Bipolar Thoughts


So it is open enrollment for insurance at my wife’s work.

My wife’s insurance has good coverage, especially for mental health (my last week long inpatient stay at the hospital, the psychiatric evaluation beforehand, and the following weeks of outpatient ECT only cost a few hundred dollars total. Not to mention that my therapist, who is LPC, not a PhD or MSW (that’s some inside jargon, but I don’t feel like explaining it, just Google), is fully covered for as many visits as I can fit into my schedule and my prescriptions are covered really well), but it is expensive for us.

The only thing that was difficult for me during the time I was off work was that my employer does not offer short term disability. However, my boss yesterday informed me that we have an Aflac guy that can prepare that stuff for me at full cost to me. So, I am going to find out what that is all about, it might be something to consider.

If I wasn’t bipolar, I wouldn’t spend a second thinking about this stuff. I would pick whatever plan provided the best coverage for my daughter, and was cheapest for my wife and I. We are not at an age where insurance is really a necessary thing. I certainly don’t go to the doctor, ever, and neither does my wife. Having cheap insurance through your twenties and into your thirties is common and makes a lot of sense. The only thing to really consider is the fact that my wife may become pregnant and need to deliver a baby. Other than that, who cares? Not me.

But, that is not my situation any longer.

I need prescription coverage. The medication I take now is as old as time so it is cheap, but I might get placed on something new and expensive, like the Abilify or Latuda that can cost over $800 a month without coverage.

I need to see a psychiatrist, to get the medication, to keep me stable, and to intercede during a flare up.

I need to see a therapist, because I don’t believe in simply medicating a problem. My bipolar creates a problem for me that I cannot overcome without medication. But I have a lot of other problems that work to feed the beast, as it were. Counseling is where that healing takes place.

Those are the knowns.

But there is a lot of unknown stuff too.

My ECT worked so well that it is now front and center in my treatment program. It will likely be a go-to solution for major depression for the rest of my life. ECT requires time off of work, it may require hospitalization, and it is an involved process. But what I don’t know is when I will need it next, how long the treatment will be, and how regularly I should receive it. Not only could it be a solution for a major bout of depression, but it could also replace drug therapy as a regularly monthly treatment. These are all viable options for me, but I am not far enough removed from my first ECT to know which path I am taking next.

The biggest thing is just that I never know when I’m going to have a major up or a major down or even a weird mixed state that will throw me for a loop. There is always an inherent level of uncertainty with health, which is exactly why insuring against it is so expensive. But this isn’t whether or not something will ever pop up again; it is knowing that it will, but not knowing when.

I don’t know if I should take a disability policy. It is certainly something that I might need. I have needed it twice in the last three years. But I really don’t know what to do.

Just sitting back and hoping for the best doesn’t seem smart though, not anymore.