Friday, April 30, 2010

Mental Health Care Costs Skyrocket © Megan Snider

“Mental health problems do not affect three or four out of every five persons but one out of one"
-- Dr. William Menninger

The rising cost of psychiatric medication is unbelievable. Patients desperately need their medicine, some of which they may be physically and psychologically dependent upon. Mentally ill people may have conditions that interfere with their income and access to cash. Some of us are shut ins, people with unstable moods, and unbalanced brain chemicals. It's hard to get out there and work for the mentally ill who have serious conditions.

So, what to do?

Today I was prescribed a new medication. I called the pharmacy for the price. This price is a monthly quote. The medication cost was $59.95. I could not afford it. This forced my mental health providers to scramble for a new generic medication I can afford. The shame is that the medication I was initially prescribed probably would have worked much better than my therapist's second choice. The second choice was influenced by cost effectiveness, not psychological effectiveness.

Many people in the U.S. struggle with the same problems I do. What medications can I afford this month? What medication do I have to stretch out until next month? How can I get by?

It is a sad situation that we have to face. Without resources and money to draw upon, many people are left stranded psychologically and emotionally with their backs up against the wall.

© Megan Snider

1 comment:

  1. On the matter of illness and how it affects income potential:

    As one in the same situation, I'm at a loss as to how to respond. No matter what the condition, be it mental or physical (or both), we have to make some pretty hard choices about meds, plans, etc. The illness is always the big elephant in the room; the thing that we have to walk around, spend around, plan around, work around... A constant stress.

    I feel blessed to have found a writing niche that works for me, but I still live on the financial edge. My son, younger and less experienced, is a long way from security in so many ways.

    I've always found it ironic that we, as a society, do more to deal with addiction than we do for the mentally ill. I wonder how many people become addicted BECAUSE they're mentally ill. It's all very complex.