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What to do about long waits for appointments

answered 08:07 PM EST, Tue August 19, 2014
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anonymous anonymous
What are you supposed to do when you are in a mental health crisis and you are told that you cannot possibly get an appointment to see a psychiatrist for 9 weeks. Can I just go to a hospital and tell them, in the ER that I feel like killing myself even if I really don’t just so they will be forced to take me on a psychiatric hold so I can get some help today? My issues are PTSD with disassociation.

David Johnson Says...

I can certainly understand your frustration with the wait. However, there are a couple of things that you can do to get appropriate help. First of all, see a therapist experienced in working with PTSD. There are relaxation exercises and mindfulness practices that will go a long way towards solving your problem once and for all. Talking about your experiences with PTSD is painful and ultimately helpful. Learning to better cope with your symptoms is the most effective treatment. However, it does require time and practice. An important reason to learn to better cope is that PTSD symptoms can come back when triggered by another traumatic event. Learning new skills to cope will help you contain the recurrence.

Medication may also be helpful, but it is not a permanent solution for PTSD. The medications used for anxiety are for help with short periods of time, are addictive, or are primarily used for other problems and only incidentally help with anxiety. And the side effects are sometimes uncomfortable. Medication should be considered as a last resort and only after trying therapy for anxiety. You can talk to your primary physician about prescribing medications. Some are comfortable doing so. Some will consider prescribing after talking with your therapist. 

I wish you the very best.

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Page last updated Aug 19, 2014

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