Posted by Joe Wride
Quick disclaimer: I’m not a doctor! That being said, you don’t exactly need an M.D. to understand mental health is a major issue in America. Simply by speaking to my clients every day at a greater than surface-level depth, I see that many are working harder than ever to remain or get to a healthier place mentally.
It hurts me to see pain like this, and even more so because I’ve known some of it myself. Whether it’s taking anxiety medication or seeing counselors and coaches, I’ve had to rely on a variety of methods to help manage my professional/personal identities.
With this past year having been especially trying, I now feel an obligation to help others anyway I can. So let’s review some strategies to lessen the financial burden(s) (staying in my lane here) you may face in getting the help you need.
In the post-internet world we’ve seen: cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and even digital real estate. But the revolutions don’t stop there…
Far from it!
It’s now possible for millions of people to socialize, work, and even see licensed physicians from the comfort of their own homes.
Telemedicine platforms like Teledoc and Doctors on Demand allow you to see a doctor, get a diagnosis, and receive a prescription all via webcam. Not only is this more convenient, but it’s often more affordable. In fact, UnitedHealthCare recently found these average national costs:4
- $740 for a session in the emergency room
- $130 for visiting an urgent care facility
- $85 for a low-severity treatment in a doctor’s physical office (in person)
- $50 for a video-based, virtual appointment (telemedicine)
NOTE: You’ll have to check with your provider to ensure your coverage extends to telemedicine appointments. You might already notice your insurance company is actively promoting this “less-expensive” form of mental health care. Additionally, not all prescriptions used to treat anxiety or depression may be issued via a virtual appointment.
Interested to talk more on the subject of new age ways to save? Reach out to me.
Did you know that according to the FDA, generic medicines must be the same as their brand-name competition in: dosage, strength, effectiveness, safety, stability, and quality?5
Additionally, they must also be taken in the same way and pose the same risks and benefits to the user…5
You do now!
Similar to buying off-brand groceries, you can save a pretty penny when you go with generic-brand prescriptions. And millions of Americans are doing just that. Still not convinced? Consider the following:
- Generic medicines, on average, cost 80-85% less than name-brand alternatives6
- 90% of prescriptions are filled with generic medications 7
- In 2019, the largest healthcare data science company, IQVIA found that the U.S. healthcare system saved over 2 trillion dollars by utilizing generic medications.7
This of course is a discussion that needs to happen with your doctor. But it’s certainly one worth having when you consider the finances behind it. And for what it’s worth…
I use them myself.
If you’re interested in talking more on the subject of finance, contact me.
Getting Others Involved
If you were experiencing a lot of anxiety over remodeling your home, your first call wouldn’t be to a doctor.
Okay… so what’s your point?
The point is, when it comes to your mental health, it’s often necessary to consult a variety of professionals for help. Triggers for depression and anxiety can come from a variety of sources.
- Physical Health: Your mind and body are linked. Regular exercise can ease feelings of depression and anxiety by regularly producing endorphins and focusing your attention away from stress-inducing thoughts.8
- Loneliness: Prolonged periods of isolation and feelings of loneliness can have devastating consequences. Various studies have linked them to increases in risk for strokes, heart disease, and even dementia.9 You might want to try increasing your reach outs to family/friends virtually. You may be surprised at how beneficial more texts, FaceTimes, Zooms, and calls can be.
- Disorganization: Neuroscientific research using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) in 2011 found that improved organization of one’s environment resulted in improved abilities to process information, focus, and be productive.10
- Finances: A study published in 2020 measuring the effect of debt on mental health in Asian countries found sufficient evidence linking debt to stress, anxiety, depression, and even thoughts of suicide.11
To address these concerns it may be worthwhile to invest in: a personal trainer, counselor, home organizer or housekeeper, get a dog, or fee-only financial advisor.
I’m an expert in the latter category, and can help you plan for the rest. Let’s talk.
Getting Involved With Others
It can seem counterintuitive to try to help others when you yourself are struggling. But healing others can be a great way to heal ourselves. I know I’ve been experiencing the undeniably joy that comes from giving recently. And that’s not just positive-thinking malarkey…
That’s actual science.
And several studies have been conducted on the science behind volunteering and donating, and the results have been nothing short of profound:
- In 2002, researcher Stephanie Brown at the University of Michigan found that older people actively involved in providing practical help to relatives, neighbors, or friends reduced their risk of dying by 60% when compared to their peers who didn’t.12
- A 2006 study conducted by Kathleen Lawler of the University of Tennessee and Racheal Piferi of Johns Hopkins University found that people who provided social support to others had lower overall blood pressures compared to those who did not.13
- Another 2006 study conducted by Jorge Moll and his colleagues at the National Institutes of Health found that giving to charities activated regions in the brain associated with social connectivity, trust, and pleasure.13
There are also tax advantages to donating. Namely, the ability to deduct eligible contributions from your adjusted gross income. Together, we can optimize these benefits to create a virtuous cycle of giving and deducting.
Ready to reap the benefits of giving physically and financially? Let’s plan together.
The Bottom Line
You’re not alone. Not in life, and certainly not in facing mental health challenges. I know it from a statistical standpoint, and a personal one.
Over the course of my life I’ve struggled with both anxiety and depression, childhood traumas (like divorce and bullying), and more. So whether it was a more fortunate struggle like my own remodeling projects, or a more serious one involving myself, friends, or family…
I’ve been there.
I can attest to the power of getting the proper medical, therapeutic, and organizational help in overcoming mental health problems. Additionally, I’ve experienced the psychological benefits that come from supporting my loved ones, and giving to causes I believe in.
If it’s your finances that are hurting you, I’m eager to help. We can make sure you have a practical plan in place to get you the help you need. Reach out to us at 650-336-0598 or fill out a contact card here, and we’ll reach out to you.