About 4-years ago I was diagnosed with type 1 bipolar disorder, rapid cycling, psychosis, and PTSD (due to childhood trauma). Like many of you before I was diagnosed I held down a job, though, I struggled to maintain it.
I never understood why until I was diagnosed.
As of today, I have been unemployed for several years due to my diagnosis. On many occasions at work I went into (what I now know) a major depression and anxiety attack. I would eventually leave my job and move to a totally different county. I haven’t looked back.
My husband is the sole bread-winner now.
I tried to volunteer at a friends salon but only lasted a few weeks. I had major paranoia, anxiety attacks and went into mania. I was supposed to start full-time work with her but was unable too.
From talking to many of you, I’ve learned that some are still struggling to hold down jobs, and some (like me) will never again enter the work force. A few people I have spoken with have gone on temporary disability to permanent disability.This is a major hit to your pocket-book, for sure!
Trying to manage a tight budget with a family (for example) is somewhat difficult, to damn near impossible! We all have bills to pay, and need to put food on the table. This has (like many of you) hit me in a financial way that makes it hard to live.
With all I have to handle and manage due to my diagnosis’ makes stretching that dollar a real balancing act. Like many of you (besides the typical bills) I have many doctors appointments, lab tests, prescriptions, and therapy.
One of my antipsychotic medications cost $800 a month (USD). I, as many can not afford it. Luckily, I have local medical insurance that covers most of my prescriptions. Doctors appointments usually cost a co-pay of at least $20-$35 (USD). That isn’t to bad, but with as many appointments per month to see a psychiatrist and primary care physician, it can be costly!
Then there’s therapy, for some it may be covered through your medical insurance. However, there are usually limits as to how many visits your insurance will cover. Then it’s out-of-picket cost! I see my therapist on a weekly basis, like many other patient’s who need the regular visits to help manage the disorder, etc.
My insurance covers my weekly appointments, but some of you have to pay it out-of-pocket. This can run on average from $80-$130 (USD). Few have that ability to fork out!
I’ve never really broken down my total cost of what my bipolar disorder costs me, mainly due to not wanting to freak out or go into panic over it. I’m grateful for the insurance I have and how much it covers. However, I know many aren’t as fortunate. I do count my lucky stars!
I (like many) have to cut corners sharply to manage all the doctors appointments, paying the balance of what my insurance doesn’t cover for prescriptions, and the same for therapy.
As I mentioned this is a hot topic for discussion. But rarely talked about. I believe it’s important to open the floor, as we all can help one another figure out how to sort through this mess.
Share your story! How do you manage to make it through?