Mental Health/Caregiver/Medical Care 2015
by – Sheri de Grom

Imagine my surprise when I read in the March/April 2015 issue of Psychology Network that psychotherapy was in a decline or even in a freefall.

According to a study published in the December 2010 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry:

  • The proportion of people getting only psychotherapy in outpatient mental healthcare facilities had fallen from 15.9 to 10.5 percent between 1998 and 2007. That’s by more than a third.
  • Individuals receiving both therapy and medications had fallen from 40 to 32.1 percent in the same time period.
  • The number of people receiving only medication had increased from 44.1 to 57.4 percent.

In the June 2013 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, researchers reviewed 34 studies of mental health treatment preferences (patients and non-patients) for anxiety and depression and found that people were three times as likely to favor psychotherapy over medications.

I remember the night during Tom’s first mental health hospitalization when he said, [and he was spot on] “I’m not coming home until you agree to see a therapist at least four times. If you believe you don’t get anything out of it, then stop. It will be your choice.” You may read that blog here.

I don’t know what clued Tom into the idea that I could possibly need a therapist. He was the one in the hospital. I was the strong one. The one that could do it all. The one who was rigid about what she ate and who didn’t go to bed until she’d run 10 miles no matter the time of day or night. I was the one with only one female friend because I didn’t trust women and I refused to work in any environment with women. Mine was a man’s world.

I guess you could say Tom recognized several traits I might want to explore and get off my back. It’s 20+ years later and I’ve never once thought of stopping therapy. Until I retired, I had to hide where I was going, but I never thought about stopping. Had my destination been discovered, I would have lost my security clearance, immediately followed by the loss of my job.

My opinion is that medicine alone will not help the depressed, the anxious, the individual with PTSD, the addicted and many other diagnoses. Life’s bumps can and do take over a person’s mind and a good therapist is worth their weight in gold.

I’ve been with my current therapist for eight years and she still doesn’t let me get away with anything.  I can’t begin to explain the depth of my growth since Elizabeth Crone came into my life. If she weren’t my therapist I believe we could be really good friends but she’s far too valuable to me as my therapist.

I love those moments when something we’ve talked about in a session comes together and it doesn’t matter where I am, I understand my new revelation comes from the work Elizabeth and I have done.

The worldview of therapy remains unfriendly and that leads to the continuing stigma which reigns supreme over mental health care.

Within the field of psychology there are numerous forms of sustaining brainwashing against psychotherapy. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM-V-TR] provides a faux legitimacy to artificially constructed psycho-medical disorders. Big pharmacy has financial, social and political clout which out-classes Little psychotherapy on every measure. Direct-to-consumer ads for psychotropic drugs turn every TV watcher or magazine reader into his or her own personal psychiatrist.

A continuing decrease in insurance reimbursements for therapy, as well as increasing reimbursements for prescriptions, means that if people want therapy, they’ll have to pay for it themselves.

What happened to mental health parity?

Having a therapist the years I worked for the government and ran interference for Tom’s healthcare, both physical and mental, became a valuable tool in my tool box for my own sanity.

My career moved us often and I never had the opportunity to develop a lasting relationship with any of the professionals I saw before I retired. They did manage to hold me together while dealing with a demanding career, difficult step-children and Tom’s illness.

Of the 15 therapist or so I met with, I recognize most of them saw their role as holding me together while I managed a difficult career and cared for Tom. I know they weren’t overlooking my underlying needs; they were giving me what I needed on a short-term basis.

Caregivers Must Have Help.

Caregivers Must Have Help.

I’m positive every full-time caregiver needs a therapist who understands their role in assisting in whatever the caregiver’s complex set of problems might be.

Why do I tell you about my therapeutic relationship with Elizabeth and expand on what a difference she has made in my life? She has set the gold standard for me and I recognize God answered my prayers when I held out my hands in prayer and begged for someone to enter my life who could help me understand me.

I continue to pray for friends who tell me they’ll never spend money on a therapist. They tell me they are never going to talk about their past with anyone. I haven’t changed anyone’s mind and if it hadn’t been for Tom’s ultimatum, I’d still not know why I don’t like water except to drink and shower or why a long narrow shop had the power to keep me out on the street, no matter how much I wanted to enter. I couldn’t fasten my seat-belt before I entered therapy in 1987.

