Medication Resistant

Approving New Treatments

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.

$8 Compared to $140

Do politicians and large companies really care about people? I have a hard time believing that they do. When I picked up a prescription the other day for my mental illness I looked at the fine print. The price my insurance had negotiated was $8. Affordable and would help with my symptoms.

I looked at the fine print and saw $140. I asked the tech who had to pay that much. Her response was people who are not insured or have a high deductible.

First, I want to approach the uninsured. If they are sick enough to become a patient in a mental health unit, they will receive medications. Those medications work and they are discharged. Now they are felling better and have less symptoms, yet the medication cost is out of reach. For this person it is a possibility that a cycle will begin when if provided with medications could be a productive citizen.

The next case is a high deductible. Someone diagnosed with any illness should be able to acquire their medications. Mental health meds are necessary to function. being told that you need something, have insurance, and yet cannot pay for the medication is wrong.

Why is big pharma willing to let me have the prescription for $8? If the company is willing to take that from me why can’t everyone be on a sliding scale for medications. We live in a country that seems to be able to hide the disparities between people and I cannot accept that any longer. Everyone deserves a minimum standard.

Advocacy and Determination Paid Off

I have been fighting with my insurance company for over a year in order to get the correct therapy for C-PTSD. It has finally taken a small step in the right direction . Yes, this is with private insurance, yet it is a step closer in getting the care that we all desperately need.

After trying for a year to have someone actually listen, suddenly someone has. She had taken the time to research the choices provided by the company compared with my diagnoses. She quickly realized that none of the providers even understood.

Even more positive was that others in the company began to research the behavioral health providers and started to realize that many of the providers have poor reviews. The company is attempting to call out of network providers and see if there is a psychologist who is willing to accept the insurances rate for service. My fingers are crossedz

I have learned that I am not going to give up on trying to get the right treatment for my illness. One day I hope to assist in getting effective treatment for everyone.

Trying to Find Treatment for C-PTSD is a Nightmare

For 17 years, I have been diagnosed with C-PTSD along with other psychiatric illnesses. Along with C-PTSD I have DID which is a direct result of the trauma from the past.

I have a name brand insurance. That insurance company does not have anyone in my area or even within driving range who treats my condition. When I have called those on the list that is provided on their website, the providers do not even know what DID is let alone how to treat it properly.

Maybe I expect to much. I expect for a psychologist to be familiar with my diagnosis and to know the best treatment methods in order to improve my symptoms. There is not any medication to treat the symptoms of C-PTSD. The treatments effectiveness relies on the experience of the therapist.

I am so worried that I am going to backslide into darkness again. Right now, I am hopeless about getting any help for my symptoms at this point. I am sure that there are others out there with the same issue. Why is it that a psychological condition is not taken as seriously as a medical condition. A doctor would not send a person with kidney failure to a cardiologist, yet that is what they do for mental illnesses. We are not all the same. Please start to realize this!!

Getting Care for Complex PTSD is Near Impossible

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.

Insurance Changes

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.

PTSD Treatment

There are supposedly levels of treatment for PTSD. The first is to become safe and stable. To learn to use coping skills. Cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy seem to be the two main treatments, although there are others.

Then, there is apparently a second phase where the actual traumatic events are processed. Today, I happened to see an add for one of these treatment centers. They have been featured as a place for those on the show Intervention to go. They are one of a few treatment centers that does processing. They are also expensive and only take very few insurances.

They actually replied to my post today stating that they would help me to find comparable treatment if I called them. Funny, all of the comparable treatment centers do not accept my insurance. I feel like I am stuck. Why can’t some of these centers have a sliding scale? I feel like I am stuck in my treatment and need to immerse myself in phase 2’in order to progress in therapy.

I am sure that I am not the only one out there struggling with treatment and insurance. It is hard to be treated sometimes no matter how much one may want it.

Sign Up Season

Anyone who has Medicare knows that this is the time for open enrollment. Some people just need to renew what they had or can change plans if they wish.

That is not the case for me and I imagine other people out there. I moved and now have to have a different plan because the one I had is not covered in the area that I moved too. The worst thing is that it looks like I have to switch all of my providers.

Maybe I will get lucky and they will understand mental illness and the medications that I am on. Maybe they will not look at me like everything I say is in my head. They will not dismiss me.

I am lucky to be able to have insurance. There are some people who do not and cannot get treatment, any treatment. Either they cannot afford it or have to pick and choose which doctors they go too.

Mental health is hard. One has to find the section of the plan and then hope that treatment is covered. I especially question the plans that provide 10 visits. Really, I see someone twice a week.

This country and the health care providers need to realize that mental illness is a long term diagnosis and needs more than a pill to fix. They hopefully will start supporting treatments that work and insurance companies will cover them.

Why???

***TRIGGERING****

I am more than my diagnosis and yet my diagnosis is a part of who I am. It is frustrating that those closest to me feel that I should not be swayed by what has happened to be in the past when something happens today. To me, I think all of us are swayed by the event in our pasts. Whether it is the friends that we choose, the place that we go for vacations, or our attitude about school, kids, shopping, etc.  Sometimes I cannot help being triggered or having a flashback. There was so much abuse in the past, it is hard to go without some situation reminding me of it. Then there is the fact, that I do not want to make anyone upset with me which causes me to make some decisions that I do not really want to make, yet I know will make the other person happy. That is habit. I am not sure how to break it.

Sometimes, I feel like I will never fit in anywhere at this point. I see friends getting jobs, having kids, and going places. By contrast, I have applied to so many jobs without a single call back, my kids start school today and I will not be able to be there, and due to lack of income forget going away even if I wanted to.

Then there is the pain. I have been trying not to use my cane as much. I feel vulnerable with the cane. Today, I think I am going to have to use it. I am having another test today, this time a biopsy. While, I am not thrilled about the test, I will be glad to get it over with.

I watch shows about people with addictions and their recovery. So many of them have pasts that include trauma. Why can’t our medical system get it right. Treating trauma is not as simple as whether or not someone is suicidal. I am not allowed the time in the hospital that I need to develop a rapport with my inpatient therapist and open up about my past. The insurance company has put a Band-Aid on a gaping wound that is not healing. Once again my doctor’s are talking about inpatient. I feel like I ought to reserve a space at this time of year.

Yes, I am suicidal at this point, yet that is only a symptom of the overwhelming number of things going on in my head. The past is like a rubix cube in my head that I cannot seem to ever solve. The puzzle never comes together and I am left with something that I feel that I cannot work with. I question my accuracy of events, I question if I need help, I question if the abuse could really have been that bad.

Then I wake up with cold sweats or have a flashback in the middle of a store. My arm hurts for no reason or I am terrified of the dark. I hear the screaming in my head. The child who is still terrified, the teenager who is angry at the world, the young adult who still cannot find her place in life, and the mother figure who is still putting me down every chance she gets.

So, today I will keep my appointment and do what I need too. I will go through crowds being terrified because of my hypervigilence and the old messages that will not stop playing in my head that others are only out to hurt me. The doctor will do what he needs to and the result will most likely show something, yet “not enough to treat”. Back to square one. When will I be enough to treat???