Thank you so much for your response, Cloud Iceberg, and the coffees! ;-)

I’m glad to hear you’ve received the support you needed, which I too would have done had I lived anywhere other than the U.S. If I were still in the UK for example, the issue would likely be under control by now as I’d have been able to access care right away regardless of means.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that depression is a societal issue, and that it should be dealt with as such. Alas, it isn’t the case in the United States, where access to health care is predicated on jumping through many hoops. First you need to have insurance (I do) and then you need to be able to afford the co-pays (I seldom can). It is a ridiculous, inhumane system that keeps people sick, out of work, and broke.

Unlike anywhere else in the Western world, there is no safety net in this country and the impact this has on Americans is gruesome (our life expectancy is not as good as it is in the E.U. for example), with many losing their home and livelihood so they can afford a chance at being healthy again, as is often the case with cancer patients of lesser means.

My stepmom is currently undergoing treatment for Stage IV breast cancer. But because she lives in Paris, France, all she has to worry about is her health. She has a home, she has her pension, and although they are some co-pays for certain things, they’re negligible and not even worth writing about. When all the basics are taken care, this means she can afford a few “extras” like acupuncture sessions to try to prevent loss of eyelashes, eyebrows, or nails (side effect of chemo) and a really nice wig made out of real hair as she’s already lost hers. Even for those “extras”, the state chips in. Because this is how we do health care in the E.U.

Although she’s very sick, her dignity remains intact.

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