I don’t often talk about the issues I deal with. For one, it’s not an easy topic to discuss in mainstream culture. And for two, I’m not entirely sure exactly what they are. But I think I have a good idea.
For the past couple years, I’ve been in a tough financial situation and I decided moving back home was a good idea. Financially, it was. Mental health wise, it was probably the worst decision I’ve made in my life.
When I went to UNM (University of New Mexico), I was forced to deal with a lot of problems, and slowly came out of my shell and I think I did pretty good. I had a ton of friends, I did a lot of cool things, and helped the community a bit.
After moving home, my friend pool stagnated and I didn’t really do anything any more. I got a very part time job that I still work out (which I am grateful to have that). I don’t do much in the community because I don’t connect to it in any way. My family is nearly broken apart and I was right in the middle of that.
This is all just background information. Some of you might already know it. But over the past few months, I’ve been slowly realizing that I have pretty bad anxiety and depression. I never though about it before, because I don’t have the “traditional” symptoms. True, I never went out and did anything, but that’s because I didn’t have the money, right?
Avoidance as coping helped me get through the worst of it, but now I need to stop avoiding everything and just avoid the situations that actively cause me stress or trigger the symptoms. Yes, I have them. I don’t have them all exactly, but they stem from someone else being angry at me and reprimanding me. I want to go into hiding, no matter how small, petty, or big of a deal it actually is.
I’m going to seek help. Unfortunately, our mental health system, especially for the poor is outrageous. I have Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid. This system is terrible, barely better than nothing: unless your pregnant or want to overcome addition (thanks asshat Republican ideology). I have a referral to go to a mental health clinic. I have to bring my ID, social security card, Medi-Cal card, proof of income, sit there for three hours for financial screening, other screening, and see a social worker BEFORE I can even see a counselor. And at max, I get eight sessions. Better than nothing, but barely. For someone like me, or other people dealing the mental health issues, these obstacles can be nearly impassible.
But I’m going to try. And every day, I hope I get a little bit better.