Everything seems hopeless

SAMHSA’s National Helpline | SAMHSA

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  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

    Also visit the online treatment locator.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

English and Spanish are available if you select the option to speak with a national representative. Currently, the 435748 (HELP4U) text messaging service is only available in English.

In 2020, the Helpline received 833,598 calls. This is a 27 percent increase from 2019, when the Helpline received a total of 656,953 calls for the year.

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

The service is confidential. We will not ask you for any personal information. We may ask for your zip code or other pertinent geographic information in order to track calls being routed to other offices or to accurately identify the local resources appropriate to your needs.

No, we do not provide counseling. Trained information specialists answer calls, transfer callers to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states, and connect them with local assistance and support.

  • Suggested Resources

    What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families
    Created for family members of people with alcohol abuse or drug abuse problems. Answers questions about substance abuse, its symptoms, different types of treatment, and recovery. Addresses concerns of children of parents with substance use/abuse problems.

    It's Not Your Fault (NACoA) (PDF | 12 KB)
    Assures teens with parents who abuse alcohol or drugs that, "It's not your fault!" and that they are not alone. Encourages teens to seek emotional support from other adults, school counselors, and youth support groups such as Alateen, and provides a resource list.

    After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Department
    Aids family members in coping with the aftermath of a relative's suicide attempt. Describes the emergency department treatment process, lists questions to ask about follow-up treatment, and describes how to reduce risk and ensure safety at home.

    Family Therapy Can Help: For People in Recovery From Mental Illness or Addiction
    Explores the role of family therapy in recovery from mental illness or substance abuse. Explains how family therapy sessions are run and who conducts them, describes a typical session, and provides information on its effectiveness in recovery.

    For additional resources, please visit the SAMHSA Store.

Last Updated: 08/30/2022

SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator


Welcome to the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator, a confidential and anonymous source of information for persons seeking treatment facilities in the United States or U.S. Territories for substance use/addiction and/or mental health problems.

PLEASE NOTE: Your personal information and the search criteria you enter into the Locator is secure and anonymous. SAMHSA does not collect or maintain any information you provide.

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    Call or text 988

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    Treatment referral and information, 24/7.

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    Immediate crisis counseling related to disasters, 24/7.

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The Locator is authorized by the 21st Century Cures Act (Public Law 114-255, Section 9006; 42 U.S.C. 290bb-36d). SAMHSA endeavors to keep the Locator current. All information in the Locator is updated annually from facility responses to SAMHSA’s National Substance Use and Mental Health Services Survey (N-SUMHSS). New facilities that have completed an abbreviated survey and met all the qualifications are added monthly. Updates to facility names, addresses, telephone numbers, and services are made weekly for facilities informing SAMHSA of changes. Facilities may request additions or changes to their information by sending an e-mail to [email protected], by calling the BHSIS Project Office at 1-833-888-1553 (Mon-Fri 8-6 ET), or by electronic form submission using the Locator online application form (intended for additions of new facilities).

What to do if the future seems hopeless

March 23 Motivation

There are two easy ways to change things.

Arthur S. Brooks

Sociologist, professor at Harvard Business School, former president of the American Enterprise Institute.

The human brain is designed in such a way that when we think, we regularly "live" in the future. Sometimes this becomes a serious problem.

We humans are beings who think in perspectives. So argue psychologists and philosophers - for example, Martin Seligman, Peter Railton, Roy Baumeister and Chandra Sripada in the book "Homo Prospectus".

Seligman says that about 30-50% of the thoughts that arise in the human head during the day are worries, hopes, worries about what will happen in a week, a month, a year or 10 years. No other creatures look ahead so often and far. Why, only we and some species of primates do it.

The future-thinking monkey inside of us wants to see a lot of fruits in the short term and the opportunity to get them. The best way to upset her is to let her know that the tree will be empty or the fruit will hang too high.

Since we spend a lot of time mentally in the future, we are happy to think that it is full of pleasant possibilities that we can control. And vice versa: an almost perfect cocktail for suffering is to believe that the future is hopeless and we have no leverage to change it.

Why are thoughts about a hopeless future dangerous? They laugh at him. They create funny pessimistic characters like Eeyore. But in real life, this pessimism is not at all a reason for laughter.

Research shows that feelings of hopelessness are strongly associated with suicide risk.

Pessimistic young people, having reached middle age, suffer disproportionately from various health problems.

The same applies to the subjective feeling that you are not in control of your life. When, due to financial losses or other hardships, it begins to seem to a person that he cannot change anything, this significantly affects health - both mental (up to the development of depression) and physical.

In short, when your inner monkey begins to see an empty tree in the future, it becomes ill. It is even more unpleasant if there are many monkeys on this tree at once and hopelessness covers them all. The collective sense of powerlessness is overwhelming, making each individual feel even worse.

