Giving Up On Life? It Could Be A Sign You Need Help
By Sarah Fader
Updated March 16, 2020
Reviewer Tanya Harell
Sometimes life presents us with challenges that are incredibly hard. You feel worn down and unable to cope. You may feel so defeated that you're ready to give up, but remember 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.
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 want to give up. It's exhausting when you're trying so hard to navigate the complexities of life. You may be going through a depressive episode, or perhaps you lost 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 outside of the darkness, 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 tell them that you're struggling. It's not easy to do this at times, especially when you're feeling depressed. 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 you to your support network, you can seek the guidance of a licensed mental health professional. Therapy can make a huge difference when you're suffering from depression or finding it difficult to enjoy life. Individuals who cannot seem to find joy in life are suffering from anhedonia, but this can be treated in counseling.
BetterHelp Wants You to Be Happy
Granted you can't just "be happy," that's not how it works. Mainly if you live with a significant mental illness, happiness can be quite a challenge. If you're struggling with depression, you can't snap your fingers and change your mood. It's not that easy, but that doesn't mean you can't live a fulfilling life. Sometimes you need counseling to help you remember better days and sort out a meaningful existence.
The online counselors at BetterHelp want you to have hope for your life. You can feel fulfillment and even joy with the support of an online therapist. Life has its ups and downs, and you may be in a slump at the moment, but that doesn't mean things can't get better. Your online counselor at BetterHelp can support you in finding out what your life purpose is, even if you feel like giving up. Your online therapist won't give up on you. 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 check list 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 ten fold. 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 Emma and better help to three CLOSE friends already."
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 need help, direction and something to live for in life.
Do You Constantly Ask Yourself These Questions and Have These Thoughts?
- 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?
- It hurts to live.
- I want to die.
These thoughts and questions are quite disturbing, and if you always find yourself asking these questions or having these thoughts, then further action needs to be taken.
A Few Reasons Why People Might Give up on Life
People who are ready to give up on life are usually aware of the reason as to why they are tired of living. 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 had a failed career or any severe financial issues usually tend to 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, and it can also lead to chronic depression.
Nasty breakups and divorces can leave people feeling shattered. Even infidelity cases can also have the same impact on people. Whilst some resort to harmful habits such as addiction, impulsive behavior, and suicidal feelings. People feel that they have no reason to live after separating from their partners.
Death of a Loved One:
Some people find it more difficult to get over the death of a loved one. They find it impossible to move on and don't seek the necessary help and treatment that they require. Grief is not easy to get over, and it takes time to heal from it.
While some people don't mind being alone and prefer it; some people can't handle loneliness. We live in a world where we have hundreds of friends over social media, but no real friends. Loneliness is another reason for more people who want to give up on life. People who haven't been in a relationship for an extended period are most likely to feel this way, and people who struggle to find the right partner.
Mental Health Issues:
Some people might not know they might be suffering from a mental health condition. These conditions can be anything from bipolar, schizophrenia, anxiety, trauma, and even addiction. These conditions can lead to people feeling suicidal and ready to give up on life.
The Feeling of Not Fitting in:
Some people feel like they're outcasts. They can't fit in and have no similarities with the people in their society and inner circle. While we might all be unique, some people find themselves to be extraordinarily unique from others. It usually takes a toll on their self-esteem and confidence. It makes them feel shut off from the world, and this is what causes them to want to give up on life.
What Happens When an Individual Has Everything in Life and Still Wants to Give up?
There are a few 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, a luxurious car, and house. Many people would question this situation. Why would you want to give up on life, when you don't have a reason to? However, there might be underlying issues that the individual is facing. In some cases, the person may not be aware of why they're unhappy. The source of their unhappiness could date back to their childhood or any traumatic experience that the person might have endured during their life, either as a child or adult. In these cases, psychotherapy is necessary, as a psychologist can help with finding the root cause of the problem and they could also address any issues that the individual is faced with.
How to Cope with Feelings of Wanting to Give up on Life:
There are plenty of ways to deal with suicidal thoughts and wanting to give up. Once the affected individual receives the necessary treatment, they can start leading a real-life free from feelings of wanting to give up on life.
