Despair & Depression

Despair is the opposite of hope. When our lives are turned upside down the response can often be to feel despair. Unchecked despair can turn to situational depression. Many individuals who are already predisposed to clinical depression find themselves thrust downward by the death of a loved one. Because depression has biological, physiological, and behavioral components medical help is often required in conjunction with steps to combat feelings of despair.

We have the Power to Choose
We literally cannot despair—unless we choose to. But because we are mortal, death is entangled with life. We can choose to feed the darkness and death in our lives, or we can choose to feed the brightness of hope in our lives.

Choose life even though the forces of death seem strong! Choose hope even though despair seems close!

Chieko N. Okazaki

Despair is the Opposite of Hope
Despair comes when we feel powerless to influence events and when the sources of meaning in our life disappear. Despair is a kind of disorientation so profound that we lose contact with the sources of life itself.

The sources of hope are the sources of life itself. That’s why hope persists, even when experience, reason, and knowledge all say there is no reason to hope.

Chieko N. Okazaki

  From the Editors Desk

  1. Don’t Lose Hope: Dissipating Despair and Discouragement

          I thought I was doing so well and that I had this grief thing licked, then I had a trigger set me off. Last night my brother-in-law called with news from the NTSB about their report on the plane crash.  As we talked I expressed my faith...
  2. Dealing with Depression

      I wanted to share this letter from my father who has suffered with depression for over 35  years.  I know a lot of people quietly suffer and I feel like these insights have really helped me to manage my emotional heath. I had a 5 year bout with depression when I hit...

  Real Stories

“To all who suffer, to all who feel lonely or discourage, I say with love and deep concern for you, never give in, never surrender.  Never allow despair to overcome your spirit. The Love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrows, and gladdens every heart.”

  More From Our Blog on Despair & Depression

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    Just Keep Moving!

    Two months ago I was riding my bike. I decided to take a short cut to get back to the main road. This short cut involved some dirt…and my bike got stuck…I went to pedal forward and my bike wouldn’t move. As I tried to pedal but couldn’t move I...

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  2. Battling the Dark

    Battling the Dark

    Some days I really work hard to fight the darkness.  The other morning was one of those days. 5:15 AM the alarm sounded. My early morning bible study class started in a hour, yet this dark forbidding blanket enveloped me.  I uttered a quick prayer as I rolled out of...

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  3. Stuck in a Pile of Mud!

    Stuck in a Pile of Mud!

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  4. Mountains to Climb

    Mountains to Climb

    It’s been a little over 8 months since Jamie died and I’m here to tell you that although I’m still striving to live life after loss, I’m tired. This grief journey is a long one. Long and painful. I have likened it to climbing a mountain; the tallest, roughest terrain...

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I learned that when I feel that hole opening up, I stand firm and refuse to fall in.

I simply say no, not going down that hole. I deny and refuse all the dark thoughts – push them out of my mind. I realize that doesn’t work for everyone but it made all the difference for me. Then I get busy! I also listen to upbeat music.



Feelings of inadequacy are my biggest Achilles heel

If I let them consume my thoughts, I spiral downward. I can be my own worst enemy with self-critical thoughts. I rely a lot on prayer and focusing on the present to help me overcome those feelings. I try to feel the spirit and do what I can each day and not let my slow progress overwhelmed me. Exercise also does wonders to my ability to cope.


Question & Answer

When do I need to get professional help?

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“Believe in miracles, hope is never lost.  IF those miracles do not come soon, or fully or seemingly at all.  Remember the Savior’s own anguished example.  If the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong.  Trusting in happier days ahead.” “If things continue to be debilitating seek the advice reputable people.  Our Father in Heaven expects us to use all of the marvelous gifts He has provided.”