Navigating a Mental Health Crisis Prt 5

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Navigating a Mental Health Crisis

Depression vs Clinical Depression, Anxiety vs Chronic Anxiety….how can you tell between the two? Is it a temporary feeling or a feeling that may be more permanent? Are they irrational or is there something more to their behavior? Unlike a physical injury which is more visible and tangible, mental illness is much harder to see. How can you see a broken mind? How do you prepare for it and what can you do either for yourself or loved one? NAMI created an infographic titled, “Navigating a Mental Health Crisis” to help you prepare for a mental health crisis:

  • Warning Signs
  • What To Do
  • How to Prepare For Crisis
  • How To Develop a Crisis Plan

Over the course of time (a few days), I will display 5 infographs (including this one) on the 4 topics I listed above. I hope these infographs will prove useful for you and the people you love.

How To Get Mental Health Services When You Can’t Afford It

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Mental Health…a topic that most people aren’t eager to discuss and sometimes. And due to that, it’s hard to know if there any low cost options to treat mental health issues. Like for me, if it wasn’t for fact I had Medical to get even both of my anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications they would have both cost me $100 total and that was just the generic version. However, I got them both for free. Right now the therapist I’m seeing,  only costs me $10 an hour.

You be wondering how could I afford these two mental health treatments? Well fortunately, I’ve had a good psychiatrist (she was my first psychiatrist, before I couldn’t afford health insurance), I went to school  and found out they have mental health services and I also know of good non-profit organizations (e.g. NAMI, RAINN), that could assist me.  Because let me tell you, I know absolutely no one who could have told me about these free to low cost services. And that’s why I’m telling you. I’ve been meaning to share this with you (but if you read my last article “Depression” you’d why) but I read this article from NBC online titled, “Mental Health Services: How to get treatment if you can’t afford it” they offer some resources that can offer such mental health services for free or low-cost. These include:

  • Looking into either “In-Network” or federally qualified health centers
  • Seeking therapists who use a sliding scale. This means what you pay is based on your income
  • Seeing if you’re eligible for medicaid for free therapy
  • Looking into local training institutes that may provide free sessions for up to two years
  • University hospital or non-profit hospitals that are willing put students to work for a low fee
  • And checking out open path psychotherapy collective. I have no idea what that is, so check the link embedded in my blog

And if you have a teenager who you suspect may have a mental illness, there are resources they access to if they don’t have health insurance:

  • In-School Services
  • Sliding Fee Scale (just like for adults)
  • Free services

For more information on those, look at the link below:

4 Ways Teens Can Access Therapy Without Health Insurance

Therapy: What To Expect From Your Therapist (Especially On Your First Time)

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Source: Anxiety.org

As as of right now, I am attending three therapy sessions: Celebrate Recovery at my church, therapy at my school, and therapy outside of school. The one I am seeing is outside of school is mainly for me to deal with relationship issues and overcome my sexual assault experience and therapy in my school is mostly to deal with my anxiety and depression. Then there’s is my sessions with my psychologist at school, where I can also get more prescription on my meds, but that’s like one a month.

Yeah I have my hands full with all three of those sessions in addition to student-teaching, going to school and work. Whew! But I’m happy, because I’m able to have the help I need to get through the week. And I feel like I’m getting what I need emotionally and spirituality too, because my spirituality has helped me keep me going in spite of my mental illnesses. I’m learning about relationships through the relationships I’m developing in all those sessions, which then is helping me have a better relationship with myself as well.

So how did I happen to get such wonderful people? Well…to be honest…luck and trial and error. I’ve gone through 5 therapists and I’ve been to a previous Celebrate Recovery event at a church I use to attend, so I’ve learned what I’ve wanted and not wanted in my trials of recovery. My…how I shall I put this…last to third therapist (???) was a good at CBT and helped out a lot on that, but what I didn’t like was how he didn’t seem to take in mind how much God meant a lot to me just because he didn’t believe so much in God (even though he came from a Jewish background. Go figure.) Then if I were to bring up my relationships with guys in how they treat me, he’d kinda get offended, like I was offending him, which was weird. Sometimes, I think back on it, I wished I had switched to another therapist or at least got a female therapist instead.

If you’ve been in an awkward situation with a therapist that doesn’t mean you have to stop going to therapy, but rather change your therapist. I know the change is inconvenient because perhaps your current therapist was better than your previous therapist or it took you forever ever to find the most “decent” therapist. So how do you know if a therapist is right for you? How do you know if they are crossing the line (although that’s what  you do in therapy basically)? These are the things I did not like from my previous therapists:

  • Not Being Sensitive to my beliefs or Background
  • Checking the clock too much
  • Imposing religious, spiritual, political or social beliefs—In this case it was more of social beliefs; not believing in monogamous relationships, recommending me to a dating website (that ended up leading me to my assaulter) when perhaps, as much as I wanted, wasn’t ready to be in a relationship yet.
  • Not understanding what I want—When I was an undergrad, I told my therapist I felt something was wrong with me, but he didn’t seem think anything was wrong. Yeah he looked as the DSM 4 (yeah, that was a while ago), but he didn’t give me any tests that suggested I may have had a major depressive disorder and general anxiety disorder. I didn’t get diagnosed with those by another mental health professional–this time a psychiatrist—several years later. This would have saved me a lot of time.

My two new therapists have really helped me out a lot, perhaps in more ways than my previous therapists have. They are pretty much the opposite of the previous therapists… well maybe my third to last therapist did challenge me and did help me learn as well, but what I did appreciate from my latest therapists is that they showed acceptance and compassion. It helps that they don’t just see me as a patient or a patient that they’re using for their counseling degree (most of the therapists I’ve seen are at schools), but as a person too and it helps me (indirectly) learn how good relationships form. So if you don’t have a good relationship with a therapist, then like any other person in your life, you can always leave.

Below are some links that can give you advice on the good traits and bad traits of a therapist whether you meet them in person, online, over the phone  or through text. I hope these articles will prove most helpful for you! At least it will save you more time. I had to learn the hard and long way!

4 Steps to Finding the Right Therapist for You and Your Anxiety

25 Signs of a Bad Therapist: You Deserve Better

Here’s What Makes a Good Therapist: 17 Signs to Look For

How Do I Know If My Therapist Is Effective?