What the F*ck is going on?

Okay--This may be a short post because I'm heading to a luncheon in 1/2 an hour and then going home to pack to head out to Germany. I won't be back in the States until the 21st. Things will probably be quiet on the blog during my trip.

Another friend of ours is dealing with serious mental illness. This is on top of the one who had the pyschotic break and the other who wished he was dead. This friend, we don't know very well. Not only is she having thoughts of suicide, though no plan; she isn't even able to access the health system to get help. K got very angry over the situation yesterday after reading about S's attempts to get help.

First, S is in her late 20's, had a law degree, and is currently looking for a job. Job searches are emotionally draining in the best of times. She's been looking for a position for about 4-6 months and having no luck, despite excellent credentials and resume. It's sapping her energy.

We were helping her work through some job stuff over the weekend, when she told us that's she's seriously depressed and has some suicidal thoughts. Naturally, we were very concerned. She's been seeing at therapist, who recommended that she go see a psychiatrist. Well, she has no money (due to lack of a job) and her health care will only cover the visit, if she's diagnosed with something severe.

Our thought was to suggest seeing an internist, in hopes that they would prescribe anti-depressants. S could then find a psychiatrist. We suggested that she make an appointment with K's internist, who is excellent. K's internist is so good that she is not taking any new patients. Meanwhile, S made an appointment with urgent care to try and get immediate assistance.

The resident doctor in urgent care listened to her for 50 minutes, which is great. She then got the attending physician. The attending told S that she needs to see a psychiatrist. Duh! The attending had no solution to the fact that S couldn't afford to pay a psychiatrist. It also sounded as if the attending would not prescribe any meds.

What do you do? S can't afford to pay and she also can no longer afford to see her therapist. This is someone, who is well-educated and cannot navigate the system to get help. What does someone do without those resources?

K and I came up with a list of possible solutions:

1. Pay for the treatment on a credit card (don't know if it's a possibility)
2. Emergency room--but what's to say that they won't hospitalize her due to the suicidal thoughts?
3. City services--don't know if there is anything or if S is willing to go that route
4. Contact DBSA for suggestions

K and I discussed paying for S to go to the psychiatrist, but we can't finance S's health care, even if she would accept. S is working temp work and is interviewing for other positions. K's treatments alone cost us about $500 out of pocket every month.

It's a miserable situation. If you have any ideas, please comment.

I guess I also don't understand why so many of our friends seem to be struggling this year. We met all of them independently and they don't seem to have any common elements other than mental illness. It's hard to see people in such pain.


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