How do you find hope when all around you seems hopeless

I have never done anything like this before. My wife tells me that I'm isolated. She says that I need to tell someone how I feel. She finds it difficult to understand my depression and over the years I have stopped trying to confide in her. She cannot understand why I can't talk to friends. Truth is that the depression has systematically removed most of my friends from my life. When I become depressed I ignore calls and reject invites to socialise, which in turn has lead to people withdrawing from me. Consequently, it has been suggested that I express my thoughts in thos format but I'm not sure how effective this will be. I am worried that it willl just lead me to become more insular and self absorbed.

I am in my early forties and have lived with depresion since my late teenage years although it was not diagnosed until my late twenties. For about three months each year I have no motivation. I am bombarded by thoughts of self harm and suicide. My whole personality changes. I become withdrawn and reclusive and unable to do any meaningful work. I have had a succesion of interupted careers due to the illness. I am probably about to end another career due to this illness, which only adds to my sense of failure and helplessness.

I am presently in the middle of a major episode. I have tried so many different medications and have never felt that I have benefited from any prescribed drug. I have been assessed for CBT and have been told that as I understand the model to some degree ( I work in Sscial care) that the service available in my area is not likely to be particularly effective. I have studied various models such as mindfulness CBT and have tried hard to follow self help programmes to no avail.When I 'm well I exercise regularly, maintain a good diet and routine and use alcohol on rare occasions. However, when I become unwell I am unable to do the things that I know are good for me. I either eat nothing or gourge myself on carb heavy or sugary snacks. I am unable to sleep and will occasionally drink to try and expel the suicidal thoughts.

I always come out of the episodes which is a positive. However, each episode makes me weaker. Even though I know I will come out of this, I cannot face another episode next year. My hope is fading and I'm scared that the resistance I have had to stop me hurting myself is wearing thin.

I hope this blog will help me to fell better but I am not confident that it will. However, I will try anything to make the black dog go away.

12 Replies

  • Hi,

    I have found this site very useful and so very helpful. We are all different in our forms of anxiety and depression, although there is always someone who understands and has experience of is so nice to be amongst people who understand, that in itself is very therapeutic.

    I can relate to some of what you are saying, particularly about not making arrangements and not going to social things therefore cutting yourself off.i think all, or most will also relate to what you say about people not understanding, that is the worse part for me....we look ok no broken bones so we must be ok.

    I am currently having CBT, not sure if it will help but talking about it and realising I'm sick right now has helped me come to terms with it a little. I think I was in denial.

    I have worked all my life and recently had to give up a very good job due to anxiety and lows I understand the feeling of failure...and of feeling weak. I have stayed in my bedroom most days since finishing work...thinking after 2 weeks of rest I would be back out there looking for a job...I was so wrong....

    Anyway if you care to have a look at my blogs they may help you at least to know you are not alone in this, and I'm sure the lovely people on here can add to that...

    We are all different but this site has helped me a lot and the fact that people understand when you ask a question or blog is so nice....


  • Thank you for those comments. I hope that I can find support and understanding on this site. You make some really important points about this illness here ansd in your blogs and I know you are right when you talk about not being alone in this in that others are experiencing the same or similar feelings... however, the fact is that we are are all on our own in respect of our own heads; with our thoughts, feelings and insecurities. Hopefully sharing them on here will help and help me feel less desperate, helpless and hopeless.

  • welcome mike,

    here you will find people who care, understand, and share.

    nobody judges you and you can voice your worries and fears.

    I hope you find what you are looking for and feel free to ask questions.



  • psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors, I am told, do have to have ongoing meetings with their peers, to keep them "balanced" or "grounded".


  • Hey there, welcome to the site. Blogging is not for everyone, but from personal experience I have found the people on here to be tremendously supportive. Doctors can tell you what depression looks like on paper, and if you are lucky they will lend a sympathetic ear and have a good knowledge of different types of treatment. It's real people, who are walking your walk and talking your talk. who actually understand. There's very little you can write on here that someone can't empathise with. And sometimes the time you need to talk is at 5am, and seeing a comment pop up five minutes later is the most reassuring feeling.

    It's great that you know that your depressive episodes are temporary. It's something I need to remind myself when I feel myself slipping. There's nothing to suggest that next year will bring more doom and gloom, but if it does, I am sure you will meet it head on.

    I think it's a little unair that you're denied a treatment because you work in the 'system' I suppose it would be like a psychiatrist going to see a psychiatrist or a vet taking his dog to the vets. I've often wondered if GP's go to see a GP when they don't feel well ..