I’m not following the research trend. If I don’t see Elizabeth as often as I did when we first started working together it’s only because we’ve worked hard and have accomplished more than I could have ever dreamed. I only have to look back in my journals to find the person I used to be.

Welcome to fall everyone. I’m looking forward to cooler temperatures and hope to have time to turn the soil and prepare it for the planting of wildflower seeds and much more. I’ve been looking at the seed catalogs for months and it’s time to place my orders.

What are your thoughts? Do you think medication alone is enough for mental health? How do you wish to be cared for?

About Sheri de Grom

Retired Fed/JAG, 5 yrs. on Capitol Hill. Former book buyer for B and N. Concerned citizen of military drawdown. Currently involved in mental healthcare reform, health care strategist and actively pursuing legislative change wherein dual retirees are exempt from enrolling in Medicare at their own discretion without losing tertiary healthcare benefits. Monitor and comment on Federal Register proposed legislation involving Mental Health, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, Medicare and rural libraries. Licensed OSHA Inspector to include Super Fund sites. Full time caregive to Vietnam era veteran. Conceptualized, investigated possible alternatives, authored, lobbied for, and successfully implemented Title X, Section 1095 (known as the Third Party Collection Program of Federal Insurance).
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  1. We all need someone Sheri we can Trust that we feel free to share our ups and downs with, someone whom we can look into their eyes and know they really care, we are not just a number to them or just contributing to their income and it seems you have found this in Elizabeth Crone and yes let’s give Thanks to God that you did.

    But to be honest Psychology or Medicine or both is not the complete answer, we need like you and I have and other Christians, Faith in a God of the impossible, He alone can take what we have endured in life and bring something good out of it as He has done with your Love and support for Tom in very difficult circumstances, you selflessly now help others which we also give Thanks to God for, He prepares in advance the good work He has for us to do knowing what our heart focus will be; Thank you Sheri for your Faithfulness to think of others not just yourself.

    Christian Love and Blessings – Anne.

    • Anne – Thank you for stopping by. How are you? You are so correct that my God is an awesome God and without his direct love and care, I would never have been able to stand under the trials presented to me with Tom’s illness. Once I understood the message that I must turn both myself and Tom over to God, that he would make the right decisions for us, and yes I still had to work hard to help with the decision process, I knew my God would be at my side.
      When I finally realized the message, it reminded me of a poem I often read about us behaving like children who don’t want to turn our toys over for repair and keep taking them back time and time again. That was me. I would turn Tom over to God and myself, and then I’d get this lofty idea I could do a better job. Now I know better. God has the answers and I must be still and listen for guidance.
      Elizabeth has a strong faith and she and her husband are bringing their children up with a strong Christian faith. As parents, they don’t only talk the talk but they walk the walk each and every day. This is also one of the reasons I admire her so much. Her children are teens and you know what a difficult age that can be.
      The first line of my devotional this morning reads, “Pour all of your energy into trusting ME. It is through trust that you stay connected to ME, aware of MY Presence.” From “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. Blessings to you Anne.

  2. I don’t have a therapist, but when my husband struggled with a two-year bout of anxiety and depression, I did see a therapist, and also dove into a yoga/meditation practice. Fifteen years later, I practice five days a week, and teach yoga to kids with issues. Some kind of outlet, some way to gain perspective, and as you say, keep yourself accountable to yourself, is essential for all of us, and almost impossible to do alone when you’re caregiving. My husband recovered. He continues to get good care, and now has a large support network of friends and a tool kit of better habits. He could not have gotten to the good place he is without mental health care. No, medication alone isn’t enough. For him it is exercise, every day, better sleep habits, access to care when he needs it, healthy food, a group of men friends he meets with weekly.

    Thanks as always for reminding us to support insurance coverage for mental health care, and to be courageous and seek help when needed.

  3. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  4. I agree with you that the caregiver needs care Sheri, I had counselling when I was caring for my mother and it helped a lot just to have an independent person to talk to.

  5. The only thing I have to base my thoughts on, are what I have ‘seen’. And no, I don’t think medicine alone helps. That’s all I’ve really got Sheri, but I really appreciated this post. I think this ‘trend’ is going to continue to cause more problems.

