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Avatar universal

How do I find help?

Hi all,

I've been suicidal on and off for 13 months. Mostly this is because of my drinking and my constant self-satisfied of the only good things in my life. This weekend I was on the edge but thankfully called the National Suicide Lifeline before it was too late. They got me to a mental health urgent care clinic in my city.

The psychiatrist at the clinic prescribed me Wellbutrin and they referred me to a clinic. Problem is, I have an okay job and private insurance, and the clinic does not accept private insurance.

When I try to find a therapist through my insurance company, it seems like each one I call is either not accepting new patients or doesn't call me back. This is not the first time I've had this problem; last time I sought help I did a couple of sessions but couldn't afford the copay. Because while I have private insurance, it sucks.

What do I do? I know I need help but I don't know how to get it.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
I should clarify that I meant "self-sabotage." Autocorrect ugh
Avatar universal
First, stop drinking.  If you're an addict, get help.  If drinking is causing you to feel this way, you've got to not do that.  I know that's hard, you've probably been self-medicating for awhile, but clearly it's not the right drug even for that for you.  So the first thing you can do requires nobody else to help you.  As to the insurance problem, this is a humongous problem with mental health treatment.  Even when insurance covers it technically, it really doesn't do it well.  Most plans have very few practitioners, and the best ones don't take insurance of any kind because they don't have to in order to get clients.  It's not like surgery, where almost nobody can afford treatment without insurance.  Most mental health practitioners gravitate to large urban areas where there are a lot of wealthy people who can afford to pay their own way or who have much better insurance than the rest of us.  Personally, when I had a job, I saw therapists who didn't take insurance, as when I first got my problem many years ago they didn't charge as much, they had sliding scales, and insurance in those days didn't cover mental health care at all.  Most psychiatrists and psychologists are booked and aren't taking new patients if you live, again, in an urban area.  Americans for unexplained reasons suffer from a lot of mental illness and a lot of overdiagnosed conditions and so again practitioner aren't hurting for customers.  The way around this is to see young practitioners who are just starting out and don't yet have a referral network and client base, but they might also not be experienced enough to handle mental illness -- most of these folks are social workers who only know how to treat basic life problems, not depression and anxiety.  So it is going to be hard.  You'll need some help.  You might need to cut out some other expenses if you need therapy, it's more important than your phone and your toys.  But it is expensive, as you need to see a therapist every week.  I think that's a reason so many just rely on medication -- you don't have to see a psychiatrist very often once you're settled on a drug, and so the overprescription of drugs -- insurance pays for the drugs and you don't have to see the shrink but a couple times a year.  The answer is to keep trying -- see if one of those therapists not taking new clients will refer you to one who does.  Leave that message on the machine, it might work.  If you have family that can help with finances ask.  The important thing is to get some help.  There are community health clinics that don't charge as much, but they also don't generally have anyone in them who specializes in anxiety treatment and if you have job and insurance you might not qualify for the services.  But do look.  By the way, your primary care physician can be a source for a referral as well.  A lot of this is just a function of where you happen to live, and it's not fun.  I'm in the same boat, and so is everyone with insurance, the networks are just very small and often the docs listed in them on their websites don't actually participate.  This is an issue people are working on, but, and not to get too political here, but Republicans are blocking any progress on equalizing treatment for mental illness and that for other problems.  Obamacare tried to take a first step forward on this, but didn't step very far forward.  It's something eventually we're going to have to solve at the political level, but in the meantime, your health is the most important thing, right?
973741 tn?1342346373
I really appreciate your honesty.  So often, drinking and depression go hand in hand. Agree that the depression will likely continue if the drinking continues.  The drinking has to stop as that will derail your life.  

I would suggest you ask a therapist you'd like to see what kind of payment plan they have because you will be paying out of pocket.  I had to do this with my son.  I paid out of pocket but they reduced the fees significantly which helped.  You never know unless you ask. Cash from someone verses dealing with insurance can sometimes be easier.  The clinic may certainly have a system for self pay as clinics usually do!  Anyway, just an idea.

It's a difficult situation.  Does any hospital around you have outpatient care?  That may get covered by your insurance and it would involve working on the drinking, working with therapists, etc.  
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