There are two words that a patient with a mental health diagnosis does not want to hear. Medication resistant. When I heard those two words I became hopeless. Now, I realize that myself and others with the same issue need to fight. We need to push for treatments that the VA is using to treat medication resistant depression and PTSD.
One treatment that has shown to be effective is Ketamine infusions. Studies have shown that ketamine can reduce anxiety, nightmares, depression, and other symptoms of mental illness. The VA us using this treatment to help soldiers. Yet, as a citizen with private insurance I cannot get the treatment because it is not FDA approved for use in mental illness.
The FDA approved a vaccine for COVID-19 in record time. Most of the time it takes years for FDA approval. This illness affected people who were working age, contributed to the economy, and were essential. The public cared and the public demanded a solution to stop hundreds of thousands from dying.
I have always felt, that I and others I know with a mental illness are disposable. The drugs are astronomically expensive and psychiatrists are hundreds of dollars a visit.
Insurance will pay for hospitals that are ineffective in treating resistant depression. For me, my latest discharge basically said that my illness would not change and was chronic. Really, that is all that you can do? The last hospital stay for me was almost $30,000.
A round of Ketamine infusions (6 over 3 weeks) is around $3,000. It is 10x’s less than the last hospital bill and has shown to be effective. I will sign whatever waiver I would need to in order to get this treatment and see if it would reduce my symptoms. Big pharma and the government need to recognize that every citizen should be allowed the benefit of a treatment. Not just veterans.
Maybe there are others out there who would like to begin calling insurance companies and the FDA, letting them know that our lives our important. That we deserve to be free if the litany of symptoms that are obviously not being treated my current methods.