    • Colleen – If I’d only had medicine when I’d crashed and burned, I wouldn’t be alive today. There’s a big trend to integrate mental health into where the patient receives their mental health care but I’m not sure that’s the total fix either. I’m 150% against general practitioners prescribing psychiatric medications and I’m wondering how much integration most health plans are really willing to invite in for the care of patients.
      There’s a lot of talk but that’s all I’ve seen so far. If a patient doesn’t understand his/her behavior, how can they ever possibly get well?

  6. I wonder what will happen if/when I become a caretaker. Both my parents died before that happened, and my husband is so darn strong, he’d refuse caretaking. I tend toward the positive–that I can overcome and will always have a Plan Z. But what if none of that works? Because you strike me as the same sort of person. I have no idea what I’d do.

    • Jacqui – Do you mean, what will happen if/when you need a caretaker? If your question is as you stated, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll become the caretaker you need to be. We never know what we are capable of until challenged with what we honestly believe is the impossible. At that point we take charge and follow through day in and day out and learn we have strengths we never imagined.
      Now, if what you’re really asking is what would you do if you needed caretaking, that’s a totally different perspective. That’s the kind of thing that keeps me awake at night. I’ve always been the individual that wanted everyone to leave her alone when she didn’t feel good.
      I had a taste of needing care and not having it when I came home from the hospital in 2012 after a 6 hour surgery wherein I’d lost over 1/2 of my blood. I wrote about it in my blog, Medicare I Hate You. BC/BS would have kept me in the hospital 12 more days but Medicare said I had to go and Medicare is the first payer — gurr! My doctor wanted to send me to a skilled nursing facility but none would have me because I WAS TOO SICK. It left me nowhere to go but home where I had no one to take care of me.
      What I didn’t know at the time was that I also had a raging hospital acquired infection. I’ve had several doctors tell me it’s a miracle I didn’t die.
      So, back to your plan Z. I’m anxious to learn what it is because someday we’re going to need it!

  7. willowdot21 says:

    Tablets and medication are all well and good but there is no point in just throwing medication at the patient without there being a care plan in place . I have seen my friend’s daughter bouncing in and out of a Mental Health Unit , while she is in the unit all seems fine and she has medication and support from staff… then she is discharged with no concrete support no care plan and of course within days she has either harmed herself or gone to a crisis unit and been readmitted ….and so it goes on. xxxxx ❤

    • Yes, indeed, the popping in and out of a hospital becomes a terrible cycle. It has tragic consequences for the patient and unbelievable grief for the family. The lack of support our countries mental health programs offer are medieval in their approach.
      Tom and I have been fortunate but I’ve also paid the price for an insurance plan that allows for weekly therapy. I gave up a lot to keep this plan during my career and continue to pay a hefty premium to keep it now that I’ve retired but I’m not about to give it up. I believe it’s the only real bargaining chip I have left when it comes to obtaining quality health care.

  8. Sheri, another great article and how I can relate to being afraid to go to therapy because of your job. That’s what basically stopped me from getting any when I was facing some stumbling blocks. Thankfully, I found my way through and glad you were able to as well. All my best to you.

    • I just noted you are going to be away for awhile. Take the time you need and I’ll be looking forward to your return.
      And, I’m glad you also made it through to find help on the other side. It’s tough to make our way sometimes.

      • Thanks Sheri, gave myself a month off to begin with and we’ll see by the end of the month if I can resume. It is tough to make our way at times, so I am thankful for my faith during those times. Keep well.

        • I so agree. Days that seem so black and hopeless gang up on me at times. Days roll by and I’m finally able to realize if I don’t take a break from what I require of myself, I will not be able to continue doing what it is I want to do. I’d only planned to take a month the last time I took a break but think it was more like 3 or 4 months when I finally came back to blogging. I’ve come to believe every blogger takes time away. I’ll be here waiting for you upon your return. Take good care of yourself and allow others to help also.

  9. lbeth1950 says:

    Thank God you found a therapist and can afford therapy.

