What to do when you feel down
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.
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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
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What to do to stop feeling overwhelmed
August 10, 2016 Productivity
Do you feel that your strength is at the limit, and the work has not been going well for a long time? Find out why this is happening and what to do to correct the situation and enjoy life again.
You have a lot of things to do, but critically little time to complete them. Too many people want you to pay attention to them, and you can't because you're always in a hurry somewhere. You do not understand how you can do everything on time, and even so that there is time for your personal life. Familiar situation? nine0003
At the dawn of the digital era, we firmly believed that gadgets would make our lives easier and less stressful in many ways. It seems like we've never been so wrong.
We have started working much harder than before and we can't stop even if we really want to: smartphones, Skype, instant messengers and e-mail have become an integral part of modern life. Yes, and colleagues from different time zones who want to be in touch around the clock. We are stuck at work. It is not at all surprising that with such a frantic pace of life, we often feel unwell. nine0003
Reasons why people feel overwhelmed
Sometimes it can be quite difficult to understand what exactly caused your depression. It seems like it all came crashing down at once. But think about this: fatigue is just a feeling that will pass sooner or later, you just need to identify what caused it and eliminate the cause.
Here is a short list of the most common causes of depression.
- Someone is constantly taking advantage of you, and you don't know how to handle the situation and get rid of unpleasant obligations. nine0022
- You are very much afraid that you will get into a compromising situation and will not be able to get out of it with dignity.
- You are too responsible and are afraid to admit to yourself that you are no longer able to deal with the accumulated problems on your own.
- You do not understand what you are asked to do, but you are afraid to confess, and this weighs on you.
What to do if everything went wrong
When it seems to you that everything in the world is infinitely sad and hopelessly bad, it is quite natural that you begin to feel the same way. Being depressed and tired from time to time is absolutely normal, but if this condition has become your constant companion, then you need to take appropriate measures. nine0003
- Understand the real reason for your bad condition. What really upsets you? Or who?
- Think about what you can change. Look at the problem realistically, honestly evaluate whether the situation can be turned around for the better, and do whatever is necessary to do so.
- Make a plan. Draft a to-do list of several items that will help solve the problem. Commit changes as you go. Feel free to ask for help. nine0022
It also happens that you are simply unable to influence the current situation. Then you just need to accept it. Yes, it is not easy, but it makes a valuable contribution to the treasury of your life experience.
Done with the general advice. Let's move on to specific actions that you need to perform daily in order to feel much better.
Do only what you are really good at. Sometimes people take on extra tasks just because they're easy enough, done quickly, and don't require a lot of effort. Sometimes - because of distrust of other people or because they believe that no one else is able to cope with them. Sometimes it's just out of habit. nine0003
All these tasks can easily be delegated to someone else so that you no longer feel like a loaded donkey. Ask yourself: Am I really the only person who can do this? In most cases, the answer will be no.
Too often we do things just because we have to, or because we always did them. But are they really necessary? It is quite possible that we regularly spend a lot of time on absolutely useless activities. To stop wasting precious minutes, ask yourself two questions: Do I really have to complete this task? Will anything change if I don't do it? If both answers are negative, feel free to cross this item off your to-do list. nine0003
3. Take breaks
Find time to take a break. No matter how busy your schedule is, it is quite possible to allocate at least 15 minutes in it. This time will be enough for your brain to take a break and start working much more efficiently.
Imagine that these 15 minutes are the kind of mini-vacation you miss so much. Close your eyes for a couple of minutes and allow yourself to relax a little. And then, as if from the outside, try to look at the problem that worries you. We assure you, a solution will definitely be found. nine0003
4. Ask for help
When we feel overwhelmed and overwhelmed, we need support more than ever. For her, we turn to friends, family and even colleagues. Complaining about life within reasonable limits is perfectly acceptable, but know the measure: if you start constantly telling everyone about how difficult it is for you, you will achieve exactly the opposite effect. You don't need a reputation as a whiner, do you?
It is often helpful to look at a situation through the eyes of another person. nine0003
Tell someone about your concerns and ask for advice. Ask how your interlocutor would act in a similar situation and what actions he would take. Sometimes a fresh look helps to find rather unexpected ways out of a critical situation. And in general, maybe you are winding yourself up in vain and the problem is not as terrible as it seems?
