Advice for a broke young adult with mental health issues?
July 28, 2010 8:34 AM Subscribe
How would you advise or help out a very broke young adult who needs assistance with mental health issues? I don't know how to effectively manage my mental health issues as an independent young adult...
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I am in my early twenties, so I have been going through many major life changes in the past few years, including a few major (and sudden) losses. Clearly, I have been struggling with mental health issues for at least five years now. I have good health insurance coverage, however I am responsible for all of my bills & copays; even at a low price, these are very expensive to me now. I am really struggling financially to make ends meet. I am also about to change to a new (also low-paying) job, which I am not sure will be compatible with my current therapist's office hours.
Yes, I have a therapist. He is of the CBT variety with an interest in mindfulness & acceptance. I've been in weekly therapy with him for two years. Since seeing him, I have grown more assertive and developed greater skills for self-advocacy; I have a better understanding of anxiety-reducing techniques--meditating, exercise, healthy diet, identifying unhelpful thought patterns (e.g. catastrophizing). We tend to chat about day-to-day things and practical solutions during sessions. I sense that he prefers to focus on action-oriented, thought-pattern-challenging issues/topics rather than discussions of deep feelings or past experiences.
My therapist claims that I just have a depressive disorder. However, I have some pretty serious symptoms like dissociation, hypervigilance, emotional regulation issues, etc. that 1) are causing me distress and 2) worsening. These symptoms are not going away; in fact, while I am quite happy in many realms of my life, I feel that cognitively I am increasingly "losing touch" with outer and inner reality. Additionally, I crave talking about certain old memories and intense feelings, but find that very difficult to do with him. To top it off, I’m having a hard time following through with his “practical” suggestions (e.g. yoga, healthy eating, etc.) on my very low budget.
I don't think I am getting the help that I need, though that is very hard to admit to myself. There are emotional road blocks, as I am attached to my therapist and view him as a stable father-figure. My therapist does not have many patients now--in fact he has said that this is unfortunate, though he said so light-heartedly--and I do feel some responsibility towards him after all of this time. Additionally, I can't afford to "shop around" for a therapist, as I can barely afford a co-pay to see my current one once a week.
So what do I do? Some of these symptoms are very scary, and I would like them to go away. I have no idea how to approach mental health care now that I am a "young adult." How do people who work 9-5 jobs get mental health care (e.g. have time to see a therapist)? What do people do when they need satisfactory mental health care but can't afford it? Do you have any recommendations of helpful resources (books, websites, associations, etc.)? How much of this do I just have to “tough out”?
To get ahead of you: I am from NC. I have tried psychiatric meds but found they had negative effects. I will be applying for food stamps soon and will almost certainly qualify. I have considered printing this and sharing it with my current therapist, but remain indecisive.