There are days where I wonder how long it will take me to feel “normal.”
Are those damn bees ever going to stop buzzing around in my head and chest?
What about the drunk butterflies in my stomach (not the lovey-dovey butterflies either; the kind that makes you feel like you’re going to throw up your lunch)?
When will I get a decent night of sleep?
When do the depression and suicidal thoughts go away?
The fact is that I can’t answer those questions for myself or for you. All I know is that I didn’t get this way overnight, and chances are neither did you. That means that you can’t expect everything to get better in a day. Recovery takes time, patience, and determination.
Did you know that about 5-6% of adults in America have a serious mental illness? Additionally, around 2% have disorders that are considered long-term and debilitating. Only 40% of those diagnosed with a mental illness seek out treatment. Only 40%!?
Look, I know how scary it can be to reach out to others for help, especially when it’s about mental illness, but I’m here to tell you it’s the first step to recovery. Treatment, whether it’s support groups, therapy, and/or medications, has proven to be extremely successful in helping people recover from serious mental illnesses like Bipolar (80% recovery rate), Depression (80%), Schizophrenia (60%), and addiction (70%). Those are amazing recovery rates!
I shared those statistics with you to show you that there is hope and to get you wondering, “How can I find help and what are my options?”
Finding A Support Group or Therapist:
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), is a mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans who struggle with mental illnesses. They offer free peer-led support programs, education, and training. Click here to find your local NAMI.
- Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) works to improve access to health care. The website offers information on finding affordable healthcare, including health centers that offer care on a sliding fee scale.
Mental Health and Insurance Coverage:
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website has information on benefits as well as eligibility for various programs and how to apply for them.
- This website created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers mental health and addiction insurance help, answering your questions about insurance coverage for mental health.
Find an Online Therapist:
- Better Help offers plans that start at as low as $35 a week. Plus they offer financial aid! Counseling options are super versatile, letting you choose between texting, phone calls, or video chat. If for whatever reason you’re not happy with your counselor they’ll switch you to someone better suited for your needs.
- 7 Cups charges $150 per month and sets you up with a licensed therapist. If you decide it isn’t for you, you can cancel within the first 72 hours. They won’t charge you until after the 72 hours is up.
Stick to it, even when you don’t want to. Some days I really just don’t want to go to therapy. I’m even guilty of occasionally using BS excuses to cancel, “So, uh…my dog’s birthday is today, so we’re doing something special. Sorry I won’t be able to make it.” If you find something that works for you, stay consistent with it.
Remember you’re not alone. Even on the days that you feel like no one is listening to you or like you have nobody to turn to, there are always people you can reach out to for support.