Declining

For months now I have been hanging on by a thread that just seems to be getting thinner. I rarely leave the house because of my anxiety. I have become an expert at having things delivered. Anger seems like the only emotion that I am able to have.

Here is to hoping that the hospital may help with all of this. There are so many events in my life that I can just list off without feeling. I am scared to feel anything because then I may get overwhelmed. The hospital should help with regulating my emotions.They have staff that are trained to help 24 hours a day.

My eating is the worst that it has ever been. I need to get into a routine with food. I am not sure what that will even look like. Right now, I try to eat well, yet the junk food seems to call.

There are so many things to work on. I am worried that they will not get better. I feel stuck in this never ending loop that has cost me to lose those closest to me and to not allow for anyone new to get in. This has left me feeling like I am alone without anyone. It is a rough feeling.

Trying to Cope

I really do not want to go into the hospital, so I have been trying to use my coping skills. One activity I have been doing is to color. Whether the app on my phone or a color by number, it helps me to calm down. Deep breathing also seems to working. Spending time with my cats is relaxing. I am very lucky to have three sweet lap cats and they love to snuggle.

Sometimes the days are harder than others. Some days have more memories associated with them. On those days I have to make sure that I do something like journal to attempt to process those negative feelings. I am trying one day, sometimes one hour at a time.

Falling Apart *Trigger Warning*

Life is bad right now. My insurance does not have benefits for any long term care for my PTSD. I am struggling to tie memories and emotions together and struggling with safety. If I have to go into the hospital, it will be another bill that I cannot afford to pay.

My house seems like it is conspiring against me. The oven went up. The heat pump needs to be replaced or we will not have heating this winter. The other day I came into the room and noticed water on the blinds. Most likely the wood is rotten and needs to be replaced.

All of this has put so much strain on us. I am scared that we could lose our home if systems and large ticket items do not stop breaking down.

I am at a loss for how to get money, I am on a fixed income and can barely afford the essentials each month. The thought of selling my car comes to mind. Then I would not be able to get my kids or drive to therapy each week. Therapy is essential right now with my impulses the way they are.

I am hoping things get better, yet it feels as if I am being sucked into a black hole.

Resources for PTSD *Trigger Warning**

There are very few resources for people who have childhood trauma. First, there are few groups where people can gather to get assistance and support if they are struggling with symptoms. More outpatient groups are needed in order for those with symptoms to not have to turn to the hospital.

Then, very few doctors know how to treat someone with trauma. The symptoms can change depending on the time of year or if a client is triggered. Most psychiatrists do not know how to handle a patient in which suicidal thoughts run like background noise and self harm is pervasive. They cannot prescribe a pill to take the memories away or decrease the intrusive thoughts.

The cost of childhood trauma is far worse than what happened. Therapists are scarce and often do not accept insurance. For those on a limited income, therapy becomes out of reach. Unless one has a name brand insurance many hospitals that treat trauma are not accessible or affordable. A stay at a specialty hospital where all of the staff are trained on the techniques to help a client can start at $30,000. Again, for someone struggling with the outcome of childhood trauma, this is impossible to come up with.

General units do not seem to help with PTSD and trauma symptoms. Often, they are only acute care designed to just get someone out of a crisis. The problem is that a patient who is having and increase in nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, or other symptoms is discharged and has no where to go. General units do not have staff trained to handle trauma or they are so short staffed that there are few around to help.

It seems to me, as a patient, that there is a big hole in the mental health system for those who have experienced childhood trauma. We need more doctors and affordable care. Insurance companies need to be aware that just because a client is not symptomatic one day does not mean that the symptoms will not increase in the following days.

Childhood trauma needs to be addressed from the doctors and therapists to the insurance companies. Once a week therapy is not enough. Limiting the number the number of sessions only increases stress and could mean that there is not any help when memories come up. The huge gap in the system needs to be fixed. Those with childhood trauma and PTSD should not have to hang on by a thread because there is no affordable help.

Another Hospital

Day hospital is supposed to be the one that helps me next week. It does not specialize in trauma, it is a regular adult day program. I agreed with my doctor to try it out.

