shadows, the festival is a time of understanding and communal healing. Write about the experiences of a first-time participant and the revelations they have during the event.

  22. There’s a legendary forest where each tree represents a person’s mental state. Trees reflecting depression are wilted and leafless. Rose, grieving the loss of her mother, visits this forest seeking solace and encounters a tree that resonates deeply with her. Detail her time in the forest and the connection she builds with this particular tree.

  23. In Clara’s world, every spoken word has a physical weight. As she grapples with her depression, her words become so heavy that they’re almost tangible. When a stranger comes into town with similarly weighted words, Clara feels less alone. Describe their interactions and the literal and metaphorical weight they help each other carry.

  24. Within a hidden alley lies a cafe where customers don’t order food or drinks; instead, they order emotions. Patrons can experience a spectrum of feelings, and it’s a place where many come to understand their own emotions better. Marcus, struggling with unidentified feelings, visits this cafe. Detail his experience as he orders different emotions and navigates his internal landscape.

  25. While on a solo hiking trip, Adrian discovers an old, weathered journal half-buried beneath a tree. The entries detail someone’s deeply personal experience with depression over decades. Inspired, Adrian decides to locate the journal’s owner. Narrate his journey to uncover the mystery and the impact the journal has on his own understanding of mental health.

  26. In a world where trains signify life’s progression, Naomi’s train hasn’t moved in years, signifying her stagnation due to depression. Desperate for change, she seeks out passengers from other trains to learn how to restart her journey. Detail the wisdom she gains from their tales and her ultimate decision on how to move forward.

  27. Elias, a renowned portrait artist, has a unique talent: his paintings reflect not just the physical appearance, but the soul’s true emotions. When he’s commissioned by Amelia, a woman who’s publicly cheerful but privately battling depression, the result is a masterpiece of duality. Describe the unveiling event and the varied reactions the portrait receives.

  28. Imagine if an individual’s depression could narrate its perspective, its intent, and its experiences. Write a monologue from the point of view of depression, providing insights into its relationship with the host.

  29. Legend speaks of a mountain that echoes back not sounds, but emotions. Amelia, trying to understand the depth of her depression, ventures to this mountain to shout her frustrations and fears into the void. Detail her pilgrimage and the surprising responses she receives from the mountain’s depths.

  30. Every night at midnight, a mysterious radio show airs, hosted by someone known only as “The Whisperer”. The show delves deep into discussions about mental health, with a special focus on depression. One night, a caller named Sam shares a moving story that captivates the entire city. Narrate that night’s episode and its profound impact on listeners.

  31. Children often play pretend, but for 10-year-old Lisa, her pretend game of wearing an “invisible cloak” is a representation of her early struggles with depression. Only her childhood friend, Leo, decides to play along, trying to understand her world. Chronicle their adventures together, revealing the depth of their bond and the challenges and triumphs they face.