    • Finding the right therapist required a search but well worth it when I finally met Elizabeth. When Tom first became ill, I researched all of the insurance plans available to federal employees and looked for the one with the best mental health care coverage. Federal BC/BS happened to be the one. More expensive yes, but still the best coverage and that was what I was after. With the combination of BC/BS and Tricare (due to Tom being retired Military) we were covered 100%. This wouldn’t have been true with any other plan.
      It was a real mess when I turned 65 and was forced into Medicare. I still paid my monthly premium for BC/BS and of course we still had Tricare but the federal gov in their so-called wisdom said we also had to buy into Medicare Part B. We neither wanted or needed Medicare Part B and they do not pay for therapy.
      From the time I turned 65 until almost 3 years later, Elizabeth didn’t get paid one dime while we fought Medicare to adjudicate claims properly so that they could then be paid by BC/BS. Elizabeth continued to see me and didn’t charge me one penny. She really does have a golden heart. She received no compensation for the back appointments.
      It takes about 10 months for her to get partial payment now and she never asks me for more. We have a wonderful working relationship and my life is so much better due to having our time together.

  10. GP Cox says:

    Having a therapist you trust is a large part of the battle I feel. Problems need to be looked into, bot just blanketed by medication.
    All my best to Tom. Take care.

    • Hey, G.P. It’s good to see you. Tomorrow’s the day I speak at the VA’s 15th Annual Mental Health Summit as the ‘Caregiver’s Voice.’ I’m looking forward to the experience and a bit anxious at the same time. I hope to open up a discussion regarding the ‘Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act of 2015.’ The current proposed amendment is for caregivers of veterans injured in battle only. This of course excludes thousands of caregivers of ill veterans and is exclusionary by it’s language.
      The original Act applied to veterans injured after 9/11. I know I have a battle ahead of me. If the VA wants to avoid paying absorbent nursing home fees they honestly need to take a look at what caregivers are doing in the home for free.

      • GP Cox says:

        You have no need to be anxious, Sheri – I KNOW you’ll breeze through it like a champ! You’re organized, always prepared and you know how to speak on any given subject. I look forward to hearing the feedback you receive.

        • G.P. – Thanks for the big boost of confidence. I’ve done so many things I’m passionate about from behind the computer screen it was hard to remember I’d be okay yesterday. One of the problems was I didn’t have a clear picture of who I would be speaking to but because my portion wasn’t until the afternoon and I was there from the beginning remarks yesterday morning, I knew the audience was made up of all professional providers. Having that bit of information helped tremendously. I feel really good about the potential impact I had and I hope several good things are going to result from my presentation. I also made some good contacts for the amendment to the legislation I’m working on.
          I’ve made a lot of new contacts for veteran advocacy and can hardly wait to put some of them into play.
          Yesterday was a good day for me. I came home feeling as though my work had actually mattered and that was a darn nice feeling. Thanks for being such a supporter.

          • GP Cox says:

            You know I’m always here for you and no one can sway me otherwise. With your intelligence and adaptability – there is no stopping you in whatever your goals. This is exactly the news I’ve been waiting for, Sheri and no one deserves the recognition more than you!!
            Take care and all my best to Tom.

            • I’ll still be working with veterans from all walks of life and their caregivers but in a different capacity. It will be a long uphill journey but one that needs to be fought. The volunteer coordinator spoke briefly about ‘our program’ and how it had grown from a simple bit of entertainment for a few WWII Veterans and now includes well over 1,000 veterans in one capacity or another. We are working on bringing grandchildren who live locally to come in to visit their grandparent and share a 30 minutes of the grandparent doing storytelling and then 30 minutes or so of activity with the child and the grandparent. We hope to have this off the ground by Thanksgiving. For veterans without grandchildren, we have brownie troops and cub scout troops asking to help. [This is also where we hope to get veteran stories on tape].

  11. rabbiadar says:

    I regard my therapist as a gift of God. I started in therapy almost 35 years ago because I was terrified of what was happening in my head, and I had a baby son who depended upon me. I have been mostly lucky in therapists, having had one great one, a couple of good ones, a couple of mediocre ones and one very, very bad one. My advice to those I refer for therapy is that if nothing clicks, try another, but don’t give up.

    A lot of people want to use clergy for cheap (free) therapy. I have a policy that I will see someone three times for pastoral counseling, but on the third time, we discuss the fact that I will not meet with them again until they are in therapy. I feel that strongly about it. I give referrals, and I don’t want to hear (as I sometimes have) that they’ve seen their GP for anti-depressants so now can we meet again, rabbi?

    Good therapy is a great adventure. It is also a life saver.

