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Ever Been In An 'Intensive Outpatient Program'??

Posted by Jayy on May 22, 2009, at 12:47:39

Hi everyone,
Last week I had my first appointment with a new Psychiatrist at a mental health unit of a hospital.

The Dr read my previous records, heard my whole story and current treatment I receive: I've been going to the same state run "Guidance center" since 1995 and am still a complete shut in and in the exact same mental hell as I was then... but much worse since I'm almost 15 years older and my life has gone nowhere due to mental illness and no help from the useless place that I've wasted 15 years at.
So he said that he thinks I'm "Bipolar 2" (which I knew/suspected I was but my current shrink doesn't even know what that is) in addition to severe depression, anxiety and social phobia. Thinks I need Lithium and etc...

Ok, so he then says that it wouldn't be beneficial at all for me to see him once a week for 45 minutes, and he suggested I be hospitalized so they could more closely monitor medications and diagnose me and whatever else he said. I refused that.
So he suggested I attend their "Intensive Outpatient Program" which (as he explained) would be Mon-Fri 8am- 1pm for 5-6 weeks (or less depending on certain things).
From what I understood from him I was under the impression that I would be seeing him daily for intensive psychiatric talk in addition to other therapy and also group therapy.

Well this morning I got a call from the woman who runs this program and now it all sounds very different: According to her it's ALL group therapy, all day, where they discuss anger management techniques and coping w/ anxiety and things of this nature.

She said that I'd only see the Psychiatrist once a week I believe for 15 minutes!!!!! She MAY have said 45 minutes, but I'm pretty sure it was 15 minutes and then once the program was over I could go to the regular counseling center and see him I believe twice a month. It also could have been once a month... a lot of info at once overwhelms me and is hard to recall, but I know I didn't like what I was hearing.

I can see where it will be beneficial, I suppose, to be in group therapy with other people who share my severe issues and can relate... but I have severe anxiety and social phobia and the idea of sitting with 20 or 25 (yes, that many) other people and being expected to talk about my most humiliating thoughts is overwhelming.

I also don't understand how this is supposed to help me. According to that woman (basically): If I had a phobia of riding elevators then exposing myself to them would desensitize me to that fear (you know... that whole routine).

Yes, fine. But I have severe mental issues, not a ridiculous elevator phobia: What about the fact that I have such severe body insecurities/anxiety to the extent where I haven't been able to have sex or any type of intimate relationship since around 1994??
I've always had that issue... I used to actually "work" as a (gay) male escort before 1994 because getting paid stupid amounts of money by men in exchange for me basically doing nothing but getting serviced and complimented by them was the only thing that ever made me feel attractive.

And those were guys who I never would have chosen to be with... so when it came to guys I was attracted to I was unable to even speak to them, never mind sex or any relationship. And now it's much worse since, again, I'm older and feel waaay worse about myself than ever.

So how is countless hours of group therapy supposed to help me w/ that? I don't see how it possibly can.
I have other severe fears/anxieties as well which have kept me completely isolated from all of society for almost 15 years and I just don't see how group therapy is supposed to help me.

I hate to sound selfish, but I really don't care to go hear about other peoples problems... I need it to be about me.

And I don't know if it's just my paranoia/mental illness talking or not but I'm very afraid that they're just trying to get me into the program for as long as possible in order to get as much money out of my "insurance"/medicare/medicaid as they can.

Anyway, I agreed to do it starting Thurs, 5/28. I really have no other choice or better opportunity due to many reasons but I'm so afraid it's going to be a huge disappointment.

I really can't handle another useless mental health experience. In addition to the 15 years wasted at the guidance center I also saw a private Psychologist from 5/07 - 1/08. That's another topic, but believe me when I say that this guy was detrimental and left me in worse mental condition than when I started seeing him.
He would have his license taken away for extremely unethical behavior and be charged (or fined AGAIN) for fraudulent billing had I reported him (but like the mental case I am I felt and still feel extreme guilt over confronting him over everything and wouldn't want to ruin his life so I would never report him).

Sorry for all the "babbling"...

If you've ever been to one of these type of Intensive Outpatient programs can you please tell me about it and if/how it helped you? Am I just being negative/paranoid? Is it possible that this type of group program can help me with my specific issues in your opinion?

Thanks for any info or opinions you may have :O)




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