Content warning: This article contains mention of suicidal thoughts and ideation. If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out for help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 and is available 24/7. You can also visit their website for information and resources.
Sometimes, life presents us with challenges that are incredibly hard. You may feel worn down and unable to cope. You may feel so low that you’ve thought about giving up. It’s important to remember that you're not alone in these feelings. Many people before you have struggled with feelings of giving up, and they have emerged more resilient and fulfilled, with the help of certain resources.
When you're feeling bogged down by the struggles you're experiencing in life, it's natural to throw your hands up and want to give up. It can be exhausting to try so hard to navigate the complexities of life. You may be going through depression, or perhaps you’re grieving the loss of a family member. You might be struggling with the pain of separation or divorce. Many things happen to us in our lives that cause us distress. It's hard to remember at these times that life can also bring us joy. You might not be able to see the positives in your life, but there is hope. What can you do to pull yourself out of this emotional hole?
One action you can take is to reach out to friends and family and let them know what you need. It's not easy to do this at times, especially when you're feeling unhappy, but your loved ones care about you and want to see you well. Talk to someone close to you and let them know you need help. In addition to reaching out to your support network, you can seek the guidance of a licensed mental health professional. Therapy can make a huge difference when you're finding it difficult to enjoy life.
Individuals who cannot seem to find joy in life may be facing anhedonia, which describes one’s inability to experience pleasure. This can be treated through therapy, in addition to other depressive symptoms, various mental health conditions outside of depression, and any other facets of life that that could be impacting your mental health.
Sometimes, living feels tedious and difficult. There's a common misconception that giving up on life means a person wants to die. That's not necessarily true. People who feel this way often need help, direction, healing, something to live for in life, or other changes and interventions that suit their unique circumstances and needs. Acknowledging your thoughts can be an avenue to better understand what’s going on inside. You may have thoughts like:
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, help is available. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 and is available 24/7, or you can text the word “HOME” to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.
People who may be giving up on life may already be aware of the reasons why they feel that way. Nonetheless, here are a few of the most common reasons that people feel as though they want to give up on life:
People who have stressful financial issues may face the thought that they want to give up on life, as they see no way out of their current situation. Serious money problems can take a toll on an individual's mental health; not only are finances at the top of the list when it comes to topics that people in romantic relationships fight about, but they can cause stress and lead to or worsen symptoms of anxiety or depression.
Difficult breakups and divorces can leave people feeling sad and lonely. Whilst some resort to harmful patterns such as an increase in substance use and impulsive behavior, breakups may also bring about or worsen depression symptoms. Sometimes people may feel very low after separating from their partners. It is possible to build yourself back up after a breakup or divorce.
Some people find it more difficult to feel like themselves and return to routines after the death of a loved one. It can seem difficult to move on after their loss, and they may not seek the necessary help and treatment that they require. Grief can be difficult to cope with, and it takes time to heal.
While some people don't mind being alone, and many prefer it, some people can't handle loneliness or face a level of loneliness and isolation that is too high to take. We live in a world where sometimes people can have hundreds of friends through social media, but few friends in real life. Loneliness is strongly correlated with signs of both depression and anxiety disorders, and it can be a weight on your shoulders.
Mental illnesses can be incredibly difficult to navigate, particularly without support. Some people might not know they’re living with a mental health condition. Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions today, and one of the most common symptoms of depression is a feeling of hopelessness. However, there is hope. Fortunately, depression is also a very treatable condition, and you can manage your symptoms when it’s negatively affecting your outlook on life.
Some people view themselves as outsiders. They may feel as though they don’t fit in easily and have no similarities with others. Feeling like you have no one to bond or connect with can take a toll on your self-esteem and confidence. It can make you feel shut off from the world and perhaps foster a negative worldview.
There are cases in which an individual has everything that anyone could want in life such as a flourishing career or business, the perfect family, a wonderful spouse, and abundant material possessions. Why would you want to give up on life when you seemingly don't have a reason to? However, there might be underlying issues that the individual is facing. The source of their unhappiness could date back to their childhood or any traumatic experience that the person might have endured during their life. A depressive disorder, unacknowledged life circumstances, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or something else could be a factor in these feelings. In these cases, therapy can be useful as a mental health professional can help with addressing these issues and managing any symptoms.
Many people who have been there can vouch that the feeling of wanting to give up does not have to be permanent. With some work, support, and/or treatment, you can start living a happier, more fulfilled life.
Negative people and influences will inevitably pop up in our lives. However, it is up to us to decide whether we want to keep them around. Spend more time with people who provide you with their endless support and offer their unconditional love to you. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself.
Support groups are not only beneficial for helping you deal with complex areas of your life, but they’re also a great way to connect with people who are facing the same issues as you. People who can relate to your situation and understand you can be great people to keep in your life.
