When anxiety symptoms arise, it can be helpful to speak to a caring, compassionate person who may help you calm down and provide you with beneficial mental health resources. Anxiety hotlines, like the Crisis Text Line, NAMI HelpLine, Crisis Support Service, and TeenLine, can be excellent tools to help you in moments of anxiety and crisis. However, for more in-depth, long-term support, it’s generally recommended to reach out to a licensed mental health professional for help. You can do this by finding a local therapist or matching with one through an online therapy platform.
What Are The Best Anxiety Hotlines?
1. Crisis Text Line
The Crisis Text Line generally offers support via text message, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the U.S., and you may quickly connect with a live, trained Crisis Counselor who can help you cool down during a hot moment.
According to their website, a “crisis” may not only refer to when someone is thinking about ending their own life*. The definition of a crisis can be wide-ranging and may include any painful emotions and times when you need extra support.
*If you or a loved one are experiencing thoughts of suicide, please know that help is available. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline anytime, 24/7, at 988.
2. Crisis Support Services
Crisis Support Services is another 24/7 hotline. For more than 50 years, this organization has provided compassion and resources to people experiencing panic attacks, anxiety, substance use disorders, abuse*, assault, suicidal thoughts, and more.
You can call, text, or chat with the Crisis Support Services. Feel free to choose whichever mode of communication makes you feel the most comfortable.
*If you or a loved one is witnessing or experiencing any form of abuse, please know that help is available. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline anytime at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
3. National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine
During any difficult time, the NAMI HelpLine is available to support callers Monday through Friday, 10 AM through 10 AM ET, via phone call, text, email, or live chat.
The NAMI HelpLine can be a more general resource that may assist people with anxiety and other mental health conditions. Their staff and volunteers are typically experienced, highly trained, and care deeply about helping people find valuable resources and next steps.
4. Teen Line
For teens and young people with anxiety, Teen Line can be an excellent resource. This helpline is typically available via call, email, or text, and is frequently led by other teens who can relate to callers’ concerns and answer their questions with honesty and care.
If you have a teenage child, they can call this helpline for a variety of concerns and questions about anxiety, depression, loneliness, relationships, and other common hurdles of the teenage years.
Who Should I Call If I Have Anxiety?
If you have anxiety, you can call any of the national hotlines listed above, based on your specific needs and the urgency of your symptoms.
Depending on where you live, there may also be local helplines for people with anxiety. You can use a search engine to look up “anxiety hotline + your city,” or call one of the national hotlines for guidance. Crisis Text Line, Crisis Support Services, the NAMI HelpLine, and Teen Line may be able to connect you to anxiety resources and mental health providers in your area.
Are Anxiety Hotlines Free?
Most anxiety hotlines are free of charge to users. Crisis Text Line, Crisis Support Services, the NAMI HelpLine, Teen Line, and other organizations usually rely on donations from individuals and charitable groups.
What Are The Benefits Of Anxiety Hotlines?
While therapy can be an invaluable part of your mental health journey, it can take time to establish a relationship with your therapist and get into the routine of therapy. When you need help in the moment, hotlines can be a convenient way to connect with a real person and find calm during an intense situation.
Many anxiety hotlines are also available after standard business hours. Thanks to the efforts of their volunteers, some even operate 24/7. If anxiety is keeping you up at night or early in the morning, it can be comforting to know that someone may be available at all hours of the day.
If your city or neighborhood lacks well-established, in-person mental health resources, anxiety hotlines can make it easier to find affordable support for your mental health. While hotlines may not be substitutes for professional therapy or medical care, they can offer further insight and connections to professional services, whether online or in your local area.
3. Unbiased Advice
Depending on your social network, you may rely on friends and loved ones for support with anxiety. Despite how much they may care, the people closest to you may not have the training or knowledge to assist with your symptoms. In this case, an anxiety hotline can offer unbiased, third-party advice from a more experienced, professional lens.
4. Treatment Information
While anxiety hotlines are usually not substitutes for mental health treatment, they can often connect callers to qualified therapists or counselors and even help them find mental health treatment programs. In addition to these longer-term goals, many hotlines may also assist with in-the-moment needs and help you create a plan to get through a crisis.
When Should I Seek Help For Anxiety?
If anxiety is keeping you from engaging in and enjoying daily activities, it may be time to seek help.
You might feel like you’re “used to” the discomforts of anxiety and can handle these daily inconveniences, especially if you’ve lived with anxiety for a long time. But regardless of how long you’ve experienced anxiety, the decision to seek help can be transformative, and there’s no shame in asking for support.
