Course of Action

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I'll try my best to keep this brief and can follow up with details if anyone asks for specifics. If this post is too long, you can skip to the last couple of paragraphs, and/or skim the first few.

In a nutshell, I feel I am in need of hospitalization, but am unsure of whether or not my feelings are unjustified and how to go about getting help. I fear a trip to the ER (don't know how I'll get there without a car) will result in me being sent away feeling like an idiot whose issues are not all that serious or deserving of medical help.

In regards to some background information, I have been suffering from on/off depression since high school, when a teacher reported me to my counselor who literally threatened me with the 72 Hour Hold (I think to scare me into thinking my "depression" was trivial or stupid or disrespectful of those who /really/ were suicidal); it didn't happen and when my parents picked me up from school they scoffed at and joked about it. I am Asian-American and have parents who do not really believe in receiving medical attention for 'feeling blue' or other 'little' problems. In college I was diagnosed with ADHD-PI, which I kept secret from my family and most of my friends. The medication for that helped, but did not help recurrent bouts of depression.

Fast forward to the present - I am now in my /fifth/ year of college, majoring in engineering. I can safely say I have/had been mildly depressed for about a year, primarily due to feelings of failure as a student aspiring to attend grad school and remain in academia, become a professor. It may have been slightly triggered by rejections from every summer internship and research program I applied to, despite a decent GPA and having performed well in the handful of graduate courses I have taken. I essentially spent this past year wasting away my parents' money, dropping classes, and not performing well. I am at least not conscious of any affect it may have had, but I broke up with my boyfriend (of ~2.5 years) last November; just to make a note of it.

A few months ago I was prescribed both an antidepressant and Strattera, but stopped taking it a couple months ago. I had gotten the attention of my psychiatrist (in regards to depression, finally) because he noticed I had gone from ~110-115 pounds to less than 100 pounds due to a lack of appetite. Partially because I knew I would not be able to continue taking the medication after college (without parents knowing - until/unless I get a job, I suppose) and I was feeling better, and partially since my doctor did not want me to take both medications in conjunction with my usual Adderall prescription, which I opted for in favor of the other two. [I haven't taken any Adderall in a couple weeks; just a note.]

For the past few weeks, at least four or five, I have been severely depressed. I haven't been to any of my classes, I haven't left my apartment aside from the occasional trash disposal. I sometimes suffer from bouts of insomnia and loss of appetite, and other times bouts of hypersomnia and intense fatigue. I have socially isolated myself - I haven't called my parents in a couple of months, I have avoided logging into any social network sites or chat clients. In the past couple weeks I have been having recurring thoughts of death and suicide, but think my desire to live presently outweighs the pain I feel. On the other hand, I worry the scales may tip at any moment and I may not be able to fight off the desire to end my life. The only means I can think of to commit suicide are (un)fortunately xxxxxxxxxxx. There is no specific plan or date/time set up, but nevertheless feel I am in need of help.

... So much for briefness, that was really fucking long. I apologize. I haven't gotten much sleep aside from naps for the past three or so days (honestly can't remember) and have spent these nights debating whether or not to call the nearby emergency psychiatric services; out of fear that I may be sent away and billed, for one, and also out of the fear that my school's health insurance will not cover voluntary inpatient treatment. I cannot have my parents burdened with hospital bills, partially due to the fact that I have thrown away the money they have spent on me for the past wasted year of school. Also because I want to avoid having them know of my problems since I want to avoid the scoffing, joking, sympathy, anything, etc. I am contemplating calling for an appointment with my school's counseling services, but worry they won't be able to see me within the next couple days. I am pretty sure my issues do not warrant a 911 call, since the only self-harm I really engage in is a nervous habit of skin-picking. The only steps I have thus far taken in getting help is this thread post and an e-mail to - so far unanswered - because I cannot bring myself to use the phone (I generally HATE using the phone - it has been off for weeks as a means of avoiding seeing people trying to contact me) to call any helplines or anything.

That's about it, in sum. I am asking anyone for advice as to what steps would be advisable to take, despite fears of costs of going to an ER and/or being sent away and feeling absolutely stupid for misconstruing my problems for an actual problem (then having no idea what to do - I REALLY dislike my current psychiatrist and do not want to see him) and/or a potential hospital stay not being covered by insurance and my parents having to foot the bill... I spent the past couple of days looking into information regarding my insurance and such, but could not find any helpful or conclusive answers.
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Mr Stewart

Well-Known Member
Hello. :hiya:

First: Your problems are REAL. I believe you. I believe that you need help.

If you do go to the ER, medical insurance the world over should cover most or all of that expense, to my knowledge. However, if you need to be sure, give your school a call and ask. No need for details, just a simple "does my policy cover ER visits?" should do the trick.

As for the concern over not being taken seriously/sent away at the ER, you can rest easy on that. Hospitals are not in the business of assuming patient's complaints are fraudulent, especially if that person has voluntarily walked in seeking help for severe depression and suicidal ideation. There are several people on this forum who have gone through this process, hopefully one of them can give more detail on what to expect. I haven't personally done the ER visit for this reason.

