Depression isn’t just feeling down or sad for a few days in a row. Major depressive disorder is when a person feels like there is no hope, their mood is filled with sadness and emptiness, and there’s nothing anyone can do to help them. Major depression is a serious mental disorder — one that causes a person distress in every area of their life (school, work, relationships, friends, etc.).

You can reach out and call someone today on a depression hotline number. These free national hotlines are available to anyone who calls, at any time during the day (24/7), 365 days a year. You do not have to be suicidal to take advantage of a depression helpline. If you’re just feeling lonely, confused, or scared, these resources can help.

A person with depression often can’t see a way out of the black despair they feel. The feeling of hopelessness doesn’t go away easily, and if it does, it usually returns within a few hours or the next day. Clinical depression often strikes out of the blue — there’s often no reason for a person to start feeling the way they do.

While most people benefit from treatment of depression, a depression crisis hotline can help a person in the immediate short-term. Many people turn to a hotline because they don’t feel like they can talk to anyone in their life about their feelings. They may feel like their friends or family won’t understand — or overreact to what they share. A hotline can be a lifesaving pressure valve that can help a person feel heard — at a time in their life when they’re feeling especially lost or forgotten.

Nowadays, there are also online methods to reach out for crisis help as well, in case using the phone feels scary or overwhelming to you.

Should you call a depression helpline? Many people feel a little embarrassed, anxious, or even scared calling a helpline for the first time, because they’re worried about their privacy and confidentiality. People who answer a helpline are professionally trained individuals who have experience in helping people who call. They’ll talk to you for as long as you want, to help ensure that you get the help you need.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is the granddaddy of all crisis hotlines in the U.S. Your call gets routed to a regional or local crisis center, staffed with trained individuals who provide confidential emotional support to everyone who calls. The call and service is completely free. You don’t have to be feeling actively suicidal in order to use this service — it’s for anyone in emotional distress. You can also take advantage of their online chat service.

The Lifeline also offers hearing impaired services at: 1-800-799-4889.

The Samaritans: (877) 870-4673 (HOPE)

You can call or text the Samaritans at any time: (877) 870-4673 (HOPE)

The Samaritans, a non-profit organization, offer emotional support to anyone who calls feeling lonely, depressed, suicidal, or just are looking for someone to talk to. Whatever the reason, you will get a trained volunteer who offers non-judgmental support. If you’re concerned about someone you care about in your life, they can also help with advice and resources.

Depression hotlines can help you — right now. Please call if you’re feeling hopeless.

The above crisis hotline is available for both adults and youths. If you’re looking for a youth-specific line, you can try one of the following:

Some people feel uncomfortable talking on a telephone for help — and that’s perfectly okay. Depression hotline numbers are not for everyone. If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can try one of these free crisis chat services online or by texting on your phone instead:

The important thing is this: No matter what method you choose to reach out to get help, please, reach out to someone right now for help. Nobody will judge you. All of these services are there only to help you get through this trying, overwhelming time. You can do this.

People call helplines for a variety of reasons, but most often reach out to them when feeling overwhelmed, in crisis, or at risk of doing something they may later regret (such as a suicide attempt). Talking to someone at a depression hotline can help. It can help relieve the overwhelming feeling of being stressed out and without options.

People call hotlines for any number of reasons:

  • Talk to someone who cares about what you have to say.
  • Learn more about what they’re experiencing and what kind of help may be available to them.
  • Have someone listen to them in the depths of their depression, when they may be embarrassed sharing what they’re feeling with someone else.
  • Get advice about what to do next, in a confidential and caring manner.
  • Get a referral for treatment with a therapist or psychiatrist.
  • Get help for a loved one who is experiencing a major depressive disorder.

Remember, there is no judgment when it comes to reaching out for help. No one will think less of you. You will find only caring, compassionate individuals who want to help.

Major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression or just plain depression, isn’t just feeling sad after a relationship breakup or the loss of a loved one. Instead, it’s a serious mental illness that encompasses an overwhelming feeling of sadness and emptiness. Many people also feel lonely, helpless, worthless, and guilty. People with depression experience problems with sleep and eating, and complain of lacking the energy or motivation to do almost anything they normally do in their lives (such as going to work, school, or engaging in activities at home).

Even simple things like getting out of bed each morning can be an epic challenge for people suffering from clinical depression. Things that used to bring a person enjoyment — such as hobbies, sports, hanging out with friends — no longer do so. Concentration, thinking, and making decisions all become extremely difficult for someone with depression. Some people with this condition have thoughts of death and suicide.

Adults, teens, and children can all experience depression. It doesn’t discriminate based upon race, gender, religion, or ethnic background.

You can learn more about depression here: