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Default Feb 23, 2024 at 05:08 PM
  #1
I need some encouragement . . . badly. Since Nov, I've been struggling with depression. In early Feb, I thought I had improved a lot and was getting back to a normal frame of mind.

Well, that didn't last. For days, now, I've been getting more and more desperate. At times, I'm frantic. I know I am just too alone way too much. I know exactly what I could do about it. But I don't do it. I stay in this chair in my living room, like I'm frozen. I don't get out of my pajamas or even hardly brush my teeth. I find stuff to read online or videos to watch. It's like I escape into cyberspace.

I am breaking down everyday, having spells so bad, I wish I were dead rather than feeling this way. I need help. This is going on too long. I tried contacting therapists in my area. None responded.

The thing I've been avoiding is calling my primary care doctor to discuss this. He could refer me to the psych department. That's what I dread, like the plague. I was involved with them ten years ago. It's a cold and creepy place. They have their own building. It does both inpatient and outpatient. They are overwhelmed by demand, as they are a state run facility. They get a lot of the most disturbed people in the community - people who have nowhere else to go and have no insurance.

But I, too, have a right to be helped. I've got to start sticking up for myself. So I think I will call my primary care clinic right now for an appointment. I'm so petrified that I'll regret this. That's why I need some encouragement to just go ahead. I am just worried sick that the response I'll get will be one of total disinterest and I'll feel way worse, like I'm just going to be rejected.

I have to do something. I keep thinking that this is getting worse and worse. There should be some support for me, but I have no faith in the system. It's awful to feel no trust.
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Default Feb 23, 2024 at 05:32 PM
  #2
I just called and made the appointment. They said my doctor will see me Monday morning. I hope I don't wind up regretting this. I just have such a creepy feeling. The healthcare system I'm in has given me excellent follow-up for physical medical issues. In 2022, I had some pretty big issues - like bleeding ulcers. Those have been dealt with very well. But, when it comes to psych treatment, I have no confidence in this place. This place will not charge me for anything they do because I'm covered under a plan for low income patients.

I'd rather go elsewhere and see a private therapist, but I really can't afford many visits where I pay out of pocket. Plus, it just seems like I can't find a private practicing therapist to go to. Medicare part B does pay 80% for psych care. A lot of them don't seem to take Medicare.

I called a crisis line yesterday and today when I got really distraught. They gave me phone numbers and a website. None of those proved fruitful. I got no responses.

I tell myself that I have to be my own advocate.
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Default Feb 23, 2024 at 06:03 PM
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You do have a right to care. I know you are unsure about a day program though them because others are more disturbed but I think having a place you need to be every day will get you out of the rut and maybe then you’ll actually go to the senior places and the other places you looked into but declined to follow up.

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Default Feb 23, 2024 at 10:44 PM
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Yes, having a daily destination would belp me greatly. A day program there helped me a lot many years ago. Even seeing someone once a week would help, if they took any real interest in helping me.
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Default Feb 25, 2024 at 11:06 PM
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I've felt bad today. Tomorrow I see my doctor. I hope this hooks me up with some kind of help. Depression is bad enough. But today I had chest pain from anxiety. Anxiety on top of depression makes it ten times worse.

Added to all that, my furnace stopped working last evening. My landlady said her husband could come by next Saturday, 6 days from now, to check on it. I don't think it's legal to not provide heat at this time of year. It's adding to my stress.
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Default Feb 26, 2024 at 04:18 AM
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It’s not legal to not provide heat for 6 days. When I used to rent and furnace stopped working once, they sent maintenance same day within a few hours. If furnace cannot be immediately fixed and needs like a day, they have to pay for a hotel stay or provide electric heater for a short period-we aren’t taking 6 days here. Is there some type official rental management or a company that runs it?
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Default Feb 26, 2024 at 08:24 AM
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Where I rent is owned by a couple who manage the property themselves. It's a small complex with 8 apartments. They bought the place a year or two ago. My landlady told me last night she could drop by a space heater in a few days, on Wed.

I have 3 space heaters of my own. I shouldn't have to use a space heater.

This stress has come at a bad time.
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Default Feb 26, 2024 at 08:35 AM
  #8
@Rose76 - So sorry this is happening, especially with the added stress.

I had a lot of trouble finding a therapist that took Medicare. Is it just straight Medicare? Or is there a supplemental plan with? For instance, I am on Humana Medicare. I don't know how you feel about therapists over the computer but MD Live covers people with low-income situations. I have found that in-person therapists have become extremely rare due to COVID. I really hope you find one, even if it is telehealth.

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Default Feb 26, 2024 at 10:23 AM
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@LadyShadow - it's just straight Medicare, parts A and B. No supplemental. I get my healthcare through a state run university medical center. That system subsidizes anyone with a low income who lives in my county. So I have no copays for anything. This is a good system to be in for everything but psych.
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Default Feb 26, 2024 at 01:48 PM
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I just got home from seeing my doctor. He said that referring me to the psych department is tough. He said I might have to go on a waiting list for a year. He said that the psych department "is a real sh** show."

He said he could give me a list of resources in the community. He said he would be right back with a print out. Instead, a medical assistant came back with the print out. Then I left. So I'm looking at the print out. The appointment with my doctor today went exactly as I expected it to go.

