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Millions of Americans suffer everyday from the effects of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. These effects can range from self-imposed isolation to thoughts of suicide, and the results can be devastating, for both the individual and their families. It’s important to know the warning signs of depression, as well as those of thoughts of self-harm, as these can lead to death by suicide.

It’s also important to see the correlation between drug abuse and suicide, as substances can exacerbate the symptoms of depression and leave you feeling alone and out of options. Understanding that there are options–and many avenues of help available to you–can help decrease those feelings of helplessness and allow you to find peace.

Here are some tips on how to find emotional wellness  and when to seek help.

Isolation

If you’re finding yourself staying away from friends and family more often than not, you may need to evaluate your emotional wellness. Depression can cause the need for isolation, but too much of it can lead to unhealthy behaviors. Staying social–at least now and then–can help you form bonds with people who care and will allow you to talk about your feelings in a healthy way. If you want to seek help but are reluctant to talk to your loved ones about it, consider finding an online support group that will give you an outlet without having to meet people face-to-face.

Cope with substance abuse

Substance abuse is, in many cases, linked to depression and thoughts of suicide. This is because drugs and alcohol can create the feeling that you have no problems–which numbs your emotional pain, making it that much more devastating when the effects wear off–or it can make things much worse, keeping you in a rotten circle of self-deprecation and anxiety. Coping with substance abuse is never easy, but if you feel you have a problem, it’s time to seek help. Talk to your doctor about getting assistance, and consider looking for an inpatient rehabilitation facility, where you will be supported constantly by staff who can care for your needs in the right way. Click here for more information.

Feeling hopeless

Feelings of hopelessness can often lead to bigger problems; it’s one of the most common issues for those who are dealing with suicidal thoughts, and feeling like you have no options can be dangerous. Remember that there are always choices, and there are people who can help you figure out what they are. You are not alone. If you’re feeling hopeless, or if you feel like no one can understand what you’re going through, reach out. Talk to someone at a helpline, or look online for support. Call up a friend and vent. There is always hope.

Overwhelming stress

Stress and anxiety can be huge contributors to your emotional wellness–or lack thereof–so it’s important to do what you can to reduce them in your life. This means being proactive when it comes to getting organized and learning to say “no” when you can’t take on another project at work or engage in an activity that will take your focus away from what’s really important. Keep stress and anxiety at bay by getting enough sleep, prioritizing daily activities, and taking care of your body.

Learning how to maintain your emotional wellness is a vital part of staying healthy, both physically and mentally. Talk to your friends and loved ones about your needs, and stay in touch with your doctor so that when you feel you need help, he or she can help you get the right kind.

Author note

Melissa Howard believes that every suicide is preventable. After losing her younger brother to suicide, she felt compelled to create StopSuicide. By providing helpful resources and articles on her website, she hopes to build a lifeline of information.

Photo via Pixabay by Lukas_Rychvalsky

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