GOOD

Amanda Rosenberg

Money

This Is How Mental Illness Costs $145,000 A Year

The staggering cost of a pre-existing condition

Like 44 million other people in the United States, I have a serious mental illness. In fact, I have a few—bipolar II disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. Some days, they vie for my attention, but not in a cute way, like in a precocious little shit way. I’ll start my day with deep depression, but then PTSD is like ‘Look! Look at what I can do!’ And when I look, it’s a traumatic memory. Other times, I’ll spend a whole week with one illness. I can’t tell you how many times my anxiety has whisked me away on a couple’s retreat where we spend every waking hour with each other (and with anxiety, every hour is a waking hour). Dealing with a mind that wants to hurt you all the time is exhausting, which is why I take medication.

The side effects can be messy, but they’re nothing compared to what my untreated mind can do. For the 10 or so years I went untreated, my illnesses cost me relationships, jobs, important life milestones, and many other things that are extremely (Mastercard voice) “priceless.”

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