Despondency: The Feeling of Despair

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Despondency is a state of extreme hopelessness and despair – In the darkest of our times, sometimes all that matters, and the only beacon of light that we have is hope. Hope is a key concept in our life. When things go wrong, it’s hope that keeps us going. It motivates us to do better. And we know somehow, everything will work out.
But at times, constantly encountering hardships and failures takes us to a very low place, where even that one beacon of light disappears, and we wonder if we’ll ever be fine again. This is the state of despair, also known as despondent depression disorder.

What is Despondency?

Despondency is a state of extreme hopelessness and despair where one might question their existence and their ability to make things better. It definitely comes with perpetual sadness. People struggle hard to overcome this phase, but while being in that phase they deal with tons of negativities, an overwhelming sense of despair, and fear of being stuck in the same place forever.

Is Despondency a serious concern?

Despondency falls under “mood disorders” category of mental health problems. People feel depressed and they are unable to function well in daily life tasks. It is also considered a type of depression known as “despondent depression disorder”. So it is indeed, a very serious matter. It has severe effects on mental processes. It changes one’s outlook on life. A person might become extremely pessimistic, leading to further negative outcomes. Moreover, a person’s emotional, physical, and mental well-being is compromised. The struggle of despondent people is very real and when they are unable to pull themselves out of that place, they might need support and help.

Symptoms of Despondent Depression Disorder

The symptoms can be different for everyone. People can face different types of challenges and these symptoms highly depend upon past traumatic events and experiences and some other factors.

Symptoms include

  • Persistent feelings of extreme sadness and despair
  • are complex emotions where one might have trouble understanding themselves.
  • Lack of motivation to its highest extent.
  • Struggle to complete even the simplest of tasks.
  • Fatigue.
  • Disordered eating patterns.
  • Weight loss.
  • Random triggers and breakdowns.
  • Frustration.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • No will to be better or to work on oneself.
  • Panic attacks in case of extreme despair.
  • Life in general, feels extremely overwhelming and stressful.


The question always arises “Why do people develop despondency?”
There are several reasons why one might develop despondency. The reasons as well as the symptoms are mostly different for everyone. But most commonly Despondency depression depends on factors like

  • Genetics: There’s a high chance that genetics can contribute in our mental health conditions. The same is the case with despondent depression. Certain genetic variations may influence the development of this disorder.
  • Past traumatic events: every trauma leaves a mark. Some linger for life. Past experience definitely plays a part when it comes to various mental illnesses.
  • Long-term stress: Stress can also contribute to despondency. Stressing too much can be very harmful and stress comes with many negativities and it’s draining us mentally and emotionally.
  • Uncertainties: not having the right direction to follow and constantly being unsure about everything in life makes us hopeless. It leads to chronic depression.
  • Lack of emotional support: it is important to have someone you can rely on and share your problems with when things get rough. Having no one to support you and motivate you during your hardest hour, makes things even more worse.
  • Loneliness: having social support is very important to live a normal life. Being alone and isolated makes us feel sad and hopeless. That’s why it’s very important to surround yourself with the right people who bring meaning to our lives. So loneliness can definitely add to despondency.
  • Loss: losing something or someone close to you leads to grieving and prolonging grief contributes to despondent depression disorder. It is nearly impossible to overcome this feeling. People enter a state of complete despair and denial when they experience the loss of their loved ones.
  • Medical conditions: some medical conditions can intensely impact the mental well-being of people. Medicines being essential and useful, still can have some very toxic side effects. They alter the mind’s psychology. So despondency somehow also depends on medical conditions and the medications used to treat those conditions.

Dealing with the state of despair

Such situations can be very draining. Especially when you don’t know how to deal with them. It is very necessary to figure out the right coping mechanisms. Sometimes things spiral out of control and we think nothing can be done about that. We go with a “take it as it comes” mentality. However, there are still some things that can be done to feel good about being alive.

Exploring new experiences

There are many things that we never tried. We don’t know what they feel like. Experiencing the unknown always comes with many surprises. They excite us, make us happy, amaze us, and whatnot. Whether it’s traveling, learning a new skill, trying a new cuisine, or taking yourself out on an adventure, it is always helpful in nurturing your mental well-being.

Finding a hobby

We need to find things we love to do, the things we are passionate about. When we do things that give us joy, it is the best way to while away the hours without worrying about anything. Hobbies keep you distracted in a good way, and it is a very healthy coping mechanism.

Spending time with your favorite people

Spending time with your loved ones can be very therapeutic when you’re going through hard times. May it be your friends, family, or romantic relationships. The people you love, they have the ability to make you happy and to provide you comfort.

Finding joy in little things

Try to find reasons to be happy instead of always overthinking about the reasons why you are depressed. They can be small things like enjoying your favorite season, Having your favorite meal, spending time with your pet, or adding to a cart.

Self Care

Engaging in self-care activities is essential. When you feel better about yourself, you feel better overall. Engaging in things like improving hygiene and food intake, personal grooming, taking care of physical well being etc, can be very helpful.

Reaching out for professional help

If it gets bad to the extent where nothing seems to help, it’s very important to seek therapy sessions where professionals can help you and talk you out of it. They can also help you develop healthy and better coping skills.

Despondency is one of the most common issues among people. Lack of awareness might be the reason why people are often inconsiderate about this problem and they fail to understand it. But it is extremely important to prioritize our mental well-being and to take care of the mental disorders that are capable of slowly eating us alive.

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