If you think you need to go to the ER, then go. Go as soon as possible, okay? Call a taxi.
Yo, sir. Many thanks for your reply, it was reassuring to read what you said.

Maybe I've avoided mustering up the will to get myself to an ER also because of the worry about the negative stigma associated with psych wards. Heh. But since it looks like I'm in for another sleepless night I'll continue to mull things over a while longer to see if I can manage to turn on, pick up my phone, and get my ass over to the ER. Thanks again. :shake:
OK. Got back a response from the Samaritans e-mail service and it was not helpful at all. Not to mention the responder either has poor grammar and/or is not very intelligent. But my almost belligerent attitude towards an anonymous person only trying to help me only makes me feel worse than I felt before I read the response. Joy.

In other news, I have spent time reading and skimming through other threads and I have come to the conclusion that my depression is downright stupid. I read about the suffering so many people are experiencing, and in comparison, my issues seem trivial and my mind only seems to be whining incessantly. I don't deserve my life. I feel pathetic about this nonsense and how I'm talking to myself. :mhmm:


Staff Alumni
Being in pain is not a contest...yours is as valid as anyone else' seems that these feeling are interfering in your schooling, your social life and your general sense of well being, therefore you deserve to get care...please continue to investigate what services are available to you from your insurance and continue to post to let us know how you are doing...J


Well-Known Member
Sorry to see you this way - and how is it that someone in England knows that American Asian parents are (usually) very pushy with regards their children's education?

I mean, its a good thing. I know people who grew up in households with no bookshelf, let alone a book case!

Anyhow, your problems are not trite - they are real - and although you might not see a 'valid' reason for being depressed, that may be due to you needing no reason - after all its a chemical, biological, electrical, 'malfunction' of sorts. I mean depression has a basis in medical reality and we are slowly but surely coming to a point whereby we will have conclusive tests - maybe a doctor will simply take a blood test for depression in future - or you might get a pacemaker fitted to the brain - a simple op.

But its what you feel right now that matters - and if your feeling suicidal - then I suppose the first step would be to get help off a doctor. With the USA, I know, you have insurance and so on - but the college you attend (or whatever) will have some counsellors also - and maybe a easy way for students to get help when they cannot afford it.

Isolating yourself is no good. I have periodic 'retreats' during which I like my own company - and need it. But to enjoy myself - have some fun and maybe a laugh or two - I need to be with people.

At your age - being isolated is all the more difficult and it does little for your self esteem. It can become like a vicious circle - in that you keep to yourself, likely shrug off any offers of socialising and then eventually find nobody asks you to go to the ball because you've camouflaged yourself.

Anyhow, maybe some other med might help you - because you need to get into a routine again. Your parents might well have different ideas on depression than you have - but Asians do have high rates of suicide - and maybe your parents like to see things through rose tinted glasses and forget how things were when they lived in Asia.

Its not worth falling out with them though - and you should keep in touch more - as your mum, especially is bound to worry about being on your own in some big city or town.

You lost yourself a boyfriend, so at least you know you have the ability to 'hook' one, if I may put it so bold! Look on the bright side - when you get a bit better, not having a man will be a bonus when it comes to studying for the final exams and whatever.

Get some help though - and hopefully you can socialise a little more - you can mix that with education.

Give your mother a call also - once a week is the minimum really, even if its just to say hello. Don't cut yourself off from family unless you have a real reason to.

Your not alone in what you feel - and are intelligent enough to recognise it is not your fault you have this depression. That said, whilst we can get help - it is all geared towards us helping ourselves once we get over the worse. Meds can do that that - but its 30-50% success rate so sometimes its obvious certain meds will not work.

Anyhow, I hope you feel better soon and can enjoy things a little bit more. It takes time, and a little effort on our part but depression is beatable - and we can come out of the worse of it with better outlook on life.

So - take a few walks, get some fresh air and then take a nice long shower, clean yourself up - and look into the mirror.

Now, maybe you are purple with green spots and have five heads - but I'm guessing your just a human being, like any of us.

Thankfully, your problems are ones many here have been through and contended against at certain times in life. What you are going through is 'normal' in that millions just like go through it. some of the students you see will be going through it - but it is very hard to see into a persons feelings unless you are acquainted with them.

You can share here anytime - and nobody will think any less of you. Indeed, it is a brave thing you do - and its the right things also - because many people keep it entirely to themselves and suicide becomes a secret plan that gains momentum through the lack of any social contact.

You seem like a 'people person' at heart - I mean, you are obviously quite caring and therefore would make a good college in work, a good friend to have and one day, hopefully a wonderful wife and mum - whose daughter will likely complain about her 'strict Asian American mum!'

So, get some help - keep studying hard (when you are feeling well) and do remember that if your feeling so down that your education is suffering - then you can get help and will need it at that point.

I'm sure you will pull through with some help - and I wish you all the best for now and the future.

PS English parents are strict also!
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