Q. I had my baby 5 months ago. At around 7 months pregnant I started to cry everyday. My OBGYN prescribed me Zoloft. I didn’t take it because of the possible side effects it could have on the baby. Now I have good days and really bad days. I cry, my heart races for no reason, I have suicidal thoughts. I try to keep myself composed around the baby. I am also a psychology major and I’m trying to get my doctorite in criminal psych. It is hard to admit that I have a problem, but I know it’s there and it isn’t going away. I also started a new job, which I am enjoying, but I don’t have insurance so I can’t go back to my old doctors. I just want to know if there is any free or inexpensive help out there. Also I wondering how long these symptoms could possibly last. Thank you.
A. I am glad that you recognize your need for help. It is good for you to get help and good for your baby. Without knowing more information, it is hard to say how long these symptoms could last. As far as getting help, in many communities, there are ways to get free or inexpensive help. Many communities have community mental health centers (CMHC) that can treat individuals lacking health insurance for free or a small fee. Check out the phone book for the phone number to the local CMHC in your area. When you do call to inquire about help, tell them that you do not have insurance. Generally, they will ask you a few initial questions over the phone about the problems you have been experiencing and then they will set up a face-to-face interview with you to gather more detailed information. They should be able to assist you in getting counseling. It seems individuals without health insurance can sometimes receive more counseling sessions than those with health insurance. If the CMHC does not pan out, you can also try the local university for help. Universities are always conducting studies and looking for study participants to test out treatments. Many people like participating in studies since free help is being offered in addition to getting paid to be involved. Many feel that participating in university studies can be a good way to receive good help and cutting edge treatments. I hope you can utilize at least one of these options. Please write again if you have any more questions.