PTSD is an expensive condition

PTSD is an endless black hole of dollars going only one way, and that’s out.

When you say that PTSD is expensive you are not even talking about the traditional money outlays for appointments and medications. Those dollar amounts are only part of the story in spending on this ass expensive condition.

You’re not talking about tiered co-payment structures for medications, where, undoubtedly, the antidepressant that does not give you an allergic reaction is not “preferred” by your insurance company. This happened to you because Lexapro was not “preferred” by your previous insurer, and you had to go through a review process just to get the medication. Even after it was approved you still had to pay $50 a month for the prescription because it was not “preferred.”

There are the other outlays that you don’t initially plan for with this condition, such as your venture into acupuncture because you’ve read that it is effective for PTSD. You tried it for 3 months on a weekly basis. However, for you, the benefits of acupuncture only lasted 24-48 hours. Since money has not fallen on your head, you don’t do acupuncture with any regularity because of the cost. Can you imagine $75 every couple of days?!

Then there’s all of the leave credits that you give up in going to appointments or going away to residential treatment, leave credits that could have been used for other things in your life.

Because of your PTSD, you pass up promotions that require travel because you know that the travel could exacerbate your condition. Also, you know that it would be harder to keep up with all of your appointments. You watch your peers move on ahead of you in your agency, and it angers you because you know you are just as good, if not better than them. But you also know that you cannot take a promotion that requires travel right now. So turning down that promotion means turning down dollars in your paycheck.

Then there’s the crazy stuff that happens. Like the time you went to McLean Hospital, and you accidentally banged your head really hard on the low eaves in your room that gave it that Alice In Wonderland feel to it. The staff decided to send you to the infirmary to make sure you did not have a concussion. That seemed like a reasonable thing, so you complied and went to get it checked it. It was fine. The nurse just had you walk, touch your nose, etc. You were deemed fine. End of story, so you thought.

But upon return from your stay at McLean you find a bill for $357.00 in your mail because the doctor at the infirmary was not a participating provider in your insurance plan. You had no idea this mattered since you were approved to go to McLean. Apparently, going to the infirmary accessed medical benefits, which are different from mental health benefits. You appealed, and lost. Out of personal protest you are paying the amount over 6 months just so that it takes them longer to get their money.

But here’s what you’re really talking about …

All the damn food you buy because you intend to cook, but then you get triggered or depressive, and you wind up picking up take-out food instead. It adds up, all of it, the unused food in the refrigerator and all the food you buy when you eat out. You’ve tried buying less groceries, but then that only ensures you will almost certainly get take-out food. The whole food situation is an embarrassment, and tiring, to say the least.

You know that a huge part of the black hole is with food. You’ve tried and tried to plug up this part of black hole. Just when you think you have a handle on it, you find yourself going through the drive-thru for food because you know you barely have the strength and wherewithal to eat the food you just bought, much less cook anything.

This black hole needs plugging.

12 thoughts on “PTSD is an expensive condition

  1. Ohhhhh yes. This, I know. Buying food but not having the energy to cook it so opting for take outs (or just not eating). Yes Yes Yes. Luckily I have my partner in the house who will eat the food when I can’t so it doesn’t go to waste 😉 This is a great post. xx

    • I do not like that you experience this frustration as well. BUT … I feel less alone hearing that you also have this experience. It makes me feel better hearing that it’s not just me. I often convince myself it’s a character flaw, a personal short-coming, all this money wasted around food. Thank you so much for your reply.

  2. I know this all too well. My IBS also means that there are so many foods that I cannot eat which means that myself and food have an unhealthy relationship. This is an awesome post though, really makes you think.

    Is it bad that the fridge picture made me hungry?

  3. Yep, it’s expensive to have PTSD, exactly. I too spend a lot of money on therapy, restaurant meals, fines because I don’t pay bills on time, lower level career because I can’t deal with stress. Oh yeah.

    On the other hand – you are working despite a pretty disabling condition, which is wonderful. I tell myself, OK, if I have to spend extra, it’s OK, because that’s what allows me to keep working despite everything else.

    • Ellen,
      You sound just like my therapist! 🙂 She often tells me that she’s proud of me because as severe as my PTSD is I actually accomplish a lot. I don’t feel that way, but she often says that. She helps me feel better about all the expenses by telling me that life is expensive, and I’m doing the best I can.

      I honestly think people don’t realize just how expensive this condition is for us. I actually never truly realized it until recently.

      Thanks for the great feedback!


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