The Hopelessness Theory of Depression

Sadness, loneliness and anxiety are normal
feelings that everyone has experienced. These feelings can be triggered by specific
events, like the loss of a loved one or a humiliating work experience. But when our dark emotional state begins to
cause physical symptoms and lasts for long periods of time, it can dramatically affect
our everyday behavior and inhibit us from leading normal healthy lives. Despite the social stigma associated with
it, major depressive disorder is surprisingly common. Studies show that 13% of the global population
will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. And even the World Health Organization considers
depression to be a major factor in diseases of all types. Despite depression being seemingly so commonplace,
the causes of depression and the different factors that make it more likely to occur
are often misunderstood. So, what types of thought processes lead more
easily to depressive states and what makes some people more likely than others to suffer
from chronic depression? In a landmark 1992 study, Rose and Abramson
established a clear link between three pessimistic tendencies, also called negative inferential
styles and chronic depression. Number one: Cause. The first occurs when an individual blames
global causes for negative life events instead of specific causes. Someone who makes these types of attributions
will look at a negative event as caused by something that cannot be changed by them and
extends across all areas of their life instead of addressing the specifics of the situation
and looking to move forward from it in a positive way. At the same time, they also assume that their
successes are one-off situations that are lucky or coincidental and not a result of
their own effort and behavior. Number 2: Consequence. Even if someone does not assume that they
are the main unchanging cause of negative events in their life, they may still have
trouble seeing how a negative situation could turn out positively. People with this outlook on life see the worst
in every situation and assume the worst possible outcomes. Even though they might not blame themselves
for a particular event, they tell themselves that there’s no way to recover from it, believing
that they will forever be dealing with the consequences of the negative situation. Number 3: Self-image. Individuals with this third tendency regularly
compare themselves with others who are performing better than them in a certain task. Because they view themselves so negatively
and believe that they are the cause of every negative life event, they cannot see a way
forward from their current situation. They see themselves as the root cause of every
issue and so feel a deep sense of hopelessness. Although there are many different factors
which contribute to chronic depression, these negative attribution styles always play a
major role. Helping individuals who suffer from depression
to seek therapy focused on developing more positive ways of thinking, building a strong
self-image and better understanding the root causes of their emotions and how to constructively
deal with them is an essential part of treatment. As with most illness, the deep shame that
accompanies depression can be paralyzing. Please help end the stigma associated with
depression and other mental illnesses by coming forward to speak about your own struggles,
encouraging others to come forward and always being willing to listen without judgment.


  1. Thanks to your channel I now know I want to go into psychology and therapy for college. I'm so glad I found your channel .

  2. I know nobody will care or even read this, but I decided to put this out there anyway. I haven't been diagnosed by a doctor, and I have never told any of my family, but a lot of times I lock myself in the bathroom and cry. I feel like nobody cares about what I say and I feel like my words don't matter to anyone. I try to put my voice out there but it seems like nobody listens. I have considered suicide multiple times before. Sometimes I feel like even my friends don't truly care. I also feel like I will never get better at anything I do. I try harder to get better at doing math, but I still get Fs and Ds. I love to draw, but everytime I make a drawing I tell myself, "This is garbage. You'll be good at drawing." I don't feel good enough and I just want to finally be someone instead of a nobody that feels like I can't do anything. All I want is help but it seems so close yet so far away. I also think I'm ugly, and I just want to be beautiful.

    No, this isn't a joke, and no, this isn't fake. I feel all of these things and it seems like nobody cares. It's getting worse and worse and nobody will help, and I have a counselor to talk to but it's for my ADHD. Everytime I see her I want to tell her so bad my true feelings, but instead, I'm too afraid to speak up and tell her the truth and I instead put on a happy face.

    I wish I was never born sometimes and I just want my life to be over already. I guess I don't want to live but I'm too scared to die.

  3. The past couple months I was able to numb everything by only working school and going to the gym. Then someone came into my life and we were in the dating phase for a little until they dropped the bomb and said that they have been seeing other people and have made it official with someone else. During that phase, having that change in my life made me so happy and to have it just taken away so suddenly is really hurting. Eveverything that I have been suppressing for months all just hit me and I’ve lost all my motivation for school and work and just gym to let out frustration. I have friends to talk to but I feel like it just sounds like im whining about some girl when that really is just a small part of it but it just triggered everything else.

