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If You’re Depressed, Reach Out

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Grief

If You’re Depressed, Reach Out

If You’re Depressed, Reach Out

Tens of thousands of people perish in the US every year from suicide and addiction. We mourn each and every loss of a precious loved one. The lives of so many families will never be the same. It’s sad that our culture doesn’t allow families that suffer losses from addiction or depression to feel the same respect and dignity as those who have lost loved ones to other diseases.

But even in recovery land millions of people feel hopeless and alone every day. Isolation is the most painful thing in the world. Do something about it.

Feeling alone, being alone, and unable to engage with others when things are at their worst, are some of the hallmarks not just of addiction, but also of just plain being human. It’s hard to ask for help when you’re down. I wasn’t taught to ask for help, were you?  Even though I have the tools to reach out, sometimes I just can’t. When I feel the worst is when I need help the most. And it’s the time I really have trouble picking up the phone.

Why is reaching out and making that call so important?

When you’re lost in your own head, you’re actually lost. You could just as well be in the Gobi desert. Or on Mount Everest. In quicksand up to your ears. Up the creek without a paddle. Doesn’t matter where you are. You’re lost. When you’re lost on the road, GPS can help. When you’re lost in your head, only other people can help. Sometimes just the words, “I understand” can help you turn the corner. Sometimes you need perspective only someone else can give you. Sometimes you need a lot more help than that. If you’re really in trouble, a friend offering to take you to the movies is not enough, or a pull up your socks lecture from a family member could make things a lot worse.

So this is the time when making the choice who to call can make all the difference. This is not the time to call someone who’s mad at you. An aunt who remembers what you did to your mother when you were ten, or the brother whose wedding you ruined with a tantrum, or the ex who harbors a grudge, or any of the people you think may have harmed you. And you may have a long list. These are not the people to call for sympathy, empathy or the path to feeling better.

This is the time to rely on the kindness of genuine friends, people who accept you no matter what, or strangers in safe places. Help is most likely to come from people who won’t use your current misery as an opportunity to call you out or remind you of all the times you may have been a pain in the ass. 12 step fellowships and meeting provide those crucial connections for millions of people. For addiction recovery 12-step programs are often the first place to go. Check out 12-step programs in our resources category. Check out ROR meetings to find where to go.

For Depression and risk of suicide. The numbers below are trusted sources of help.

Crisis Call Center

800- 273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863

24 hours a day, seven days a week

http://crisiscallcenter.org/crisisservices.tml

National Suicide Hotline

800-SUICIDE (784-2433)

800-442-Hope (4673)

24 hours a day, seven days a week

http://www.hopeline.com

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

800-273-TALK 8255

24 hours a day, seven days a week

http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Thursdays Child National Youth Advocacy Hotline

800-USA-Kids (872-5437)

24 hours a day, seven days a week

http://www.thursdayschild.org

Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By Leslie Glass

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Leslie Glass is the founder of Reach Out Recovery and the winner of the 2016 ASAM Media Award. Leslie is also the creator of Recovery Guidance, the information website for those seeking addiction and mental healthcare for professionals nationwide. Leslie is a journalist, director/producer of award-winning documentaries, and the author of 15 bestselling novels. Leslie has served as Chairman of the Board of Plays For Living, was a member of the Board of Directors of Mystery Writers of America. She has served as a Public Member of the Middle States Commission of Higher Education, as a VP of The Asolo Theatre, and was a Trustee of the New York City Police Foundation.

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