Hopeless isn’t a strong enough word to describe the hole one sinks into during depression, whether unipolar or bipolar. For mentally healthy people, “hopeless” has a more temporary feel to it, a situational circumstance that seems hopeless- it’s not the way they view the world, life, or themselves.
I looked up “hopeless” in the thesaurus and found words that aren’t quite the same as hopeless but hopelessness does contain a part of each of them for someone who is suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, and various other forms of mental illness. When we say “hopeless” what we mean is:
I don’t think there are enough words in the English dictionary to capture hopeless in these mindsets. We use phrases like, “depths of despair” and truly know what that means. We swim these depths, the middle of a murky ocean where there is no sunlight, no bottom, no way to tell where we are in the world or who we are anymore. We keep swimming but, as we’re hit by complete vertigo, we don’t know where to swim, which way is up. All the while our oxygen is running out. We’re trapped in ourselves and engulfed by nothingness.
Sound terrifying? It is.