  4. Hi, can you please do a video on why songs make you feel certain ways? I’m confused as to why I cry while listening to certain songs. And why singing triggers my waterworks.

  5. I was just wondering if you could make a video about sleep hallucinations? I’ve had them all my life and I would love to watch your insight on it

  6. I really need to work on my confidence, I think it's to do with my self image. The fact I can get jealous easy and I compare myself to others so often are signs of lack of confidence and low self esteem? Are there any ways I can tackle this issue?

  7. the person who self imagining himself as a root of negativity and does not push himself to a better person is noob

  8. For thous of you that might say "Its just a face,it will pass" It wount. Ive sufered child depression and now that im a teen its even worst. So no. Get healp and find a reason to stay. Hug for all.

  9. I love this video. It was a great way to point out one of the aspects of depression. feel like I need to clarify that it is possible to suffer with depression and not deal with these self deprecating and self sabotaging thoughts. I think that is why many people assume they can never suffer from the mental illness of depression and will say depression is all in the head or other stereotypical comments. While the theory is true when it comes to hopelessness tendacies that can make a person more vulnerable, there is the wonder of what comes first, the chicken or the eggs. I knew something was truly wrong with me when I felt a sense of dread and hopelessness and I thought to myself, “why am I depressed when my life is on track, I have terrific friends, I just got…” What I’m trying to say is I was having these terrible feelings and irrational thoughts, but on the other hand I had the rational thoughts listing out all the high self-esteem reasons why I shouldn’t be having these feelings and thoughts. When I went to my doctor about this feeling (which was long after I had these thoughts and feelings and when it started interrupting my job) my doctor suggested I was depressed. I told her it was impossible because…I gave her the same list and I said to her that I felt good about myself, etc. That was my argument. I felt good about myself. Therefore it was impossible for me to be depressed. She told me to do my own research and come back to her. She did a lot of hormonal imbalance tests in the meantime. I did what she and learned a lot of what I didn’t know about depression. What this video tells us is just one possibility. That was something I use to believe depression was all about. While I know those who suffer know that depression isn’t just this video and these guys have done an excellent job at giving us all angles of this disease, some will believe it is like I ignorantly believed and only watch the one video and the proof to their arguement without digging. Thanks for your great and hard work.

  10. My friend is constantly bullied and abused by her father, sister and brother. I’m worried about her and I hope life gets better for her.

  11. I know I’m so late but whatever. I’ve been struggling with depression for almost a year and it no one knows except for my two other friends who have depression. Honestly I can relate to these very much but I don’t want to get help bc Ik that they won’t understand. Also I’m not officially apart of the depression squad.

  12. I can't stop vigorously shaking my hands, scratching my skin or any objects that I'm holding. I don't know what to do and I have scars on my arms and legs and my head is bleeding from scratching so much. I don't know why I can't stop but I just can't stop. I try not to because it looks weird but I just can't stop. My phone case is covered in marks because I scratch my phone it and my hand is red from snapping so much. I just can't stop and I don't know what to do.

  13. Guys, or someone from Psych2Go themselves, I need answer, please.

    I've been diagnosed by depression but I remember two of my friends back in high school also had it but their academics increased when they were depressed, while I'm drowning in emptiness and couldn't do anything, even opening my favorite book. No, I couldn't. Is it somehow different or… what, actually?

  14. Here's my depression works the worlds fucked, and people are fucking retarded and I have a bit of that in me… seriously I fucking hate myself I cant control my anger and I lash out and it's just so hard to contain

  15. I've gone through quite a bit, and I've been teased and bullied. My mind took a turn last year of me getting thoughts like everyone hates me, or I don't matter, I need to make sure everyone's better. I fell behind and I just told everyone that I was fine and yet I wasn't fine, I treated everyone well but they didn't treat me well. I went through the phase of comparing myself to others, I wished I could be like others but I didn't even try to improve myself. My friends didn't seem to notice either. I thought that no matter what I did nothing would happen. I was sad almost everyday, I had a tough exterior on the outside since I couldn't show my true emotions, I didn't want people to think I was stupid, or I would just drag them down with me. Simple jokes hurt me and they still somewhat do, I'm better now though. Something that really determined me is when my crush confessed they liked me, I was extremely suprised since I could think of any reason for them to not like me, or for anybody to like me.

  16. Irrelevant to the subject but could you guys please do mental abuse at a young age and how that changes you over time?

