options for poorly timed mental health crisis
February 17, 2021 9:52 PM   Subscribe

Details: *good insurance *Boston, MA area *Adult with severe depression/anxiety, and (new) suicidal thoughts *No addiction issues, no history of violence, no psychosis *Has regular therapist but my psychiatrist is out of state (I used to see him in my home state not where I am now, in school)

I'm looking for something that will help more than calling hotlines but that's less of an upheaval (and less covid risky) than going to a psych ward.

Perhaps daily outpatient groups and individual therapy? Is everything on Zoom right now?

Where would I start looking?
posted by CancerSucks to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My psychiatrist and therapist are both online right now. My insurance is covering telehealth therapy until June 2021 at least. Can you ask your therapist for recommendations for groups or next steps? I would bet most support groups are online these days, and even if your psychiatrist is not doing Zoom appointments you DEFINITELY can find someone who is.

I bring up the psychiatrist because when I was having suicidal ideation, what ended up helping the most was changing my antidepressants. Not sure if that's an option for you but medication has really made a difference for me, and the one that worked before the pandemic didn't keep working after the pandemic stress hit me. So it might be worth revisiting that if it's safe to do so. YMMV about exactly how much you want to tell them; I was honest with my therapist about the extent of my issues because I was pretty sure she wasn't going to forcibly commit me, but I was cagier with my psychiatrist.

Hang in there. I'll be thinking about you.
posted by clarinet at 10:15 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]

I have a family member who did an intensive outpatient program (IOP) pre-pandemic that offered levels of care ranging from all day five days a week to a couple of hours three times a week. the IOP also came with its own psychiatrist. Maybe your therapist would know more about the local programs?

Are you still working with your psychiatrist? If you aren't, you might want to reach out to see if he/she is willing to work with you again. I know regular psychotherapists can get a temporary license for Massachusetts by just faxing in a form. i wouldn't be surprised if out of state psychiatrists were equally welcome to see patients in Mass right now. My second hand experience has been that meds work very much faster than talk therapy so it is worth considering if you haven't already explored that option.
posted by metahawk at 10:44 PM on February 17

You don’t say if you’re currently taking medication to treat your depression/anxiety. If you are, you need to talk to your prescribing psychiatrist immediately. Like leave a voicemail right this minute. This is their job.

It’s going to get better.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:44 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]

If you’re well insured and in the Boston area, I recommend you call McLean Hospital today. Their suicide prevention page has a number of resources, including a phone number to reach them and discuss possible admission and, I’m sure, other resources they offer. McLean is a renowned institution and offers a lot of intensive outpatient services.
posted by amelioration at 4:11 AM on February 18 [6 favorites]

Was also coming here to suggest McLean, they are good people and can help you make choices that work for you. They take COVID very seriously and their staff have, I believe, been vaccinated. There are also NAMI groups for Mental Health support that are on zoom and decent. I mostly know them because my partner attends one for families of people experiencing severe mental health issues, but they have a lot of options. Massachusetts also has several Warmlines (i.e. not quite the same as a crisis line where you can just talk to someone who has been through some training and who knows local options), they may be able to point you in other directions that are useful.

In your position I'd be leaving a message for my psychiatrist and calling McLean. It's hard when your brain is sending you bad messages, but it's a thing that can be worked on. Best wishes.
posted by jessamyn at 8:48 AM on February 18 [1 favorite]

will your therapist do between appointment emergency phone/zoom calls?
posted by brujita at 5:03 AM on February 19

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