    • Yes, yes and yes. I’ve advocated for years against seeing a GP for anti-depressants. The mind is a fragile instrument and GPs do not have the training necessary to know which medications are the right ones to prescribe. Even with a good psychiatrist it often takes trial and error to find the medication that’s right for you but at least it’s a doctor that is a specialist in his field.
      I understand about pastoral counseling and I love that you have a solid boundary in place. You aren’t leaving anyone hanging. Obviously your referral list is a group of trusted professionals or they wouldn’t be on your list.
      I hadn’t thought of therapy as an adventure but you are so right. I’ve learned so much about myself now that I’m in one place and not having to think about filling in a new therapist about my past and starting all over. I’d never had that luxury before due to always relocating with my career.
      Once we settled here, it took me almost 2 years to find Elizabeth. I agree, you have to keep looking because there’s going to be a right therapist for everyone somewhere. God answered my prayers when he brought Elizabeth into my life.
      You are a wise woman.

  12. Maureen says:

    meds are definitely not enough

  13. I think a combination of therapy and meds works the best. A therapist can be such an amazing support, and without medications, well… you may just not get well if your body needs them. Depends on the individual person in this case.

    • Hi, Michelle. It’s nice to see you here today. I’m a firm believer that meds without therapy is a waste of time in most cases. Why take the medication if you aren’t willing to work on the underlying cause. I understand some of the more serious mental illnesses don’t always respond to therapy but for me as a caregiver, I would never have made it this far without the therapeutic support.

  14. Elyse says:

    I think that in your caretaker roll that a therapist can be invaluable, and I’m really glad you are doing it. Caretaking must be so isolating and so difficult. Friends are great but …

    When I was first diagnosed with colitis (that turned out to be Crohn’s), I was sent to one therapist after another, as the prevailing theory was that the illness was psychological. The results were invariably silly — and I’ve tried to write about it without success.

    But sometimes, well, it works. And it can be invaluable. I’m glad you have this outlet.

    • Elyse – I well understand the business of doctors believing colitis and Crohn’s disease being all in the head. I suffered from IBS for well over 20 years [and it was at it’s worse when we lived in DC] and not one doctor ever diagnosed it. I had nurses tell me they suffered from the same symptoms and shared their coping mechanisms but never a doctor. My gastro ailments are an embarrassingly long list and cause me chronic pain. However, in my case some are definitely not tied to any mental theory [i.e. I have a slow emptying stomach and can only eat 2 to 3 oz at one time]. People used to think I had an eating disorder. A slow emptying stomach is not a psychiatric disorder! I won’t bore you with the other gastro issues but I can see how some could be caused by my past as I was sexually abused for 13 years by an aunt and her lesbian lover. I had kept this secret buried until I met Elizabeth and through lots of hard work, we’ve been able to deal with many of the issues that can and sometimes do still creep into my life today. It certainly explains why I’ve never had a lot of women friends or hired women and always worked in a man’s world.
      Tom is incredibly sensitive and all those years ago he had to have picked up on how tough our continuing road with his health was going to be but even more importantly, for me to be healthy, I needed to confront my own demons. I’d pushed them away by years of being a workaholic, compulsive exercise addict, rigid in so many of the ways I did things and before I met Tom, I was on the verge of becoming a full-blown alcoholic although my work always came first.
      I don’t see Elizabeth as often as I used to but we still schedule regular appointments and I know she’s always just a phone call away should I need her.

  15. inesephoto says:

    I was a caregiver for my mother, and I agree with you. It is a mentally and physically draining job.
    Taking meds and not seeing therapist is very dangerous for a mental patient. Such patients should be monitored for the side effects. And medication is not everything. Mental patients need much more than that.

    • Inese – I never knew how much I would lose of my own life when I became a full-time caregiver for Tom. I knew as the years went by that a therapist was vital to my own mental health. It’s easy for thoughts to become a bit unbalanced when you feel alone in the fight to care for someone else. I also totally agree with you that an individual taking psychiatric medications not only needs to be monitored by a psychiatrist for those meds but also must be in regular therapy.
      We have many general practitioners prescribing psychiatric drugs and that scares me. They have not studied the mind and psychology enough to know what the patient needs and what the possible ramifications might be. Simply prescribing something so that someone feels better is never a good thing in my opinion.

