Okay, we all know what a facepalm is. It has pretty much entered the modern vernacular as both a noun and a verb ("to facepalm").
However, I was wondering if there was a more formal word to describe the gesture of hanging your head into the palms of your hands. The thing about a facepalm is that it usually describes extreme frustration at a perceived idiocy, but this is not the only situation where the same gesture applies: Desperation, embarrassment, exhaustion (both mental and physical) and concentration can all induce it.
If there is no such word (or words) to describe it, how did authors of old show this gesture? After all, I can't see Tolkien or Nabokov writing about a character who "facepalms" at a certain comment or situation.