Help me navigate the basics of the mental health system
February 18, 2014 12:08 PM Subscribe
My only real experience with mental health practitioners was a brief stint with my free university counseling where I tried one or two medications for anxiety and depression. They didn't do anything for me and I became disheartened and left the idea behind for the past few years. Having gotten health insurance for the first time a few months ago and after some recent introspection, I've found myself interested in possibly trying some anti-anxiety/depression medication again, as well as some sort of ongoing psychotherapy.
posted by gregoryg to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have to admit, I'm a little overwhelmed and I'm pretty embarrassed by my complete lack of knowledge on the subject at 27 which has kept me from really seeking out answers thus far. Or I go online and panic at the volume of information and shut down.
How does this all work, anyway? What is a typical session with a psychiatrist look like? And therapist? Do I go to a psychiatrist, get medication, and then independently find a therapist? Will I be referred to one? How can I find a therapist that will cater to my needs (I don't think the 'talking to a wall' type talk therapy would work for more, I'm much more action/solution-oriented)? How do I even find good ones, other than relying on ZocDoc stars?
And insurance-wise, I'm having some trouble finding an answer in my plan to the basics. Is therapy typically covered under major health insurance plans (Oxford plan H, for reference)? I'm assuming psychiatry is treated as a normal doctor's visit. I've tried looking on their site under the gigantic list of things covered, but can't find a definitive answer. If it is covered, how often is typical - weekly, monthly? How do I even start?