Depressed and broke...what would you do?

Yeah, it’s pointless, and mindless…

I’m depressed…I’m not sure clinically, or not, but I just can’t fathom any motivation, and often wonder if living is worth the effort. I thought maybe I should get help…

But I’m also broke…

Therapy, or medical treatment for this possible condition is NOT cheap. And I have ZERO money to my name. Or job. I don’t think there’s anything over the counter… What does a broke person do? I guess sell the computer I’m typing on right now!

Well, that’s my mindless stuff I must share…but now, back to bed/sleep - yeah, it’s 12 noon, but sleeping is better than being awake.

Jet Black

Well, if you were in Canada, this would be no problem, however, I assume you are in the US.

I thought (and I may be TOTALLY wrong here) that Drs couldn’t refuse service on the basis of ability to pay.

Hightail it down to yer local emergency room and ask for a psyc. admission.

They can’t turn you away, can they?

In the mean time, please take care.


[sub]Who sadly, has almost no knowledge of the US health care system, but is bent on being helpful anyway.[/sub]


Believe it or not…it works

Just go out and hike or run a bit. Get the juices flowing and you will feel better that you actually made yourself a little healthy.

I was in the same rut as you and just decided to go out and do something.

Also, go do something different. Go to the library and get lost in the shelves. Call up a old friend. Rearrange your living room, paint a wall. Just try to change something small about your life and you will be surprised how it changes you.

Regarding a psych admission, it’s not that easy. You have to demonstrate that you are a danger to yourself or others in most cases, but if you ARE, yes, some hospital will have to find a bed for you.

If you are not, I agree that running or finding some other activity is a good start, though there are so many people out there who need more than that. Without money or insurance, it’s hard for people to get the mental health care that they need in the US. You should also see if there is a community mental health center in your area.

I don’t recommend pretending to be a danger to yourself or others if you are not, just so you can be hospitalized.

Heath, not everybody can just pick up and do that. Part of the nature of depression (and you should know, as I do, first-hand) is it crushes your desire to do much of anything. The motivation is just not there; it often has to be helped from outside, or the person has to come to a crisis where they can make that first step.

Suggesting to a depressed person to “go do something physical to relieve your depression” is a lot like telling a homeless guy to “go get a job so you can afford an apartment.”

Don’t get me wrong, I respect that you’re trying to help, and your advice is good advice. But if the problem is clinical as opposed to situational, all the exercise in the world isn’t going to help by itself. A little therapy, a little medication, and a little exercise will do wonders if used together. We need to find out how to arrange the first one or two, so that the third is more likely.

Well, in your shoes I’d dig around and find the local agency in charge of mental health issues. Call and ask them where someone could get a free or low-cost depression screening. If after completing that screening, it’s found that you need meds or therapy or whatever, let the provider help you figure that part out. There are free clinics and pharmaceutical samples and all kinds of ways to get treatment when you can’t pay. The experts deal with this every day–you’re not expected to be able to figure out all the details yourself. Most of us (you included) don’t make mental health care our life’s work. Rely on the people who do–they know how to best get care to someone who needs it but doesn’t have insurance.

Start with step one (calling and finding out where to get a free screening) and let the experts guide you through steps 2, 3, 4 and so on.

Sorry to hear that you’re sad, Jet Black.
Is it because of your financial situation or just things in general?

I think a lot of us here on the boards can relate to your feeling since many of us have or are in the same position.
Talking about it helps. Specifically identifiying what it is that is causing your sadness is a good place to start.

I also agree with the other posters that getting out and doing something physical is a good therapy. Even if it’s just going for a walk around the block.

When I feel like you do, I try to find someplace I have never been in my town and go there. Sometimes museums have free days once a month.

Anyway, just know that you aren’t alone with your sadness.

All the best.

See if you can find “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy” by David Burns, M.D. in your library, or at the bookstore. I’ve seen many other books at the bookstore about depression that may also be helpful, but the book I’m recommending was recommended to me by my therapist (who treated me in part for depression)

Jet Black,

It’s always hard to get out of a depression when the resources are not available. I have been there so I can understand.

One of the things I did (before AOL became flooded with complete jerks) was to go to Depression Chat rooms. There are a few out there on some of the medical sites. At first it was awkward but it really helped me when I started to get to know the regulars. I even got to know a few and we would talk on the phone.

You can try St. Johns Wort. They do use it a lot in European countries, mostly in Germany. It may not work for you, just like any medication but it can be done. If you end up able to go to a doctor, please tell your doc that you are using it before he or she prescribes you another med.

There are some resources with county or city health departments. Some are stretched to the brink but if you can be patient, some of them can get you in.

