Finding Our Way Out of Depressive Thoughts: Hopelessness

By Nancy Virden (c)2020

There are surprisingly a high number of thoughts and emotions that people with depression share. It can be encouraging to know that not one of us is alone! In the last post, we looked at self-doubt.  Today, a sense of hopelessness is another commonality I have witnessed in support groups.


I’m stuck in this situation; it will hurt others if I go for change; it would be wrong to try; I promised to finish, stick-it-out; people depend on me; no win is possible. I cannot escape; I’m doomed to ride this spiral. 

With any mental health challenge, feeling trapped in a negative situation is scary. We may not see viable options or even the freedom to choose. This quandary is neatly wrapped up in the frightful belief, “there is no hope for change.” 

Living in such a mindset leads to despair.  A sense of hopelessness lies behind many suicides and suicide attempts.

The truth sends a different message

Hope involves accepting a different set of beliefs about ourselves and the world.  To begin, consider the Way-Maker.

Isaiah 43:18-19 reads,  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – God

That’s great news! However, to move out of our wilderness of hopelessness and pain, we have to know that God can and will make a way for us. (Song: God Will Make a Way)

Psalm 145:18,19 promises, “The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them.”

He did this for me by leading me to wise counsel at the right time. For each of us, his plan may be different. So call on him we must!  (3 prayers to help you call on God are at the bottom of this page)

Hopelessness melds into hope when our thoughts turn to it. Instead of there is no hope, we can believe, I am stuck now, but I know the one who sets me free. 

Today’s Helpful Word

Psalm 118:5-6 NIV

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.

Nancy Virden Seminar, May-2016Photo Joe Boyle Photography

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. 



NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.., Carlo Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

3 prayers 

Psalm 31 O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced. Save me, for you do what is right. Turn your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly. Be my rock of protection, a fortress where I will be safe… I entrust my spirit into your hand. Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.

Psalm 31 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress. Tears blur my eyes. My body and soul are withering away. I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness. Sin has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within… But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, “You are my God!” My future is in your hands.

Psalm 25 In you, Lord my God, I put my trust… Show me your ways, Lord,. teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long… Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.






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