Giving Up On Life? It Could Be A Sign You Need Help
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 on life. 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, fulfilled, and truly want to live with the help of certain resources.
What Should I Do If I Feel like Giving Up?
When you're feeling bogged down by the struggles you're experiencing in life, it's natural to throw your hands up and feel like giving up on life. It can be exhausting to try so hard to navigate the complexities of life. You may have negative thoughts, depressive symptoms, or even suicidal ideation. Perhaps you’re grieving the loss of a family member, or you might be struggling with the pain of relationship issues, 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 loved ones (whether parents, other family members, or close friends) 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. Professional advice 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 could be impacting your mental health.
Do You Often Ask Yourself These Questions And Have These Thoughts?
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:
- Why should I live?
- I have nothing to live for anymore.
- I'm tired of life.
- I don't care about anything.
- What's the point?
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.
Reasons Why People Might Give Up On Life
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:
1. Financial Reasons
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.
2. Relationship Issues
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.
3. Death Of A Loved One
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. This can lead from bad days to bad years, but there is hope and help for everybody who seeks help in finding new friends or a new special loved one.
5. Mental Health Conditions
Feelings of hopelessness may be a sign of a mental health condition, such as depression. Other symptoms of major depressive disorder include persistent sadness or emptiness, decreased energy levels, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, difficulty concentrating, changes in eating or sleeping patterns, and suicidal ideation. Individuals experiencing depression may experience distorted thoughts about themselves, others, and the world, and lack the ability to see outside of their limited perspective.
If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s essential to seek support from a doctor or mental health professional. There is treatment available that has been proven to be beneficial for managing symptoms of depression and improving quality of life.
6. The Feeling Of Not Fitting In
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.
What Happens When An Individual Has Everything In Life And Still Feels Like Giving Up?
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.
How To Cope With Feelings Of Wanting To Give Up On Life
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. Consider this a free guide to take the first few steps or the first deep breaths to set goals in acquiring a different habits, a new skill, or an enhanced way of life to set you on a journey to reinvigorating your life.
1. Avoid Negative Influences And Surround Yourself With Positive People
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.
2. Make New Friends Or Join A Support Group
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.
3. Get Your Career In Order
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. Think about the first steps you can act on to, 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.
4. Solving Relationship Issues
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.
5. Try To Save Money
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!
6. Seek Help From A Professional
Regardless of where you think these thoughts stem from, feeling like you want to give up on life could be a sign that you could benefit from professional support. 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 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.