What to do if the future looks hopeless

It seems that all we can do in a situation like this is sit and wait. Vaccines. collective immunity. Elections. Basically, anything that might change our perspective. Meanwhile, pessimism will grow.

However, we are not helpless. Yes, each of us can do little to speed up the emergence of vaccines or, for example, to influence the political structure of the state as a whole. But we can change our way of thinking so that hopelessness does not take over and break us, at the same time ruining our health.

Just two steps are enough for this.

1. Challenge the apparent futility

Pessimism is actually a mirror that distorts reality. We expect the worst and see in everything a progressive and inexorable movement towards this scenario. As a result, despair grows.

Seligman and other psychologists recommend dealing with this with the so-called argument technique. It consists in the following.

Imagine the worst version of the future you expect. And find logical inconsistencies, flaws in it - challenge it.

This is to prove to yourself that the future is multivariate, and a bad scenario may be less realistic than a good one.

Here's my example: I teach at a university and love working with students in the classroom. It fills me with energy, brings joy. However, due to the pandemic, all classes had to be transferred online. At first it was unusual and interesting. Then it started to scare.

A year has passed. The other day I found myself brooding over the fact that I would probably never again return to that open, student-filled auditorium that I loved so much. That having to lecture from home, through a computer screen, would be my new normal. That pessimism is fueled by headlines like “How Coronavirus Will Change Universities Forever.”

However, in fact, the feeling of hopelessness in my case is completely unjustified. And I challenged it by analyzing the facts. For example, he took into account the vaccination that had begun. I read the forecasts, according to which the pandemic will end by the end of 2021. And I came to the conclusion: there is a high probability that classes in the classroom will resume within a year. So my troubles are certainly tiresome, but temporary.

Most likely, your future is also brighter and brighter than the picture that you draw for yourself in gloomy reflections. So challenge your own pessimism. Only not thoughtless optimism, but facts.

2. Change your goals to see opportunities within your limitations

When I was 30, I made a living as an analyst at a large think tank in California. And when I had problems, the boss said: "Turn restrictions into solutions."

He suggested starting the study of each problem by enumerating how and in what way it limits me. And then, instead of sadly accepting this as an inevitable given, figure out how you can use the restrictions to your advantage.

A simple example. During quarantine, I often heard complaints about remote work. People said that it is impossible to work effectively from home when children and family are nearby. Which exhausts the need to constantly cook. Lack of live communication with colleagues. And because of all this, it is not possible to be as productive as before.

Yes, there are indeed restrictions. But look at them as opportunities. To do this, it is enough to adjust your own definition of productivity.

Many people have a distorted idea of ​​a productive life, associating it exclusively with work. Take the Americans: they work more than they need to indiscriminately.

For example, a 2018 survey by the United States Travel Association found that 55% of workers deliberately cut their paid vacation time. And 54% of those who did go on a good rest, reported that they feel guilty.

Meanwhile, productivity can and should touch other spheres of life as well. For example, since you have the opportunity to cook more often, why not change your eating habits.

And since you can spend more time with your family, try to improve your relationship with your children and partner. Or use the hour you used to spend commuting to the office to learn English. All this will be a story about productivity.

I will not tire of repeating: the healthiest way to live in difficult, seemingly hopeless times is to see opportunities in them. And then use them to become better and stronger.

Even if your pessimistic inner monkey turns out to be right and the looming tree ahead doesn't bear fruit, at least you'll meet this unpleasant future in better shape.

Read also 🧐

  • How to stop doubting your choice and not looking for the perfect solution all the time
  • Why is the race for self-development dangerous and how to get out of it 900

    9 Why do we depend on someone else's approval and what to do if no one praises

When it seems that everything is hopeless and will never be better, You have to go to bed - always in the morning ... ▷ Socratify.Net



If it seems to you that something needs to be changed in this life, then it doesn't seem to you.

Unknown author (1000+)

Everything seems impossible until it's done.

Nelson Mandela (20+)

Always say what you think and do what seems right to you - this is your life and no one will live it better than you.

Unknown author (1000+)

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Jack Welch (20+)

When it's hard for you, always remind yourself that if you give up, it won't get better.

Mike Tyson (50+)

What you can't get always seems better than what you have. This is the romance and idiocy of human life.

Black Obelisk (Erich Maria Remarque) (100+)

If you want to go to bed in the evening with a sense of satisfaction, wake up every morning with a sense of determination.

George Horace Lorimer (2)

We are never so defenseless as when we love and never so hopelessly unhappy as when we lose the object of love or his love.

Sigmund Freud (100+)

A child is forever. There will never be freedom, independence, or peace of mind. It will always worry, be afraid, freeze. It will always be connected with another heart, and one must finally begin to get used to this. No, it won't get easier. Never. You have to learn how to deal with this anxiety.

Learn more