And the insurance company didn’t even bat an eye. . . This staggering figure is what was billed* to our insurance company for my son between December 2003 and July 2010, for:

1. hospitalizations (three, totalling nine months)
2. Day program (two years)
3. private psychiatrists (two)
4. medications
5. blood tests
6. occupational therapy
7. Tomatis Method (reimbursed under alternative medicine component)

Why doesn’t the insurance company make a fuss about this outrageous amount, I naively wonder. I could have saved them thousands by insisting on one drug for no more than three months of each hospitalization. I am convinced we could have avoided the hospitalizations and day program altogether if I had known about and had access to alternative treatments from day one. Had we (and the doctors) not over-reacted at the beginning, had we been told that schizophrenia was an understandable coping mechanism, things would have been different.

This figure does not include the thousand of dollars we paid out of pocket for vitamins, nor does it include sound therapy, the assemblage point shift and cranial-sacral massage. (The Tomatis Method, which I approve of, costs about $5000.) Heck, if the insurance company had agreed to pay for the alternative therapy, and refused to pay for medications, things would have been very different. As it stands, both my husband and I are embarrassed that my son, a relatively normal, intelligent guy who had a huge existential crisis, has cost the system so much money.

The figure actually represents three different currencies, which I am treating at par.