Barriers to Treatment

One of the people I really connected with 3-4 years ago in outpatient and partial hospital treatment is relapsing. She dealt with an eating disorder for nearly a decade, began recovery in her early twenties, but has been struggling again. For at least 6 months. Maybe a year or two? To my knowledge, she’s been hospitalized for her ED only once, when we met. And for another mental health condition as an adolescent.

She informed me recently that she needs to go back to treatment, but in a different facility now she lives in another state. I don’t know all the details, nor do I plan to pry. And I want to respect her privacy. BUt it appears her insurance has provided the following options:

1) Go to a substance abuse facility in her own state. (Even though she doesn’t have a substance abuse problem!)
2) Go to a partial hospital facility in another state, away from her spouse, and pay for an apartment there. Which she likely could not afford.
3) Pay $7,000 a month, or more, out of pocket to get treatment in her own state. Which she definitely can’t afford.

My heart broke as I learned this.
As she put it, she’s fighting her insurance company so she can live to see 2014.
But she isn’t giving up. She is fighting tooth and nail to get the help she needs.
I am infuriated with our country and our health care system.
And I am also feeling a little guilty that lately I’ve been nostalgic for my eating disorder- more so then usual.
But mostly I’m hurting for her and scared I’ll lose her.

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One Response to Barriers to Treatment

  1. Ludivine says:

    Yeah, this health care system sucks, it sounds like profit matters more than saving lives. But my country’s health care system is heading the same way I fear. The thing is – it’s time eating disorders were considered a serious disease (people die from it, damn it!) and cures were found.

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