Yes, I know that these posts on mental health issues have nothing to do with Living on One Income or does it?
I am into day 4 of being weaned on an anti-depressant and I have had the "joy" (tongue in cheek) of experiencing the side effects of anxiety and panic attacks. I know it will get better as my body adjusts just as it did 2 years ago when I was on an anti-depressant for a year.
So, frugally speaking, my anti-depressant falls into the $4.00 category at Wal-mart. I am seeing my general practitioner which is covered by my husband's health insurance and our insurance will cover the majority of it. That's great for the budget.
However, this afternoon I made a decision that I needed to see a counselor. Too much has gone on in my life and I think I have just been stuffing it down. This is a big step for me as I am one of those kind of people that feels they can deal with and handle anything. I am the nurturer, the caregiver, the one that wants to help people but forgets about herself.
Does this sound familiar?
I have filled out an appointment request form to meet with a local female psychologist who specializes in women's issues. The cost is $175 for the first initial consult and $120 per 50 minute session. How am I going to pay for this? Well, this falls into the necessity category. This is as important to me as food and water. I need to do this. My husband agrees. I am sure that after the initial consult I will end up meeting with her once a month. Bills have been paid off so instead of setting aside more money for home projects, I will be using some to pay for counseling. But if we didn't have the money, I would use a credit card as this is definitely a necessity.
The sad part of this situation is that mental health is not covered as much as physical health on health insurance policies. I would rather have appendicitis than this. I don't want to go into a discussion about "Obamacare" here, as this has been true for years. 20 years ago ago I suffered from post partum depression after the birth of our youngest son. I was unemployed at the time also. My husband's health care insurance covered $25 of the $150 sessions with a psychiatrist who was monitoring me. We had barely enough money to buy groceries so we paid for the bi-weekly sessions with a credit card. It was a necessity as it is extremely difficult to handle life when you are crying from morning to evening. It only took a couple of weeks on medication and I felt great. Meeting with the psychiatrist helped in monitoring the meds and talking about any issues.
So, I'll get down from my soap box. I know that although the side effects that I am experiencing will subside in time, it is necessary to go beyond drug therapy to counseling. And in the end dealing with issues now will mean a happier healthier me.