I saw a psychiatrist every day for a few minutes. He wasn’t my regular doctor, who was still out of town. But he seemed nice and competent enough. I told him my story about losing my mood stabilizer, Abilify, when we changed insurance companies in October and described the long slow slide I had been on ever since then. I told him we had tried Geodon, Xanax, Lexapro, and an increased dose of Pristiq (my antidepressant) to replace it. But here I was.
Bob had told me before I went in that if it came down to it, we’d just start paying the $1,000-a-month bill for the correct medicine. That was reassuring and terrifying at the same time. How long could we afford to do that? Was I that desperately sick without it? It seemed that I was.
I stayed this time for five days. All the doctor had to do was restart my Abilify. By the time I left, I was thinking logically again and glad that I had had the courage to go to the hospital when I needed to—and that the doctor I saw on my hospitalization filed paperwork that convinced my insurance company to cover my Abilify through the year 2039. So it was worth it to call and go in if for that reason alone.
Yes, if you go to the mental ward, you lose your physical freedom for a period of time. Yes, you miss your family and the comforts of home. Yes, you are deprived of many of your personal coping mechanisms. But it’s not as scary a process as it could be, thanks to modern pharmacological treatment methods designed to take you down from your psychosis and give you clarity of mind.