Therapy for the Uninsured and Rural
January 12, 2010 7:35 AM Subscribe
I have occasional depression. I live in a rural area. How do I find treatment without health insurance? Or are there alternative methods besides one-on-one counselling?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I've never seen a therapist or taken medication. In college, I went to a psychiatrist once or twice who diagnosed me with 'dysthymia', after only one visit and recommended medication. I didn't follow up. I'm usually pretty content and positive about my life in general, and I think I usually give myself pretty good advice. However, I'm in my mid-twenties and lately I've begun to think that my problems with recurrent depression aren't going to go away. A family member died recently, I've had some relationship problems, and I have winter blues. I am plagued by body anxiety issues, feelings of dread, and (this is the scariest, I guess) sudden violent unbidden thoughts. Not in a scary homicidal way, but in a woah-bad-things-could-happen-at-any-time way. I exercise regularly, I have a good diet, and I have a job that I enjoy and find challenging. However, fairly often my mood just turns, well, foul... I replay old hurts, can't think clearly about problems, I'm plagued by self-doubt and small trivial tasks seems insurmountable. I'm usually a little scatterbrained, but it gets a lot worse when my mood is low. Every once a year or so, I tend to take a more severe turn for the worse.
I want to seek therapy. But I am not covered by health insurance and I live in the middle of rural West Virginia near very few mental health resources. There's not even a psychiatrist listing in my entire county. There are some in a couple of cities a few hours away, but the cost of driving and paying for therapy appointments is just about dang impossible in my life right now.
So, what are my options? Alternative, online therapy? One-time visit for medication? Programs designed for low-income, uninsured people living in rural areas?
I guess one of the reasons I didn't return to the therapist in college was that I didn't like how eager he was to proscribe me medication. I've always been of the 'change your lifestyle' variety of thought, but I'm not sure what else I could do to improve myself.
I travel to Vermont twice a year for nine days, also. Don't know if that would make a solution more apparent.
Thanks in advance for advice and help. I'm open to ideas and realize my situation isn't ideal. I am looking into health insurance. I work outdoors and that makes a huge difference in my outlook, but even so it still seems to be a problem in my life. Ask MeFi has always been a great resource for me, although I realize that it is not therapy, no one is a qualified professional, and I definitely need to look into health insurance. So that's my disclaimer.