The Sheer Hopelessness of Mental Illness

Please bear with me. This was written in March of 2012. Right or wrong, it was where I was at with my illness. I hope it will bless, and bring hope into that situation that seems very hopeless:

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 34:18

Depression can feel hopeless.

I’ve seemed to have settled down into a blackness that defies all explanation. I’m dodging being hospitalized, and they can’t put me where I don’t want to go. I don’t want to be locked up again.

It’s the hopeless/helpless thing, a “one-two punch” that is the most devastating to me. It crushes and pulverizes until I lie in this sad pathetic mess I’ve become. Dante had it dead-on when ascribed the gates of hell with the words, Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.” In hell you’ll know what despair is really like. Perhaps heaven and hell really do start here?

And there was another writer, just as clever, said something along these lines,

Shut up! Unless you have been lost in this particular section of hell before,  just be quiet.”

And perhaps we should? Nothing can trump personal experience. The survivors, if you can find them, will understand what I’m saying. It seems that that hard book of Job is finally starting to make sense.

How is it,
People fear the dark?
Not me, I’m reconciled
as every day I see
the blackness grow,
I’ve come to terms with it,
it knows I know.

–Rod McKuen, Alone

Hopelessness swirls me around and I feel like a bug going down a drain. Thoughts of suicide are becoming more concrete and despair is becoming a frequent visitor.  Mental illness is frightening. Those who have experienced it, will learn not to say anything, but pray.

Durability may ultimately prove to be the most significant factor in this “mixed state” of Bipolar Disorder that I am wandering through at the moment.  Can I outlast these demons that plague me? My irrational mind plays tricks on me, I see mirages of wholeness and peace, but they don’t seem  real. It is a big, fat lie. It is nothing but a delusion, or a trick of the brain.  And yet something inside of me steadfastly hopes for God’s grace and mercy. 

I know that Jesus has conquered the dark. I must cling to Him. I must let this darkness go. He’ll need to work this out.

Up and down, side-to-side, where it stops, no one knows?  But God…and right now He isn’t saying. Jesus hold on to me. I hold on, by faith to the promise given to me—

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 1:6

I don’t mean to be this raw. Sometimes I just let it “all hang out.” I hope you’ll forgive me if I’m too open. I just wanted you to have a picture of a “broken believer” and more so of the grace that saves me. I know He does love me.

Good Posts:

24/7 Hotlines

Our List of Hotlines and 1-800 Phone Numbers and Websites

This list comes from brokenbelievers.com and is often updated (we’re trying anyway.) We are not responsible for the validity of this info. These numbers, hotlines or texts may or may not work. We’re constantly adjusting/adding to this resource. As far as we know, this is U.S. only for phone numbers. Additionally many of these have regular office hours, and some are not staffed at night. Also use this resource with caution.

This list isn’t complete yet.  If you have a contact that isn’t here, please email me that information.  I’m Bryan Lowe at commentsbb@yahoo.com or brokenbelievers.com.

Mostly, these are organizations and ministries that are there when life gets challenging.  Use these phone numbers wisely, and I would encourage you to pray for those who are counseling you.  Also, I am not able to check each number.  These numbers are to be used with some precaution as a result. They may change without notice. This list was updated 3/18/21.

In general, these hotlines have three things in common:

1) they are available to call 24/7 in the USA
2) they are 100% confidential
3) they are free

Here’s a list of hotlines that may help you whatever situation you find yourself in.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, or are in danger, or are feeling suicidal, call 911 immediately.

Suicide Hotline: 800-784-2433

Main Helpline- 1-888-NEEDHIM, or 1-800-394-4673

Crisis Text: 741-741

Chat 24/7 at http://www.thehopeline.com

General and Suicidal Numbers

  • 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or TTY 1-800-799-4TTY (4889)
  • Spanish, Red Nacional de Prevencion del Suicidio 1-888-628-9454
  • Veterans Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1
  • Suicide Hotline Listings by State http://www.suicidehotlines.com
  • Veterans Suicide Hotline, 1-800-273-8255

