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lusia (@lusia)

Weaning off zolpidem (Ambien)

Sleep Health | Last Active: 2 days ago | Replies (328)

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Not me yet, I am taking way too many because my tolerance level is high now with it, I need to get off but don't know how. My insurance doesn't cover mental health for in treatment and I can't afford it. I saw a psychiatrist for a year but she had me on Zombie meds so I weaned myself off them a year later and they were expensive but not treating my insomnia and anxiety issues. $350.00 to see her every 6 months and then the med cost and it wasn't solving my problems. Any ideas other than locking me in a room for 2 weeks and deal with the insomnia. I had it since I was a child so this is a long time of this so Ambien is a lifesaver but killing us at the same time. Before the Psychiatrist I saw a therapist and really felt the need to send me for more care.

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Replies to "Not me yet, I am taking way too many because my tolerance level is high now..."

@acura1642 – This website has a lot of great information and links on finding mental health treatment (and prescriptions) when you don't have insurance: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/paying-care, or http://careforyourmind.org/what-to-do-when-you-cant-afford-therapy/#more-1447. For mental health in particular I thought these were good:

Finding Care
Free Clinics are non-profit organizations that perform medical safety net services for free or at a highly reduced cost. You can find free clinics in your area by visiting http://www.freeclinics.us/.

Free Clinics provide safety net services, which are intended to help people who are ineligible for Medicaid and Medicare but can't find affordable health insurance. They are often found in hospitals or as stand-alone facilities in densely populated areas of poverty. Some, but not all, free clinics provide mental health services in addition to preventative general health and maintenance.

Generally, free clinics will perform services for free, charge a nominal fee ($15/visit, for example), or initiate a sliding scale fee based on your income. , When visiting a free clinic, you may need to take your identification, as well as proof of income, such as a prior year's W2 form. Some clinics may take walk-in clients on a daily basis; others are more like doctor's offices that you will have to join.

Community Mental Health Centers offer low-cost or free care on a sliding scale to the public. Typical services include emergency services, therapy and psychiatric care for adults and for children. You can expect to go through an intake interview that determines the kind of care you will receive. Mental health centers also may offer a variety of services on a long-term basis for clients with persistent mental health conditions. Find your local mental health center by contacting your local government.

Local Nonprofits that aren't specifically designated as health clinics may still have therapists, psychologists, or psychiatrists who donate their time and agree to see patients for free or at a reduced cost. Many groups will organize professionals who will donate some time each week or month to see patients. These professionals will often meet at drop-in centers or other clinics.

Even if community mental health centers or local nonprofits don't have a pro bono program, they may know of other resources available to you in your community.

Medical Schools may provide another way of finding help. Students and interns may meet with clients at a highly reduced rate, if you are comfortable seeing them. These students will be under the supervision of a licensed professional.

Finding Supportive Services
If you are interested in finding supportive services in addition to professional counseling look for these options in your community:

Hotlines and Warmlines provide immediate support by telephone for people in emotional crisis and people with mental health conditions. Where hotlines provide emergency support and crisis intervention, warmlines provide assistance, comfort and referral services. Hotlines and warmlines can be lifesaving, they provide referral to help and care, and they are comforting because they are anonymous and easily accessible by telephone.

Drop-in Centers are organizations that are generally run by people with mental health conditions for their peers. A safe, accepting place to go for company and support. Drop-in centers may organize activities such as support groups or trainings, but they may also be more informal gathering sites.

Support Groups may meet at various places in your community such as churches, schools or government buildings. You can find information about support groups on the Internet, on bulletin boards at local mental health centers and restaurants, or by asking other people with similar conditions. Some support groups also meet anonymously on the Internet, posting on forums or using e-mail to stay in touch. Support groups should either be free or should have a very low cost to cover food or activities ($5 a meeting).

Find a support group here:

The American Self-Help Clearinghouse (http://www.mentalhelp.net/selfhelp/) and the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse (http://www.mhselfhelp.org/) maintain listings of support groups on a broad range of mental health topics. The National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Group Clearinghouse also maintains a Directory of Consumer-Driven Services (http://www.cdsdirectory.org/) that includes peer-run organizations throughout the United States that offer a variety of supportive services and activities.

Bottom line, don't let cost prevent you from getting mental health treatment if you need it. I know it can seem overwhelming to try to find a solution when you're overwhelmed with mental or emotional health issues, but mental and emotional health are the foundation for everything else — if that has cracks or is broken, everything else will sink as well. You deserve better. There are people who want to help — don't hesitate to reach out.