Hope • Help • Healing

M E N T A L • H E A L T H

Last week I had an appointment with the physiatrist at the U of M for the mental health study I am participating in.

{Quick back story if you aren’t aware. I suffer from PTSD from a past abusive relationship, actually several abusive relationships. After I had our baby girl, I had severe postpartum anxiety & depression- that I’m still trying to get a hold on.}

To be honest the whole process with the study has been annoying & frustrating on my end. I’m trying my best to stick with the program so I can help with getting better care in this area. For some reason the U.P. (Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where we currently live) is almost like cut off from the rest of the world when it comes to finding certain kinds of health care. My hubby lived in Alaska for 4 years and said he had better access to things there than we do here.

That being said, GOOD mental health care is really HARD to find. I mean there are doctors up here that will write you prescriptions and their are a handful of counselors here, but no psychiatrists or physiologists. This whole process has been so difficult that I’m ready to be done with the study and find care on my own.

This has been the process over the past 8 months-

• The Health Care Manager contacts me & asks if I need anything.

• I’ve been handed over to 3 separate care managers as they seem to be having issues keeping them on staff. That’s been frustrating in itself.

•I tell them how I’m feeling and fill out a survey. We discuss my medication and how it’s making me feel & any side effects.

• I’ve been wanting a change of medication doe several months now because I don’t like the side effects of the one I am on. Stopping an antidepressant is hard when you have been on a high dose for so long. Withdrawal symptoms are real!

• The cafe manager relays my concerns to the medical doctor.

• The medical doctor talks to the physiatrist.

• The physiatrist tells the doctor what prescriptions he thinks they should prescribe or what ones to keep me on, take me off of, change etc.

• The doc fills the prescriptions {Sometimes this gets lost in translation and they don’t get filled or they get filled improperly.}

• The care manager is supposed to call me back. {Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t, I honestly usually end up calling and ask if everything has been taken care of.} Then the care manager fills me in on what the doc & psychiatrist said.

This process takes about 2 weeks. Literally.

I feel like a lot of what I say and what the psychiatrist & medical doctor say gets lost in translation when it’s relayed back and forth so much and that I’m not fully being heard or told things properly.

I’m not sure if you know anything about depression or anxiety medication, BUT It takes about 4-6 weeks to take full effect.

So we have tried 3 medications that have given me undesirable side effects that won’t go away. I’m back at square one feeling like I haven’t gotten any help within the entire 8 months of the study.

This past week I got to actually meet with the psychiatrist via telemed (it’s like a secure version of Skype). I explained to him my struggles and frustrations and he totally understood that.

We have created a new action plan with finding the right medication & a counselor that does the right kind of therapy for my needs.

He told me since I’ve been shuffled around so much because of the staffing issues that he would be willing to meet with me directly from now on, which is also hopeful.

My biggest concern is not actually for myself in this process. It’s realizing how hard it is to get the right type of help in this area.

Now, as you know, I’m a pretty strong advocate for myself. I know when to reach out and ask for help if I need it. {even when I’m being stubborn about it, I can still realize the warning signs.}

But just think about someone who doesn’t recognize those signs in themselves. Or if someone was suicidal or if their medication gave them horrible side effects, and they felt hopeless & knew it would take too long to get actual help –

I have a legitimate fear for that persons well being. Their life could literally be in danger.

So this is why I’m sticking with the process of the study even though it’s been hard & frustrating.

They never promised me it would be easy, that’s why it’s called a study.

But I know it will be worth it.

I’m determined to help bring better care to this area and other rural areas!

If you feel like you need help there are several resources that can help you right NOW!

In our area we have a help line called Dial Help that is there 24/7 to offer help & support.

• Dial Help • Phone: 1 (906) 482-9077

We also have a woman’s Shelter for domestic violence survivors & their children. {I’m actually finishing up my volunteer training there this week!}

• Barbra Kettle-Gundlach Shelter •

Phone: 1 (906) 337 – 5623

• National Suicide Lifeline• Available 24/7

Phone: 1-800-273-8255

Live Chat: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/

Remember there is always hope & always someone that can help, so you can start healing. 💙💜

13 thoughts on “Hope • Help • Healing

  1. Carissa Davis

    Thanks for sharing your story. It seems hard and it took some bravery, but it definitely helps you recover and you are inspiring others that they can do the same!(:

    Liked by 1 person

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