5. Learn to refuse
Assess your abilities adequately: if you cannot cope with a large amount of work on your own, do not burden yourself with things just because it is inconvenient for you to refuse. Set reasonable boundaries and learn how to finally say the word "no". Every time before agreeing to something, think twice whether you can really cope with the obligations entrusted to you. nine0003
Don't know how to politely refuse? Be diplomatic. If your requester is a boss or an important client, try saying things like, “This is going to be pretty difficult given our current priorities. Let's try to find other ways to solve the problem?
6. Think about the people closest to you
If you can't cope with the growing tension, think about your closest people and how they would support you if they suddenly happened to be nearby. Instead of worrying about what a new colleague or some unfamiliar person will think of you, it’s better to remember those whose opinion you really value. This will give you the strength you need right now. nine0003
What to do if you feel that you are worse than others
The feeling that you are worse than your colleagues can manifest itself in many different forms. It can pass quickly - for example, if the boss complimented someone else in front of you, or put pressure on you constantly - for example, if your colleague quit to start his own business. Use the following five tricks to keep your spirits up and improve your own efficiency.
Keep track of what causes you stress. Think about what makes you compare yourself to others. Does it upset you if your boss praises someone but not you? Are you jealous of the achievements of specific acquaintances? Do you often find yourself scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and feeling more and more lonely and insecure? If yes, you are not alone. According to research, social media exacerbates our tendency to give more attention to unpleasant feelings than to pleasant ones. nine0003
Try to notice what makes you compare yourself to others: by understanding what these triggers are, you can try to respond to them in a more constructive way.
Try to make use of your own feelings. You most likely can't help but listen to what your boss has to say about you and your colleagues. And while you may stop talking to your friends or quit social media, it will probably only make you feel more alone. It is better to act differently: to deliberately use these feelings to your advantage. nine0003
The next time you're scrolling through social media feeds, ask yourself why you're doing it. Are you bored? So, look for something interesting, not something that will make you feel even worse. And if you hear the news about a colleague's career success and feel like you're giving in, stop and calmly, without judgment, follow your feelings, and then make a decision and try to perceive the colleague's success objectively. Think as if you are not a direct competitor to him, but a journalist who writes an article about him. nine0003
If it's all too hard, of course, it's better to take a break. But remember that you can always try to learn something in every situation. Don’t say to yourself “I wish I could do this too” or “I wish I could do this too.” Better phrase it like this: “Why shouldn’t I do the same?” Listen to the thoughts that will arise in your head after such a phrase.
Show your strengths to regain your strength and motivation. During an acute bout of insecurity, you can get stuck thinking about how to catch up with others. At times like these, it's important to regain your sense of efficiency: do something simple and win a small victory. Use your greatest strengths, show them to the world and recharge your confidence from it. nine0003
One of my clients was to be promoted to Senior Vice President, but due to the pandemic, his promotion was delayed. He was very upset and envious of acquaintances from other companies who managed to cross this line even before the crisis.
The more he suffered, the worse he worked. To break this vicious circle, he decided to use his forte: the ability to write. He wrote a good article for the company's blog about how management is coping with the crisis - and it became the most viewed post in the history of the blog. Many junior and senior colleagues thanked him for his honesty and optimism. This feedback gave him back his confidence in his own usefulness to the company. nine0003
Create a new field of play. Comparisons with a narrow group of colleagues do not make sense: colleagues can either overtake or lag behind them. But if you take a broader view of the situation and include new, more diverse groups, the idea of success will become more voluminous and you will have new areas in which you can win.
Jackie, a director at a Fortune 100 company, has not been promoted to vice president for three years. It did not give her peace. Realizing that she always compared herself only to a small group of other vice presidents, Jackie began to connect with people outside the company. Taking part in a meeting of entrepreneurs, listening to presentations of local startups and being in the role of a mentor, she felt a surge of strength. She also lagged behind this group of new acquaintances, because they already had their own business, but she was pleased to learn from them. Not only did this help her turn away from unpleasant comparisons with colleagues within the company, but it also gave her the energy and motivation to reassess her career ambitions. nine0003
Release inner expectations. If you fall behind your peers in real competition—for example, they get promoted and you don't—that's one problem. But there is another, even more harmful situation that can become a source of perpetual insecurity - the belief that you should not only get ahead of your colleagues, but also want what they want. This tyranny of duty breeds an endless race in which you can never rejoice in what you have already achieved. Your internal definition of success is constantly changing - depending on what others want.