The Importance of Hope


One of the most devastating pieces about depression is that it often times squashes all sense of hope. Without hope, people may lose any little bit of “fight” they have to work towards recovery. Dr. Jon Allen states, “I can’t think of anything more important than maintaining hope when you’re striving to recover from depression. Catch 22: at its worst, depression promotes hopelessness.” (Coping with Depression: From Catch 22 to Hope, (2006) p. 249). Depression counselor, Douglas Bloch, considers the presence of hope as an “absolutely essential” part of recovery from depression. He believes that without hope, one may believe that there is “no reason to put the work in today and do what it takes to pursue recovery” (“The Importance of Hope in Healing From Depression”).

One man who I met at the support group that I attend (see my post titled, “The Power of Support Groups”), stated that it was easier to stay on the couch and that he was “fine with it”. He didn’t want to deal with any of the challenges of life and wasn’t willing to put in the necessary effort to recover. This was a man who had been through depression in the past, knew what he needed to do in order to work towards recovery, even blogged in order to support others to work through depression, yet…in the midst of it could not get himself off of the couch.

One member of the group questioned whether or not staying on the couch was easier, as there is no possibility of “failing” if he wasn’t to work towards getting better. There would also be no possibility of being disappointed after being hopeful about a recovery, so therefore, perhaps, it was argued, he had no hope. He must have, however, as it was pointed out, had at least a glimmer of hope, as he was able to tear himself off of the couch in order to make it to the support group. Depression is an awful illness whose symptoms work against everything that should be done in order to become healthy. Many people with depression want to isolate, yet it’s known that connecting with people is helpful. Depression takes the enjoyment out of doing things that in the past were enjoyable. This particular man loved writing and playing music. However, he put down his pen and left his guitar sitting idle in its case throughout his struggle with depression.

Other men from the group reached out to this man, as it was clear that he was in a dark place and needed support (see my post titled, “The Importance of a Support Team”). Suddenly, he was off the couch and in various coffee shops meeting individually with other men from our group. I, too, invited him to coffee. By the time he met with me, he had mentioned that he had been online to seek out resources and programs for recovery. It was clear that he had made a significant and critical shift from having no hope, to having hope. He was getting out of his house, connecting with others, and seeking resources in order to recover. It was a great moment, as I was able to witness the shift from a lack of hope to hope that was energizing and palpable.

The lack of hope can be devastating and even life threatening. It’s important for those suffering from depression to understand that there is hope. People do recover. There are resources. You are not alone.

As with all of my posts, comments are welcomed and encouraged.

8 thoughts on “The Importance of Hope

    1. allevin18 Post author

      That’s a great question. I believe it’s then time to push oneself to utilize other resources. For example, perhaps a conversation with a trusted loved one, and hearing hopeful messages from them, would be helpful. Perhaps attempting, as difficult as it may be, to remember how much more happy (or contentment) they had felt in the past. Challenging themselves to take small steps and experiencing some success may be helpful. For example, pushing oneself to take a walk outside. Acknowledging that amount of effort they utilized in order to get out and to have fresh air and to hopefully feel a small bit better. Thanks for your question!


    1. allevin18 Post author

      Thanks for the comment, Steve. Hope means knowing that when times are challenging…even really challenging, things WILL get better! It takes time and effort….and it’s worth it! Al

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Monica

    I’ve been gently encouraging my husband to seek help for depression and to get his GED in order to go to college. We don’t want to continue living like we have been for so many years. Poor, isolated…
    Do you have any advice on how to convince him to talk to his doctor about being depressed? (Even though he denies that he’s depressed)


    1. allevin18 Post author

      It can be challenging with someone who is in denial. I wonder if a good strategy might be mentioning behaviors that you’ve noticed, without mentioning the words “depressed” or “depression”. For example, “You seem like you’ve really been running on low energy lately”…or…”You seem to be isolating a bit lately”. I think anything that opens the door to a productive conversation would be great. Try not to be accusatory. Be sensitive. I think, to reiterate, it would be important to mention things you’ve noticed…and then perhaps offer an ear or ask how you could help. If you could open up the door to a conversation, then you might eventually say something to the effect of, “Do you think you might have depression?”. If you’re able to go there with him, I think the next step would be recommending that he checks in with a family doctor and/or suggest a therapist….or a support group (a men’s group for depression would be most ideal). These steps may be a ways down the line. I wouldn’t try to rush through these sensitive conversations.

      Thanks for checking out the blog and thanks for your comment. Good luck!



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