Depressed? Suicidal? There is help

You’re not alone. Right now, at the end of the phone line, there is someone waiting to talk to you… wanting to talk to you. This very minute, you can call or even text, and someone who cares will pick up the phone or reply to your text.

Pick up the phone. Please. Call 1-800-273-8255 or text 838255. The person who responds will listen to anything you want to say. They will talk with you for as long as you need. You can say as much or as little as you would like. They will not leave you until you want them to, and they can connect you to others who are willing to do exactly the same. Regardless of your age, gender, or sexual orientation, there is someone out there who truly wants to help you.

If you are afraid you might be an immediate danger to yourself, call 911 or go to the local emergency room. First, you will be assessed. Then you will be given a treatment plan, which may consist of inpatient or outpatient therapy, depending on your needs. If you can, take someone you trust with you to act as your advocate and sounding board when it comes to communicating and making decisions. You should also take your identification, insurance information, and a list of all medications you are currently taking.

You’re not alone. Depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for people ages 15 to 44 and affects more than 15 million of your fellow American adults. That’s nearly seven percent of the population. The symptoms and effects of depression are mental, physical, and social. While these effects vary from person to person, they can include increased irritability, poor performance at work or school, exhaustion, withdrawal, and substance use or abuse.

Many of those who are dealing with major or persistent depression also experience suicidal thoughts. While no one knows exactly how many people struggle with suicidal ideation, an estimated one million people attempt suicide each year. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be.

You’re not alone. Every single day, you encounter people who have been right where you are. Hurt, confused, overwhelmed, sad, lonely, scared. You pass them on the street. You see them acting in TV shows and movies. You may even sit next to them at the dinner table. Depression does not discriminate. People of all ages, races, and walks of life suffer from it. We just don’t talk about it.

But talking about it is actually one of the best things you can do to cope with long-term depression and suicidal thoughts. It can be someone close to you like a partner, family member, or friend. In most cases, you should also pursue a relationship with a professional counselor, psychiatrist, or psychologist.

Additionally, many people find that prescription anti-depressants can help ease some of the pain and reduce suicidal ideation. You can work with your doctor or care provider to develop a safety plan, a written document outlining what you’ll do when you have thoughts of hurting yourself. You should also ensure your home is a safe place by removing objects like guns, pills, and razorblades that you may use to self harm.

The thing about suicide is, your circumstances are unique to you. No one knows exactly how you feel. No one necessarily understands what you’re going through. No matter how much you choose to share, no one will be able to comprehend the pain you’re feeling… and no one will claim to. You may not even completely understand it yourself. But you’re not alone. Please don’t be afraid to get the help you need.

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