  17. I’ve been diagnosed as clinically depressed for years now. I recall symptoms from childhood, but they became overwhelming once I hit puberty. I hadn’t been diagnosed for years because I would hide what was happening. The self harm, locking myself away as “punishment” for not being good enough, distancing myself from people I love as to not “burden” them. I only got help when doctors discovered the scars during a surgery I went in for. To me, it had always been a matter of being “stronger”. That I wasn’t REALLY depressed, EVERYONE is like that… except they aren’t. I literally used to think everyone had MDD, but others just succeeded at pushing through while I failed. It took my first therapist telling me that waking up and not really caring if I disappeared off the face of the earth isn’t normal by any means.

    MDD is scary. I think the reason it’s so deadly is because it saps you… your energy, your emotions, your will… Until you are numb. Which then leads to self destructive behavior to “feel” again. Sleeping all the time or never enough because it didn’t matter what time of the day it was, what’s the point of going outside? Living in utter filth and watching your body try so desperately to stave off the effects of not keeping personal hygiene, not picking up your living space and then SLEEPING there… People often would ask “how do you live like this?”, and the answer is simple: WE DON’T WANT TO! We wouldn’t prefer it! But we also have no energy or motivation to do anything about it. I’ve gotten people that says it’s just laziness, but a lazy person still gets up to do things they enjoy as it benefits them emotionally. Those who’re depressed? Well, the fucks the point? Getting out of bed is expending the little energy you have. You won’t feel anything when attempting something you used to enjoy, because you don’t have the energy to do it properly, and the outcome disappoints. Then comes the thoughts of, again, not being good enough.

    I’ve talked to so many people about this, but I almost always get back to this point— clinical depression is NUMBNESS. And when I say numb, I mean it. An emotional void. Which is why so many health issues often follow. Being in a mental state like that 24/7 is of course going to bring hell with it. So even when you’re getting better, you still have to work on fixing the mess the depression left behind.

    Personally, medicine saved me. It’s not for everyone, and I heavily recommend trying holistic remedies as well (Ik it’s said like a broken record but better diet and exercise really does help! It will not often fix it, but it will help) but I have seen people get a grip on themselves when they are provided the hormones necessary to function at a human level. It’s not a happy pill. It’s a “this will give you back the energy to FIND motivation again”. The change is entirely dependent on the person.

    For me? I know it’s there. It’s like high and low tide. Some days, I can walk just fine, no water in sight. Other days I feel like I’m drowning. But having the energy to fight it… it’s life changing.

    I rambled for sure. I always tend to get a little rambley when it comes to mental health, but it’s only because I know how devastating it is. But if someone is reading this, and you feel like there’s no point, I want to remind you that there IS a point in this world. You are not broken. Your mental illness is sapping your energy, but it does NOT mean you aren’t worthy of being here just because of that.

  18. Can you make a video on something like, coming out of the closet, getting help ect. ?
    Thanks if u can! 🙂 <33

  19. Do Americans also suffer from depression? I think it's a perfect country. Freedom, liberty, gay rights, good economy, educated people, developed country etc.

  20. I'm depressed only because I'm gay and I live in India. India is a land of complex social structure where being financially weak is a bane.

  21. Hello can you please make a video on anxiety that has to do with divorced parents? That’s my situation right now and I can’t take it so I was wondering if anyone has some advice to help my anxiety and deal with my parents.

  22. To whoever is watching this, watch cute bird videos! I hope it puts a smile on your face! Your amazing and don’t let anyone say otherwise

  23. I relate to the 3rd one alot. That I had a good image was always more important to me than anything else.

  24. Hey you. You are reading this behind your screen.We may not know you but hope you are doing well. Never give up on yourself and have a good life. Peace & Love 🙂

    QuizToWin Website 😉

  25. Any chance youse could make a video on selective mutism? It’s barely ever mentioned and hard to find good videos about it and how to cope

    P.S. I love your videos! ☺️

  26. Who else clicks on the video having the topic about depresion 'cause you have it and wanna learn and relate more to it?
    I hope I'm not the only one…

  27. Most of the world is unhappy and miserable. So it’s always good to be optimistic, practical, self-appreciative, reasonable, and kind.

  28. I want to fix my problem, but i dont wanna cover it up and hide it with drugs or the temporary help with a therapist. It always come crawling back.

  29. I once met a person who had depression and they changed the whole way I thought about it. They said,

    “Depression is like waking up each day and feeling like everyone you love died.”

