VENT: Our mental health system is a wheelchair store located up 5 sets of stairs

posted 8 months ago in Wellness
Post # 2
2909 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

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!

sboom :  

Post # 3
77 posts
Worker bee

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
1686 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

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
370 posts
Helper bee

sboom :  I just sent you a DM!

Post # 7
1686 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

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 # 9
4497 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

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
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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 # 12
10651 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

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
243 posts
Helper bee

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
10415 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

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.

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