Kaiser, Don't Deny
Patients need access to timely and consistent mental health services
Appointments cancelled, rescheduled months laterPublished Friday, November 16, 2018
A year ago, I started a new medication that made me experience severe depression, regressive behavior, and terrible suicidal ideation. Stopping the medication had no effect; I needed follow-up therapy and a new medication. I was given an appointment two months away. When the day finally came after all the agonizing waiting, my therapist was sick and I was given another appointment … six weeks later. By this time I was barely functioning — I couldn’t sleep for more than an hour a day, wasn’t eating at all, and would sob frantically every morning before work thinking about how exhausted I was. I told the nurses and my doctors, and all they said was, “We have other patients. Wait for the appointment.” Finally, I told my mother I wanted to kill myself. She stormed into their office and demanded they see me immediately. They gave me an emergency appointment the next day, and I was put into intensive outpatient care. I still didn’t have a medication conversation with my doctor for a month.