February 15, 2013

Taking it One Day at a Time

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.  


Juhli said...

I am really glad you are posting about this. If you help even one other person seek care or get them to encourage a loved one to seek care you have done a great thing. You are so right that mental health is a necessity. Take care of yourself and I hope you get in to see her for you first appointment soon.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right, only you know what you need. It's such a shame that people have to pay to access that kind of help.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

I actually found something called Bodytalk.
Boy did it change my life.No drugs , and way more happy.
The International BodyTalk Association has a website where you can find out for yourself what this is and where the closest practitioner is.
Good luck.