Getting mental help without work or insurance knowing?

  1. - - Nursing isn't my first profession, but now I'm 3.5 yrs in and have since moved states away from my family and am living on my own. My first apartment complex I lived in caught on fire in the middle of the night and 33 units were lost. My parent's house flooded back home months later. Then a hurricane flooded the city I live in and I wrecked my car trying to drive to the hospital to get to work. I already had OCD (non-diagnosed, but come on - it's pretty freaking obvious to everyone, even myself) but these events pushed my anxiety into a new level I've never experienced.
    - - Within the past year, several people have expressed that I seemed to show signs that I need help and I should see someone for it. I've lost friendships because of this. How dare they. But now work is telling me I need to see a therapist, that coworkers are complaining that I'm angry and stressed out at work all of the time when they see me. I would welcome the therapy sessions, don't get me wrong, because I've been going through a LOT lately, and it's way more than I know I can handle. It's gotten to where I can't even sleep before a shift and I can't work out this stress I feel. But I have this uneasy feeling - being a nurse and having hospital insurance through work. If I end up getting diagnosed with a mental health issue, this may cause even bigger issues for me.
    - - How can you seek therapy sessions without your hospital insurance and workplace knowing your diagnoses? They would see the charge.
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    About setsumas

    Joined: May '13; Posts: 3

    6 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    Your workplace would have no involvement in any case (unless treatment was mandated as part of some kind of remediation plan to keep your job, if it came to that); your work and your work-provided insurance should be entirely separate. However, the only way for your insurance not to know about it is to pay out of pocket and not use your insurance.

    "How dare" friends be concerned about you being in distress and suggest that getting some treatment could help you? Interesting perspective. What kind of "friends" would see you obviously having difficulties and not be concerned or try to be helpful? Not any friends I would want to have.
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    The only way your employer will know is if you tell them, which is not necessary unless you need accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Yes, you should seek treatment and quickly. It sounds like your mental health concerns are shared by your friends and co-workers, and unfortunately people can get fired even though they are technically in a protected class. I know, it's happened to me twice. Whether you decide to use your insurance or pay cash, your first priority is to get help. No one deserves to feel the way you do.
  5. by   Oldmahubbard
    Please seek help quickly, and use your insurance. There is no benefit to going incognito for a mental health problem.

    If your workplace is anything like the many places I have worked, literally half the staff are currently in treatment for some type of mental health problem, or have had treatment in the past. You are very far from alone.

    As a Psych NP, I am very open about the fact that I have sought therapy and taken medication for anxiety. It helped. I wouldn't be where I am today without it.
  6. by   broughden
    HIPAA protects your medical records from your employer. The only way they will know is if you wait to long to see someone and your employer mandates it as a condition of your continued employment.

    Ive never been a big therapy person, despite having tried it a few times. I tend toward heavy weights in the gym and meditation.
    But dont be afraid of getting the help you need.
  7. by   CharlieFoxtrot
    I would highly suggest getting help now *voluntarily* before it becomes an issue where it's no longer voluntary.

    If you do not wish to use your insurance, you may be able to seek help through an employee assistance program if your workplace has one. In larger companies, the EAP is usually contracted out, and provides short-term counseling for single issues. This service is almost always free, confidential, and the topics discussed are not passed along to the employer. It's a great benefit that people should really use more often.

    If, however, the problem is more involved than something that can be addressed by a brief round of therapy, use your insurance and see a therapist. As previous posters mentioned, HIPAA covers your privacy.

    Having untreated mental health concerns is like leaving your dog in the house when you go on vacation: when you come home, the place is covered in poo, and the dog is acting up. You can take your dog out of the house and for a walk and then it's happy again, but there's still all that poo left behind that still has to get cleaned up. That is to say, you can take yourself out of traumatic situations and feel better, but that underlying issue is still going to be there until it gets cleaned up.
  8. by   KR
    My experience is if u go thru EAP Employer Assistance Program, they ended up telling my boss everything personal. The EAP counselor, my ICU manager, and VP of HR all had a meeting without me and without my knowledge. I ended up forced on FMLA, even tho it was an on the job work injury.

    My advice, if u r able and it is just for counseling self pay. Boss or HR may request proof. But truthfully, even if u use ur health insurance for counseling, psychiatrist etc boss should not be in the know unless HR demands a letter from counselor saying u r in counseling. Otherwise u r covered under HIPPA, but AVOID the EAP! EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM. HIPPA was violated big time ! I never felt so violated.

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