Kaiser, Don't Deny
Patients need access to timely and consistent mental health services
Couldn’t get in for three or four monthsPublished Saturday, December 22, 2018
I have a history of severe depression, anxiety, and PTSD. After having been on one antidepressant for several years, it stopped working. I called my Kaiser psychiatrist’s office to make an appointment, and they told me I couldn’t get in for three to four months! I made the appointment, and in the meantime the psychiatrist’s assistant called me, and without asking about my symptoms or getting much detail, offered to switch my antidepressant before my office visit. I was NOT comfortable with this, knowing that switching medications could make me suicidal and I wouldn’t be able to see the psychiatrist for several months. I ended up going out-of-network and paying out-of-pocket for a non-Kaiser psychiatrist who actually had time to listen to my symptoms and history before adjusting my medications. In addition to my non-Kaiser psychiatrist, I also see an out-of-network therapist every week to work on my PTSD. I pay for this out-of-pocket, but it seemed like the only option since Kaiser said I could only see a therapist about once a month. I’m lucky that I can afford to pay for these other providers, but I shouldn’t have to! I’m so angry that Kaiser won’t provide me with the medical care I need.