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Are You Ready For A Diagnosis?

Do you feel down? Would you rather spend your life in bed 24 hours a day? How about your quality of life – are you feeling worthless, irritable, or hopeless? Perhaps you have feelings of suicide – if you do please call the nearest friend, suicide help line, or go to the nearest hospital emergency department immediately. 

On the other hand, maybe you feel restless, full of energy, or in a very good mood. Your talking may be fast and erratic. You may have racing thoughts and an inability to communicate. You may need very little sleep and have feelings of high power. In other words, you feel as if you can do anything. 

Take some time and evaluate your symptoms. Ask you family and friends how you appear to them. 

If you are not immediately suicidal, take some time to make an appointment with a psychiatrist for a full assessment. Be aware, unless a cancellation comes in, that it could take months on end to get an appointment with a psychiatrist. 

While you wait, you can always get an appointment with a therapist for talk therapy. I started with an appointment with a therapist through my company’s EAP (Employee Assistance Program). My company’s program offered 4 free sessions and they even made the appointment for me. 

A lot of psychiatrists only do assessments and prescribe medications and continually monitor them every month if you are medication resistant like me. I am still not stable and I have tried many medications on the market.

Most of your time will be spent with a therapist for talk therapy (they can’t write prescriptions) and you may decide to forgo the medicinal strategy.

I picked a psychiatrist out of the medical insurance listing. I did not like her from day one, but I didn’t quit. I should have found another one, one that was on my side that I could relate to.

I lost my medical insurance. I continued my therapy with a payment plan I could afford, but I did have to stop going every week. I was now going every other week.

Now of course I still needed medication monitoring and script dispensing. Well just my luck they brought in a traveling psychiatric nurse. I had no intention of going back to the first one so I went through another evaluation and saw her once a month (sometimes every two months when I was feeling better) and her fees were reasonable. Nurses charge less than psychiatrists. I could continue my coverage even being on disability with no insurance.

Now there was another way I could have gone. They have facilities that work on an income slide. I called one, but the rule was that I had to stop seeing my current therapist to see one of their psychiatrists. I stayed with my therapist and the psychiatric nurse. I still pay out of pocket for my psychiatric nurse even though I now have insurance.

So, if you find yourself with erratic thoughts or spending every moment you can in bed or both, then it may be time to find a doctor, get assessed, and start treatment. A lot of people feel so much better with the proper treatment!

To read more from Teresa, see the rest of her posts for IBPF here or visit her personal blog here.

Comments

This is a really interesting story. It points out and illustrates hoops we may be asked to jump through and the waits..the endless waits to find someone on ever narrowing networks. And the different types of psychiatric care offered. I guess what I got out of it is that CARE is out there if you need it, right?

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