      • inesephoto says:

        Absolutely agree with you, GPs are not trained for that. Also, somebody has to take responsibility and do assessment to make sure that the medicines were swallowed, not hidden. This not always happens at home.
        There is a lot more. We had a nurse assigned to visit my mother once a week. I remember how good it was having her.

        • One of the things I’m currently working on is respite care for caregivers of Veterans. An amendment to previous legislation has been introduced but it’s not wide enough and clearly precludes many caregivers from receiving any relief at all [and I’m one of them]. It’s baffling to me how disconnected the VA and congress can be when it comes to what the weakest link in veteran care is. Yesterday I learned that 17 out of every 22 veterans that commit suicide are not enrolled with the VA and have never approached them for care. That’s how much they are mistrusted and I clearly understand that. Tom wouldn’t receive any care from the VA if it weren’t for his psychiatrist. That’s the only care he receives through the VA!

  16. I agree with you that all the drugs that are available for people with mental problems are not the “sole” answer. They help some people and others they don’t. But I’ve always been told that IF you’re going to take meds, then you should be seeing a therapist at the same time. I’ve found with all the people I know that they take the drugs but never go to talk to someone about their problems. The last time my daughter was in the mental hospital for a suicide attempt, we wanted to take her off the meds since they weren’t working. Right after that they discharged her. Her psychiatrist told us, “no meds so you’re outta here”. That’s just the way it works. Which is terrible because it places therapy at the bottom of the rung in importance. That’s terrible.

    • Patti – Yes, you and I agree on this one, as we do on most issues. While we know the drugs weren’t helping your daughter the psychiatrist was probably using them as his excuse for gaining additional paid days in the hospital for treatment. Stabilizing medications is always a criteria the insurance company will approve once a patient is in the hospital. However, there’s no importance put on why the patient became suicidal in the first place. That’s where the real work of the patient and the therapist comes into play. I’m a firm believer that if a patient doesn’t see a therapist [and a good one at that] and allowed to work through whatever their life problems are, then you end up in a viscous circle of repeated hospitalizations. When we compare the cost of the average in-patient stay to the cost of therapy, it doesn’t take long to see how many therapy appointments an insurance company could pay before it cost them as much as one hospitalization.
      I know I had the best of all worlds when Elizabeth continued to see me when she wasn’t getting paid to do so. I’m not sure what I would have done during that time without her. She spent hundreds of her own hours working with my insurance company along with Medicare and then to top it all off, she still battles with them every single time.
      There’s a therapist out there somewhere who will fight for you. And, yes, Elizabeth is one in a million. I know I’m blessed to have her in my life for I probably would not have lived this long without her.
      Another thought, why aren’t the hospitals providing you with an after-care or continuum of care plan for your daughter. We’ve never had a psych discharge for Tom that included in the list was a set appointment to see a therapist. The appointment had already been set by the hospital staff and approved through our insurance. Why aren’t you getting this service? You have a legitimate complaint if you aren’t.

  17. Sheri, I couldn’t agree with you more. I have been seeing mytherapist for 7 or so years and she has saved my life!!!I adore her. . .and as you say, she would make an awesomefriend, but I need her more as a therapist. God Bless you!Sandy Ozanich

    I invite you to visit my blogs:

    Blessed are the Cracked – for they are the ones who let in the light! When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then there will be peace in this world. . .

    Date: Sun, 13 Sep 2015 22:13:12 +0000 To:

    • Sandy – Thanks for dropping in to read with me and leaving a comment. I will get over to your blogs and check them out. I’m horrified by what the Affordable Care Act did to Mental Health Care. When it passed, mental health care was set back at least 30 years. I’ve often wondered how many actually read the 2,000+ document and more importantly understood what they read before they voted affirmatively. All hope of parity went out the window with the passage of the act and once the Supreme Court passed their deciding votes, we’re more or less stuck with the law as it stands. There’s little that can be done toward doing away with it and that’s the sad part for every woman, man and child in the United States. We no longer have hope for obtaining the best medical care, and it doesn’t matter rather it be mental or physical.

      • Sheri, I hear you. I never wanted this ACA to pass. It’s full of things that the average person has no idea about.

