Intense hopelessness can become a problem when it accompanies depression. The depressed individual becomes tied to negative thinking and feeling, with the belief there is absolutely no recourse or solution to their situation. The perceived utter lack of workable options seems so convincing that negative thinking and feeling relentlessly endure. It seems to the depressed individual there is absolutely no possibility of resolution or change. Along with feelings of hopelessness in depression, one also may feel discouraged by a sense of low motivation, decreased pleasure, decreased energy, problems sleeping, increased irritability, difficulty concentrating, and unusual weight gain or loss. The "down" feelings are sometimes so severe that thoughts of suicide may arise as the individual attempts to stop the pain.
Sometimes it is impossible to resolve our own overwhelming problems by ourselves. Help from an objective and caring resource becomes essential. One resource for hope can be found in the Scriptures; "Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." Matthew 7:7. In such times of difficulty, when personal energy seems low, an individual may also need to get help from a professional who understands. At Meier Clinics, "treating the whole person" (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) is our goal. We take heart from the promises of the Bible. "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10.
Sometimes in counseling, we discover distorted and counterproductive beliefs and attitudes that were formed early in our lives. Attitudes can arise out of defenses created in childhood. It can be very devastating for a child to disappoint a parent. But, with the help of a professional counselor, we can reflect on where the distorted attitude came from and together begin to work at the "price" of the attitude. With our acknowledgement of the grace of God, such work is done at Meier Clinics in a confidential, caring, and respectful Christian setting. Remembering the following words, we can confidently pray; "Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." Psalms 31:24.
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Helen McDowell, LCSW-C, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Meier Clinics in Maryland. She treats individuals, couples, families and older adolescents for a wide range of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, grief and loss, and life transitions. For more information about Helen and Meier Clinics, visit us at www.meierclinics.org or call 888-7-CLINIC.