If you are experiencing financial problems or a failed career, then working towards a more stable future may help improve your mental health. It may not be easy at first, but with dedication and guidance, you can succeed. Start small, set goals, and grow your skillset. Consider going back to school or learning a new skill online.
You could even take up a part-time job or do freelance work. There are plenty of smaller gigs that can help with your living expenses and get you back on your feet. Also, remember your worth outside of work and keep in mind that your current situation does not have to permanent.
If you have experienced a difficult breakup, it can be taxing to deal with your emotions. Go out and meet new people. If you aren’t ready to date, try to make new friends. You can connect with people in your neighborhood, plan outings with old friends, etc.
If you have been having conflicts in your marriage, then it may be time to start working on that. You and your partner can seek the help of a marriage counselor. A marriage counselor can help you address any concerns and can aid you in ensuring that, no matter what happens, you’re confident in your choices and/or the next steps you take. They will also teach you how to communicate with each other, improve your intimacy, and so on.
Saving money will not only secure your future, but you can also use a small portion of it to treat yourself and go away on vacation or do something else you’ve been wanting to do. Pick out an affordable destination and have fun!
Regardless of where you think these thoughts stem from, a good first step is to seek the help of a therapist. There's no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed when reaching out for help from a professional. A licensed therapist can identify the underlying reasons behind feeling like giving up on life and then help you with navigating them. No matter what you're experiencing, a therapist can help you with turning the negativity in your life into positivity. If you aren’t sure who to talk to or where to find one of these providers, talking with a primary care provider could be the first move you make.
If you don't wish to commute to an office to participate in therapy, you can choose an online platform like BetterHelp. BetterHelp provides access to resources and guidance that can help you improve your mental health. The licensed, experienced therapists at BetterHelp know how to work with you to reframe negative thoughts and build a fulfilling life. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors.
"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."
No matter what you're experiencing, remember that you're not alone. With help, you have the power to make each day a better one for yourself. Even if you’ve felt like giving up, know that you can change your life for the better.
Is it okay to give up?
It’s seldom okay to give up on something unless it’s harming you mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Life is filled with ups and downs. So, nobody can predict what will happen next. But giving up says you’re not interested in future possibilities, and that may be a sign of something more serious. In fact, prolonged sadness, complacency, and emotional detachment may be symptoms of an undiagnosed mental health condition.
Why do people give up?
People feel like giving up or stopping trying for countless reasons. It often has to do with trauma, loss, grief, financial disparities, abuse, illness, and relationship problems. However, extreme or uncontrollable bouts of hopelessness may indicate diagnosable depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you’re the victim of abuse, reach out to the National Domestic Abuse Hotline. And if you suspect a mental health condition, talk to a licensed counselor.
NOTE: Common mental illnesses associated with wanting to give up are bipolar disorder, clinical depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and generalized anxiety.
What do you do when you want to give up?
When you want to give up, don’t. Instead, take a few deep breaths and try to put things into perspective. Count all the good things in your life, and then try mindfulness exercises to redirect your thoughts. Consider ways to change your situation before reaching out to a friend or family member. And if all else fails, contact your doctor for a mental health evaluation or begin private online counseling with a certified therapist.
Why should you never give up?
You should never give up on life because you have inherent value as a unique individual. Even if your current situation suggests otherwise, you still matter. Circumstances can change, and a bad day/month/year is not the same as a bad life.
Meanwhile, you never know what the future holds. Giving up now may prevent you from enjoying the fruits of your labor in the future. Plus, more people care about you than you realize. And wanting to give up is often a precursor to a breakthrough. Get professional help if you need a hand; stay motivated.
What does giving up mean?
Giving up means experiencing emotional detachment, complicacy, or apathy about something, even life in general. It’s a mental decision that encourages people to stop fighting for what they want or need—as such, giving up isn’t considered a healthy way to cope with stress or mental illness. Instead, overwhelmed individuals, couples, families, and colleagues should band together in support of one another. The band before anyone gives up; a licensed counselor should be consulted.
How do I never quit?
It’s hard to stay motivated and positive all the time. It’s not realistic to expect life to be uplifting and satisfying all the time. Understanding and appreciating the ebb and flow of modern existence is a good place to start. When you’re prepared for the inevitable, you don’t react as intensely.
To never give up despite life’s challenges, try these ten things:
Remember the wise words of social psychologist Dr. Roy Baumeister of Florida University: “Life is mostly good, despite the greater power of bad things.”
How do I stop giving up?
Stop giving up by believing in yourself and finding something to fight for. Remember that life is filled with challenges, which means you will never escape the inevitable. However, you don’t have to face the world alone. Reach out to someone you trust to build an accountability plan. Or consult a licensed mental health specialist to diagnose any underlying illnesses or conditions.