Goals for depression

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

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    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
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    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.

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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).

Goal as an antidepressant / Sudo Null IT News

In order to fight depression with the help of goals, you first need to decide on the question: what is depression?
Calavera of Don Quixote 1985 by José Posada
Depression is a psychophysical state of a person, about which it is not yet known exactly what it is. But at the same time, it is already clear how to deal with it and make life easier for people.

The entry into depression, as well as the exit from it, can be provoked by an insignificant trifle. But in fact, everything is more complicated: a violation of the production of hormones and neurotransmitters inhibits the work of certain parts of the brain and their interaction.

General sponsor of the article - neurotransmitter dopamine.
Dopamine will increase the feeling of joy and increase the pleasure of life, as well as help to overcome bad habits.
Use common sense before reading this article.

The manifestation of depression can be varied, but the long duration of some symptoms indicate its presence: insomnia or drowsiness, chronic fatigue, significant weight changes, sadness, irritability, depressed mood, loss of interest in work or hobbies, feelings of worthlessness, thoughts of death or suicide .

If these symptoms appear within two weeks, you are most likely depressed or close to it. The more symptoms appear, the more pronounced the disease.

It is best to see a specialist, but even working with goals can help and alleviate the condition.

The importance of making decisions

One of the symptoms of depression is that every decision feels wrong. Especially often it manifests itself with a lack of information. The reason is in the limbic system of the brain, or rather, in the fact that it suppresses the prefrontal cortex. And this symptom speaks of the persistence of depression.

You must make decisions, even if they are wrong. If you stop making decisions, you are doomed.
Joe Simpson "Touching the Void"

It's not always necessary to make the best decision, often just a good one is enough

In trying to make the best decision, we evaluate different options, as a result we consider their shortcomings and become even more disappointed in them.

The problem is that usually we do not have enough information to make a better decision - the world around us is too complex and changeable.

In striving for perfectionism, we activate the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for emotions. Making a good enough decision - the dorsolateral zone of the prefrontal cortex of the brain, responsible for rationality.

All three links - intention, goal setting and decision making - are controlled by the same neural circuits, activate the prefrontal cortex and reduce excitement and anxiety. Also, decision-making affects another part of the brain - the striatum, reducing its activity, as it controls impulses and habits.

Violet-orange "tadpole" - striatum

Why is it difficult to decide

The human personality and the brain are complex entities, and even a simple decision involves three parts of the brain.

Our indecisiveness is manifested due to the variety of tastes and preferences, if we loved one thing, it would be easy to decide.

When making a decision, our goals, habits, fears and desires compete for brain resources. Sometimes the relationship between parts of the brain slows down, and then we can’t decide for a long time. At other times, it's too obsessive.

Moments of indecision greatly affect our mood and thoughts, and this gives rise to new worries and worries. They increase our indecision, and we get a vicious circle leading to depressive states.

Prefrontal cortex and decision making

The brain works on a “use it or lose it” principle, just like muscles. With prolonged inactivity, parts of the brain begin to degrade, and with constant use, on the contrary, they become stronger.

The prefrontal cortex, and especially the ventromedial zone, is responsible for making decisions, and neural circuits are activated that improve the psycho-emotional state.
It is this area of ​​the brain that is responsible for goal-directed behavior.

Some situations may seem unsolvable, but they aren't - sometimes you can't see solutions due to being overwhelmed with irrelevant details like advertising.
Often our brain gives answers not in a conscious form, but in the form of tooltips. For their occurrence, a firm decision to resolve the situation is usually enough.

To reduce decision stress, focus on identifying what's really important to you.

Decisions and joy

The main problem of depression is the lack of joy in life. This is due to a disruption in the interaction of the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system, as a result, it is not possible to connect future happiness with current actions. But if a person actively pursues a goal and does not rely on chance, or rather on impulses or habits, this brings more tangible joy. Goal setting and goal achievement increase dopamine rushes, and it enhances the pleasure of life and the feeling of joy.

When making a decision, focus on what you want, not on what you want to avoid. Otherwise, the decision-making process will be much more difficult.

With independent decision, excitation is noted in the anterior cingulate cortex of the brain, in the insular cortex and the nucleus accumbens. It also increases the activity of neural circuits responsible for attention and the production of dopamine.

We don't just choose the things we like. We also love the things we choose.

Goal setting increases dopamine production

When a long-term goal is achieved, dopamine is produced, but the achievement of the goal itself is less significant than the fact of setting it.

Depressed people usually set vague, poorly formulated goals, which makes their achievement problematic. With an unclear and blurry goal, it is difficult for the brain to understand whether it is being achieved or not, and whether there is movement in the right direction. This leads to a decrease in dopamine production and can have a demoralizing effect.

A person needs to have several goals, in the achievement of which he will believe, otherwise the lack of faith in the possibility and ability to achieve something intensifies the feeling of hopelessness.

We may not be able to make only the right decisions, but our brain works more efficiently, controlling the world around us. Indecision also reinforces the feeling of lack of control over the situation.

The more we control the situation, the lower the stress level will be.

What is important is not real control over the situation, but an imaginary one - this increases self-confidence and improves mood.

