I’ve been wanting to blog more about depression and mental illness lately, but it’s hard for me to come up with the words to frame what’s on my mind.
I’ll start with this.
I have severe clinical depression. I was diagnosed in my teens but wasn’t able to get consistent treatment because my family had no health coverage. I sought treatment myself in my 20s, but was homeless at the time, so I missed a lot of appointments and was eventually dropped from the low-cost program I was in. (I use a wheelchair and transportation is challenging when you are not homeless.)
Transportation remains a major obstacle to consistent treatment. I have reached out to local clinics and therapists in my area. They all refer me to volunteer groups that provide free transpo to appointments. Those groups then tell me that they don’t offer rides to individuals who use wheelchairs due to liability concerns. They refer me to Medicaid, which I don’t qualify for, and local paratransit, which is nearly impossible for me to use because you can end up riding around in the van for over an hour picking up other riders. This causes migraines every time.
So, art is my primary coping mechanism and form of therapeutic self-treatment.
This is what depression looks like. I’ll talk more about it next Monday.