It’s Too Hard To Get Help

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!

-DQ

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17 thoughts on “It’s Too Hard To Get Help”

  1. This is why it is SO important to advocate for your friend or loved one if you know they are suffering. It’s absolutely ridiculous how many barriers there are to getting care. My pod are all varying degrees of mentally ill, so we take turns looking after each other. Fortunately so far there hasn’t been a time when we all crash at once.

    Also? thank you for the receptionist comment. I thought it was just me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One hurdle I have encountered, living in the rural midwest, is that when I do seek doctors in bigger cities…They will often take all my information then ‘call back’ with their decision and it is usually “We will not be taking you on as a patient at this time.” Well, if they have openings and accept your insurance, why not? They never do explain. It has turned the already arduous process into an exercise in rejection, as if that helps the depression. I’m not sure what causes me more grief, interviewing for jobs or interviewing just to get a psych doc.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My gosh – I am in the UK and it can feel really hard to get to see a Dr when we need to, but I am counting my lucky stars. This is diabolical 😦 I am so, so sorry that you have to go through all of that and then have to wait months for an appointment. It’s terrible xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey, it’s not just me who goes through this! High five! Or not…it’s the ultimate stink of stinks.

    Online/telephone counseling was a good stopgap for me. It’s certainly not the same as being face to face with a therapist but it removed enough obstacles to take advantage of those services. After a few phone “sessions” with him, the counselor I was assigned to encouraged me to seek out a therapist to see in person, due to safety concerns. With the added accountability/support, I was more motivated to find someone nearby. I was very happy with the online experience overall but it’s definitely not a permanent solution.

    It was nice that I could ‘go to therapy’ in my pajamas, though… πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! You were honest, spoke of the struggles of getting help, but also had that touch of hope and help at the end. You’re right, it’s so hard to get help. Even if you have insurance, not every doctor is taking new patients. Or they won’t take your certain type of insurance. Or they can’t get you in for months. It’s frustrating. And even if you do find a doctor, they could be awful, but you need the help and don’t have the energy to search for ANOTHER doctor who might be more helpful. But finding help is so important and I’m glad you offered a few ways to find that help for people who may need it. Thank you for doing this. ❀

    xo Emily

    https://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Something I have experienced lately is having to go through this entire mess of a process all over again when you move to a new city! Not only are you scrambling to try to find someone new that you can afford, but you also have to start from scratch when it comes to building rapport & trust.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I had the ill-mannered Receptionist! I didn’t know that was a common Thing. It really grates the soul when you’re in a vulnerable place. This whole post pinpoints something I have been struggling with: people don’t seem to get better. I just unsubscribed from a magazine blog called mental health collaborative because all it is every day… is daily posts of different people’s struggles. Struggle, struggle, struggle. I just got in a place resembling almost stability and i don’t need that shit in my inbox every day. If getting better is an illusion, i need that illusion right now. You are literally the only mental health blog I will continue to follow because you mix it up with comedy and have a unique voice. To your credit, you’re the unicorn. I unfollowed a bunch but am retaining your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I spent 29 years in my apartment unable to get out because of extreme anxiety from bi polar disorder and was misdiagnosed and I came down with bi polar disorder at age 23 and am only getting the right help in the past 3 years and am 69 years old. It is sad that my life had to be ruined and my late husband’s life was ruined because doctors didn’t realise we had bi polar disorder and misdiagnosed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you so much for this. I know I’ve been bipolar for years but I’m just now seeking treatment. Reading this helps tremendously

    Liked by 1 person

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