    Anyway, back to the point. You are obviously a very intelligent person and the ability to reason and reflect is extreme melt useful in planning your next steps. Don't think that Internet forums are seedy places where people with no friends go to feel sorry for themselves. That's just this one - the others are fine! ;)

  • unair - unfair

    extreme melt - extremely

    Predictive text - crap

  • Really difficult.

    Like you I get depressed in cycles but they are much shorter.

    Understand the change in world view.

    Understand the anxiety about what seems an endless cycle.

    Really difficult to talk to a partner who doesn't understand but on another level it is good that they don't understand because it means they aren't suffering the same way ... and sometimes I get a bit frustrated that they feel they want to/should understand. They might be able to understand what is happening intellectually but they can't understand it emotionally unless they are there. Have come to the conclusion that the best thing someone around me can do is not try to understand but just accept and be there. Some people can do that.

    Depression is a state in which there isn't any light at the end of the tunnel because the concept just doesn't make any emotional sense (unless it's that stupid express train coming in the other direction ;)). Intellectually I have an understanding but emotionally I don't.

    At its worst I describe myself as 'going monosyllabic'. Communicating is really difficult

    I try to focus on just putting one foot infront of the other, one step at a time, even though I'm doing so in the dark - just keep moving - do it from habit.

    It really confuses me at times that you can't just shrivel up and die and I don't understand how I go on living.

    Sometimes I really do need to be alone because one of my stressors can be having to cope with emotions of people around me. Doesn't sound as if you are the same though.

    Things that have helped me through longer stretches include doing things where I'm in the same place but don't really need to interact, eg going to a talk - particularly one that involves slides or something that is going to mean the place is dark.

    I really dread people asking me how I am because I don't want to have to lie and I don't really want to inflict the truth on them (and their reactions on me).

    I can get really anxious at times that I'll 'do something stupid' but somehow I manage not to

    Hope you can keep going until the light comes back on.


    I am not the darkness

    But it is a part of me

    The meaning

    Of the meaningless

    But still I cling to life

    The hope

    That time might heal

    The expectation

    That time will disappoint

    I am not the pain

    But it is a part of me

    It is easier to smile

    On the outside

    Dissemble the sadness

    Than fail to meet

    The hopes of others

    That they will succeed

    In making the darkness


    I am not the darkness

    But it is a part of me.

  • some very wise words there gambit and the poem sums things up so well. you have a lot of talent.

    I especially like your phrase -

    "the best thing someone around me can do is not try to understand but just accept and be there."

    it is exactly what I need from people. thankyou.


  • I've found expressing my feelings and thoughts by writing to be down right life saving for me. I also go to support groups sometimes just to get out and be around others. Lately I've used the website MEETUP to find groups of people doing things they like to do for example going to diner of movies, walks, art shows, etc..I have isolated myself and I find these meetings a way for me to ease myself back into the life of the living... Take good care...

  • HI Mike I am not sure I can add a lot to what everyone else has said. I can empathise totally with you, Depression is very very hard, especially when you are in the depts of it. I live alone, and I know from talking to a good friend, that its often harder when you live with someone and maybe feel more pressure to be well or upbeat.

    This is what helps me, I try to write in a Journal , that helps me. I make lists, tiny ones when I am v.depressed, these could be. Shower. Eat. Just put one foot in front of the other. You need to take it one day at a time, and realise that there is hope. Oh yes, I have a little Kit I keep for myself when I am feeling really bad. This could be a few treats that make me feel good. A good book. A CD I love. Flowers. Photos . Some ready easy food. Chocolate. Ice Cream. Now I know that I am female, and you are married, but my point is Have a plan of action written down for when you really feel bad. This will make you feel more in control.

    Talk all this over with your doctor, have you told them how bad you feel at times? Deep breathing excercises on my IPod only takes 5 minutes and it really really helps me.

    I think this site is a godsend and it has helped me tremendously, you have to try try and do the things you dont want to do. ie. Phoning a friend, or going out, You must do this it is essential to keep you connected. I know this as I find it hard to do. Hope your feeling better after getting all thoughts of your chest.

    I hope I have not rambled on to long.


  • too long. (typo)

  • i just need other people who suffer depresstion 2 try and help me as i dont no where 2 turn....i feel my life at the moment is on hold...i want 2 be my old self again instead of being weepie and sooooooooooooooo negitive about everything....i feel iam on the scrap heap...

You may also like...