This is a serious issue. Over the years I have visited so many doctors and therapists of all kinds, and it has been rare that I have found any that really understand and are educated in my anxiety disorders.
I want to talk about availability of doctors. So many people here mention in passing that their doctors weren't available for advice when they needed to talk about side effects of a med, changing a med, tapering down from a med, going on a med and so on. Doctors are just not available when needed for small bits of advice. You call and they're on vacation or away, or the receptionist (who always seems to sound annoyed that you're bothering her) says they will get back to you or worse: the doctor is with a patient and you're out of luck too bad for you.
Sometimes all you need is to ask ONE LITTLE THING. But no one's there.
Then therapists. I don't even know how many there are but there are so many different KINDS: psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, clinical social workers, social workers, counsellors and on and on. Each of these charge usually exhorbitant prices. I have looked at so many kinds -- some with Ph.D.'s and more experience charge less than social workers with less experience.
the most I've been charged for a session is $185. the least I think was about $50 (I think a regular social worker charged me that.) The norm I guess is about 100-120 a session or so because I hardly ever see someone charge less than $100 no matter what their education and experience.
Even those therapists who work on 0366 or online or on the phone or in email charge that much. I found someone online today who charged for a "short email"(CND$10/each message: one message will be defined as containing 260 characters with space and will be replied within 24 hours unless notified otherwise)
For phone counseling: (CND$40/15 minutes or CND$115/45 minutes)
"regular" email counseling: (CND$115/session, One e-mail session consists text of 4500 characters with space, which will generally be replied within 24 hours unless notified otherwise)
Are these people NUTS??? She actually went to the trouble of counting out how many characters you could write. I mean no one wants to read a novel in an email but seriously?
I try to tell myself that the price is somehow justified because they have their education to pay for and their continuing education, the office space and furniture etc, the licensing, and so on. But if you're doing stuff on the phone or online then I mean you don't really need an office do you?
Just saying that sooo many people here and everywhere don't have mental health coverage. If they do it is small. I am in Canada, oh the Great Canada with the Free Health Care.
I don't get free mental health care. I can put my name on a list at a CLSC and hope in 6-8 months someone will let me see a social worker for free for about 6 months or so. That's the plan they offer. Short term, and there's a huge waiting list. And if you don't know the CLSC offers this, you will pretty much not find out except by accident (like I did. It was in passing that someone mentioned their sister got care this way.)
Our supplemental insurance (because in the land of free health care you still need to have supplemental insurance to cover so many things like mental, dental and vision etc.) covers $300 per person, per year. That's MAYBE 3 sessions if you can. And it has to be with a clinical psychotherapist. Try finding one of those for less than $100 an hour.
I'm at my wits end. I feel like all of us because our problems are anxiety, panic, ocd, etc. we're out in the cold. It's so difficult to find anyone who will keep up with us. And the "intake" (which can be at least 3 or 5 sessions just to cover the backstory of our lives and how we got this way) can cost hundreds before any real work is even begun.
On top of that, we can't even know if a person can help us just by seeing them once. I have seen people maybe 2 or 3 times before knowing or realizing that they can't help me. It's lucky if you figure that out after the first 100 dollars,but sometimes you want to have HOPE and cling to it and see them again and again before you know that it's not going to work.
It's a waste of hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars.
Then I found a therapist who seemed to speak a little differently, tackle it a little differently, show it to me in a way I had not completely tried looking at it before. And I knew he could help me. He was ( and I want to interject here that if you were the therapist I quoted above who takes email sessions, this is where you would stop reading and get paid $112 for having read what you just did
.) $120 an hour. I saw him 4 or 5 times (because I can't afford to see him weekly) and now he's moving to Ontario and not practicing here anymore.
I want to SCREAM. I want to know why it is SO HARD to find someone to CARE. Why is it all so expensive. Why does money come before helping people who are seriously suffering? We can sometimes barely make it through a torturous DAY (in some cases HOUR or less) and these people want so much money to help us get better.
I mean if I may rant just a bit more, it's not like we're gonna get cured in 2 or 3 sessions. This is probably a nice long income stream for them. We're probably going to see them at least 12 times a year, sometimes 4 times that many times. Why can't they give us a discount, or a bulk discount or something? If you see someone at $100 a week for 52 weeks, that's $5200. That's a huge investment in mental health and so many websites say, "I know it's a huge amount, but this is your mental health and you're worth it!" But isn't that more like saying the therapist thinks THEY are worth it? They almost cajole you into agreeing that it's for your health, but then if they care so much, why is the fee so HIGH?
I am just feeling so abandoned right now. I am in need of a doctor I can TRUST. And I can't find any. And I can't even afford to get well.
Then people say, "are you having thoughts of hurting yourself?" And I wonder how many of us might have thoughts like that but only AFTER years of struggling to find a doctor or someone who we can trust and who will work with us and listen to our calls now and then and get back to us when we are in crisis. Why is it something they worry about us thinking, but it's not like preventing that thinking really matters to them? They wouldn't try to prevent you from thinking it if it means lowering their fee.
How much money do they think we all make, anyway? Are we all RICH people here? We can just give $500 a month or more to therapy? In fact I am worse because I can't AFFORD to spend that $500 a month. My sister in law spend $500 a month having someone clean her house. I can't possibly afford that much to save my SANITY.
Sanity costs a lot these days, I guess.
I know it's not just me. I read the posts of people on here a lot and I end up crying so many times because I want to help everyone and I have no ability at all. I can't even help myself.