How to get treatment for depression without income or health insurance?
March 18, 2009 4:14 PM Subscribe
I suspect I am suffering from Depression and I have no health insurance or current source of income - how do I get help?
posted by jnnla to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Three months ago I quit my high-paying job due to extreme job dissatisfaction, and with the job, I also lost my employee sponsored health care. I have since missed the deadline to file for COBRA (I live in California).
As a result I am currently unemployed (by choice) and without health care. I am 26 years old and am extremely fit and healthy physically (gym 3x at least per week), but mentally I suspect that I am suffering from depression.
I was diagnosed with depression as an 18 year old, but overcame it and within a year and a half became happy and healthy again.
Within the last two years, however, I have felt "flat," and I feel the familiar pangs of depression - a general all-encompassing apathy, constant anxiety and intrusive negative thoughts, as well as the random urge to cry or hole myself away in my bed. My omnipresent negative emotions and worries, I feel, prevent me from reaching my potential. These feelings partly led to my decision to quit my job, which was only exacerbating my condition. I committed to take time off for a few months to work on personal projects, explore other possible career paths, and to try to handle my negative feelings. I have saved up money (quickly running out) in order to facilitate this plan.
I would like to see a therapist and get a diagnosis, as well as schedule regular therapy sessions. In my normal state I am a very vibrant and social person, who has a zest and love for life - and I would very much like to have that person back and get him working again...but I feel I need treatment.
So...what is an unemployed person without health insurance to do? How do I go about getting help? I can afford CHEAP health insurance for a few months (100-150 dollars per month). I have looked into Tonik, and am going to give them a call but it is unclear to me whether they have mental health coverage - furthermore, should I be mentioning my condition when calling health insurance companies or will that get me denied or put me in a waiting period for treatment? I assume my options are to see a therapist of my choice out of pocket or to buy health insurance and have them foot the bill for an in-network shrink. In the meantime are there any free or state-sponsored options I can look into? Any help on the matter would be greatly appreciated!