Post # 1
Guys..I just need to vent. I’m so frustrated right now trying to access the mental health care that I desperately need. I’m becoming more and more hopeless and jaded and ready to just give up. My fiance is a gem and is so supportive but I can tell he’s at a loss about what to do at this point too. He’s been so encouraging over the last several months, reminding me that I’m on track and gonna get the help I need soon, etc. But it turns out, he’s wrong. And it sucks!
I spoke with my GP’s office today and apparently the psychiatrist they tried to refer me to has a 12 month waiting list…. TWELVE MONTHS!! They then tried to refer me to two others and they had similar waiting lists. They’re trying a few more but I’m not holding out much hope. I’m lost and frustrated and don’t know what to do.
I’m seeing a psychologist, which helps, but she can’t prescribe meds and my GP won’t without a psychiatric assessment. I’m hoping if these other psychiatrists don’t pan out she will be willing to prescribe based off my psychologists recommendation.
Post # 2
Are you in the US?
My best friend recently had a hard time finding a psychiatrist in the US, everyone she called that took her insurance was a month or so and she was freaking out, I can’t imagine a whole year??? Can you see a different primary care doc who would prescribe meds? I don’t know what you need but I’ve been on and off antidepressants, Xanax and Ritalin since I was a teen and all of my primary care docs were willing to prescribe them. Again I’m in the US so I’m not sure how it works where you are.
Sorry it’s been so difficult, it shouldn’t be so difficult to get help!
Post # 3
I’m so sorry. I have a family member in a similar situation. He needs help but is meeting road blocks and dead ends everywhere he turns. I feel so much for you and the situation.
As pp mentioned, are you in the US? I think resources vary widely by state so perhaps you could look into a neighoring state too? I know not always possible. Good luck
Post # 4
sboom : Bee, you ARE on the right track, reaching out for the help you need. Try not to forget that even when there’s a setback. You will get there.
I don’t know your situation, but have you spoken to your psychologist about alternative therapies? Breathing excercises for anxiety, programs for depression, acupuncture etc? Could be worth exploring while you are waiting for the psychologist referral, or sourcing another GP. They may not stop you from needing the meds, but they may make this waiting period a little more bearable.
Post # 5
sboom : I just sent you a DM!
Post # 6
futuremrs2020 : Canadian. Alberta to be specific. Our health system is over stretched in the first place. Mental health is much worse.
youngbrokebride : yes, I am working with a psychologist. I’ve been seeing her off and on for over a year and she is the one who suggested to me that what I thought was persistent mild to severe depression is actually a symptom of undiagnosed ADHD. I thought I could handle it on my own working with her but I can’t. I’ve been working so hard on implementing coping strategies (many of which I had already figured out on my own) and on better understanding why I do the things I do, but it’s not enough. My brain doesn’t work properly and I need medication. I don’t get why that is so much more complicated than if it was my heart or my kidneys or some other organ that didn’t work right.
Post # 7
sboom : I have a friend who was diagnosed ADHD as an adult, and it really changed his life once he was on a suitable treatment plan. Wishing the same for you.
I can see why your GP doesn’t want to be the one to medicate you though. There are so many different options and combinations, they probably aren’t as across them as a psychiatrist would be.
I don’t know anything about Canadian healthcare, but it’s public, yeah? If so and you are on a public waiting list, can you contact a psychiatrist direct, and pay in cash to see them?
Post # 8
youngbrokebride : I asked about that when I was on the phone with the GPs office today and they didn’t think so. I think the issue is that there is such a huge shortage of them, and since they are all private practice but invoice and are paid by the provincial health authority, there is no incentive to do any “private” practice. Does that make any sense??
I do have an appointment with my psychologist next week so I will ask her if there is any other route she could recommend for me. She did say at our last appointment (over a month ago) that she can do a clinical assessment for me so perhaps if my GP will agree to prescribe something based on that we can get somewhere. Or perhaps I can find another one who will. Problem is my psychologist isn’t a medical doctor so she cncan make recommendations for what medication I should go on.
Post # 9
sboom : can you go to an emergency room and let them know you’re having major psychiatric issues? That’s what I would do. They have psychiatrists there and emergency help and will be able to get you a referral faster if you make it an emergency situation, which it sounds like it is. Good luck.
When they ask you why you’re there just let them know that you need to talk to someone, are in a deep depression and are scared, etc etc. Let them know about your crisis. They’ll admit you and let you see an in-house psychiatrist .don’t wait a damn year. That’s ridiculous.
Post # 10
lifeisbeeutiful : they won’t admit just because you can’t get in on an outpatient basis. And they don’t follow outpatient, so meds prescribed inpatient aren’t going to have a year’s worth of refills. Inpatient SW have to call & get their patients in the outpatient queue just like everyone else. It might be different in Canada, but in the US, an emergency room visit isn’t a ticket to instant outpatient care. It’ll get you a few days inpatient, 30 days or less of prescription meds & an outpatient referral. They’re there for acute care but not long term treatment.
Post # 11
jannigirl : its different in Canada.
Post # 12
Can you get on a cancellation list? I’ve had long waits for specialists before – I am actually supposed to see one at least once/year according to some guidelines for meds at home but they make the appointment for next year before I show up and it’s always months later than it should be.
I have gotten into both new specialists and my own who I can’t get regular appointments within a year’s team faster due to cancellation lists.
Post # 13
lifeisbeeutiful : I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending someone to go to a crisis assessment unless they pose a legitimate risk to their own life or those of others (OP hasn’t provided any information on whether this is the case). From my experience of psych ERs, they are generally overworked and flooded with patients who are in a very real need (acutely suicidal with intent and a plan, severe psychosis etc). I don’t think the OP would get the care she needs there, especially if its medication for ADHD and it’s a new diagnosis, as there is a huge black market for stimulants. I’ve also seen exhausted doctors in such settings being dismissive of concerns that should be managed on an outpatient basis.
OP, is there any possibility that you could get into a partial hospitalization program/intensive outpatient program if your depression is sufficiently severe? Usually they will set you up with a regular psychiatrist there who can make the ADHD diagnosis and medicate it properly. I’m not sure how the health system works in Canada, but some places also have crisis teams that can come to your house and treat you there if you’re deemed at moderate risk of harm to yourself/others but not severe enough for a hospital admission.
Post # 14
AB Bride :
Exactly what I was thinking. Could OP get on several cancellation lists?
I’m in the US and went through a very attenuated version of a similar situation when we first moved to a new state.
We have excellent insurance and plenty of psychiatrists in the community. Unfortunately, none of them were taking on new patients.
My psychiatrist in my old state kept me going with meds for another 90 days, thankfully.
There were two places willing to take me on, both larger clinics focused on patients without insurance.
My first visit was over two hours, they were pretty thorough. Now I just see the nurse practitioner every 3-6 months for meds.
I was wondering too, about the possibility of cash pay.
Expecting a patient to wait a year is unconscionable. Keep plugging away at it, OP. Good ideas have a way of sneaking up on you.
Post # 15
lifeisbeeutiful : I do not consider my situation to be an emergency. I’m in distress, yes, but I’ve been managing on my own my entire life. At this point, I’m just extremely frustrated with trying to get the long term help that I believe will finally let me thrive instead of just keep getting by.