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Tequila's avatar

I can't afford mental health counseling. What's next?

Asked by Tequila (337points) March 13th, 2013

I asked a question on here a week ago (read it if you wish) – it basically outlined how ridiculously insecure I am, especially in relationships. I have borderline personality disorder, a terribly low-self esteem, low self-worth and sense of identity. It is not uncommon for me to attempt suicide, simply from being unhappy with what I see in the mirror. It’s outrageous and it’s a constant battle. This is my dilemma: the waiting list to get into a therapy program for this disorder is over 2 years. My only other option is paying for private counseling… which is about $150—$200 per HOUR. I am going to University and only work part-time. I can’t afford it. I don’t know what to do. I am very insecure and afraid that it’s going to ruin my relationship with my boyfriend. And that would literally kill me. Any advice?

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16 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Check with your local crisis center, or the county health center, or, since you are at University, the University health center. There is help available for free if you cannot afford it.

If you have a doctor, ask them for a referral to pro bono help . There is help out there!

mambo's avatar

Do they not have health and counseling services at your university? I know that at my university, you can get 10 free counseling sessions and if you want to pay $25 per session, you can see a psychiatrist. I’d call the health services on your campus to see what your options are.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Look up National Alliance of the Mentally Ill, they should have a chapter near you. My mom works at one and it’s all free and is absolutely wonderful!!!

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I like @mambo ‘s answer. The university where my granddaughter attends offers counseling for a minimal fee. It is normal for students to be overwhelmed, lonely and anxious. But their licensed counselors could help you with your other problems, too.

Tequila's avatar

I went through my school health services and I got (free) access to a psychiatrist, who did an assesment and diagnosed me, and then referred me to the program with the 2 year waiting list. Their counselors will not do therapy for me because apparently they are not “equipped” to deal with BPD

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I looked in the phone book (yes, dinosuar) and they list the Red Cross and a couple of local groups that offer help.

Ollie319's avatar

Your university should be able to help , I go to city college and they are able to help me with a therapist , it should be in the students health section at the university website or go to the main office and ask

Unbroken's avatar

I think you are female. You should check out the womenms health shelter. They usually have a lot of knowledge of programs available and will work with you to see that you get the help you need.

mambo's avatar

Being a university student, you might be eligible to receive medicaid. I would try to sign with medicaid, prove that you are not able to afford psychiatric help, and then you should be able to gain access to a state run psychiatric program.

serenityNOW's avatar

@Tequila – I agree with everyone above, and I think their conclusions are sound. I’m just wondering quite what the “waiting-period” is for? There’s a NAMI chart here that I just popped my state in, and there’s a chapter about 20 minutes from me; meaning, they’re local. Also, sign-up and go to their discussion forums. The second group is for “College & Young Adults.”
Good luck and keep us informed. There are a lot of people on Fluther that can be very resourceful, but please get some help – it’s out there. Suicide attempts are super serious.

marinelife's avatar

Look for some self-help books that eal with your issues. Read them and do the exercises. It can only help.

sujenk7422's avatar

Here’s what I would do. I work in the mental health field, as a program coordinator for a group home of 8 MI adults. NAMI is a good resource for families with loved ones who are MI, but they’re geared more along the lines of coping with family members. A community based mental health system will require you to either have medicaid/medicare, or put you on a sliding scale pay. But if I’m getting this right, you need help now! So, go to your University’s library and check out some books on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. These will give you a plan on how to deal with BPD. 1st, you need to do your homework and change your own feelings of worthlessness through self help cognitive therapy. I want you to start a journal of your feelings. With every bad/negative feeling I want you to jot down why you feel this way. Then analyze if these feelings really makes sense. Below that I want you to write down how you can change that thought process into a positive feeling. Now understand that physical attributes are what we are given, but our own outlook can change. Healing begins from the inside, not from the outside! Write down EVERYTHING that you like about yourself, and what you feel are your best attributes. Study these things everyday. Journal everyday. And please go to your local job & family services and inquire whether you’re eligible for medicaid. Good luck and remember to JUST BREATHE!

serenityNOW's avatar

@Tequila: How was your day? Any progress? (Hope so!)

@sujenk7422 – I’d agree with most of what you’ve said – however, having said that: self-help books and going to libraries is all well and good, but I think @Tequila would benefit from something now. Journaling is important, too – but again, I feel like she might need to expedite things.

Also, there are other approaches; not just CBT. There’s also DBT and even more approaches. (I’m Bipolar, and CBT did nothing for me.) It’s really up to the individual, and there’s really no accurate way to make a life-style plan over the ‘Net.

sujenk7422's avatar

I agree with you and certainly this person needs help right away. But the road is long and slow; and especially if you can’t afford private pay and have no health insurance coverage. I know that self concept is built through self efficacy and the best way to build one’s self efficacy is to change a mind set and really feel good about something in your life, something you feel you’re good at. This is what is posited by CBT. Our brains and minds are so intricate and complex, the neuro-transmissions going on all the time and the dysfunction of such are from which these disorders arise. The theory behind CBT is to retrain your mind. Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend, just responding to someone in need.

jtxl's avatar

if you are not catholic, you can still go to catholic charities for free counseling. They should be in your phone book but you can always call any catholic church for the number. If you are catholic, you can ask your priest for counseling. they are schooled on these issues and are very helpful. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a chaplain at your school that you could talk to. DO NOT use anyone who wants to drug you without intense counseling. they need to go hand in hand to work if you need meds. Oh and clergy have to keep your secrets and can tell no one.

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