Learning to make decisions to make decisions

Graduating from college, I myself could not determine what I still wanted from life. Soon my indecision led to the difficulty of choosing any plan: I could not figure out what I wanted from the summer, and then from the next weekend.
Alex Korb

When we are not free in our actions, everything gets out of control, but here the good thing is that you can start small: choose a dinner or a series for the evening.

Decisiveness in some areas of life will increase decisiveness in others. Choose, set goals, stick to your choice and don't question it.

Every time we make a decision, we loop the situation, and thereby strengthen the neural circuits responsible for making decisions.

If you have to make many decisions in a row, then the neutron pathways responsible for this will “get tired”, and the brain will approach a state of fatigue and impulsivity. But do not be upset - in this way we create the conditions for moving towards an exit from depressive states.

I hope the information was useful for you and will help you in life. Make decisions, set goals and achieve them. And yes, dopamine will be with you!

Read more articles on our blog: SmartTalks


  • Ascending Spiral. How Neurophysiology Helps Cope with Negativity and Depression - Step by Step Alex Korb
  • Original: "The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time" Alex Korb

On the publisher's website

How to get out of depression?

How to get out of depression?

What is "depression"? Depression is a state of apathy, when you do not want to do anything. Such a state occurs in a person when he does not understand life.

What does it mean "does not understand life"? He does not orient himself in it, does not understand what actions lead to what consequences. It's like driving a car, but not knowing what will happen if you press the pedal on the left.

The brain is afraid of what it does not understand. Therefore, when depressed, a person is afraid to live - to take active actions.

How to stop being afraid to live? You need to get out of depression. The depression entry mechanism is as follows:

at first you, full of hope, begin your independent life
parents are no longer your decree, you yourself know how to live
You try your first relationship, get your first job
the first successes appear and you think you have tasted life
then a series of failures occurs, you are disappointed in yourself and become depressed
depression helps you to comprehend your mistakes and you try to start living again, this time more carefully
again a series of failures occurs and you fall into chronic depression, because you lose HOPE that you can live in this World with pleasure, there is a conviction that life is torment

Therefore, in order to get out of depression, you need to regain hope.

How to restore hope? The only way is to understand your mistakes.

A man in depression is sure that he did everything right, it's just that life is unfavorable to him. And there is. But, life, unfortunately, do not care about you. She is the same for everyone. It has happiness for everyone. It has misfortune for everyone. The question is what each specific person takes specifically for himself.

What you take from life depends on how you know how to interact with life. Do you understand the laws by which it is arranged.

What if I don't understand the law? That, you:

set goals for yourself
don't reach them
disappointed in life
get depressed

Life is not ready to adapt to you, you are not ready to adapt to life. Complete mutual understanding.

Depression is formed in one of two cases:

You set goals that are impossible to achieve
You set realistic goals but don't know how to achieve them

Therefore, depression, in any case, is the result of incorrect goal setting. Either you are setting unrealistic goals, or you are setting goals that you are simply not ready to achieve.

What to do, how to get out of depression? You need to learn to set goals more realistically. In fact, even if you set yourself a realistic goal, for example, to create a relationship in which love will flourish, but you don’t know how to do it, for you personally this will be an unrealistic goal and it will lead you to a dead end, that is, to depression. You will be disappointed in yourself and life.

How to set goals correctly? Maximum flexibility. Do not try to adjust life for yourself, but respond to the feedback that it gives.

What am I talking about? Performing actions, a person receives a result. If the result is not satisfactory, there are two ways:

to think that life is wrong, because it gives the wrong result and one must continue to achieve the right one
to think that I am wrong because I am doing the wrong things and for this reason I get the wrong result

When a person thinks that life is wrong, he dooms himself to depression. When he believes that he himself is wrong, he corrects behavior until he reaches the goal or changes the goal if he gets tired. The flexibility of goals and the process of achieving them allows you to get out of depression forever.

Where to start to improve flexibility? To increase the flexibility of thinking, it is necessary to change your life views. Move yourself from the center of the Universe to the place that you really occupy. You can't customize life for yourself. You need to learn to play by her rules in order to take what you want from her.

What beliefs prevent you from getting out of depression? Core Belief:

"everything must certainly be the way I want"

It must be replaced by persuasion:

"I can get what I want if I put in enough effort"

Then the picture of the World becomes realistic and a depressed person realizes that he is simply not trying hard enough to study this life thoroughly. Just a little more effort and everything will fall into place.

How to replace these beliefs? Don't think it's easy. The conviction - "everything must certainly be the way I want it" has been formed in you throughout your life. You adopted it from your parents. To be disappointed in him, you need to have a long dialogue with yourself or with a specialist.

How to conduct this dialogue? Sit down and start to spend :) You need to dissuade yourself that this life is created for you and convince yourself that you are a small fry in the whole universe. This is especially difficult for people with high intelligence, because they feel their special significance. But we are all small fry who work for the good of all mankind. Simply, intelligent people do one job and less intelligent people do another. But, everyone is dependent on each other. Alone we are nothing. And life is what unites us and we all live according to its laws, regardless of our status.

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