As many of you may know, I’ve been pretty bummed out lately because my therapist I’ve been seeing about a year now is graduating and moving on from internship. As I see her through a clinic, I am not allowed to follow her to her new business, or, at least, I’ve signed a contract saying I wont. As our time together has come to an end (today is our last appointment) I have been thinking about the improvement I’ve been seeing in my life. Less panic attacks, more fun mood charts. Less spontaneous angry outbursts, more of an ability to shield myself from people’s (seeming) attacks on me. More perspective, more assertiveness, and more relaxation.
It seems to me we’re learning our whole lives anyway, why not speed that process up a bit? Learn through an actual teacher?
Anyway, the last several weeks I have been trying like the dickens to find a new therapist. And that is no easy feat, apparently. Finding one that is somewhere between work and my home, is near a bus route, female, available after 5 pm, specializes in trauma and anxiety (which is what I am currently focusing on), while also not being someone who generally creeps me out or makes me uncomfortable has been tricky, to say the least. I’ve probably contacted about 15 different people, interviewed two, and have just now set up a first appointment with one of them.
In order to reach that appointment, though, and be able to bill my insurance, I am asked to see a general physician and get a referral.
Now, the definition of “referral” is pretty different depending on the insurance company. Sometimes it is making a phone call, sometimes it is paperwork, and sometimes it is a magical word that doesn’t actually mean anything, it is just there to scare people away.
My insurance kicks in next week, and I figure if I can make an appointment with my general doctor in the days after that, I can make it to my first appointment with my new therapist by the end of August.
I saw my psychiatrist yesterday and he caught me wringing my hands.
“Can you do something for me?” I asked.
“What is it?” he said.
“Can you write a little letter that says my diagnosis and that you would suggest I get therapy?” I asked.
Then I explained what I just explained above. A general practitioner (someone I may not have ever met before) is going to have to decide whether therapy would benefit me, and will be the deciding factor between my insurance covering it or not. All I wanted, really, was a letter of recommendation -a letter to recommend… therapy!
It was first thing in the morning and I think he was a little miffed, but he wrote the letter for me. I really just want something that says I’m not just someone walking in off the street claiming I have bipolar disorder and want to see a therapist. Some kind of… members only card, or something. A nice, smooth ramp to help me jump through those insurance hoops!
As much of a benefit as insurance is, the beginning stages are so frustrating and stressful. Trying to do things in an order that unlocks special level-ups and gets you that damn flute so you can travel through several worlds in Super Mario Bros. 3 can be totally unnerving and leave me confused and holding on to my prescriptions saying,”what the hell?”