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Funding Treatment (Without Insurance)

Question:

I’m almost certain I have ADD, but I don’t have insurance and I can’t afford going to the doctor for help. This is straining my relationship with my family and my boyfriend. I honestly think that I need help. What should I do?

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p> I have been taking Zoloft for over six months and all is good with it. Unfortunately, I was laid off recently and because of that, I no longer have my health insurance. Hence, no money to pay for full price medication. I’ve been off the meds for about a month, feel OK but wondering what I should do about this situation? Continue to hope that I’ll do OK (which, in the past has not went too well) or sell my body to pay for the meds (which does not appeal to me at all)!Help

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  • Dr. Dombeck responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

There is a real crisis happening in America these days with regard to people having access to health care they can afford. The problem is that much worse in the mental health area, as mental health has historically been regarded as the bastard of the medical profession. Those who have insurance are, in general, not as well covered for mental health problems as they are for physical ones. People without insurance (particularly those with low income) used to be able to reply somewhat on publicly funded community mental health centers. These centers are still around, and still serving the most needy, but there is less money than every before…

All of the above being true, I’d say that it is not a good idea to not seek treatment solely because you can’t easily pay for it out of pocket. If you have ADD and medications might help you to better concentrate, you may be putting your employment or social functioning at unnecessary risk to not seek that treatment. Think about it like this. If you had a painful throbbing toothache, but didn’t have insurance, wouldn’t you be motivated to go to a dentist anyway? You’d find a way to fund it so that at least minimally you could get the pain you’re experiencing adequately addressed. You have to decide whether your ADD is ‘painful’ or motivating enough to you to put you into action mode. You can probably scrounge the the several hundred or so dollars it will cost to see a psychiatrist and get a prescription filled if you want to enough.

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p> You can’t safely bypass the step of getting diagnosed, or the step of regular (but hopefully well spaced) visits to the doctor for checkups, but you may be able to find some assistance with purchasing medications. There are several programs out there which help people see if they qualify for drug discounts. Visit Mental Help Net’s Medication Services link page for more information.

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