While it can be entirely your decision to seek help, people often call an anxiety hotline or another mental health resource after experiencing any of the following:
A noticeable change in the severity of their symptoms
Anxiety symptoms that interfere with their personal relationships
Anxiety that affects their ability to perform at work, school, or other professional or social settings
New symptoms in addition to anxiety, such as depression or suicidal thoughts
Physical symptoms, such as poor sleep, digestive issues, or panic attacks
Eventually, it may be helpful to connect with a licensed medical provider or board-certified therapist, depending on the severity of your symptoms. An anxiety helpline can gently offer advice, reassurance, and help you feel more prepared to seek professional help.
Seeking Therapy For Anxiety
If you’re calling anxiety hotlines on a regular basis and feel like your symptoms aren’t improving, it may be time to look for a more consistent form of treatment.
Benefits Of Online Therapy
Digital platforms like BetterHelp frequently offer convenient and affordable professional therapy, so people with anxiety and other mental health conditions can seek help regardless of their time zone and location. You can schedule live video sessions and phone calls or use the platform to exchange messages and set up live chat.
Effectiveness Of Online Therapy
Compared to in-person therapy, several studies show that online therapy can be just as effective. One 2020 study assessed internet-delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and found that patients’ health anxiety generally improved significantly after the 12-week program. Current studies illustrate that online CBT and other therapies can increase high-quality mental health care, especially for people with limited time and financial resources.
Below are some reviews of BetterHelp therapists from people who have experienced anxiety and related issues.
Online Therapist Reviews
“Susan is a compassionate and kind person. You can tell her anything without judgement. She listens intently, no interruptions, and gives neutral feedback in a way that can help anxious and depressed people view their own emotions with neutrality.”
“Jessica is the best! She listens and provides helpful feedback and insights. I feel less anxious and depressed since starting therapy with Jessica. She also takes the time to respond to messages with detail and care.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is there a stress hotline?
Yes, there may be hotlines for people experiencing stress, anxiety, and crisis situations. The type of stress you’re experiencing may determine what type of help you need, but one valuable source of help in non-emergency situations can be the Crisis Text Line.
Is there a panic attack hotline?
Any of the crisis hotlines available for anxiety may also be available to people who are experiencing panic attacks. In addition to the 24-hour Crisis Text Line, you can also contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine by phone or email. The NAMI hotline is generally available Monday through Friday, from 10 AM through 10 PM ET.
How can I get immediate relief from anxiety?
Deep breathing exercises are often considered an effective method for immediate anxiety relief.
Who do I speak to about anxiety?
If you are experiencing anxiety, you can speak to a licensed therapist about your concerns and begin building a personalized treatment plan. You may also want to speak to a primary care physician, as anxiety can affect both your mental and physical health.
How do doctors treat anxiety?
To treat anxiety, therapists typically use a variety of psychotherapy methods, depending on their training and educational background. Cognitive-behavioral therapy tends to be one of the most common treatments for anxiety. (This makes it sound like therapists are doctors. There should be a distinction between the two as doctors and therapists typically don’t perform the same roles.)
How do I talk to my doctor about anxiety medication?
It can be beneficial to ask your doctor about your anxiety treatment options to see whether medication may be right for you. (I would mention that it’s important to tell your symptoms with your doctor who will determine whether medication is appropriate for you.)
What is a medication that works for anxiety?
It can be crucial to speak to your doctor regarding questions about medication. (No medications are listed)
What are the 6 types of anxiety disorders?
Anxiety disorders can be commonly divided into six common subtypes: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), specific phobias, panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder (SAD), and separation anxiety disorder.
How is anxiety diagnosed?
Anxiety disorders are typically diagnosed by a licensed doctor or mental health professional, based on the criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5-TR).
Is anxiety neurological or psychological?
Anxiety is typically considered a psychological disorder because it usually impacts the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral aspects of the brain.
What illnesses mimics anxiety?
Some medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism and low blood sugar, can mimic the symptoms of anxiety. If you visit your doctor to discuss your symptoms, they can help you determine whether you’re experiencing an anxiety disorder or a medical condition that may have similar symptoms.
Can a brain scan show anxiety?
Not all mental illnesses may show up on a brain scan, and researchers are generally still studying how anxiety manifests in the human brain. Typically, when diagnosing mental illnesses, doctors need to rely on psychological assessments, physical examinations, and conversations with the patient to ensure a proper diagnosis.
Do you ever recover from anxiety?
Yes, it can be possible to recover from anxiety with the proper treatment. I would mention that anxiety is a “normal emotion” so it will never be completely eliminated from your life and that the goal is to manage it)
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