Anger informs us. It is a response to something that was done to us. In our society anger is often equated with being a negative emotion. In my opinion there is no such thing. We feel emotions because we are human and I believe that anger channeled can be a powerful advocacy tool- and a tool that many of us have.
The medical world causes a lot of anger; from dealing with insurance companies to doctors who don’t seem to listen. Coupled with the frustration and challenges of living with a chronic illness, anger can be paralyzing. And to our detriment, anger manifests itself in negative ways and causes physical illness (increased pain, high blood pressure, anxiety etc.).
For instance, something that makes me extremely angry are Fail First policies often called “Step Therapy”. An example, your doctor prescribes you a drug. This drug is not covered under your insurance until you try 1, 2, or 3 or more drugs first. Failing first is a tragic option and one that we should not have to be subjected to because it truly hurts. Many of us have been subjected to these supposed cost-saving practices by insurance companies and pharmacy suppliers. Yet, the patient, has to fork over co-pays for drugs that likely won’t work, drugs that end up being wasted, and thus causing increased medical costs in the long term. Let alone the frustration of having to try numerous different drugs that your doctor knows likely won’t work. Also, please note that I’m not talking about generic vs. brand name drugs. Often the policies move you from one brand name drug to another.
How Fail First (Step Therapy) can impact a life: Janet Scott’s Story
But what’s most egregious is that these policies are now being forced on patients who don’t have time to fail first and there could be tragic consequences. Yea, so you can see why I’m angry and likely after reading this or experiencing this you are angry too.
While we can’t directly control how insurance companies, doctors and the medical community at large, might treat or mistreat us; we can control how we respond to these injustices.
Here’s how to use anger for good, in a way that doesn’t cause us more physical or emotional harm.. It’s a simple one-word solution —advocate. Find your voice and channel that anger into productive activities: write a letter to the editor, contact your congressperson, in other words do something with your anger don’t let it fester (if you want help with this Join Seth’s 50 State Network of Super Advocates). Viewing anger as a tool to advocate is something tangible we can do with this evasive emotion. And as an added perk, when we use our anger in this way we help ourselves and are we help countless others.
Still Angry? Some next Steps.
Learn More about Fail First and how it hurts. Visit: www.failfirsthurts.org
Get Involved, join Seth’s 50 State Network: www.ghlf.org/seths-50-state-network/
Seth’s 50-State Network and FailFirstHurts are initiatives of the Global Healthy Living Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for everyone living with a chronic disease.
In advocacy (and sometimes anger), Joe
PS. When angry, remember to deliver your mail to the right address. Often times we get angry with those on the front-lines: our nurses, office receptionists etc. Remember who makes the policies that cause our anger and direct our responses to them, in a polite and professional manner of course.