I mentioned in my last post that I’d going to seek mental health care this week. I went yesterday to the Arcadia Mental Health clinic run by LA County.
I suppose first impressions aren’t the best. The building is brand new from what all the employees told me (perhaps that’s why it took me about a week to be able to even make an appointment). I arrived and had to go through some construction work. Before even making it to the front desk, there was a line to head through a metal detector, complete with two security guards. I can understand why they have them, but that didn’t make it any more comfortable for me. The front desk lady wasn’t particularly nice. I’ll explain why all of this later.
Anyway, I was told to bring proof of income, social security card, state-issued ID, and my Medi-Cal card and to be there between 8:00 and 8:30 (not a great window, really, especially have to fight some early morning commuter traffic). I had to see a financial counselor first, who assured me that Medi-Cal would indeed be paying for the treatment. That took an hour wait. After that, it took about 15 minutes to see a Social Worker for the evaluation to see if they could/would be able to help.
The evaluation took about an hour and half, maybe a little bit longer where I told gave him the answers to the questions and talked a little bit about what I was experience. Truthfully, I don’t think he was too concerned, as apparently I’m so not-crazy compared to the people they normally see (which is why metal detector and rather cold staff). Anyway, I have an appointment next week again to do a check-in on the homework I have: reading and doing meditations 11x a day (which feels overly excessive even he said so: then why have me do it? *sigh*). Anyway, probably not the best first impressions, but still, it gives me a place to start and some counseling. Perhaps because I’m feeling mostly normal this week I gave answers to how I’m feeling at the moment?
Conclusion: it went better than I thought it would, though I will not be seeing a psychologist as I expected, but rather a social worked and we’ll see how that turns out. If nothing else, I have confirmation about the anxiety that I’ve been dealing with. I’ll keep you all updated. It’s going to be a rough journey, but today I’m feeling pretty good and hopeful.