Cydniey Buffers (cydniey) wrote,
Cydniey Buffers

on mental health, money and medicare

let's talk about money and mental health. not private mental health for the rich, but mental health in america for the general public. i will give myself as an example.

because of my mental illness, i am on social security disability. my total income is roughly $850 a month. $100 of that goes directly to medicare, i never see it. my psychiatrist appointment costs me, after insurance (my doctor does not take medicare, so a bit of private mental health) is $125. so i only see him every 3 months for medication maintenance. my medications are $300 every month. i won't do the math, you have a calculator, it's easy to see that there isn't enough money left over for my rent, let alone food or bills.

i've been to a medicare clinic.after a three month wait for an appointment, i waited for two hours past my appointment in a small room teeming with others like me, most in bad straits. i saw the doctor for less than 5 minutes. he asked some cursory questions, did i hear voices? did they tell me to hurt people? did i want to kill myself? then prescribed three arbitrary and very expensive prescriptions and told me to come back in three months. i was charged $35. i couldn't afford the meds and ended up in the psychiatric hospital for stabilization. i'm still paying that off.

doc and i were best friends 13 years ago when we decided during a trip to las vegas to get married so i could share his medical benefits. we are no longer best friends, but we stay together so that i can get care. we also stay together now because social security named him my guardian, and my checks and forms come to him, not me.

without doc, i could not afford to get quality care. even with him paying the leftovers, there is still not enough for me to see a therapist and work through whatever is wrong with me.

for those who are not on SSI and cannot hold a full time job with benefits, there is no way to afford food, shelter and mental health care. this country has failed the mentally ill. i don't know what they do in other countries, i don't know what the solution is. but more stigma isn't. mental health in this country is a privilege, and a whole lot of people do not have that option. too many people.

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