Jim: Searching for Answers

In the past, Jim went with Monica to appointments to see her psychiatrist, but he was unhappy with their experience.

That’s one of the things that bugged the heck out of me, because you wait anywhere from a month to two months to get into to see these people. How are you doing? Pretty good. How have things been going? Well, you know, this and that. Well let’s try this and this. We’ll see you in about a month. You’re lucky if you see them for five minutes.

Jim would like to see mental health professionals communicate better with family members.

I don’t think they communicate with the family members as much as they do with the patient themselves. So even though it’s a one on one with the patient, the patient kind of has an idea of what’s going on, but we’re still left out in the dark. . . Even though they are [mental health professionals] one on one with the patients, we see things that the patients won’t describe. My wife says, well, I’ve had a good week, I can be in there saying, well, yes, but. . . Ask more about the people around them, because they are the ones that know more about the patients.

When Jim accompanied his wife to ECT treatment, he was quite nervous because he did not understand it and thought about how ECT was depicted in movies. He was given a pamphlet and a video to watch, but had no opportunity to ask questions. He also expressed concern about the high cost of medications. With seven different medications, paying for them, even with insurance, contributes to financial strain for the family.

More of the Story: Family Challenges