I told him I won't accept just being deflected because I have a right to access psych services.

I've been thru this in years past. Anyone I talk to wants to give me phone numbers for help elsewhere. Then the references usually don't pan out. I've been checking resources for days. A crisis line gave me some numbers to call. One was an agency working with the homeless. Another was for substance abusers. Another was for unstable families with issues like domestic violence.

The doctor today told me I could just walk into the psych hospital and ask for their Urgent Care service. I've done that in the past. They just ask you if you're going to kill yourself. If you say no, they lose all interest . . . or say they can put you on a waiting list.

A doctor can cut through all that rigamarole, if he really believes a patient is in crisis. So I feel I never get believed.

I'm way too distressed to be treated dismissively. The medical assistant said the doctor wants me to return in a month.

I knew this is what would happen.
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Default Feb 26, 2024 at 04:31 PM
  #11
At the risk of minimizing -

Hey, at our age, a year has passed before you know it. After the election, you will be glad you got in line early. Keep track of all the self help carp you do between now and next year - books read, exercises, whatever - so you can say, i need dope or whatever.

Your having your organizer in recently strengthened me. I cant do formal daily checkins, but i hope to find my franklin planner binder this week so i can start using it mar 1.
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Default Feb 26, 2024 at 04:41 PM
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Do get put on the waiting list then go to urgent care and tell them the waiting list is too long that you will be severely impacted and can’t wait a year.

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Default Feb 26, 2024 at 06:55 PM
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Thank you for the posts above.

The doctor said he would see if I could go to a different clinic that has a psychologist. I should have asked him when I'll hear about that. They tend to not follow thru.
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Default Feb 26, 2024 at 10:51 PM
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I spoke with one of my sisters early today. I just made small talk about my furnace not working. I just said I was very stressed out. Her comments didn't feel supportive. She said, "You're not one who likes to be put on hold."

I wished I had someone in my real life who I could confide in. I decided, talking to her, that it would not be good to tell her I'm not doing okay.
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Default Feb 28, 2024 at 09:16 AM
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(((Rose76)))

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Default Feb 28, 2024 at 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose76 View Post
I spoke with one of my sisters early today. I just made small talk about my furnace not working. I just said I was very stressed out. Her comments didn't feel supportive. She said, "You're not one who likes to be put on hold."

I wished I had someone in my real life who I could confide in. I decided, talking to her, that it would not be good to tell her I'm not doing okay.
It’s so hard to want to reach out but getting invalidating messages just makes us want to close up again
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Default Feb 28, 2024 at 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discombobulated View Post
It’s so hard to want to reach out but getting invalidating messages just makes us want to close up again
Thank you for expressing that so clearly. It's just how it feels to me.
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Default Feb 28, 2024 at 05:16 PM
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Someone has helped me and found me a therapist. I meet with her in less than an hour. I feel nervous about going there. I must get ready now. I haven't even dressed yet. I hate leaving my apartment. I just want to hide from everyone and everything.
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Default Feb 28, 2024 at 08:49 PM
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Meeting with the therapist went alright. I feel more hopeful.
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Default Mar 06, 2024 at 02:57 PM
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It turns out that my doctor did refer me to a psychologist in this healthcare system. He said he would try, but I figured that would go nowhere. So I now have an appointment to see this psychologist in a week.

I don't feel hopeful about this appointment. I'm trying to think of what I should say when I get there. It's a male psychologist, which puts me off a bit. I'm already thinking he's going to just look down on me and figure I'm a lazy jerk. I'm thinking I better not say anything about suicidality.

I worry about confidentiality. His notes can be read by every doctor and nurse in this healthcare system who has the online password, and that's all of them.

Years ago, I tried every form of psych help out there. I had some negative experiences. I think anyone who deals with any part of the healthcare system long enough eventually has some bad experiences. Psych patients are vulnerable. I learned that how you get treated has a lot to do with the subjective feelings of the doctor or therapist. I'm not going to any of them expecting friendship. That's not their role. But some can become very cold and even insulting. I've had my trust abused a few times. They always start off acting nice.

Some of them have big egos. At one point, way in the past, I had gotten completely different diagnoses from different doctors. Each diagnosis seemed to reflect the provider's personal feelings. One of my siblings told me that I argue too much. 15 years ago, I was seeing a Nurse Practitioner who was ordering my psych meds. When I told her about my having suicidal thoughts, she started reading the Bible to me.

I once went to a Psychiatrist who seemed to have an anger problem. I only went to her one time. She asked what I had learned from past therapy. I told her I hadn't really learned much from therapy. She said, "Then you must be very arrogant." Next she told me that I probably had been to low quality doctors. She said her training had been from Cornell, which she said was a top shelf medical college. She said she probably knew a lot more than any of the doctors I had consulted with in the past. She said my previous doctors were wrong to have put me on an antidepressant. She said I didn't need to be taking any drugs. When she was about to give me another appointment, I said I was not going to continue seeing her. Then she picked up the check I had written to pay her. She waved it in the air and said, "I suppose this is going to bounce."

I've got a few more bizarre stories, but I think the one above is enough of an illustration. Professionals are human. They have faults, as we all do. I expect that. But I don't expect to leave a session with a professional more emotionally damaged than I went in.
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