        As for my blogs, I haven’t written anything for awhile. I will be getting back to that soon. I have had a difficult year. I resigned my job because it became very difficult working there. I’ll explain it at a later date, but working in a place where people are being emotionally and verbally abused is something I can’t do, especially when we told the “powers that be” what is happening and just getting blown off, in a monastery no less. Can’t do it.
        Sheri, I do wish you ands your husband well. We’ll talk soon.

        • Sandy – There’s nothing worse than having management ignore the needs of their employees. It doesn’t matter what the need is. Management must listen and be willing to make modifications. I saw a lot of managers refuse to make change in government, thus we have much in our government that’s inefficient and broken beyond repair. I’ve always believed my staff was just as good as I was plus I had to show them I was willing to do whatever it was I asked them to do. Management doesn’t have many perks tied to it if you are honestly a top-notch manager.
          I’ve always liked management that worked their way up from the bottom rung on the ladder of the organization. That way, we have to learn to get along with everyone, not burn our bridges as we go and you know every aspect of the job before you tell someone else to do it. I believe we become stronger and more understanding of our employees when we’ve started at the bottom.

  18. The primary reason, psychotherapy is so rare is because private insurance companies refuse to pay for it – they’re only willing to pay for pills – which only bring about full recovery in about 50% of patients. They also refuse to pay for family therapy, clubhouse treatment or dietary interventions. This has become especially important with the new research linking autism, schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder with dsyfunctional intestinal bacteria.

    • I was surprised to read that Medicare will pay Primary Care physicians for nutrition counseling beginning in 2016. Unfortunately, they won’t pay if the information comes from a diabetic nutrition counselor or some other specialized source. With the implementation of Obamacare we saw fewer psychotherapy services offered than ever before. Psychiatrist are paid but not therapist. Of course it’s psychiatrist that write the prescriptions.

  19. Linda Lee says:

    This is an excellent post. And I agree 100% with everything you said here.

    To answer your question, I would be totally lost or probably dead long before now without therapy. And I’m not on any medication at this time for my PTSD, nor have I been for the past two years. The side effects with every psychotropic drug I tried were far worse for me than any slight benefit.

    Everyone is different, of course. My combat veteran husband is on 2 medications for his PTSD and he seems to do much better with the meds, although the side effects he suffers are more than a little troublesome.

    I just posted a short article a few moments ago about how we are losing our wonderful therapist this week. He is moving out of state. My husband and I have both been seeing him for about five years. We are very sad right now, and feeling a little lost.

    • Linda – I just read your blog and my heart hurt with each blow you and your husband had to handle this week and for the weeks to come. We hadn’t planned to retire here but Tom’s psychiatrist is the best we’ve ever had and I knew in my heart we’d never have a better one for him. I tried to convince the doc to move but no such deal so here we are. Of course we were new to the area so we didn’t have the traumatic loss you have. It always takes me a long time to find those perfect fits for all medical care and for mental health care, bringing someone up to date is truly difficult. It’s not like you can give them a file to read and they know everything they need to know.
      My thoughts are with you and your husband.

      • Linda Lee says:

        Thank you so much for your caring and understanding. We went to our evening church service and after praying with our small fellowship, I feel a deep inner peace. Whatever happens next, we will be OK.

        • Linda Lee – I’ve never doubted you are one strong woman. I’m glad you found that deep inner peace with your church family. I’ve thought about you and your husband since I last read your blog and it’s reminded me of how I had to pack in haste and move so many times with my career. How at times it seemed I’d been in a location just long enough to say hello to a barista at a coffee shop and a community pharmacy we liked and then it was time to move on. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my work and I even loved the constant moving but once Tom became ill it became more and more difficult. As I become older, I’ve learned to appreciate my friends and well understand just how valuable we are to one another.
          But, I also have to remind myself not to shut others out. Just because Tom is ill, I still deserve to have friends and if that means they have to come to the house because Tom isn’t up to going out to dinner or I can’t leave him alone – then it just has to be okay that I invite friends to the house from time to time. I gave my social life away when Tom became so very ill and I don’t want to do that any longer.

  20. Praying along with you. Sometime it feels like that’s all we can do. Hugs to you. ❤

  21. ksbeth says:

    at this very moment i am writing this to you as i sit in an er psych waiting room with a family member and we have been here for 27 hours waiting for a bed and insurance approval.

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