I just don’t know anymore…


Heidi W. Spitz, Licensed Psychologist

 

WHAT MAKES ME TICK?

Mental illness or brain injury is responsible for devastating the lives of many innocent people. I see it OVER and OVER again.

Our focus as a society is wrong!

Regardless of whether we are dealing with mental illness or brain injury we should provide adequate and ongoing treatment to people who need it.

We need to be proactive not reactive.

Unfortunately insurance companies represent a major stumbling block for people battling with brain injury and psychiatric illnessInsurance companies are not concerned with the quality of care but only about the bottom line… money. 

There is a direct relationship between socioeconomic factors and quality of care.  Only those people, who can afford to pay for private doctors, get needed support.   If you have a decent insurance plan, you have a better chance of succeeding.   If you are poor, you are not going to get the help you need.

Occasionally, rather than getting the proper treatment, patients will get the option that best satisfies the greed of the insurance plans.  Admittedly, I have seen colleagues and fellow psychologists also exploit the system so they can get paid.

From my standpoint, as a therapist, this makes me very angry.  I would like nothing more than to give people quality care and not let insurance companies dictate what I should do.

I simply don’t get it!!  Brain injuries and psychiatric disorders are both permanent disabling conditions.  Individuals with these problems need ongoing help during the course of their life span.

We do not question the need of diabetics requiring life-long insulin injections.  For the same reason, we should not have to fight with insurance companies to treat people with brain injuries and psychiatric disorders.

Bravo for, “What Makes Me Tick!”

     The following is my reply as a brain injured survivor.   I did attempt many times to post this at her site, but I was not able, I read the possible solutions to the error, but they soon became mired in my confused mind.  Having a brain injury I could not figure it out!  This is a snippet taken from the opening page of my blog – A Little Info About Me – and the rest is my reply to the above story…

 

Sara, the psychologist messed up my mind terribly, telling me that promises didn’t matter, “People change their minds all the time.”  The psychologist spouted things that I had always been brought up to believe in and told me they were wrong.  Well unfortunately, I now believed her because of the state I was in.  I trusted her until I had lost my fiancée and nearly every one of the friends that remained (which were only a couple). It took about fifteen years but I finally figured out what was happening.  I am slowly rebuilding that once blessed life, shred by shred.   The process has been long and laborious, but hopefully before I am laid to rest things will be straightened out. 

I haven’t got clear thought nor do I have the physical skills to have a job…not even a volunteer position.  I use up all my resources (financially, emotionally, mentally) to raise my daughter.  I lost my support system in December because my income was $6 over the limit.  There was no easing off of the (Independent Living Skills (ILS) services; they stopped abruptly and when I called to ask if they could help me with one thing I was told, “Sure, but it will cost you $40 for one hour. “

I had not had a cost of living increase since the Obama Presidency began, until, the year of his reelection – and I was amazed that he received a vote.  So I cancelled my Medicare well within the 60 day deadline, myself!  Then, and not because of a misunderstanding, the woman at the SSA would not do what I had requested by phone.  I also filled out one of their forms and wrote a letter to get my funds, but ah-ah.  I could not get the increase and was instead debited a total of  $500!  I went down to the local SSA and got the problem fixed again, I thought but no, I had to return once again in March because they did not do what I requested by phone and I’ll have to wait and see if the problem is corrected in the month of May.  Life has become a, “Ball of confusion.”

 Life with a brain injury is nigh impossible.  For one, others do not like talking with you and certainly do not want to befriend you.  People of authority will not take you with any seriousness (nobody will), I have been beaten savagely by the cops (Rodney King had nothing on me other than a million dollars!)  There is no help to be found – anywhere! 

I did find a concerned people (Filipino) but I brought their only devil-woman home with me and she totally ruined what remained of my miserable life!  And though I want to go back to that 3rd world country, the reason is not what you may think. 

Sorry for spouting off so, you may post or not… 

 

 

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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