The paper is devoted to the psychological analysis of coping with a difficult life situation, which is perceived as hopeless. The results of the empirical research carried out on a sample of 736 adult subjects are presented. Based on a qualitative analysis of the primary descriptions of difficult life situations, the most essential features of the perceived hopelessness are revealed. The latter include the lack of control and unclear situation, negative emotions, and the lack of updated avoidance efforts to change the situation. Operationalization of these features made it possible to construct certain models. Two types of modeling are used in the research: structural and simulation ones. It is shown that the proposed model is correspondent to the empirical data. Path analysis proves the relationship between the components of hopelessness. Perceived hopelessness is represented as a set of interrelated and consistent assessments of emotional experiences, ways to respond. The method of system dynamics analyzes the flow of hopelessness experiences, which is characterized by cycles, reproducibility, the deterioration of the situation. The final model describes the causes of perceived hopelessness and factors to find the way out of the situation.