Table of contents:
- More than 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. This number is steadily increasing, and, unfortunately, a third of people who feel unbearable pain, hopelessness and the stress of depression never seek treatment
- Feelings of hopelessness and depression
- What is the benefit of feeling hopelessness?
Video: How Is It Helpful To Feel Hopeless During Depression? - Self-development
2023 Author: Oswald Adamson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:13
More than 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. This number is steadily increasing, and, unfortunately, a third of people who feel unbearable pain, hopelessness and the stress of depression never seek treatment
Feelings of hopelessness and depression
As painful as the feeling of hopelessness is, it's just a symptom. She is part of your depression, not an accurate reflection of reality. It is similar to the temperature that signals an infection (but this does not mean that the temperature in the room is also 39 ° C). When depression takes over, the mind focuses almost exclusively on the negative. Therefore, your negative vision of the future is quite natural.
You may be convinced of your complete hopelessness because you are depressed. This is what we call emotional reasoning (emotional reasoning). You base your predictions on your emotions, not facts. We don't know what the future will be like. Imagine someone saying, “I feel happy at the moment, so I am absolutely sure that I will be happy for the rest of my days. Moreover, I will be incredibly happy. I will be the happiest person in the world. Well, if our views are similar, you might think this person is overly optimistic. There are ups and downs in life. Of course, he will have to go through sad events. This is what it means to be human.
Your foresight of a terrible future can be relied on no more than that person's predictions about his perfect bliss. It is only part of your depression
Over the past twenty-five years, most of my depressed patients have experienced discouragement and hopelessness. Moreover, I will share with you a little secret.
I enjoy making patients predict that they will always be depressed and never be happy. I love hearing these all-or-nothing predictions: "I will never be happy again!" Here's why: It's so easy to prove they are wrong and help them realize that a sense of hopelessness is the biggest distortion that can be present in you.
What is the benefit of feeling hopelessness?
As with negative thoughts, feelings of hopelessness are often accompanied by a hidden strategy to avoid frustration. Someone has offended, rejected and disappointed you, and now your mind begins to signal to you that the future is hopeless, that nothing will work out, so it is advisable to give up immediately. This reduces energy costs so that you give up doomed attempts or give yourself hope only to be disappointed again.
Sometimes we are even afraid to harbor hope. With hope, you can admire the future, try new things, take risks - only to find out that none of these things worked out and you wasted time
But worse than the time spent is the experience of disappointment and shame: "What a fool I was, believing that something will come of it." You don't want to be a “fool,” so you choose hopelessness. Hopelessness is your way of saying, “I'm smarter than I think. I've learned my lesson."
It may even irritate you if someone tries to tell you that the situation is not hopeless. You may think that people just don't understand what you went through, how strong your pain and despair are. They don't understand what it means to be in your place - to live with regret, sadness and a sense of isolation. Even if you are not alone, you feel alone with your feelings, because no one except you understands how hopeless everything really is.
You can get angry when people say, "What if everything works out!" They don’t acknowledge how bad you are, but even worse, they ask you to take another risk: to find hope again. They encourage you to set goals for yourself, to continue living, which means that you will face even more hopelessness, more disappointment, more regret. All you want is to be alone, alone with your hopelessness.
No one can understand this, no one can truly appreciate that the feeling of hopelessness not only makes sense, but also protects you from the future: "If I give up, I will not suffer any more." There is relief, peace, and - at times - consolation in this hopelessness. Moreover, with this reasoning, a sense of hopelessness may be the only thing you can truly count on.
To see if your feelings of hopelessness serve the same purpose, try an experiment. Make a list of the benefits and harms of believing that the situation is hopeless. Don't try to be overly rational. Recognize that you may gain some hidden benefit from the belief that the situation is hopeless. Then analyze what you've written.
For example, if being stuck in a sense of hopelessness sustains your fear of disappointment, it may seem like a benefit: a sense of hopelessness protects you from disappointment if you fail. But think about the logic behind this statement. Since you cannot prevent failure, you are effectively saying, "I can handle failure better when I am depressed." I doubt it. I find that disappointment is more difficult for a sad, self-critical, and indecisive person. Feeling hopeless doesn't prepare you for failure, it puts you on both shoulder blades.
Once you understand why you believe that feelings of hopelessness are protecting you, you can figure out how to weaken your defenses.
More on this: Leahy Robert. Defeat depression before it defeats you. - SPb.: Peter, 2020
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