The Whopping Financial Burden of Mental Illness

This article appeared on ( written by  , where she writes about the escalating financial costs of treatment for her mental illness.


It has been just a year since I returned to see my psychiatrist for treatment. I was depressed and needed help. As an out-of-network provider, each month I submit her bill and complete the claim form for my insurance company and then I receive a percentage back. The reimbursement averages about 60 percent per month. The rest is my responsibility, or should I say, my family’s responsibility.

Over the past year, my husband and I have depleted our savings as a result of paying for all of my treatment, and my treatment is still ongoing. This includes therapy three times per week and co-pays for my psychiatrist who manages my medications, as well as co-pays for ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). Add to that the new therapy group I will begin next week and the cost equals thousands upon thousands of dollars.

While I can’t escape a slight feeling of guilt for this, I am clear that my depression is an illness. What upsets me most is that this country still does not treat mental illness as a true illness. I was debilitated for a period of time due to my illness, just as someone can be debilitated from a heart attack.

5 thoughts on “The Whopping Financial Burden of Mental Illness

  1. magicallymad says:

    I am so lucky that I live in Massachusetts where excellent mental health care is readily available. And every time I am in the hospital in meetings we’re often asked what we’re thankful for. I always say my husband’s great insurance. I know I am so much luckier than so many people, despite my mental issues. Thanks for your posts.


    • cherished79 says:

      Wow, it usually takes 15 min for my pdoc to go over my file with me from my last visit! I’m very lucky, when I was in hospital he allowed me to stay on as an outpatient of his, so the gov’t pays for my visit, otherwise, I’d be cooked. Thanks for commenting. 🙂


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