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Hello~ I need help or information, please! I am currently unemployed and have moved 2500 miles away from my friends and family.I am 39, single, have no children. I have been diagnosed in the passed with depression and bi polar and was prescribed celexa and klonipin. It seemed to help me at the time, until my insurance changed and I was unable to afford celexa and was forced to go on Paxil. Paxil was horrible and made me have awful side effects, so I eventually went off everything all together. Years later I am worse than ever. I only leave the house when I'm forced to (that is often only 1 day a week for a hour or so).I use alcohol as a way to medicate myself.I am miserable and need to find my way out of this dark tunnel I have all ways been in.What I am looking for is there anywhere that I can go to get help and medication without insurance or high costs?I need to get myself back to point that I can get back out work, and finish my last quarter of school to get my degree, and be happy living life!Thanks for listening.

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its tough out there for the under-insured, for sure (and we are at risk in the United States as health care costs continue to be a crisis and insurance companies continue to be for-profit enterprises who make more money when they deny care).

There are a couple things that are working against you besides not having insurance or income right now. Being so far away from people who care about you is actually a risk factor for depression for many people. The distance means that your effective "social support" is lacking, which helps people be resilient in the face of stress. So whatever you can do to be around friends and family who care about you may help shore you up mood-wise.

Without health insurance in the United States, you are either paying for care out of pocket, or you are working with the public health care system. Since you are currently unemployed, it would seem that the public health care system would be your major option. There are public health clinics and community mental health care centers in most cities and towns. These insititutions are way under-funded and may not be able to help you directly (as they may need to reserve their care ability for people more ill than yourself), but you won't know until you talk to them, so I encourage you to make an appointment at one of these places near you. If you cannot receive medical care through your local public facility, ask if you can talk with a social worker who is familiar with the patchwork of care resources in your area. Such people may know how to hook you up with state health insurance or something like that (if such a thing still exists).

As for medications, there are a few programs that help people who can't afford medicine to receive it at low cost or free. You can read about them in this blog entry on low-cost or no-cost medication services

There are some good simple self-help ways to go about dealing with depression. The first in your case, would be to stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol can lead to its own addiction problems as you well know, and it is also itself a drug that contributes to depression, which you may not have known. So stop drinking to self-medicate and that should help a little bit.

Exercise is a good free and effective antidepressant activity. This would be vigorous exercise about three times a week - like a jazzercise class or swimming or jogging or weight lifting, or cycling or something that gets your heart rate up for a good number of minutes.

There's lots more to say. You can read more about how depression can be treated in our depression topic center article.

Hope this information is helpful to you.

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