In the moments I was at my worst; suicidal, depressed, scary manic; it was much too difficult to get the help that I needed. I would spend hours searching for doctors.
Step one, overcome stigma and admit that you need help. Because that’s not hard enough.
Step two, insurance. If you have it gather all your information. You may need group and policy numbers. If you don’t have it you may be out of luck.
Step three, Google your insurance company. They should have a feature to search available doctors on their main site. If you’re suicidal stop here, it’s too much.
Step four, if you’re manic begin researching every name on the list. If depressed, skip to step five.
Step five, start at the top of the list and call everyone on it or at least six to ten. For some reason insurance companies don’t update these lists very often and half the people on it will no longer be in that network and not accept the insurance. The other half will have a ridiculous appointment wait time.
Step six, deal with ill-mannered receptionist with no sensitivity training to try and schedule an appointment.
Step seven, wait three to six months to actually see the doctor. If you’re depressed give up here.
Step eight, on the day of the appointment show up. If you’re anxious just have a nap instead.
Step nine, carefully explain to the doctor in ten minutes or less how you feel and hope you don’t sound like you need to be in-patient or are pill seeking.
Step ten, attempt the concoction your doctor decided you should try knowing that it will most likely change a few times before you get it right.
Making an appointment for therapy is just as difficult. It’s not fair that’s its so hard to get help when it’s needed the most. I wish I could offer more, but all I have is these sites to offer.
Opencounseling.com offers help finding a counselor for any budget including help applying for grants to pay for counseling.
Nowmattersnow.com is a free site offering videos of dbt therapy techniques to get you through a hot moment now, not when a therapist is available.
Text “HELP” to 741741 if you’re in crisis
If you have any other resources you can recommend to help in the moment or to ease the process please let me know down in the comments. Thanks!