COVID19 has brought many changes to all of our lives. I know as someone with a mental health issue I have had some interesting experiences. The first couple of times that I tried therapy over the internet, the signal was not so great and I could not hear half of the things that my therapist was saying. That was an easy fix. We now just have therapy directly moved the phone and we go over everything that I need to discuss as well as homework.
My psychiatrist has been the harder of the two. My outpatient psychiatrist has now become inpatient. During this time, I have had to work with a new psychiatrist. My medicines have been hard to keep track of without any appointments. Some have had refills, others did not have any left, and still other were questioned by the insurance company. This week, I am beginning to keep better track of what I need.
Having therapy while on the phone can be interesting. Cats are getting in my lap and meowing. The kitten is trying to eat all of the non food items in the house. Not to mention that I feel exposed. I like the office setting. I can take my artwork in and discuss what I have worked on. There is no way to do that over the phone.
I know that things will improve with time as all of the glitches are worked out. Maybe, I will finally be able to have a face to face session. Here is hoping that things go smoothly. Remember to use hotlines and reach out to others if you are struggling.
COVID19 has changed how we think about viral transmission, how we shop, and maybe even our priorities. Board games and kids playing outside became sounds and activities again. Parents had more time with their kids. It even changed some of our lives in negative ways. Job losses, children and adults who could not get the services they needed, and many burned out essential workers.
For those of us with a mental illness, it changed therapy in person to over the phone. Hotline calls became the norm for anyone in trouble. It was not the same. For some, this has caused a situation in which one cannot wait to get back to going to the therapists office or support groups.
Maybe there are others out there like me. I have agoraphobia to the point where I do not leave the house except for therapy. I do not have many friends and I do not feel comfortable with any social gathering. I do not have photos from parties or get togethers to put on social media. Holidays are a hit or miss with visitation. There are once again no photos.
What I do have are books, coloring apps, and other activities that I can do by myself. Not to exciting for others to see. The past seven weeks has made me feel normal. Stay at home orders meant that all of the gatherings on social media did not exist. People only posted about what they were doing in their homes. For once I could actually relate. The pictures of pets became the norm.
Now the country is trying to get back to going out using social distancing. I am not sure what that will look like? Will the virus start to spread again? I will no longer feel that I can relate to friends and families getting together. Maybe, this is the time to work on changing me. Social distancing means that no one should come close to me. Maybe my therapist and I could work on a plan to get outside? Maybe I could actually begin to be around others. We shall see!
It all started with a call on a Saturday afternoon that my dad was in the hospital. The doctors did not expect him to make it. After not seeing him for at least 5 years, I went to the hospital to say a final goodbye.
My mother was pissed that I was even visiting him. The next day she called me for a ride to the hospital and now she has some how slithered her way back into my life. She calls at least 4 times a week. Often it is to relive my father’s final months and days.
I am not dealing well with my own grief. I am like a zombie, barely functioning. I cannot handle her. On top of that one of my child.has began to self harm. They are stressed about how my mother treats me. They feel like she hurts more than helps.
Two weeks ago one of my parents died. I did not even know that they were sick until I got a call one night saying that they were dying. I went to the hospital to find a shell of a person who had trouble even making a sentence. Four days later, I was there when they took their last breath.
The person who died was one of my abusers. Not as bad as some others, yet still an abuser. Their words and actions caused me to feel worthless and invisible. I was never good enough for them and they always expected more.
Then there were the good memories with this person. The time that they backed me up when an admissions counselor told me that I was unable to do something. The times that they took me for ice cream or helped me with my homework. This person taught me how to drive when no one else would get into a car with me.
When they took their last breath, it was as if they went into a void. If that is the case, it makes me wonder why I am struggling everyday to not even have much of a life. My self harm and suicidal impulses are so high. I have been able to contract for safety from therapy appointment to appointment. It is hard though. I have lost all motivation and energy. I want to be anywhere but in the present.
I have been told that this will get better. I am not so sure. All I see is that shell of a person taking their last breath.
New therapist. Nothing like opening up old wounds again. At least I am being encouraged to work with parts and not rush this work. It just seems to take everything out of me. I am mentally and physically exhausted.
My system has so many roadblocks up. How am I going to get through them all? Are my parts going to cooperate? What if I cannot handle things and melt down? Maybe I need some meltdowns. They would allow me to get through all of the emotions that have been held in for so long.
Last year, I had Medicare. I was told that they did not cover any long term mental health care. This year, I have private insurance. I was hopeful that treatment would be covered. Instead, I have been met with the same obstacles as always. Since I do not have a substance abuse issue or an eating disorder, long term treatment is not available in network.
The places in the country that will accept my insurance out of network still want $10,000 or more for a deposit. I cannot afford that. I am not sure that many people could. Now, I am stuck without the level of care that I need. I know that I cannot be the only one out there struggling with this.
Mental health care in this country needs to change. It should be affordable for everyone, not just those who have thousands of dollars to put out up front.
I have seen viruses that society was told were not a problem balloon out and kill thousands. Now there is a new virus. It has killed 18 people as of today according to the latest news reports. Over 600 people are infected. The WHO met and were conflicted about saying that this is an emergency.
What if this is like other viruses that the WHO has informed the public is not an emergency until it is to late? Tests kits in China, where the virus is believed to originated, are being used up. The WHO is not acknowledging the news report from earlier this week stating that the virus was confirmed to have come into the US by an individual on a plane.
Why are we waiting until it might be to late? How is this virus treated? Who is truly affected and can the virus mutate easily? This makes me concerned because it seems like a repeat of other viruses. Why can’t we prevent some of these illnesses by declaring an emergency? How many deaths will this new illness take to finally get the WHO to agree to restrictions for everyone’s safety.
After moving an hour away from my therapist a year and a half ago, I continued to drive there every week. There were many weeks that I could not mentally make the drive. I did not even know if I was safe to drive that far. I often “go away” while driving and try not to drive to often or to long a distance.
An insurance change opened my choice of therapist and allowed me to see some of the therapists around me to see if they fit. I had an appointment last week that seemed to go well. Yesterday, I had my second appointment. The therapist seems to respect my boundaries and seems knowledgeable about how to care for someone with trauma.
I feel bad that I am leaving a therapist that I have been going to for years and know most of the things that have happened. I need to process those events and need to do so in a way where I am not stressed out from driving.
I shall see how the next few weeks go and make a decision. It is such a huge choice.
Anyone who is chronically ill mentally or physically may be able to relate to this post. This is supposedly the age of technology. We can encrypt electronic medical records, email, and so many other private documents.
With all of this, when going to a new doctor there is always the new patient form to fill out. I am not sure how many of you out there can relate to the fact that there is just not enough space. It makes me feel terrible about myself.
Why can’t their be a health records database where all medical records can be stored. There would be no problem going to see someone new because all of a persons health information would be there.
I though about this when there was an 18 page form for a potential new doctor. If I go see anyone else, I just have to recount crap that I do not want to say over and over.
Maybe one day we will get that database!! I think it would be a relief for some of us not have to fill out the same things over and over again.
With the new year, comes a change in my medical insurance. Now come the hard part. Finding a new therapist. I have left messages for a number of providers. I hope that they call me back today or tomorrow. If not, I will have to leave another message,
I have been with my current provider for 14 years. It is going to be hard to go to someone new and essentially begin all over again. Having a mental illness is hard enough. Having one that so few providers know about is even harder.
I just have to keep trying to get someone and hopefully everything will work out and I will have a new provider.