When to Get Help for Hopelessness
If you have just experienced a significant loss or life change, feelings of hopelessness may be both natural and temporary. It is helpful to allow yourself time to grieve, practice self-compassion and self-care, and find the support you need and deserve.
If your sense of hopelessness sticks around and makes it difficult to do or enjoy the things you normally do—or you can’t figure out why you feel this way—it’s a good idea to reach out for mental health support so you can begin to feel better.
Here are some warning signs to watch out for if you or someone you know is struggling with hopelessness:
- Intense feelings of hopelessness that last for two weeks or longer.
- Hopelessness without any apparent cause or trigger.
- Feeling tired all the time, a lack of motivation, or no longer enjoying things that used to bring joy.
- Cycling between feelings of hopelessness or depression and euphoria or feeling high.
- Sudden changes in sleep patterns, eating habits, or hygiene.
- Pulling away from friends and family.
- Having trouble in your relationships or your academic or work performance because of how you feel.
- Feeling the urge to hurt yourself or others.
- Using hopeless or defeated language such as, “What’s the point?” or “Life doesn’t matter.”
- Having suicidal thoughts. Even passing suicidal thoughts, such as, “It would be better if I died,” should be taken seriously.
- Engaging in reckless or suicidal behavior, such as increased drug use or risky sexual activity.
Find out more about suicidal thoughts and behaviors and how to get help.
If you notice any of these changes in yourself or a loved one, it is likely time to seek help from a trained mental health professional. Sometimes even short-term professional support can make a big difference.
If you need help right now:
- Text HOME to 741-741 for a free, confidential conversation with a trained counselor any time of day.
- Text or call 988 or use the chat function at 988lifeline.org.
- If this is a medical emergency or there is immediate danger of harm, call 911 and explain that you need support for a mental health crisis.