  30. Could you make a video on overcoming trust issues/anxiety that was caused by trauma? I don't think you'll see this but it would really help. ☺️

  31. Im so anxious about my self image. I have continously started sns accounts but gradually de activated them again. I block everyone on my whatsapp and just shut down everything, i feel better than. I feel too judged by my family, my mum keeps bad mouthing about my sis and i get the thoughts "maybe she talks about me behind my back too" and i get triggered to a long term sadness then

  32. I feel like looking back i have signs as a kid or as a student/teenager but i didn't know that could worsen with just a switch. You thought things would just pass as they say like your worries, your bad attitude/behavior, how you didn't know what to do next or plan for your life. You thought it will pass. My main trigger was when i was 17. Then from there i went downhill. This is so tiring. I'm only 28. Still young but things have been so long it feels and looks like eternity. Sometimes i can't believe that i ended up like this cause i thought i was strong enough emotionally and mentally. And that's what makes it more depressing and adds to that dark hole you're in. I tried to be a good person and a happy one but when that trigger happened it's depressing that i am not. It's like i am sucked. I cannot give anything out that is out of my strength, mind and even love to people around me that needs me. I was pretty independent mentally or so i thought i was. I thought when i just believed, i can as they say. But what's sad is that just because i believed, doesn't mean i can and i will. I am not the most intelligent and the strongest of spirits but i once believed. Therapy is expensive and as far as i know, there's not much therapists in our country. I'm the person who thinks and thinks now. I overthink now. But it's the kind of overthinking but at the same time your mind is empty when it needs not to be. I long for the times when i think but it's not overthinking that it hurts your brain. When someone's talking directly to me. And i see like therapists wouldn't grasp what my emotional or psychological state at the moment when im with them. Like you want them to see immediately so they would know but come the real situation or session then it's like empty so it feels like there's no problem. And you're thinking about the time when getting a session. Like time is running. I have a hard time connecting to therapists when it's direct or maybe im choosy and that's scary. Not being able to find what matches me maybe because the problem would still be me. It feels like i am alone no matter how i know many people suffer from this. Maybe i'm introvert with depression. Idk so maybe that's why it's harder. I've never been this real tormented. I need help but it's like i vomit it or having a hard time what and who fits. Or maybe i just need to make it natural and not try to rush because of wariness of time. Idk. I'm wary that they would not get what's really happening to me or misdiagnose.

  33. I've had depression since I was 11 (I'm 16 now so…not very long but a big chunk of my life so far and all of my adolescence). Some days are better than others. I've realized recently that I've been trying to talk myself into suicide which is. Messed up.
    Therapy is so expensive though and it's not guaranteed to work and if I spend all that time and force my mom to spend all this money and it doesn't do anything I'll just feel so much worse. The sadness is suffocating and I don't know how to make it stop. I don't know what I need. Depression is awful.

  34. I liked this. This was cute. 2:48 that little angry dude zooping back to she that hurting little alley person.

  35. While sadness and loneliness are normal, anxiety is not a normal feeling that everyone experience. It is a mental disorder and should not be looked down upon, some people can barely function because of their anxiety disorder.

  36. can systematically denying global causes for negative events be a condition, too? like, in people who refuse to think outside their little box, and blatantly refuse to contemplate societal or environmental issues?

  37. Do not let difficult circumtances define and affect you negatively. Somehowe in today's world we're so captivated by failures. We feel so hopeless due to our failures in life. Just remember all you do is not useless or a failur even if not succeed. Keep treating yourself well and others.

  38. Let's start from the beginning,
    Born, the bastard child of my mother, born into this hell hole we call earth (specifically Texas in a military hospital.) I was 2 when u left Texas to Indiana to find a home in my grandmas house, and after some time my mother and I got ourselves a new home. Then we got another home a few years later, by then I would be 9ish and still fine. Yet I was constantly bullied in school, even since kindergarten. A few years ho by and I turn 12… when the proverbial shit flew into the fan at mach 5, aka ~depression~. It started as a general feeling of nothing and or somewhat sadness, although it confused me greatly and I didn't know what was going on I kept it to myself, as I don't trust my mother at all even when I didn't realize it. Then it gets worse and my suffering exponentially grows. I don't remember what happend in between all those years but her I am 15, a child with very severe depression most likely due to the fact that my family has a history of mental illness. (May be autistic aswell.) None the less I have had many suicidal thoughts that almost went through but I persevered and now I'm alone, I have 0 friends and my family is bad. I'm afraid of my mother and don't speak to her so I can say that i am all alone with no one to help. I am trapped in my own mind with no means of escape other than using my own mind which is the problem in the first place. I have no one to help me, I'm alone in this world, but it's my problem that I have to deal withm

  39. #4 Existential Crisis, often connected to agnostics & atheists. Using science makes you smart, but can lead to existential crisis

  40. Life is just so hard, and we all go through challenges that we feel so hopelessly consumed by, but there’s a lot of goood, I’ve realized. We can push through and live an adventurous life. I’m looking to start a blog or course to help enrich our life experience.

    A little feedback on my short survey would be much appreciated:

    Life is an amazing adventure 👌🏼 Everybody needs to know that and I want to help!

  41. 2:48 I went through this and had none of these. It seriously depends. I was extremely depressed and suicidal and had most symptoms except these. Just because that stuff is very common amount majorly depressed people doesn’t mean it happens to every single person who is depressed.

  42. I have been researching and scouring the internet and am still unsure if I have depression. Can anyone make a lesser known fact about depressive behavior?

  43. me: casually watches this at 2 am while hating myself while hating everyone while stressing about the stress i’ll stress about tomorrow while telling myself how dumb i am for lacking motivation to do my 10 page essay that’s due tomorrow while not studying for a test also tomorrow

    me: nice video

  44. is eating a lot at every meal considered an eating disorder? i tend to eat a lot in one sitting which made me obese. my bmi is 39.44 and im only 15, i always think abt losing weight, but i never take action bc my mindset is im gonna die early anyways

  45. Yea.. but when you live in the US and don't have insurance you can't seek help without hundreds of dollars for one visit..

  46. Sometimes I feel so depressed, I don't even know why or how to get over it. I cry myself to sleep and feel horribly nostalgic about past events. Now recently I started mediation and it almost immediately makes me feel better. Getting interaction from those outside also improved my mood.

  47. I suffer from persistent sadness, and loss of motivation. And despair when I look at society. I don't suffer from depression.

  48. global cause blaming happens TO you. It is not a choice. It is something that happens way deeper than your conscious will. It sucks.

  49. It's mainly emotional and verbal and mental and physical abuse which is what hits me hard oh wait that's almost everything OOPS guess I suck

  50. No money = no hope.
    No ability to make money because of societal constructs out of my control = no hope.
    Aging = fewer opportunities, some parts of life (romance, sex) gone forever = no hope.
    No availability to zero out-of-pocket-cost healthcare = no hope.

    I'm a creative person in a world where everyone hates all things offered for consumption. (Every movie "sucks". Every TV show "sucks". Every casting choice "sucks". Every introduction of a new thing "sucks". And on, and on, and on.) This society doesn't provide a guaranteed livable monthly income for creative output, that provides no work environment that I can function in.

    There is no chance of society changing to appropriate workweeks of four days, guaranteed livable monthly income, and the elimination of the competitive nature of business that has forced everyone to become corporate slave labor working 7 days a week, 10+ hours a day year-round (which is not a life worth living anyways.)

    Instead of everyone banding together to support fixing the broken aspects of our society, the inherent unfairness of it, and the abuse and criminality behind it, people instead continue to embrace the failed conservative policies that cause these failings and give all power to the few, rather than empower everyone with a quality life.

    People try to say depression/hopelessness is "in your head", but the reality is this society is broken, and it is the source of the problems that cause such hopelessness, as the individual is incapable of changing things.

  51. "Suicide is another thing that’s so frowned upon in this society, but honestly, life isn’t for everybody. It really isn’t. It’s sad when kids kill themselves ’cause they didn’t really give it a chance, but life is like a movie: if you’ve sat through more than half of it and it sucked every second so far, it probably isn’t gonna get great right at the very end for you and make it all worthwhile. No one should blame you for walking out early. "– Doug Stanhope

  52. So many people have depression. This is very weird. Something is happening in our society that affects us negatively.

  53. Only 13% ? Are we sure, idk maybe it just higher rate here I only know 3 people who have never experienced depression and are over the age of 13

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  55. I think I'm going to tell my parents what's going on with me tomorrow. I am terrified, but I haven't been able to function for about a year. I think it's time. Wish me luck.

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