1. Seek Help from a Professional:
In such cases, the first step would be to seek the help of a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. There's no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed when reaching out for help from a professional. A professional can diagnose you, address your problems, and then help you with dealing with them. A mental health professional can also help you with turning the negativity into your life into positivity. Whatever your situation might be, there's always a qualified counselor that can help you with dealing with your issues.
If you don't wish to go out to your clinic to meet your counselor, you can choose online counseling. Online counseling can be accessed at any time, and it is also much cheaper than face to face sessions.
2. Avoid Negative Influences and Surround Yourself with Positive People:
Negative people and influences will inevitably pop up in our lives. However, it is our choice as to whether we want to keep them around or erase them from our lives. 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.
3. Make New Friends or Join a Support Group:
Support groups are not only beneficial for helping you with overcoming your problem but its also a great way to connect with people who are facing the same issues as you. People that can relate to your situation and that understand you are people whom you should keep in your life.
4. Get Your Career in Order:
If you are experiencing a financial crisis or a failed career, then its time to start picking yourself off the ground. It may not be easy at first, but with dedication and guidance, you will succeed. Start small, lower your expectations, and grow your skills. Studying fees can be quite expensive. So, look into taking up free or affordable courses online. You could also try and apply for a scholarship.
Once you have decided on studying, you could even take up a part-time job, or you could work on some freelance jobs. There are smaller tasks which can contribute to your living expenses and help you with getting back on your feet.
5. Solving Relationship Issues:
If you have experienced a brutal breakup, and there's no hope, then it's time to give up on it and let go. A therapist can help you with coping and dealing with your emotions. Go out, meet new people. Be careful of who you meet and where you meet. Don't get yourself into a dangerous situation, take extra precautions, and meet in busy public areas. You can even connect with people in your neighborhood and plan outings etc.
If you have been having conflicts in your marriage, then it's also time to start working on that. You and your partner should seek the help of a marriage counselor. A marriage counselor can help you and your partner in solving your issues. They will also teach you how to communicate with each other, improve your intimacy, and any other problems that you might be facing.
6. Try and 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. Pick out affordable destinations and have fun!
What to Do When Those Feelings of Giving up Keep Creeping In?
If these feelings keep making their way back into your life, then you should keep a journal. Express your feelings and write your way through your emotions. You can present them to your counselor, who will pick up a pattern, and they will teach you how to avoid your triggers.
Contemplating One's Mortality
One reason why some people give up on life is because of their awareness of their own mortality. When you're young, death isn't inevitable. You think that you're invincible in this thing you call life, no asked questions about it. Then, as you grow older, you start to question your existence. One of the most frequently asked questions in life is "Why are we here, and where are we going?"
As you see death around you, which is usually magnified by social media, you start to wonder what the point of life is, and what the point of coping with life even is. It's a critically important philosophical question asked ever since we first became aware that death is real and saw the disintegration of a person with time.
You may feel like there is no point in having emotional engagement with your ambitions because of your own mortality. Your interest in life may go down, and you may give up. It's hard dealing with the extreme pain in life, every day you wake, but a therapist can help.
A therapist does not know where we go when it's our time, but they can use common interventions to help you find your own meaning in life. A therapist finds or recovers our ambitions and makes you realize that your end isn't inevitable if you make an impression on the world.
Another reason we feel like we're giving up on life is due to our negative thoughts. Sometimes, our brains can be jerks, and they will tell you "I give up" and lead to a lack of emotion. Left unchecked, we can feel like prisoners of war in our own minds. Negative thoughts always tell you that everything is going to go bad. If you're spending time with friends, negative thoughts can make you have a social withdrawal.
You may feel like you have no sense of choice in your thoughts and sometimes, these thoughts can be so obtrusive. You may find it hard to fall asleep or to keep up with your healthy habits. You may tell your thoughts hundreds of times that it's time to stop, and people may think that it's easy to stop thinking so negatively, but it's not.
Techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy help people, to the best of their ability, sort out their negative thoughts and focus on positive, productive thoughts. You can say to yourself "I'll live my life how I want" when you learn to regulate your thoughts.
