Cost of Improving My Mental Health

I haven’t been to a therapist in a while. The last time I went to a mental health professional, I went to a psychologist who diagnosed me with major depression and gave me Lexapro.

A few months later when I was out of a full-time job, I was unable to get health insurance because I had major depression on my record.

Now that I have health insurance again, I wanted to pursue mental health counseling.

But it turns out all the counselors I’ve found (that call me back) are not on my insurance. Plus, due to my high deductible insurance, it doesn’t really matter anyway because it is unlikely this year I will hit my $1500 deductible. I am at about $600 right now.

At the moment I’m likely going to do:

Group Therapy: $200 / month (and that’s a discount)
Career Counseling / ADHD Counseling: (2x a month) $240 / month

So that’s $420 a month on mental health services. None of which are covered by my insurance. Not that they should be. It’s just, well, it’s a lot of money. I’m earning more this year than I ever have before, but also spending a lot more on things like this. I wonder if it’s worth it. How much counseling can a person get. It would be cheaper just to get a refill on my antidepressants from my regular doctor, instead of going to counseling.

But then, if going to counseling can help me remain employed, then it is worth it, right? I mean, what’s $420 / month versus not having a job at all?

I wonder how helpful these various counseling methods will be. They are all so very expensive. I make enough money where I should be able to afford them ($75k / year). It just seems like I shouldn’t be spending that much on my stupid depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental disorders. And this isn’t even including seeing a psychiatrist who could prescribe me meds.

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6 thoughts on “Cost of Improving My Mental Health”

  1. I definitely think it worth it. I too have suffered for along time with depression and feel that it is very important to try and keep yourself balance every way possible. I can do it usually with exercise, sleep, relaxation, proper diet, no alcohol and a mild anti-depressant plus anti anxiety medication. But for some people talking about it, learning new coping techniques etc is what they need. Money isn't everything, your happiness and well being are also very important if not more important.

  2. I really feel for you.I've started searching for help for the same combination (ADHD+d.) recently and found out that though there are 3 therapists in the 2 blocks next to mine, there isn't a single one in my district that my insurance would cover.However, I'm super lucky, because there is one close to my school! Good luck with getting help.

  3. At least you're seeking help for your problems. I can't bring myself to seek counseling because I don't like the idea of talking about my problems, especially with a stranger. I just got off of my meds (a tough process, by the way), and I wish I could get back on them. It's much easier to take a magic pill rather than deal with the harsh realities of life, IMHO.

  4. Sometimes I think I should find a therapist, just because of some soial anciety stuff I have going on. How have you found therapy, is it worthwhile?Good luck with everything!

  5. I think treating depression is worth it if you can even remotely spare the money.I have severe depression and so I'm a big proponent of therapy. The things you want to be careful about:Psychiatrists, while sometimes good counselors, tend to specialize more in doling out the drugs more often than doing actual therapy. (Maybe this is just me, who knows.) Psychologists can't prescribe drugs so it's all about talk therapy and such. Also, what qualifications are you looking at? If you get someone with an masters in social work, they tend to charge less. Generally around $80/hr. Psychologists (assuming you're seeing a PhD) tend to charge over $125.The other thing to look into — depending on your financial situation — is sliding scale clinics. These are usually places where students going for a master's degree get their experience, since they need a certain number of hours before they can be licensed. I found a great therapist that way. Because we were in debt and I was disabled, I paid only $20 per session, which was amazing. I think the norm was more $40. Still, it's a great rate.If you can't find a clinic, do a search on the internet for sliding scale therapist/therapy. Some regular psychologists will work with you. One relative's therapist understands that insurance will only cover a few sessions a year, so the woman cut her rate to help be affordable.

  6. I'm new to your blog, but I have struggled with money issues and mental health issues (which often feed off each other for me) and I have a couple of things that have been incredibly helpful in paying for it. If you've already done these things and blogged about them, forgive me!(1) If at all possible at your current job, set up a flex spending account to set aside money pre-tax to use for your mental health. It saves you about 30%, which can definitely make things more affordable, even if you're seeing a therapist at >$100/hour.(2) See if you can enroll in a PPO for your health insurance during open enrollment (if that is offered at your job). I have a PPO at my work that pays for 80% of an out-of-network doctor, so after I met the deductible (which sucked), it only cost me $30/session out of pocket for a therapist that did not take any insurance and cost $150/session regularly.Hope these tips are somewhat helpful!

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