More General Numbers

  • General needs 24/7: 1-888-NEEDHIM
  • NAMI Hotline, 1-800-950-6264
  • Suicide Hotline, 1-800-273-8255
  • DGCC Prayer Line, 708-512-7011, (can Skype also)
  • Prayer and General Counseling www.prayerandhope.org, 1-866-599-2264
  • New Life Clinics 1-800-NEW-LIFE
  • National Prayer Line 1-800-4-PRAYER
  • Bethany Lifeline Pregnancy Hotline 1-800-BETHANY
  • Liberty Godparent Ministry 1-800-368-3336
  • The 700 Club Hotline 1-800-759-0700
  • Want to know Jesus? 1-888-NEED-HIM
  • Biblical help for youth in crisis 1-800-HIT-HOME
  • Rapha National Network 1-800-383-HOPE
  • Emerge Ministries 330-867-5603
  • Meier Clinics 1-888-7-CLINIC or 1-888-725-4642
  • Pine Rest 1-800-678-5500
  • Timberline Knolls 1-877-257-9611

Abortion Help & Counseling

Abuse of Any Kind

  • National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
  • Stop it Now! 1-888-PREVENT
  • United States Elder Abuse Hotline 1-866-363-4276
  • National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453)
  • Child Abuse Hotline / Dept of Social Services 1-800-342-3720
  • Child Abuse National Hotline 1-800-25ABUSE
  • Children in immediate danger 1-800-THE-LOST
  • Exploitation of Children 1-800-843-5678
  • Missing Children Help Center, Thursday’s Child, 1-800-USA-KIDS
  • http://www.ThursdaysChild.org

Helpline – Provides referrals to local facilities where adolescents and adults can seek help. Brief intervention only, 1-800-821-4357

Drug & Alcohol

  • Alcohol Treatment Referral Hotline (24 hours) 1-800-252-6465
  • Families Anonymous 1-800-736-9805
  • Cocaine Hotline (24 hours) 1-800-262-2463
  • Cocaine National Hotline 1-800-COCAINE
  • Drug Abuse National Helpline 1-800-662-4357
  • National Association for Children of Alcoholics 1-888-554-2627
  • Ecstasy Addiction 1-800-468-6933
  • Alcoholics for Christ 1-800-441-7877

Battered Women

  • Friends of Battered Women or Children, 1-800-603-HELP
  • Domestic Abuse, 1-800-799-7233

Bullying

Cancer

  • American Cancer Society 1-800-227-2345
  • National Cancer Institute 1-800-422-6237
  • Cancer Information Service: 800-422-6237
  • http://www.cancer.org

Caregivers

  • Elder Care Locator 1-800-677-1116
  • Well Spouse Foundation 1-800-838-0879

Child Abuse

  • Child Abuse National Hotline, call 1-800-252-2873, 1-800-25ABUSE
  • Child Abuse: To report call 1-800-4-A-CHILD
  • Children in immediate risk or danger 1-800-THE-LOST
  • CyberTipline for reporting the exploitation of children, 1-800-843-5678
  • Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline Call 1-800-422-4453 (24/7)
  • National Safe Place  Text SAFE and your current location to the number 69866 (24/7)
  • Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-422-4453
  • Center for Missing or Exploited Children, 1-800-843-5678

Crisis Numbers for Teens (Under 18)

  • Girls and Boys town 1-800-448-3000
  • Hearing Impaired 1-800-448-1833
  • Youth Crisis Hotline 1-800-448-4663
  • Teen Hope Line 1-800-394-HOPE

Crisis Numbers for Help (Any age)

  • United Way Crisis Helpline 1-800-233-HELP
  • Covenant House Hotline: 800-999-9999
  • Christian Oriented Hotline 1-877-949-HELP
  • Social Security Administration 1-800-772-1213

Crisis Pregnancy Helpline

  • Crisis Pregnancy Hotline Number 1-800-67-BABY-6
  • Liberty Godparent Ministry 1-800-368-3336

Cult Information

Cutting

  • SAFE (Self-Abuse Finally Ends) 1-800-DONT-CUT, 1-800-366-8288

Depression 

  • National Suicide Prevention Helpline 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)
  • National Hopeline Network 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE) http://www.hopeline.com/
  • The Trevor Project , 866-488-7386 (24/7) Live Chat  with the Trevor Project (Fridays 4pm- 5pm EST)

Domestic Violence

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline Spanish 1-800-942-6908
  • Battered Women and their Children 1-800=603-HELP
  • Elder Abuse Hotline 1-800-252-8966
  • RAINN 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