Learning to regulate your personal thoughts is difficult. Sometimes, you're feeling more negative than others, especially on rough days that lost all day long. It's a process that may take a while to perfect, especially when you're feeling overwhelmed, but don't stop just because it doesn't work the first time. Find a reason to continue cognitive behavioral therapy, and it can give you a renewed interest in life.
A Severe Trauma
Sometimes, a trauma can lead to you feeling like you need to give up. You remember feeling how you did when you had the severe trauma, and even if you don't want to tell the personal information, many will understand that you went through something awful. It's sort of a symbolic death.
A severe trauma survivor finds or recovers themselves with time, and it's not something that you can rush. With time, you've moved on a little, but the world is full of people and events that can remind you of your trauma with no warning, beating you over the head with it.
A severe trauma is not something you can't stop thinking about, but with therapy, you can acquire the social skills needed to express yourself better, and it can help you find triggers. Coping strategies won't give you the perfect life and won't make you feel like you're part of it anymore in regards to your severe trauma, but it can allow you to slowly heal. Severe trauma can be reversed with time, but don't rush your treatment of a severe trauma.
Quite a few experiences can be linked to severe trauma, by the way. It doesn't have to be a matter of life and death. Injuring yourself as a child may be linked to severe trauma, for example.
Mental Illness and Giving Up
Often, there are many mental illnesses that can make you say "I give up." Let's look at a few of them, see their signs and symptoms, and talk about treatment options.
Bipolar disorder is one mental illness that may make you say, "I give up." Most of us have a general idea of what the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder are.
Bipolar disorder means that some days, you feel depressed, and other days, you may have extreme mania and euphoria. This emotional rollercoaster may make you feel like there is no point. Luckily, there are some treatment options available. Medication and therapy can reduce the symptoms and episodes of bipolar disorder. Episodes will no longer feel like a life and dying struggle. Don't give bipolar disorder a chance to take over.
Depression is the ultimate mental illness that may make you want to give up. It's another mental illness we know all the signs and symptoms for. You feel sad all the time. You may feel tired due to insomnia, or feel tired because you sleep all day.
It is a disorder that has treatment options. A combination of medicine and therapy, along with several health professionals, can help you recover.
We should mention that many activities are linked to depression and aren't necessarily an act of life and dying. For example, changing your schedule can be linked to depression at times.
Sometimes, it may not be depression, but the act of apathy. Talk to your therapist and see what you have.
Don't give depression a chance to win.
Another mental illness that makes you feel like giving up is the mental illness of anxiety. Again, we know the signs and symptoms of anxiety. You may feel so anxious you can't leave the house. The signs and symptoms of anxiety can keep you up at night.
No amount of physical activity, even strenuous physical activity, seems to stop your anxiety and its signs and symptoms. It may be difficult to have outward emotional engagement with people because you are so anxious.
A Bad Day
Sometimes, all it takes is a bad day for you to want to give up. A bad day can flare up your anxiety and depression, set your goals back for a long time, and no matter how hard you try, you can't find anything positive about the bad day.
Goal Setting Problems
Sometimes, we feel like giving up because we don't know proper goal setting. Goals and plans are always changing, and if you're experiencing goals that don't seem to change, no matter how hard you try, be it a long time or short, you may feel like giving up. You may develop anxiety and depression, or you may just end up throwing in the towel.
Giving Up Can Be Deadly
Besides anxiety and depression, someone, in extreme circumstances, who has given up may experience psychogenic death, a real condition often linked with sudden death, with dying usually within days.
Let's break that down. Psychogenic death is real, and it's also known as voodoo death. With extreme fear or extreme anxiety and depression, this real condition often linked with death can be fatal. Dying, usually within days, does sound far fetched, and it's not understood. Some say it's the anterior cingulate circuit, or cortex. The anterior cingulate circuit regulates blood pressure, and extreme emotion may cause a fatal spike or drop in blood pressure. This condition, often linked with death, may happen, but it is rare and not understood.
Starting a New Life
Sometimes, people in this stage (and by people in this stage, we mean giving up) can benefit from starting a new life.
A new life doesn't mean moving from the United States to another country. You can still have a new life and be in the United States, though exploring other countries besides the United States is good for ambition.
Instead, a new life can mean new goals, new ideas, and new ambitions. Try it and see if it makes a difference. A therapist can help you figure out how you can start a new life.
Being Mentally Strong and What Makes Strong People
Before we go, let's discuss the concept of being mentally strong, and how you can be a part of a group of strong people. Here are some signs that you're mentally strong.
- Strong people work hard to change themselves. The work doesn't have to be fast-paced, but instead go at their own pace.
- Mentally strong folks know the act of giving. The act of giving is when you care for others who are down on their luck, even if you may not get any in return.
- Strong people create and seek support groups to help others who may need it. Support groups can be local or be a part of family. You may have a support group for your extended family, or for just helping people in general. Mentally strong folks are usually just a call or an email address away.
- Strong people get tired of living and feel like giving up as well, even after one recovers a sense of meaning. We all can have our moments of doubt, but a mentally strong person keeps going, even if there's a bump in the road.
- Strong people always share their best stories to encourage others. These best stories are designed to be inspirational and to empathize with other people who need to be mentally strong.
- Mentally strong folks practice various therapeutic techniques when they are tired of living or feel like giving up. If they are tired of living, they may think about all the happy memories and reasons to live. If they feel like giving up, they think about everything they've accomplished. If you're tired of living or feel like giving up, keep going.
- A mentally strong person can be anyone. You are a mentally strong person for being where you are today. It takes someone mentally strong to live this long, and it takes someone mentally strong to seek help when they need it.
- Strong people realize that there is strength in numbers. Strong people are accompanied by that person who helps them, be it in person or online. Strong people also realize there is hope no matter what.
We all are strong people in our own way, but if you want to think of yourself as strong people, keep going, and you'll continue to be part of the strong people who persevere.
There's Always a Tomorrow
Stop dreading the days and erase the negativity from your life. You have the power to make each day a better one for yourself. You can change your life for the better. Never give up, try, and work on your issues. Seek the help of others if you need to. We have one life, and we need to make the most of each day that goes by. Live each day as though it's your last.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does it mean to give up on life?
When people are no longer willing to participate in their own daily lives by choice, this is called psychic akinesia. People who experience this feeling are no longer willing to try to participate in everyday life suicide insn't linked to this condition.
Is it okay to give up?
Although life can have it's ups and downs, it's not okay to give up. The moment you give up can lead to psychogenic death. This is a condition where the body shortly follows the mind in "giving up" and can result in an actual physical death. High emotions that cause someone to feel like they can't go on that isn't linked to depression or other mental health disorders can contribute to this condition.
Why do people give up?
People give up on life for different reasons. Some people have experienced a loss or a serios of losses that leaves them feeling lifeless and lacking energy. The unexpected loss of a job, spouse, or loved one can cause people to feel like they want to give up.
What do you do when you want to give up?
If you feel like you want to give up, seek professional help and advice. A licensed medical professional or therapist can help you get to the bottom of what's causing you to feel this way. There is a chance of an underlying medical or mental health condition leading you to feel this way.
Why you should never give up?
Even though it may feel like it, death isn't inevitable when life hits you with unexpected circumstances. Many times feeling like you want to give up is a precursor to a breakthrough. There is also a chance that you feeling like you want to give up is related to a medical or mental health issue that can be resolved.
What does giving up mean?
Contrary to popular belief giving up isn't suicide it isn't a physical activity. Giving up is making a mental decision to stop fighting through the challenges of everyday life. To stop caring, participating in your own upkeep like going to work and getting exercise. People who give up may suddenly pass away without warning, no beating heart due to an excess or lack of blood flow associated with a strong emotional response.
How do I never quit?
You have to remind yourself everyday to stay motivated. Remind yourself that you've won "100% of the battles you've fought so far." Regardless of how bad most things can feel, chances are they will get better -- if you stay motivated and keep fighting.
How do I stop giving up?
If you feel like giving up and you aren't sure what to do about it, contact a medical or mental health professional for support. Having talk therapy and psychotherapy sessions with a licensed provider can work wonders for your self-esteem and help to improve a bleak outlook on life.