David Draiman’s Struggle to Find Mental Health Care Further Highlights a Broken System
Hell, even prior to the pandemic, Americans were dealing with major mental issues. Whether onset through personal experiences and chemical imbalances, or external things like returning from war or experiencing some sort of trauma, many of us need help coping.
One person that’s recently made the rounds after going public with his mental health struggles is none other than Disturbed frontman and Tinder user David Draiman. After tearfully sharing his struggles on stage and then promising his fans he’s “going nowhere” after receiving an outpouring of support, the vocalist shared the honestly fucked up amount of hoops and red tape he’s had to get through in order to find any mental health care in the states while speaking with The Charismatic Voice (as transcribed by Blabbermouth).
“My biggest critique of the status quo is that we don’t have enough support. A phone number isn’t enough — it’s not. For many, it takes a tremendous amount of courage to go ahead and dial that number in the first place. And let’s say that you’re in a position like I am. What am I gonna do — call an 800 number? I can’t do that. So finding help, when you finally get to the point where you’re crying out for it, should be easier to get.
“When I was at my low point like about three months ago, and I had just said goodbye to my dog of 14 years, my best friend… I’m in this house that I got specifically because I had the bog — a 110-pound male Akita, my Gabriel, my guardian angel, and now I’m in this house all alone, and my son isn’t with me, and I’m divorced, and I’m not feeling well. And everywhere I look, I see my dog; everything reminds me of him. I reached out and I tried to get help, and it was un-fucking-believably frustrating. Everybody is unavailable. Nobody’s taking new patients. They want you to do this evaluation, that evaluation. Do you have the money for it? Can you qualify for it? Is it within your insurance plan? Fuck you! Enough! I’m telling you.
“You get to the point where you’re vulnerable enough that you’re desperate and you need help. Fucking help me. I ended up going to one therapist — one therapist — and she ended up telling me she didn’t have enough time to cure me and pawns me off on three other therapists that didn’t have enough time to cure me. It shouldn’t be that hard. It shouldn’t be that hard. It shouldn’t be as much of a business as it is.”
For those of you that don’t live in the U.S., our entire health care system is for-profit. That means every procedure, every visit, every ambulance ride, everything has a cost. Whether you pay it or you pay an insurance company to cover most of the costs, you’re still likely putting out some of your hard earned cash so you can get better and/or not fucking die.
Mental health in the U.S. is also a major issue, as Draiman points out, because there seems to be a stigma around admitting you need help, even though the National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that approximately 20% of U.S. adults “experience mental illness each year.”
“People classically have viewed it as a weakness. ‘Now, why can’t you use logic and reason and the beauty that you’re surrounded by in your life to dispel what’s happening to you?’ It’s ’cause it’s not under your control. Logic and reason don’t respond to it. You can make all the sense in the world; what’s happening to you doesn’t make sense. It’s no different — and I’ve said this on numerous occasions, and it couldn’t be more true — it’s no different than cancer. You don’t have control over cancer. It eats away at you from the inside; it metastasizes, if you allow it to. And you can’t be blamed for depression, or addiction even, for that matter, any more than you can for contracting cancer or some other debilitating disease. You don’t want it. You’re not asking for me. You’re not too weak, and that’s why you succumb to it. It’s out of your control.”
Ultimately, Draiman said he’s thankful for his family and the people around him who’ve helped him cope with the things he’s been feeling. Sadly, that’s not the case for many people, since the average delay between experiencing mental illness symptoms and treatment is about 11 years, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
If you, or someone you love, is dealing with a mental health issue and need help, please seek professional assistance. And while it’s not a total solution, you can always call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988.