My First Anxiety Attack – Part IV

You can catch up on Jean-Marc’s story here:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

the more I tried to help myself

Have you ever had to deal with an insurance company who refused to pay out? It seemed to me that the more I tried to help myself, the less they wanted to help me. I thought that it would be a good thing that I was trying to get myself back to work as quickly as possible, but that wasn’t the case. It took me 5 weeks before I felt like I was ready to go back to work, but looking back, I don’t think I was ready.

Over the last 2 years, I haven’t worked more than 6 months at a time, and in between this, I was put off work for a total of 6 months. When I first had my anxiety attack, I ran out of sick days quickly, and had absolutely no problem getting an insurance cheque for 2 weeks worth of sickness. I was at work for approximately 6 months after that, and then a second anxiety attack happened. I was able to control this one much better than the first time because I knew what was happening to me. I went home from work and called my doctor right away, who put me off work. This is when my problems with the insurance company started.

I was in contact (back and forth) with the insurance company for 2 months before they initially denied my request. Because I had been back to work, they saw my condition as being ‘healed’, and because my medication wasn’t changing enough, they didn’t see it as me needing to be off work (or so they told me). I fought this, and got them to review it again. The next time I saw my doctor, I told him what the insurance company had said about me being healed, and he was furious. “How could they possibly know that?” he said. That visit must have done it, because 2 months later, when I finally got the answer to my review, the insurance was approved until the end of my last doctors note, which equaled out to me being off work for 6 months.

Just before the doctors note expired, I got an email from my employer stating that I was being laid-off. That threw me into another attack, and my doctor decided to put me off work for the remaining 6 months of my employment. Unfortunately, my insurance company decided that because my medication hadn’t changed in the last 2 months, that I wasn’t ill enough to be off work, and denied my claim for further payments. They said that if my situation was really that bad, that my doctor would be making changes to my medication.

I decided not to fight it this time. I had already gone 4 months without any type of income coming in, and I didn’t need another 4. I just went to work again, and fought through the following 6 months. In the end, I’m glad it did happen this way, because it gave me a chance to reconnect with people before I left, and I was able to work on my anxiety while there. Even if every day wasn’t great, and to be honest, I did have to call in sick a few days, it did help me socialize and get over that part of my anxiety.

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