somebody help me
January 28, 2009 7:53 PM   Subscribe

I've recently taken on, what I've found to be, the most miserable and painful task ever. That is, finding a mental health provider that is covered by my insurance... (Long "please-for-the-love-of-everything-good-in-this-world-Help-me" story.)

I haven't had much luck though and since I've decided to ask for help, and can't find any, my problems seem to have been exasperated and I'm feeling more and more helpless.
I don't know how long I've been like this, possibly forever. I feel crazy though. I'm often irritated, angry, depressed, exhausted and extremely anxious simultaneously. Today, for example, I really had a problem convincing myself that it was a good idea to go to work. Then, after finally forcing myself out of bed, I spent the day fighting back tears and feelings of rage. I fantasize about hurting myself when I can't handle these emotions. I have acted on those fantasies in the past, but not often. I do pick at my skin constantly, i.e. acne that's not really there, hangnails that I've created. I guess all that's really beside the point. I'm just feeling less and less in control and I'd like to know what I'm supposed to do.
I finally found a psychiatrist who will see me in two weeks. I don't know if I can wait that long, but I can't afford anyone outside my plan. Any ideas? Any similar experiences? Am I really crazy?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I understand what you're going through. You're not "really crazy" but possibly in a place where you need some professional help to start feeling better and getting perspective.

Everyone knows the answer is "get therapy" but finding something that works and works with your insurance can seem incredibly daunting. Go to the Psychology Today website here and search by your zip. You'll find therapists, often with their insurances listed. You can fill out email forms with what's going on and what you need help with. That's the hard part. The therapists will then call you, sometimes they'll give you a free phone or in person consultation. It can be very hard to meet with all these therapists and tell them your story, but eventually you'll find something that works and start to get better. I've recommended this method on this site before because it worked for me, and gave me steps to take to therapy, at a time when the usual "get therapy" recommendation seemed like a good idea but I had no idea how to go about getting it. Good luck.
posted by sweetkid at 8:03 PM on January 28, 2009

I feel for ya. Trying to find a provider is a pain in the arse. I called a couple dozen recently only to find that they either were not taking new patients or they could not get me in until July. Combine that with trying to find someone in network and it's a difficult job.

We have an acute psych service close to me. It's sort of like urgent care. They are not meant for long term care but they can help you get through a rough patch until you can see someone on a regular basis. It's also covered under my insurance as a ER visit.

I have no other advice. Just wanted to say I know how frustrating it can be.

Good luck.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 8:33 PM on January 28, 2009

I think the two-week wait after pushing myself to tackle the snarl of insurance red tape in order to find a provider would make me feel pretty wild, too. In my opinion (non-expert) you should call the national suicide hotline (1-800-784-2433 in the U.S.) even if you don't feel that you are at this extreme point. The main thing is that you're feeling less in control, and you need some help to get through this rocky period. If there is emergency short-term care available in your area, these people will know about it, and I imagine they can give you concrete suggestions about what to do right now.

My thoughts are with you, and I'm wishing you strength and help.
posted by taz at 10:53 PM on January 28, 2009

Ask your insurance provider to help you find someone. They'll have a list of approved providers. If things get too stressful, go to the emergency room. It's not ideal, but you do have a critical need for help.

Please read How Not to Commit Suicide, and resolve not to hurt yourself. Your problems are not permanent, they can be addressed, and people care about you.

Good luck.
posted by theora55 at 7:45 AM on January 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding urgent care...just walk in and if there's no psych doc available you might just try seeing a general practitioner, telling her/him what's going on and see if they might be able to start you on a med, or give you something to take on an as-needed basis until you get into the person you have found. Also maybe ask for other docs they know of who are on your insurance whom they think might be good options for you. It's the hardest to do the work to get help at a time like this...I know those feelings...I'm pulling for you.
posted by mumstheword at 9:08 AM on January 29, 2009

In terms of what you can actually do:

Can you get in to see a PCP sooner? A prescription for Xanax can make a hue difference, and ANY GP will give you a temporary 2-week Xanax prescription to tide you over.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:00 PM on January 29, 2009

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