Are you depressed? Do you need someone to talk to? Do you wish there was someone you could reach out to for help?
TW/CW: Mention of suicidal ideation. (If you want to read more about depression, and what it means to different people, check out this blog post I wrote about depression.)
I have been there. I started suffering from depression when I was 9 years old. For personal reasons, I have never spoken about this on my blog in great detail, but in 1995 my cousin was killed. It was very public and on the news. It was highly traumatic for my family and I. Since then, I have struggled with depression in varying form.
My depression peaked in 2009 when I was going through a hard time at work. I was having a lot of interpersonal conflict, and truthfully, I was afraid I would lose my job. It peaked again in 2015 after the birth of our first child. That was the darkest period of my life, and I was suicidal.
I eventually got help, but I was very lucky. It did not reach the point where I made an attempt on my life or needed to be hospitalized. But that is not the case for everyone in my situation. There are so many out there struggling with a darkness that they cannot understand or make their way through.
Thankfully, there are a lot of mental health resources available for somebody in that position.
10 Mental Health Services
If you feel that you are in danger of hurting yourself or someone else, you can drive yourself (or have a friend take you) to the nearest emergency room. Some hospitals even have emergency rooms specifically for those who need mental health services.
This is another great option for someone who is at risk of hurting themselves. It is a safe, contained place for you to receive treatment, away from temptations of self-harm or suicide. You can be administered medication that can help alleviate some of the symptoms you are feeling.
This is sort of a step up from the care you would receive from an stay in a hospital. It is a longer term solution for those in crisis. You would live in a mental health facility for a pre-determined length of time, and you would receive regular therapy and mediation.
Telepsychiatry is a remote version of therapy. It is therapy that can be done over the phone, by email, messenger, or video chat. This is a really great option for those whose depression prevents them from leaving the house. I have definitely been there, where even the simplest of errands seems impossible. Let alone going to a therapy appointment.
If you are unsure about where to find support, there is a number you can call that will help you find assistance. That number is 1-800-662-HELP (4357). They will direct you to local mental health services.
Another number you can call is 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727). This number will connect you to a live person, and is available Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 8 PM EST. It will point you toward resources based on your situation and location.
National Institute of Mental Health
NIMH, or the National Institute of Mental health, has an excellent website that will connect you to numerous mental health services. You can look up information about specific conditions, or find treatment resources.
Mental Health America
Mental Health America is another great online resource. You can search for mental health services in your area. You can also find ways to volunteer, and take a mental health screening.
Online support groups
There are a lot of great online support groups you can take advantage of. A website I found recently is HealthfulChat and it gives you a wide variety of chat rooms for those with mental illness.
Lastly, I wanted to provide one more number you can call. This number is geared toward those having suicidal thoughts. If you are in crisis, call: 1-800-273-8255
You are not alone.
It is important to remember that you are not alone in this journey. There are so many others out there who are feeling the pain of depression and suicidal thoughts. Approximately 1 in 5 people suffer from a mental health condition. Remember that you are loved, you can be well, you can be strong, and, most of all, you are not alone.
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