Losing hope from major depression can make life very difficult. It can make every moment, every part, of life feel impossible.
No matter what your situation is, don’t lose hope and don’t lose focus. The belief that your life can and will get better is a essential part of recovery from major depression. Happily, hope a renewable resource.
Everyday won’t be a good day, some days are worse than others, but hope guides us through the darkest times. Without it, we stay mired in despair. Hope allows us to believe that change is very possible— that even in the midst of that relapse, you’ll find yourself again. Hope is what gives us the strength to right back up and try again.
What is hope exactly, and how to sustain it?
It’s a character trait that helps us thrive. The desire to attain a certain end and the belief it is very much possible to attain it.
Hope relies on what psychologists call “agency”— the certainty that you can deploy control over your actions and your environment.
Optimism also plays a big role— the confidence that things will somehow work out for the better. “Hope” is a combination of lessening suffering and psychic pain and building more positive assumptions for the future.
Hope is really a pretty deep-seated part of our psyches that’s developed in our childhood. Having supportive, encouraging parents, which is called parental scaffolding and helps us to be effective authors. There are ways to build up your hope reserves later in life, too. Set and striving towards goals, receiving coping skills, expand empowering relationships, and amplify your sense of faith.
When you lose hope because of major depression, or bipolar disorder, any mental illness, life feels impossible. I know this ‘impossible’ feeling all to well. I know what it feels like to lose all hope so well also. I also know what ‘surviving it’ feels like.
When You Lose Hope From Major Depression And Anxiety.
Yes, I said when, I said that because when you’re severely ill with major depressive disorder and anxiety…. losing hope it normal. It sucks, but it’s something depression does. Major depression sucks all hope from your soul. I don’t know why, and scientists definitely don’t know why, but depression simply does this. Losing hope happens. So when you’re severely depressed… well, that makes you and me both just alike. And so many others. It happens sometimes.
Without hope, everything feels so impossible. Even showering feels impossible. Eating feels impossible. Cooking feels impossible. Combing your hair feels impossible. Making a phone call feels impossible. Without hope, just breathing is the stretch goal of your day. And also, without hope, seeing tomorrow can feel so impossible. It’s really dangerous.
The Thing About Major Depression And Losing Hope
Another thing about losing hope when you’re really depressed is we tend to beat ourselves up about it. Well, honestly, when you’re really depressed you beat yourself up for just about everything, but losing hope is mainly one of those things. Feeling like you have a major defect because you can’t seem to see the “bright side of things,” or “thinking positively” or employing any of the other flacid, vapid ideas that pervades the incorrect thoughts that go with being depressed.
Losing hope with major depression, bipolar disorder, and many other mental health disorders, is worse than just losing actual hope. Losing hope with major depression, is losing hope but with the additional severely judgmental feelings that it makes you a bad person, too.
What To Remember When You Lose Hope Because Of Major Depression And Anxiety
Like I mentioned, losing hope with major depressive disorder is actually normal. When you’re in a circumstance where your brain is broken and you can’t get out of the pain, the heartache, for whichever reason, it’s completely reasonable not to see any kind of hope.
Two Things To Remember About Losing Hope
You don’t have to beat yourself up about it, it’s not something to beat yourself up about. Understand that losing hope is a very reasonable response to terrible reality. You aren’t a bad person for experiencing it. You’re just in a place where these things don’t apply. Don’t beat yourself up, stop it. It’s okay. You haven’t missed all the glowing lessons we are all supposed to learn about “being positive.”
It Is Only Temporary
Yeah I know sometimes it feels so impossible, it feels otherwise, but you’ll find hope again trust me. Hope is built-in to humans and it is built-in to you too. It’s normal to lose it just like it’s normal to find it again. Depression will lie to you and tell you your life’s over, but it is truly a lie.
One of the worst things about depression is the it robs you of hope. Hope that you’ll actually feel better. Hope that the darkness will lift. Hope that the emptiness will eventually fill up and you’ll feel motivated and happy. Hope that it won’t be like this forever. Hope that you will get through it.