Eating Disorders

  • Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention 1-800-931-2237
  • Eating Disorders Center 1-888-236-1188
  • National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders 1-847-831-3438
  • Remuda Ranch 1-800-445-1900
  • National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Eating Disorders
    630-577-1330, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday, http://www.anad.org

Elder Abuse

  • Elder Abuse Hotline 1-800-252-8966

Family Violence

  • Family Violence Prevention Center 1-800-313-1310

Gambling

  • Compulsive Gambling Hotline 410-332-0402

General Issues and Problems

  • CBN, 700 Club,  Call our 700 Club Prayer Center, or http://www.CBN.com , 1-800-823-6053

Homeless/Shelters

  • Homeless 1-800-231-6946
  • American Family Housing 1-888-600-4357

Homosexual/Lesbian

  • Helpline: 1-800-398-GAYS
  • Gay and Lesbian National Hotline 1-888-843-4564
  • Trevor Hotline (Suicide) 1-866-4-U-TREVOR

Online Issues

Cyber Crime Response Agency has a 24 hour call center for reporting online crime and online predators. 1-888-798-2272.

Parents

  • Hotline for parents considering abducting their children 1-800-A-WAY-OUT
  • United States Missing Children Hotline 1-800-235-3535

Poison

  • Emergency: 911
  • Poison Control 1-800-942-5969
  • Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222

Porn Addiction

Pregnant & Scared?

Runaways

  • Boystown National Hotline 1-800-448-3000
  • Laurel House 1-714-832-0207
  • National Runaway Switchboard 1-800-621-4000
  • Teenline 1-888-747-TEEN
  • Youth Crisis Hotline 1-800-448-4663
  • Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-422-4453 (24/7)
  • National Safe Place  Text SAFE and your current location to the number 69866 (24/7)
  • National Runaway Switchboard Call 1-800-786-2929, (24/7) Live Chat  with the Veterans Crisis Line (24/7)

Salvation

Self-Injury, “Cutting”

  • S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally Ends) 1-800-DONT-CUT

Sexual Abuse

Sexual Addiction & Porn

  • Focus on the Family 1-800-A-FAMILY

Suicide, 9-1-1

  • Emergency, dial 9-1-1
  • Suicide Hotline 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
  • 1-800-723-TALK (8255)
  • Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-827-7571
  • Deaf Hotline 1-800-799-4TTY
  • NineLine 1-800-999-9999
  • Holy Spirit Teenline  1-800-722-5385
  • Crisis Intervention 1- 888- 596-4447
  • Crisis Intervention 1-800-673-2496
  • Suicide Prevention hotline 1-800-273-825
  • Feel like someone is thinking about suicide, 1-800-273-8255
  • Check out, Heartcrossers: http://www.heartcrossers.org

The American Counseling Association recommends:

“Five Ways to Help with Coping AFTER a Crisis Situation.”

  1. Recognize your own feelings about the situation and talk to others about your fears. Know that these feelings are a normal response to an abnormal situation.
  2. Be willing to listen to family and friends who have been affected and encourage them to seek counseling if necessary.
  3. Be patient with people; fuses are short when dealing with a crisis and others may be feeling as much stress as you.
  4. Recognize normal crises reactions, such as sleep disturbances and nightmares, withdrawal, reverting to childhood behaviors and trouble focusing on work or school.
  5. Take time with your children, spouse, life partner, friends and co-workers to do something you enjoy.

Your Brother in Jesus,

Bryan

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

(Philippians 1:6, NLT)

This resource is found at brokenbelievers.com and is subject to change at any given moment. You may email us at commentsbb@yahoo.com.

Faith: Make Me Thy Fuel

“Give me the love that leads the way, The faith that nothing can dismay, The hope no disappointments tire, The passion that will burn like fire, Let me not sink to be a clod: Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.”

– Amy Carmichael

“Seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, but believe that thou mayest understand.”

 –Augustine

“Faith, as Paul saw it, was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience to the commandments of Christ.”

  –A.W. Tozer

“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”

Hebrews 11:1

 

 

 

Endure Without Murmuring

“What then are we to do about our problems? We must learn to live with them until such time as God delivers us from them. We must pray for grace to endure them without murmuring. Problems patiently endured will work for our spiritual perfecting. They harm us only when we resist them or endure them unwillingly.”

 –A.W. Tozer

 

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

James 4:7

 

 

 

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