Author Topic: Mustacian anxiety treatment  (Read 1087 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Mustacian anxiety treatment
« on: January 05, 2020, 10:29:14 PM »
I am really looking for advice from anyone who has had treatment for generalized anxiety on what has worked and how to find a provider.

Some background: I live in a rural area and years ago I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I met with two people at our local clinic, one who prescribed dozens of prescriptions, the other who did some general talk therapy.  I tried this for two years, then both of them left and the clinic closed all outpatient mental health services, so we are left with a few small private clinics only.

My primary doctor is part of a bigger health system, located about 40 miles away. She referred me to a specialist who I felt understood what was going on with me better than anyone I have seen. She recommended I immediately start cognitive behavioral therapy and that medications likely were not appropriate. The bill after insurance discount from this one session was $379!

I did select a low deductible plan knowing I need to address these challenges and want to make 2020 the year I work on this, but I am at a loss as to what to do. There are some local options, but looking at their websites they seem to all be providers who do everything - behavioral issues in children, couples counseling, ADHD, dialectical behavioral therapy, substance abuse, trauma, etc-  not really specialized on any area of mental health. One of the clinics advertises 'Christian Counseling Services' which scares me a bit.  I really do not trust the experience and skills of these small LLCs.

It seems I have two options?
1. Meet with someone a local clinic and try to be open minded. Potential lost time / money and I don't really trust any of these places necessarily.

2. Try to find a way to get enough time off work to go to the clinic 40 miles away regularly and deal with what I suspect will be much higher expenses.

Any other thoughts and ideas are welcomed, thanks.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Mustacian anxiety treatment
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2020, 03:52:07 AM »
Hi, I am sorry to hear about your issues, I am glad you did find some one that understands, in the psychology realm that is important. I wonder if this counselor or doctor that you see for 390 is out of network? That price is so high, I have private paid for counseling from a MSW, and paid less than 1/2 that. I would start by calling insurance company.
Otherwise It might be worth it to pay for 2 or 3 more sessions to get you started in the right direction.
I also get some free therapy on you tube. I found meditation helpful, and Tara Branch has some free lectures she is a psychologist. It is terribly important to hit on the correct issue every one has some anxiety and we all have issues whether we admit to it or not. I think anyone can benefit from good therapy but you have to find the right one. Good luck with your journey


  • Stubble
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Re: Mustacian anxiety treatment
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2020, 04:00:33 AM »
Do you think subsequent visits might be cheaper?  Sometimes an initial consultation is more expensive.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Mustacian anxiety treatment
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2020, 04:57:40 AM »
Do you think subsequent visits might be cheaper?  Sometimes an initial consultation is more expensive.

This was my question as well.

Sailor Sam

  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Mustacian anxiety treatment
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2020, 06:59:57 AM »
When it comes to mental health providers, fit tends to be more important than specialty. Unfortunate, the only way to test fit is to visit a provider, which feels like a catch-22 being punched down when you're already on the ropes.

Sounds like you clicked with the provider 40 miles away, and that's a relationship I'd personally hold onto. Like other posters, I'd ask if subsequent visits are cheaper. If subsequent visits aren't cheaper, and you can't/won't pay that much (and it's a lot!), then you are well within propriety to ask your provider if she has a recommendation for someone closer to home. Especially if she's a psychiatrist, and you won't be taking medication.

If you're the DIY type, you can check out a book on self-CBT. If you do decided to pick a provider closer to home, reading up on the strategies might help you evaluate if you're meshing with the person.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Mustacian anxiety treatment
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2020, 07:32:07 AM »
I've done therapy for anxiety too.  If it wasn't for my company plan offering 3 free sessions I'm not sure I would have started, but it's been very helpful.  One of the first things my therapist recommended was the book "When Panic Attacks" by David Burns.  It teaches Cognitive Behavior Therapy techniques in more detail than we could discuss in 1-hour sessions.  I found it to be an excellent book that is somewhat betrayed by its low cost (ie. we might take it more seriously if it cost us $379!).

Here are some other options you might consider:
1) Discuss your billing with the specialist you saw, and see if there is an ability to reduce the cost by:
Paying for multiple sessions up front
Skipping insurance and paying in cash
I have found doctors are being more receptive/understanding of financial restrictions

2) Set up a session where your intent is to get recommended reading/workbook tools from your therapist.

One last suggestion I have is to give yourself the space and kindness you would offer to others.  If you need time to read your book, or go to therapy sessions and time is a constraint, buy ready made meals, or order pizza (even delivery).  There is something to the mustacian lifestyle that can induce anxiety (am I saving enough, should I really buy this pre-shredded cheese for an extra $.10 per pound, I really shouldn't be driving 20 minutes for work).  These questions can be part of a healthy discussion on lifestyle, but when they negatively affect your mental health and reduce your ability to function, they are just in the way.  Take a break from this if necessary.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Mustacian anxiety treatment
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2020, 10:30:51 AM »
I listen to several podcasts and lately there have been ads on ones I listen to frequently for online therapy services. They say you can schedule your meetings via Skype or phone call. That might be worth looking into just for the convenience. They all use licenced therapists.


  • Bristles
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Re: Mustacian anxiety treatment
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2020, 10:39:17 AM »
I deal with anxiety and depression. I have tried the meds I have tried the talk therapy...the problem I have with talk therapy is I have to explain for many appointments how I got to where I am at life. I just do not want to justify my life to anyone who just cannot understand. And if they cannot understand they cannot help me.

I have done many deep dives into google trying to figure out my root cause. And it comes down to my brain goes really really fast. I have developed a few patterns to help deal with it. I have turned my bedroom into a dark cave with black out drapes and blinds. When the world feels like it is spinning out of control I retreat there. I also get to go there to sleep every night it is the best. I have a meditation spot that I try to meditate every day. With life and a 9 year old that does not always happen but I try. I also journal. I also see a personal trainer because I need to be told how to workout and someone to look over my diet. I want to feel cared for. She is cheaper than any talk therapy and I can bitch to her and she will listen. I also find journaling to be really helpful to figure out why my brain is spinning.

Now these ideas may not work if you have a major imbalance. But I have had great results with these things.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Mustacian anxiety treatment
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2020, 10:43:12 AM »
I think the approach to take depends on how severe the anxiety is.  If it's a low, constant background hum, it's different than if it's a screaming, can't function problem. 

For the former, try meditation every day and/or guided relaxation exercises (progressive muscle relaxation is helpful), combined with CBT.  You can DIY this with workbooks, such as Mind Over Mood and The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook.  This takes regular, multiple times daily work to really see a difference.

If you're in the latter camp, then meds can be helpful, especially short-term to get the anxiety down enough for you to focus on CBT work.  You might also need them long-term, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Don't forget to look at your physical health too, because too much caffeine, carbs and lack of sleep and exercise can also cause anxiety.  Start with the basics and work up from there.