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Preventive Healthcare

needlesI haven’t been dealing with life as well as I would like lately. It seems it takes less to wear me down, upset me, and make me defensive. I’m coming out of it, but it’s been a long process. For the first time in my life I was thinking about therapy. You won’t believe what stopped me. The idea of calling my insurance provider and having someone ask why I needed therapy. With all the things going wrong with people my difficultly processing the changes in my life over the last seven months seemed minor.

It wasn’t like I was dealing with drug addiction, the death of a loved one, mental illness, or anything. I was just having difficulty processing the changes in my life. And for some reason that didn’t rate the phone call to the insurance company to get preapproved for therapy.

I’ve since been wondering why preventive care is such an issue in our culture. We seem to like fixing what is broken and not interested in looking for signs of the breakdown.

We go to the doctor when we are sick, to the hospital when we are injured, to the therapist when we have hit bottom – but not before. I truly believe that I was healthier when I was taking care of myself – massages, acupuncture, supplements proscribed by my Naturopath, and proactively managing my health and my stress. But it was a costly exercise and I no longer have the income stream to support elaborate self care.

Which brings me to my next realization.

If I’d still been making good money I would be in therapy. I would have simply paid for it out of pocket.

So what was it about using my insurance that bothered me? And why, when I did an informal poll of my friends, did they all nod their heads in understanding? Isn’t that what insurance if for? Why we pay the big bucks? I’m on COBRA right now so the dollar amount is high. Was it because big brother is watching and wanting mental health assistance is considered weak or not something I want on my record as a preexisting condition like my migraines, allergies or asthma?

Why did I spend so much time on preventive care when I could do it out of pocket and no longer do now that I’m making less? Why are we a reactive society rather than a proactive one where our health is concerned?

I don’t have any answers, even my own behavior is a mystery, but I’ll keep thinking about it because I think it is important.

~ Tess


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