Do You Feel Like Giving Up On Life? It Could Be A Sign To Seek Support

Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia, LCSW
Updated May 15, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include suicide, substance use, or abuse which could be triggering to the reader.
Support is available 24/7. Please also see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

Life may sometimes present situations that are challenging to cope with. You might believe you're unequipped to keep going when these challenges occur. However, despite what you're going through, it may be vital to know that you're not alone in these feelings—many people have struggled with wanting to give up.

With the proper tools and effort, individuals may experience resilience, fulfillment, and a sense of being ready to move forward despite the obstacles. If you struggle to cope when you want to give up, you may also benefit from professional guidance.  

Take a proactive approach to your mental health

Do you want to give up? 

There may be a misconception that giving up on life means a person doesn't want to live anymore. However, people with these thoughts may benefit from support, direction, or other interventions that suit their unique circumstances. Acknowledging your thoughts can provide an avenue to understanding what's going on inside your mind. You may have thoughts like:

  • "I have nothing to live for."
  • "I'm tired of life."
  • "I don't care about anything."
  • "What's the point?"

Why do i want to give up? 

If you want to give up, it may not be for no reason. Below are a few of the most common factors in this thought pattern. 

Financial struggles

Those experiencing financial insecurity may face the thought that they want to give up, as they might see no way out of their current situation. Financial challenges can affect an individual's mental health. Finances are at the top of the list of topics couples fight about and can cause stress or worsen symptoms of a mental illness. When financial challenges are due to a systemic or oppressive barrier, it may exacerbate the thoughts, as the systemic oppression of some individuals is tied to difficulty maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Relationship conflict 

Difficult breakups and divorces can leave people sad and lonely. While some resort to harmful patterns, such as increased substance use and impulsive behavior, breakups may also bring about or worsen depression symptoms

The death of a loved one

Some people may struggle to be themselves and return to routines after the death of a loved one. Grief can be painful to cope with and may take significant time to process, especially without professional support. If one doesn't want to accept the loss, they might believe it's better to give up than to keep going without the person they loved. 

Loneliness

While some people enjoy time alone, isolation and loneliness are different concepts. One can be isolated and happy, whereas another may be lonely even in a group of friends. Because humans are social creatures, loneliness can adversely affect mental well-being and is correlated with signs of depression and anxiety.

Mental health conditions

Thoughts of hopelessness are a symptom of many depressive disorders and mental illness. Other symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD) include but aren't limited to the following: 

  • Persistent sadness 
  • Apathy or a sense of emptiness 
  • Decreased energy levels
  • A loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns 
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Distorted thoughts about themselves, others, and the world 
  • Difficulty seeing outside of a limited perspective 

If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of depression, seek support from a professional. Treatments are available that can improve mood and quality of life. If you are experiencing suicidal ideation, contact the 988 hotline above. 

Struggling to fit in 

Some people have been treated as outsiders and may believe they don't fit in or have similarities with others. Believing you have no one to bond or connect with may affect your self-esteem and confidence. It could cause you to believe you're shut off from the world and potentially foster a pessimistic worldview.

Past traumatic events

The source of a person's unhappiness could date back to their childhood or a traumatic experience they have experienced. A depressive disorder, unacknowledged life circumstances, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other factors can cause thoughts of hopelessness.

Getty/martin-dm

How to cope when you want to give up 

When you believe you're bogged down by life, you might throw your hands up in defeat. You may struggle to see the positives in your life like you used to. However, wanting to give up doesn't necessarily have to be permanent. Below are some tips that may help you when you want to give up. 

Avoid negative influences and surround yourself with positive people

Negative influences may be present in your life. However, you can choose whether it's healthiest to continue these relationships. Try to spend more time with people who provide you with their endless support and offer unconditional love. Surround yourself with people who incite positive emotions in you. 

Make new friends or join a support group

Support groups allow you the space to cope with complex areas of your life while connecting with people facing similar challenges. People who relate to and understand your situation can offer advice and encouragement. They may also talk about what methods have helped them move forward from thoughts of giving up.

Build your skill set

If you are experiencing financial challenges or a failed career, working toward a more stable future may improve your mental health. Think about the first steps you can take to grow your skill set, such as going back to school or learning a new skill online. You could also take up a part-time job or do freelance work. Gig work may support your living expenses and get you back on your feet while you search for a career. Although financial challenges can seem everlasting, they are often temporary. 

Connect with others

Meeting new people may offer a boost of encouragement. You can connect with people in your neighborhood, plan outings with old friends, take up a new hobby, volunteer, join a gym, or try a club. Healthy bonds may ground you and give you activities to look forward to. 

Work on your relationships

If you have conflicts in your marriage or other relationships, consider confronting them. A couples counselor can assist you in addressing relationship concerns and help you become more confident about the next steps you take. They can also teach you how to communicate with your partner and improve intimacy. 

Reach out to your support network 

Reaching out to loved ones like family members and close friends and telling them how you feel may make a difference. Being vulnerable is often a brave step toward recovery. Start small by trying to open up to one person you trust. Let them know if you need support in seeking professional help.

Take a proactive approach to your mental health

Talk to a professional 

In addition to reaching out to your support network, consider seeking the guidance of a licensed mental health professional. Occasional sadness can be expected in life, but believing you want to give up could signal a more serious underlying challenge, like depression. A therapist can help you identify and work through the underlying causes of these feelings and equip you with coping skills to move forward. 

If finding the energy and motivation to attend therapy is difficult for you, an online platform like BetterHelp may be an effective alternative. Online therapy allows you to meet with your provider from home and book sessions according to your availability. The flexibility and convenience of online therapy may allow it to fit in more seamlessly with your schedule. 

Research has found online therapy effective in managing and treating mental health conditions. In one study, clinical researchers from the University of Zurich compared the effectiveness of online psychotherapy and conventional face-to-face therapy by studying 62 participants living with moderate depression. Participants were divided into two equal groups and assigned to the control or online groups. 

After the study, 53% of participants in the online group and 50% in the face-to-face group could no longer be diagnosed with depression. At a three-month follow-up, 57% of participants in the online group and 42% in the face-to-face group no longer met the criteria for depression. Researchers concluded that online psychotherapy could be more effective than face-to-face interventions for treating moderate adult depression.

Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors.

Therapist reviews

"I'm a 50-year-old single father raising two sons on my own. I'm not sure when the pressures, stress, and past traumas caught up to me, but they did, and it was very heavy. I didn't know what I was mad at, but found myself mad and frustrated all of the time, and often with the people who love me most. I felt lost. My time with Eva has been and continues to be a blessing in more ways than I could have ever thought possible. First, she's a wonderful listener. And not just a 'nod in all the right pauses' listener…she's paying close attention to the details. I never feel like I'm being pushed through a checklist of obvious feedback. Her comments, suggestions, and strategies are custom-tailored to my situation(s) and I have REAL coping strategies that have improved my like tenfold. I feel like a new person…a better person…"

"Skeptical would be an understatement as I began my journey with Emma and BetterHelp. Just something I was never familiar with. I can breathe now, my chest doesn't hurt anymore. I have video chats with Emma, I have had phone conversations, and we text. I have referred to Emma and better help to three CLOSE friends already."

Takeaway

If you've thought of giving up, you're not alone. With support and tools, you can discover the underlying causes of these thoughts and learn new ways to overcome the hurdles you're facing. A therapist can teach you how to improve your life step by step and provide encouragement. 

By devoting some of your energy to your mental health, you can gain insight into your needs and learn how to live a healthier, more fulfilling life. To get started with this process, consider reaching out to a therapist to receive further guidance.

Seeking to improve your mental health?
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet started