“Hope is deliberate intentions, a road, and courage
not to turn back from reaching your goals.” The Invisible Dragon
Depressed men live in virtual darkness. Sad and dishearten these men may become emotionally isolated and disengaged. If depression deepens without medical intervention hopelessness may become evident. Haeffel, Abramson, Brazy, & Shah (2007) define hopelessness as being convinced the future holds nothing but bad outcomes and all efforts are futile. However, Snyder (2002) hope theory may help depressed men vision another alternative. Hope theory is associated with purposeful goals, strategic journey planning, and mental force. In other words this optimistic progression instigates ambitions, pathways, and psychological energy to goal achievement. It is my position that Snyder’s hope theory may help men battle depression and hopelessness.
Hope provides an underpinning to change thoughts and subsequent behaviors through achievement. The theoretical process is a triad of goal setting, journey thinking, and cognitive force. Changing hopelessness to hope first involves selecting positive goals. Hence encouraging fresh ambitions are alternatives to the negative goals often associated with depression (e.g., isolation, lack of effort, disengagement). Men whom set optimistic aims signify a preamble to change thoughts and subjective behaviors. Depression is as cognitive as it is a brain disorder; how we think influences our mental abilities.
The second strategy is cognitive thoughts about our trail. Perceived goals (e.g., good health, mental stability, employment) remain stagnant and stale without action. So, how do we get where we are going? How does one realistically consider the best route? Selecting the most desirable course may encounter trial and error. As a result there will be bumps in the road we suspect. However the resiliency to maintain an itinerary must be a prerequisite to success. Consequently, hope allows us to readjust our route to achieve our goals. However whatever course we choose we must not turn back; for the darkness is behind us.
Finally, our goals set, the path laid out, now the question remains “Do we believe?” Why should we trust in miracles? Hopelessness and depression is a significant predictor of suicide (O’Connor & Sheehy, 2000). Males are four times more likely to die from suicide than females (CDC 2004). Numerous obstacles, barriers, and obstructions filter the path of a change agent. Nevertheless how we talk to ourselves becomes most importance. Hope provides the fuel to the little engine that say “I think I can”. Do not turn back…tell yourself…“you can finish this.”
Depressed men live in cocooned hallow shells. Hope becomes one process to help supplement men in treating their depression. Yes, in fact depression is treatable. The cure of depression is effective 60 to 80% of the time (Stilson, 2006). Unfortunately men succeed in suicide more than women, in fact, 90% of people who committed suicide were depressed at the time (Stilson, 2006). Major depression is the psychiatric diagnosis most commonly associated with suicide (Rickelman & Houfek, 1995). Lifetime risk of suicide among patients with untreated depressive disorder is nearly 20% (Gotlib & Hammen, 2002). The hope theory suggests a process to stave off depression and hopelessness.