Many people here know I'm bipolar. I've been rediagnosed as schizoaffective. That's besides the point though, I want to talk about the mental health care system. It may be different for people with money, but I don't know. I know it's super tough for poor people though.
The past couple weeks have been horrible for me. I was fully manic, with obvious psychosis. I knew I was having problems, and called 911 three or four times, and went to the ER. I kept getting sent back home. They refused to even look for a bed in an in patient facility for me.
Beds are supposedly hard to get. I don't think they really are though, for reasons I will explain later.
After the third ER visit, my sister took my to a hospital two hours away to try to get me a bed. They refused because I missed an appointment, and was "noncompliant" in taking my meds, because I forgot to take them. Because I was psychotic. My meds weren't working. And I didn't miss my appointment, my doctor cancelled on me. I had also refused the Ativan they offered, because I just wanted to get the psychosis treated, I felt I could deal with the anxiety on my own.
Anyway, I called 911 again a fourth time, this time asking them to arrest me because I wanted to be helped in some type of facility because my psychosis and mania were so bad. The ended up getting me a bed in an inpatient facility, finally, but only because when they asked me if I was suicidal, I said yes.
The thing that makes me the maddest about the whole thing is that the facility was only half full. They had plenty of beds, and still do. Luckily I got help BEFORE I actually committed suicide. I am surprised the system is this messed up.
(I am not seeking sympathy here, I just wanted to tell my story, and discuss how the system might be made better.)
My dear Jane, my heart breaks for you. I'm so sorry, I know you're at the end of your rope. I wish I could help. Please do not give up, whatever you do. I know firsthand what life can do to you; chew you up and spit you out. A few years back I was hallucinating and was in the darkest place. I was desperate for help and couldn't find any. I hung on though, God did not let me go, but He did not immediately take me out of my circumstances. He let me survive them with His help. I am stronger now and in a few years you will be too. You will get help of some kind, in time and you will look back on this time and wonder how you ended up here, but you will also see the miracle that brought you out of it. Do not give up! You are important. You are wanted. You are necessary. You are loved!
Thank you Beth. I'm OK for the moment. I'm trying new meds right now, and home. I have a very supportive family to fall back on, so I consider myself extremely lucky.
Jane, is there any sort of community mental health network where you are? I've been blessed to live in two counties in different states where I was able to be treated by such facilities. Normally, they are able to get you a psychiatrist and/or therapy (in an individual or group setting) at very little or no cost depending on your ability to pay. I found them both by googling "community mental health in (X) county" or "free mental health care in (X) county." It's not ideal, but it works.
If county searches do no good try your specific city or zip code as well. Often there's a short waiting period. In that case, if you're able, maybe you can find a primary care provider who will at least help with scripts in the interim.
Peace. Know that you have a support network out here too of people who have been there. I hope it works out. Also, feel free to email me through my contact link if I can help in any way.
It might be worth checking into support groups through the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) online as well. Sometimes they have resources they can point you to locally.
Thanks, Motown. I just recently got insurance, and I have appointments all lined up, starting Wednesday. I still need to get a therapy session worked out, but right now I'm just trying to get the meds straightened out.
Jane, you are a truly brave woman admitting to what you have. Get the proper treatment and also meditate. God wish you well always.
I'll be praying for you. I truly know what it's like to be where you are. The best advice I can give is to not give up...persistence is the one thing that paid off for me! Hang in there, sister. It will work out and your new stability will be completely worth it! That insurance will be a huge, huge help!!
If you get that bad again tell the people you are suicidal or homicidal, and they will have to take you, it's the law. I know it's lying, but you gotta do what you got to do. Although some states have more resources for the mentally ill, the industry needs an overhaul. I believe every state should have mental health services for people with no money or insurance.
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