Write down six things to accomplish every day. It may just be picking up that newspaper that’s been sitting on your couch for 2 weeks, it doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. Just a little list that helps you see that you have accomplished something that day. It may even just be brushing your teeth, or combing your hair. I know some people (even myself) when in the depths of a depression, the last thing you want to do is groom yourself. But it does give you a little sense of accomplishment and you are doing it for you and no one else.

Most of all, keep in touch with a friend you trust. Explain to your friend that you really need a sounding board, you don’t want the “pick yourself up by the bootstraps” crap, just someone to listen to you.

But here’s a good thing. You recognize that you are not in a good way. This is the first step to getting back to you. You may not be the same person as you were before but somehow when you start to come out of a depression and you start feeling again; you have a huge sense of relief and sometimes even a better set of strengths that make you feel even better than you did before the depression set in.

Good luck to you and if you need us, we are here for you. Don’t do it alone, because that’s what depression is all about, feeling, being, hauntingly alone in this world.

Thanks everyone,

You’ve all seemed to nail me down quite well. I don’t know if that’s a good thing, or not. Perhaps I’m just a classic case?

Nonetheless…if self analysis is credible, the fact that I’m still in my pajamas, and not at work (at 3:30 pm - which should have been 10 am) is a bad sign that I might be worse off than I thought.

Funny, I don’t seem to care much about it, though.

Still…I really appreciate all the help and comments and suggestions. Looking into a community service might be an option. I didn’t think tey would exist.

St. Johns Wort?? I plead ignorance. Over the counter?

Jet Black

It’s herbal. Go to a good, reputable health food store - they should be able to help you.

In some European studies it has been found to be fairly successful for mild to mid levels of depression - its worth a try.


I’d kill myself. But I also wouldn’t listen to me if I were you. I’m a nutjob.

It’s actually a good thing really, because then you can realize that many here have gone through or going through the same issues. Your specifics may be different but the feelings are pretty much the same. While you feel terribly alone, you have a grasp that you aren’t going crazy, there are others out there that can identify with your situation. This could give you some comfort and let you know that even in the depths of a deep depression, you can come out of it.

I am kind of shocked that you haven’t heard of St. Johns Wort. A few years ago it was all the rage in the media.

Essentially it is an herb that has similar properties to many synthetic depression drugs like Prozac. There are a few cautions that you should be aware of, like sensitivity to sunlight (which for most depressives in the beginning is a mute point.) Do a search on or if it’s still around or other trusted sites to find out the information that helps you make the right decision.

I have used it and it didn’t help me personally. Again, not all meds or herbal remedies will help, it’s up to your individual chemistry to determine whether or not a medication will work.

Me, I used to get terrible panic attacks along with my depression. I tried Wellbutrin but it didn’t agree with me at all. It should have helped with the depression, my anxiety and my ADD but I became crazed on the stuff (ask any Doper here.) I use Kava Kava to help curb any potential panic attacks I might have. I also have cut out coffee in my diet. I do drink one cup of green tea or other caffienated tea when I get up but eliminating coffee has been a tremendous help.

That’s another thing, look to your diet. Try to eat whole foods. Try to eliminate any frozen foods or highly processed foods. I swear, this is one of the best things you can do for your body right now. You probably eat very little or eat too much, but if you can, eat as nutritious as you can. Mental stress can ravage your body, and it helps to eat right.

If you can, find a hobby you might enjoy. I don’t know your gender but it really doesn’t matter. Anyone can put together a model plane or car. Even some men learn to crochet, knit or cross stitch. There’s a 90 year old man in Pueblo that loves to cross stitch, he’s a retired old coot and doesn’t care that most men don’t cross stitch but he finds it theraputic and he puts out some award winning projects. Cooking is also a theraputic thing for many (myself included) the smells and the act of creating something can be soothing.

Sleep, oh how I love to sleep, even in my non-depression status. Sleep is great. I always read before I sleep, it takes my mind off the troubles that I have been focusing on all day. I would sleep for 13-15 hours at a stretch once I actually got to sleep. I found that sleeping was a great way to escape. I did however make my little list of things to do that day and even if I didn’t accomplish all of them, even doing one of those was a little boost.

Jet – you aren’t alone. Many of us here and elsewhere have gone through what you are going through. Keep a journal if you want, many are on and I have run through many who find it very therapuetic as well.

We are here for you, scream, cry, rage, do whatever you can to get back to the you you know. You are a strong person for having realized that you are depressed, many don’t see it and refuse to see it until it’s too late. I have seen many in my life lose all sense of reality, but you recognize it, which is a good thing.

Again, we are here for you.