Viktor Frankl gave us useful mathematics for understanding despair. In the midst of World War II, he noticed those who were able to persevere amid horrible suffering were those who could attach meaning to their lives and to their circumstances. Despair increases, he said, when meaning is removed from suffering.
Is it possible that our culture suffers from a loss of meaning? Secularism teaches us we are independent of meaning from God, we have to make our own. The problem is that man is not capable of sustaining meaning on his own. We are finite- whatever meaning we cast cannot last because we don't last. We are also derivative- meaning is not inherent in us. We are made in the image of God which means our meaning is attached to his. When we deny God exists, we deny ourselves meaning. Frankl saw that without a transcendent meaning, suffering becomes unbearable.