I am a bit worried how well it will work. I have been put inpatient so many times after attending day hospital because it just brought up more memories. I have also walked out of day hospital, frustrated that others around me spoke of PTSD as a diagnosis to just be able to get over with a few therapy sessions.

I have not been to this particular program in years. I hope that it has changed. Having groups all day will keep me busy and I will have to leave the house. That is stressing me out. I think it will be better once I know more about the program. If this does not work, it is back inpatient. I am debating about whether to pack a bag.

Ratings

I had to make a list of goals that I would achieve in order to function at the most basic level. Yesterday, I was told to rank those goals into three different categories: easy, medium and hard.

At first I thought that it would be no problem. I just had to make a list. Then last night, I looked at the list and really thought about what goal would go where. That is when I realized that I am struggling even more than I thought.

A goal like going and getting the mail sounds easy, yet I am deathly afraid to leave the house. I have mastered getting everything that I need delivered. Then there was a goal about preparing meals when I have trouble making the simplest foods.

Maybe these goals are going to be a lot harder to attain than I first thought. Hopefully, I can be true to myself as I rank them and realize that I am having a hard time right now and some goals may not be so easy.

So, today I will attempt to work on the list. Just getting out of bed is hard. Maybe I should begin with that as my first goal.

The Cost of Illness

For some unknown reason mental and physical illnesses seem to go together. The first cost is the actual bill. Insurance pays some, yet they do not pay all. Doctors want to make multiple appointments a week and the bill piles up until it is so overwhelming that the bills all wind up in a neat pile on the counter. The collection notices come, yet there are no funds to pay with. It is frustrating.

Add to that the family and friends that stick around at first. They encourage and push for recovery when sometimes the curve is negative. After being frustrated at the idea that wellness is not coming anytime soon, they slowly start to leave.

Sometimes an illness can leave a person by themselves with no one to lean on or talk with when times get rough. There is no one there to do anything on the good days either. So when there are good days, they turn to loneliness and a sense of even more loss.

Maybe there is a way to reconnect or connect with others. I have not found it at this point. It just seems like a lot to pay for something that one did not choose and that one is working hard to overcome.

Circles

I feel like my mental illness is a never ending loop that I need to find a way out of soon. Every September, my mental health declines. It seems to get a little better around the holidays and then improves in the Spring.

The same cycle has been going on for years, following me wherever I have moved and interfering in my life. I wish that I could identify what it is that I cannot get away from. It is like my mind or body is not strong enough to handle whatever the memory or time of year represents.

This is a particularly bad cycle and I just want to stop this so that it does not happen again next year. I am at a loss for what to do at this point! Any suggestions???

Insurance is Only As Good As It’s Name

I was released from the hospital yesterday after spending the weekend getting stable. I have a government based insurance and was on the phone for 10 hours trying to find a place that would accept my insurance.

I learned a lesson from the representative of Medicare. Government based programs will not pay for ANY long term mental health treatment center in the United States if a co-existing dependency issue does not exist.

Supposedly, we are having a “mental health crisis” in this country. It is not that people do not want help. There are a limited number of treatment centers even covered. If one is lucky enough to get a bed, then there are few programs that will help with the cost of medications. This leads to a cycle a cycle of medications just to maintain ones mental health.

Something has to change with the Country. A typical acute care unit stay is around 2 weeks ( the government states 3 days). The cost per day ranges from $1200 a $1700. I asked the long term care facility how much they were per day and they told me $975. I could not believe that the cost would be less in real world timing.

Many acute care patients stay inpatient for 2 weeks or even longer. I am not sure where the government gets their statistics. No wonder many patients are boarded in the emergency room to wait for a bed.

In my case, they could not even treat me. I wound up using skills that I had learned over the years to cope while I was there. When I was in crisis, not one staff member asked me how I was or what was bothering me. There were only a handful of weekend staff that would interact with the patients. They made the days a little better.

If our government wants to do something about mental health, they need to start with providing basic mental health care to those who need it and take that person’s doctor recommendation.