Hopelessness feels like there’s no way out. Like there’s a dark cloud hanging over you, and you’ll never see the sun again.
You’re not alone. In 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that 51% of young Americans feel hopeless, down, or depressed.
Hopelessness has always been a problem, but now, living in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, hopelessness, anxiety, and depression are at an all-time high. In fact, two-thirds of Americans have reported feeling nervous, depressed, lonely, or hopeless during this time.
Therapy offers that ray of sunshine you’ve been waiting for. It parts the clouds and shows you that there is hope. And now, help is more accessible than ever.
Online therapy platforms like DoMental offer a more flexible, cheaper option than traditional in-person therapy. So, grab your phone, laptop, or tablet, and click here.
What Is Hopelessness?
What does hopelessness feel like?
Hopelessness can feel like you’re a lost cause. Like you’re stuck in this state of feeling down forever. It’s comparable to a deep, dark pit, where you can’t see anything, not even the sides. How do you get out? You don’t even know where to begin.
Feeling hopeless is usually accompanied by a loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities and people, low self-esteem, and a heightened wish to isolate oneself. It can feel like you have no power, optimism, or passion for life.
What causes feelings of hopelessness?
Many factors can trigger these feelings, such as financial troubles, negative or traumatic situations or circumstances, relationship problems, or health difficulties.
Feeling hopeless has a close link with anxiety and depression; these conditions may cause or worsen your feelings of hopelessness. Find more information on anxiety here. And if you’re looking to understand depression better, here’s a link for you, too!
Once you get into the cycle of hopeless feelings, it’s challenging to get out. And this may result in the engagement of harmful habits, such as overeating, oversleeping, or alcoholism.
Exercise, chatting to those close to you, and eating healthily all require motivation, and when you’re feeling hopeless, motivation levels are running especially low.
But that’s ok. We all need a boost from time to time. So, what can you do to overcome your hopeless feelings?
Can You Overcome Feeling Hopeless on Your Own?
You can try some things at home to kick those hopeless feelings to the curb. Let’s take a look at your options.
|Action to overcome feeling hopeless||How to do it|
|Examine your hopeless thoughts||The next time you say to yourself, “my life will never get better,” or “there’s no point trying to change it now,” question it.|
Is this a fact? Try to find evidence that goes against these thoughts. Was there a time in your life where it did get better?
|Solve a problem||People often feel hopeless when they encounter a problem they can’t solve.|
Try brainstorming ideas to see if you can find a potential solution. And if that doesn’t work, how about changing your perspective of the problem?
|Chat with someone||A problem halved is a problem shared. It’s scientifically proven that strong social ties reduce physical and mental health difficulties.|
Why not give it a go?
|Consider the benefits of hopefulness||Let’s flip hopelessness on its head and look at being hopeful instead. What would that feel like? What could you gain from it?|
Sometimes, this can give us the motivation we need to take action.
|Form a strategy||If you’ve followed the “Solve a problem” stage, you’ll be brimming with good ideas.|
Now, let’s make those ideas into a strategy. Once you’re armed with a plan of action, you’re good to go.
Now, this advice is all well and good. But if you’ve been feeling hopeless for a while, collecting even an ounce of motivation can feel like an impossible mission. Never give up!
We recommend therapy above all. Seeking support from a mental health professional requires minimal motivation but has innumerable benefits.
How to Deal With Hopelessness Using Therapy
Coping with hopelessness on your own is hard work. But, don’t give up there – you don’t have to suffer alone. Therapy provides a way out of the darkness.
Feeling hopeless and the mental health difficulties associated with this can be made better by talking to a mental health professional. Therapy provides a safe, non-judgmental space to express and come to terms with your feelings.
The therapy room is just for you – it’s a place where you’ll be listened to and understood. You’ll experience genuine empathy. Together, you and your therapist can begin to understand your feelings of hopelessness and why you may be feeling this way.
Your therapist can also signpost you to support groups, where you can find people having similar experiences to you. It will remind you that you’re not on your own.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown particularly effective in stopping you from feeling hopeless. Let’s explore it in depth.
Cognitive behavioral therapy for hopelessness
CBT is a short-term, solution-focused therapy approach that helps you develop quick techniques to deal with anxiety, depression, and feelings of hopelessness.
CBT’s central beliefs are that psychological problems originate from faulty thinking and harmful behaviors. In CBT, you’ll work with your therapist to change your hurtful thinking patterns by problem-solving and boosting low self-esteem and confidence.
Overcoming Hopelessness With Online Counseling
Another therapy option for overcoming hopelessness is online counseling. This works in the same way as in-person therapy; you’ll have a trained, licensed therapist you can speak with about your difficulties.
It’s a confidential space – your therapist can’t share your information with anyone else unless there’s a significant risk of harm to you or someone else. Your therapist will be non-judgmental and help you unpick what led to your feelings of hopelessness.
Many people steer clear of online therapy, believing it’s ineffective or at least less effective than in-person therapy. But they’d be wrong.
So, what benefits does online therapy have over traditional, in-person treatment for people like yourself experiencing feelings of hopelessness? Let’s take a look at some key factors.
We’re constantly worrying about the price of things. Those experiencing poverty are more likely to have feelings of hopelessness. So, mental health support needs to be monetarily accessible.
Traditional in-person therapy is pricey. It ranges from $100 to $200 per session, depending on the counselor’s experience, qualification, and specialization.
DoMental offers online therapy at $29–47 per session. This is a better alternative for those struggling to afford mental health services.
With in-person therapy, you have to find a time around both of your busy schedules. This can be a challenge in itself. And therapists aren’t guaranteed to have spaces – you have to ask around, which takes some hard work.
With online counseling platforms, you’re matched with an available therapist. Online therapy requires 7–8 times less of the therapist’s time, giving them more flexibility.
There’s no worrying about transport costs or logistics when you’re accessing online therapy. You can log in whenever you want – day or night.
This means you can seek support in the moments when you’re feeling particularly low rather than waiting around for your designated slot.
And you can chat or send voice messages to your therapist any time. You can log into the app on your phone or access it on your laptop. You could talk to your therapist while in the supermarket if you wish!
The possibilities of online therapy are endless.
Feeling Hopeful for the Future
Hopelessness makes you feel like you’re surrounded by clouds with no possibility of sunshine. If you want to overcome feelings of hopelessness on your own, try examining your feelings, brainstorming problem-solving ideas, or developing strategies to put your dilemmas to bed.
And if that all feels too much, try seeking guidance from a mental health professional. Therapy is highly effective for treating mental health difficulties, including hopelessness. Nowadays, when it comes to emotional support options, you’re spoilt for choice.
Online therapy platforms like DoMental offer a more accessible, flexible, and cheaper counseling option than traditional, in-person therapy.