VA Mental Healthcare: True Insanity

Some of you may remember that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was supposed to send me to benzo rehab, but there were no beds available. Well, they changed my psychiatrist and told me to keep taking benzos (they did switch me from alprazolam to clonazepam).

I saw the new psychiatrist today, and he seemed to be in a bad mood. I extended my arm for a handshake and he turned his back to me. I sat down and he said, “headmeds.” I said Seroquel 600 mg/day, Lamictal 400 mg/day, and clonazepam 2 mg/day. He then typed the ‘headmeds’ and # of scripts.

That took 5 minutes, so I thought we were going to talk for awhile since it was a 30-minute appointment, but no. He rushed me out of his office and said he would see me in 2 months (I need this guy so I didn’t say anything).

Well, at least I got my ‘headmeds.’

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Maybe he was preoccupied with something else, but you’d expect better treatment than that :expressionless:

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I quit going to the VA for everything but dental. I was using Tricare but now I get Medicare. My therapist doesn’t take Medicare. Saw him today and it was $110.

Trying to debate whether or not I should go back to the VA for mental health or not. I saw a psychologist there but he wasn’t much help.

They don’t dispense one of my meds and that was my main reason for leaving.

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@TomCat

In Florida the VA makes it difficult to get authorization for the Choice program.

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I don’t use the choice I was just using my insurance. But Medicare doesn’t seem like it’s very good insurance for mental health. I was happier with just Tricare.

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That psychiatrist probably makes six figures. I am sorry you had a bad time. You would think they would be better. Private isn’t always better. I get medi-cal and I’m doing pretty good with public clinics. I’ve seen some good in the VA.

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@insidemind

Yeah, the vast majority of people (including doctors) do an outstanding job at the VA, and I’m grateful that the doctors work for the VA because I’m sure they can make a lot more money in the private sector.

To be fair, all large organizations have a few bad actors.

I live in a military town and haven’t ever heard good things about the VA Healthcare. I hope everything ends up okay.

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Yeah, but it stinks to get served the short straw.
You served our country, you deserve to be treated better than this.

The VA sure could use some improvements.

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I get treatment at the Omaha, NE VA and I get excellent care there. I see my psychiatrist (of 21 years), every three months, and he spends up to 30- 60 minutes with me each visit. We have a wonderful rapport and I practically worship the ground my pdoc walks on because he took me from a very, very bad place to the stable, recovered place that I am at today. I don’t hesitate to say that he is probably the best doctor in the Omaha VA facility.

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