Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 18 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Monday, January 22, 2018


I take a small cocktail of medications to treat my depression. Today I received my year end summary from the insurance company that pays for my prescriptions. Seventeen thousand, three hundred seventy two dollars and five cents. That's how much my medications cost in 2017. While there are a couple of other pills represented in that amount, the vast majority of the total cost came from my depression meds. $17,372.05. It's a bit shocking.

Fortunately, I pay for insurance to cover the majority of that total cost, so I did not pay $17,372.05 out of pocket. My health insurance coverage, including medication coverage, is quite expensive. I pay over $600 per month, but this year end summary reminded me why I pay the hefty price. It also got me thinking. What would I do if I couldn't afford my insurance? I certainly would not be able to afford my medications, and then what would happen? It's frightening to think about.

I need my medications. Without them I would not be functional. In fact, I likely would not be alive without my meds. They are an integral piece of my overall health plan. I take care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually, and I take my medications. That's what works for me. I am grateful I can afford the coverage I have.

Having a chronic illness is expensive. I know there are people out there less fortunate than I. This year end summary made me think of them. I know some people don't even fill their prescriptions, or they are forced to use less effective medication options due to cost. Two of my meds are quite new and therefore quite expensive, but they work where others haven't. If I couldn't cover their cost, my depression would likely get the best of me. That's sad. And scary.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. Just thinking out loud, I guess, and processing the cost of chronic illness. Affording my insurance coverage is constantly on my mind, especially when I miss even a few days of work. It's a stressor I have to control. It would be great if treating illness wasn't a financial burden, but I don't have any answers to this conundrum. I'll leave that to greater minds than mine.

Seventeen thousand, three hundred seventy two dollars and five cents. That's a lot of money. I pray I will continue to be able to afford my insurance coverage in 2018.


Anonymous said...

I have good insurance, and while it isn't cheap, it's workable, especially since I'm, you know, working. So the cost of my meds and my visits to the therapist only cost me my co-pay (plus my premiums).

Nonetheless, I'm doing without the meds and the therapy visits. Neither seems to be working (and I've tried a few meds and a few therapists), so if I'm going to be miserable anyway, I might as well pocket more of my money.

I am glad it's working for you. That is a lot of money, but you're a functioning, contributing professional, and that counts for more. Also, you're alive!

Sasha Kildare said...

Your post speaks to several issues. Mainly, how pernicious and complex depression is. I should be getting a supply of high-grade Vitamin D this weekend. It is supposed to take one month to make a change. I experience mild depression all winter long. If it helps, I will let you know.

Grace Wisdom said...

I remember when I was starting a new job at a new school. I had temporary insurance, and they refused to cover my meds. Fortunately, my new job does. It is unbelievable. How was your trip? How is your running? I am hoping that your leg is ok. Also, New Orleans is a great trip option during the Winter months. We have The Mardi Gras Marathon coming up in March. You can just do a 5K, a half, or a full (I think). We also have smaller, less expensive races that are fun. I know this year might not be the right year for it. Eventually, you should try to get down here! It is so flat that many people do great!

etta said...

@ Grace: New Orleans is on my list of places to visit. It may be a few years, but I'll get there.