Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

Posts Tagged ‘mental health

I’m Allowed My Crazy, Too.

This entry is going to be intensely personal, probably not very profound and definitely clumsy. I apologize in advance.

Those of you who read my parenting blog (pecantheparent.com) know my family is really struggling. Those of you who read this blog know my issues with anxiety.

Anyway, I have a number of friends who are going through difficult patches; break-ups, make-ups, relationship working through-ups. Many of them also suffer from anxiety, some have PTSD and/or depression.

I have tried to be a good friend when my whole world feels like it is crashing down around me. I have invited friends to my home and tried to create a safe, but honest, space where issues could be discussed. I have a bad habit of taking on responsibility, pain, anxiety…that isn’t mine.

This week I knew, eventually, probably…certainly my own feelings were going to erupt. I tried to reach out and let my loved ones know that it was coming, it would be ugly and that I would be a hot mess.

My child is in a psychiatric facility and has been for a week. He assaulted me. He ran away for 24 hours. I haven’t run in 6 days.

Last night, at a party, it all came to a head…I was verbally abusive to my spouse when I became over stressed. I had a minor altercation with a new friend. Then, my attitude towards my husband became too much for him.

Needless to say, we left. On the way home, the badness ensued and I’ll spare the details…but the most painful thing of the entire night was being told I treated someone I care about like shit.

Not told. Berated.

Not my husband (who I had actually treated badly). But someone who has needed my friendship recently and I have provided that in all the ways I know how. If those have been inadequate, that moment was not the time…and anyway, I HAVEN’T been inadequate. I have been selfless. Yes, I’m going to give myself some props for that.

Because I’m ALLOWED that. It’s okay to say “I am a good person. I have done a good job.”

I’m not perfect, but I am a good friend and in my time of crisis I put my own mental health aside to be there for others. I’ve been yelled at (because I can “take it” apparently) at least three times by stressed out friends, I’ve been yelled at for not wanting to talk before I was ready, I’ve been told to calm down, to chill out, to “just breathe”.

Well, no. I told everyone my day would come and all my shit would surface and it would ugly and I would need that support. It came, it was ugly and instead…I got whatever last night was.

I am fortunate to have the spouse and many friends I do who have reached out today.

But, I will NOT apologize for something that not only did I not do, but even if I had done would be completely forgivable, given my current level of personal crisis and the number of times I’ve allowed others to work through their own crises with me.

Fuck. That.

I’m allowed a little bit of crazy, too.

Written by thelittlepecan

June 30, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Mental Healthcare Reform Isn’t an Option: A Cross-Post from”Pecan Does Parenting”

I write this blog to vent my frustration, provide support for other parents in similar situations and to chronicle my experience parenting a child with pediatric bipolar.

I’m a political person; loud, opinionated and a die-hard liberal. I don’t intend to make this a political blog, but today I am fuming mad.

Yesterday, we had an appointment with a psychiatrist who specialized in pediatric psychiatry and mood disorders specifically. An hour long appointment cost our family $300. A price well worth it to get our son stabilized.

The doctor is out of network and even though she is a MEDICAL doctor helping our son with a brain disease, his care by her is considered “mental health care”, whatever the fuck that means.

Our “regular” healthcare is adequate. A reasonable copay and when “out of network”, the percentage paid is realistic.

Our “mental health” care (in-network) has a $2000 deductible. So, even if we choose the doctors our insurance company has approved…it will never be reached unless he is hospitalized and even then, it may not be.

We used the Cigna approved doctor. What we wound up with was a BPD kid put on anti-depressants at first. Those of you with BPD or have a loved one on that spectrum know that this is a powder keg scenario. I knew my child was not depressed…at least not in any normative way. But, I trusted our physicians advice.

Then, Seroquel. 25 mg once a day which did nothing but put him to sleep, which he did not need. We went back, saw an incompetent nurse practitioner who AGAIN attempted to put him on ADs which I rejected. Another $100 wasted.

After that, we were rarely able to get in touch with the office, couldn’t get a change in medication on the phone and were rebuffed for asking for a refund for the clusterfuck appt.

My son got worse. He began having auditory hallucinations, panics attacks and more instances of depression along with manic raging.

I called EVERY pediatric psychiatrist I could find. The ones in our network could not see us for months.

Living with a child with bipolar is a minefield. Everything is met with defiance, annoyance, overreaction. It is IMPOSSIBLE to provide healthy family life for other children and spouses or partners. There is no “wait until 2 months from now”. Help must come NOW.

I got ONE call back. A pediatric psychiatrist, a specialist whose office manager met my frantic call with “oh, no, that medication is wrong. We will help you fix it.”

Finally someone who thought I wasn’t “overreacting”.

So, I made the $300 appointment and called my insurance company.

“We’re sorry, your out of network deductible is $4000. Can I help you find someone in network?”

“There is no one in network.”

My son needs MEDICAL CARE. He is not crazy, he has a disability that should not have to define him. I should be able to get him the care he needs without worrying if, after we have FINALLY gotten our sea legs financially, we will be broken and scrambling again.

Mental health care IS medical care. To treat it as something that is somehow fundamentally different from other types of health care is to break the finances of families and individuals, to stigmatize those in need and to deny treatment to those who desperately seek it.

Get it together, America. My son deserves better.

Written by thelittlepecan

April 18, 2013 at 9:00 am