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Mental Health and the Military Spouse

This is not a subject I am an expert on by any means, but I recently started looking into mental health services provided for military spouses and wanted to share what I've learned. 

As most of know, Tricare can be really confusing. What's covered? What's not covered? Who do I call? What region am I in? What do I need? The questions are endless. I covered quite a bit in my video on Tricare, but one thing I didn't cover was mental health services.

I have been diagnosed with clinical depression and general anxiety disorder in the past and previous sought help for both illnesses. I got better, I stopped taking the medication, and I thought things were good.

Then life happened.

I got married, I got a job, we moved, we had money problems, we moved again, it felt like things weren't going to get better. The every day stresses of life started to wear me down. And now here we are.

I don't have access to the same mental health facilities I did while I was a college student. I don't have that doctor here with me in Idaho at our duty station. And I don't know what Tricare can offer me in terms of mental health services. But I know I need help because I know that I'm sick and I can't get better on my own.

So, after a particularly nasty fight with Jeremy, I decided to start giving help a serious consideration. I researched and researched and honestly I'm still not 100% sure what my options are as a military spouse.

With Tricare, you are entitled to eight visits with an outpatient mental health provider without a referral. Okay, cool. So how do I find an outpatient mental health provider? What even is that? Can they prescribe medication? 

Another option is to talk to your PCM. This is the recommended if you feel you want to discuss medication options. This is probably the step I'll take.

My biggest problem is that at the end of next month I'm moving back to CA for a job while Jeremy stays in Idaho. My PCM also stays in Idaho. Another thing I need to figure out.

For those of you a little more well versed in the world of Tricare I would love some knowledge as the internet as been weak on this particular subject. 

And to those of you struggling with the same or similar illness, I'm sorry. I know how much it sucks, I know how it feels. You aren't alone, as cheesy as that sounds. I'm a good listener if anyone wants to talk.

Zoe Wolff