As someone who has struggled with depression in the past, I can honestly say that mental illness is misunderstood by many. Society often dismisses depression and other mental illnesses as something that prayer, inspirational quotes, or merely hope can cure. While these alone cannot simply cure the deep agony that can comes with enduring a mental illness, society is not completely wrong in the idea that they can help. Here are 16 quotes that helped inspire me to keep moving forward when it seemed like there was no hope left to be found:

1. "A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl."

Stephan Hoeller

2. "If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person."

Fred Rogers

3. "A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you."

Joyce Meyer

4. "There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind."

C. S. Lewis

5. "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

6. "Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it."

Fyodor Dostoevsky

7. "Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light."

Madeleine L'Engle

8. "Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them -- every day begin the task anew."

Saint Francis de Sales

9. "Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keep friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment."

Greenville Kleisser

10. "Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."

Thich Nhat Hanh

11. "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

Helen Keller

12. "Getting better from depression demands a lifelong commitment. I've made that commitment for my life's sake and for the sake of those who love me."

Susan Polis Schutz

13. "Keep yourself busy if you want to avoid depression. For me, inactivity is the enemy."

Matt Lucas

14. "Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

C.S. Lewis

15. "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly."

Richard Bach

16. "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

JK Rowling

Depression and some other mental illnesses are dark creatures that creep into the darkest parts of the mind. It is a very real problem that many struggle with and succumb hope to. However, these quotes can help encourage those who struggle to keep going until they find their way back into the light -- they certainly helped me to.