Depression has a way of warping outlook so that we only see, or notice, the darkest parts of the world. The darkness stops feeling like a lens that distorts your reality, and starts to become your reality. Depression regularly robs you of the memory of joy or happiness, which becomes difficult to draw on happy memories to give one hope for the future. Sometimes depression makes hope seem foolish. Like an illusion.
Depression can be very overwhelming. All those negative emotions, negative thoughts, makes very difficult to believe that things will get better. Some lose hope because they feel all alone. They feel like no one understands what they’re going through. They feel like they can’t talk to anyone.
Major depression is a real illness that hurts and can be deadly if left untreated. Therapy and counseling is a really great place to address your major depression. You don’t have to feel alone. Mental health professionals understands what it’s like to live with depression. Getting counseling for depression can help you feel less alone and it’s a place to express yourself, and how you think and feel. It’s so hard to feel like nobody understands you, or like you don’t have a place in this world, but those are all a bunch of lies that depression tells us.
One of the worst parts about depression is (which there’s many) that it robs you of hope. Hope that the darkness will lift. Hope that one day you will heal. Hope that you’ll get better. Hope that the emptiness will fill up, and you’ll feel some motivation. Hope that you won’t feel like this forever. Hope that you’ll get through it. Hope you won’t feel like this forever.
All those negative emotions are suffocating. And that makes it even harder to believe that things will get better. How do you maintain hope in the midst of despair?
Many people with major depression aren’t able to articulate that they feel hopeless. Because doing that, requires putting “words to an experience that just feels as real and encompassing as the air they breathe.” Actually saying you feel hopeless is actually a positive step. Think about it… it holds the implication that hope is something that’s actually possible.
Most lose hope because they feel all alone. Feeling like nobody understands them or what they’re going through. They feel like they can’t talk to anyone. Loss of hope may also represent a loss of belief that you matter or that you can get better, or that you can be loved.
Down below are some ways to help when you feel hopeless, when you feel like there’s no hope. But there is…
Focus on nourishing your mind, your thoughts, and your body to feel in control, and have a clear goal.
Self-improvement, tai-chi, or yoga (alone or in group settings) dance class, language class, active and passive hobbies, whatever feels healthy for you, whatever feels like you’re taking great care of yourself, should be on a daily basis.
Healthy routines are very much good when you’re depressed.
Taking the thought process out of self-care. Link healthy activities to a specific time order, and make them non-negotiable. If possible. If getting to the gym is out of the question, or other healthy activity alone, call up a friend, or volunteer a family member to go with you. Like… someone to keep you accountable.
Therapy… is a must!!
A professional can help you to process your depression and come up with plans, practical tools, to shorten the full length of a depressive chapter. If your depression is extremely critical or does not relent for a very long period of time. You don’t have to get through depression alone. Accept that you shouldn’t have to get through this depression alone.
Focus on generating means of expression.
I know sometimes you just don’t feel motivated. But even if you don’t feel motivated at first, find a way to like express yourself… creatively. This will really help your depression. Journaling is most definitely, the single generating expression for most people. It brings a wave, a refreshing wave, of perspective on a daily basis.
When in unsureness, move towards your support system.
Do everything in your power to access your support system on a daily basis. Major depression pulls you away from close friends and family, but going towards your supportive friends and family predicts a shorter time of suffering. But if you don’t have a support system… still don’t give up, that’s where therapy comes up. They’re professionals that understands everything you’re going through. They’re very familiar with mental illnesses.
Remember to seek help if you’re suffering from depression. Or any other mental illness. There’s hotlines and chatrooms for immediate help with a mental health professional.
If you or someone you know is struggling from a mental illness…. please talk to someone. Please talk to your doctor about it, because there is hope. There is help. And there’s treatments for your symptoms, it’s worth it. Your mental health matters. Mental health matters just like like your physical health matters.