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Too Rich to be Poor and too Poor to be Rich

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There comes a time on one's life where tough decisions have to be made. Some people feel very intimidated by this because they fear the outcome of others assumptions associated with that decision. This is tough for me as well. With that being said, I write what I believe will be my last article as the "Health and Wellness Examiner for Rochester New York"

I have read a lot of articles from my fellow Rochester Examiners. Impressed as much as inspired, my goal for contributing to the Health and Wellness Examiner in Rochester New York, was to share my personal experience in regards to my progress, and the challenges associated with my disability of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. With this article I will share the conclusion to my experience associated with Monroe County Mental Health.

A person in my situation will receive little to no assistance from the Department of Social Services. I believe my doctor put it perfectly this morning when she said, "You are too rich to be poor and too poor to be rich." This morning was my final visit to the wonderful doctors I finally became assigned to.

To recap on my entire journey since being displaced to Monroe County after Hurricane Sandy; I shall share the short story. I was in treatment in Suffolk County New York for PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder and Severe Depression. I was admitted to a outpatient treatment program in the hospital after being diagnosed when hospitalized during a very stressful time in my life; the storm was supposed to be my last traumatic experience.

The SCCAD and FEGS helped us to relocate to an affordable safe place I found on my own in Monroe County. Prior to our arrival here, I was informed my records and "case file" would be transferred to Monroe County from Suffolk County. To my surprise this did not happen and the long road began.

Doing the best I could to get the much needed assistance, I was denied affordable housing and I was denied emergency furniture. I wrote a nice letter to the Senator here and she was wonderful at helping us get what I could. It was made very clear to me by the medical associates at Strong Hospital, as well as the Department of Social Services representative that unless I was a danger to myself or someone else, an alcoholic and drug addict, or homeless; I was not a priority considering their work load.

This caused me to have panic attacks, fits of anxiety, sleeplessness, and bouts of agoraphobia. The thought of having to visit a government office in Monroe County made me ill.

I called for help via 911 during a panic attack was experiencing. I was locked up in the psyche ward at Strong Hospital. I would find out later, I threated to "slice my throat" as they put it. The misunderstanding and my final release took a little under 24 hours. I won't go into my experience during this unjustified incarceration. However I will tell you if this ever happens to you and you, and you are not under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol, don't call 911 and tell them you are having a panic attack and need help. I found out the hard way there is a separate number for people like me, called the "Mobile Crisis Unit". Needless to say at my therapist's office I was never given this information. When you call your doctors office they tell you to call 911 if this is an emergency.

I learned, in fact, if you are experiencing symptoms due to your mental illness you should call "The Rochester Community Mobile Crisis Team." Being from out of town, and only able to see a doctor once since moving to Rochester, I was never informed of any mobile crisis team.

It was mentioned to me when I was locked up in Strong Hospital by the one phyciatrist who admitted to me I should have never been brought there. However I was experiencing so much anxiety at that point I just needed to get out of that place. I knew I didn't belong there, but no body believes you when they think you're crazy. When the phyciatrist came to work that morning she read my record and was nice enough to take me right away to expedite my release. I was grateful I only had to wait just under 24 hours for the right doctor to come in and take a honest look at my record. I was traumatized by this event and vowed never to call 911 or go to Strong Hospital again.

It would take me 9 months to realize I had to change my insurance to get quality care. After changing my insurance, I used Highland Hospital who immediately put me in treatment with Genesee Mental Health. The staff at Genesee Mental Health is wonderful, and is currently helping me to reach my goals of independence. I will miss them as I move onward and upward towards holistic wellness. I am leaving Monroe County.

Anyone who would like to continue to follow my progress of recovery towards my new found independence, I invite you to check out my Facebook Page, "The Sheer Julious Network". I am in the process of building a website to offer my knowledge and links to were you can get quality help for the trauma in your life for free. Follow my Facebook page and learn how you can help yourself to a sheer joyous life.

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