Saturday, January 20, 2007

Pay In Advance To Retreat


While we're on the topic of the Worried Well, you might be interested in seeing what kind of inpatient care the worried well can get by paying $1700 per day out of pocket (that would be $34,000 up front for the first 20 days of inpatient diagnostic assessment):


Private rooms include a bath, television with cable access, bedside telephones and internet connection. (Do they have a turn-down service with chocolates on the pillows?) It is for the longterm (months) treatment of mood disorders, anxiety disorders and "disabling adjustment disorders". (Translation: if you're paying enough we won't stigmatize you by diagnosing you with a personality disorder.) In addition to standard treatment modalities they also use "Eastern movement and meditative practices" (I wonder how you give informed consent for treatment for an unproven therapy?).

Now, as long as it's not being paid for by my tax money or supported by my insurance premiums then I suppose I can't legitimately beef about this. But it's still mind-boggling.
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[Edit: see also No Retreat, Still Stewing, and My Planned Nervous Breakdown for more on this. Also, listen to our podcast.]

31 comments:

Rach said...

I don't quite know what to say. All I know is that I can stay at home, and save myself $1700 (no turndown service, but you know...).

Anonymous said...

Wait, I get it completely (that doesn't mean I'm checking in). You're psychiatrically ill and you want to optimize your chances of getting better fastest with an inpatient stay (does that work? no clue, but daily therapy, faster med management then you'd get with outpatient sessions, weekly or less), life is feeling awful or at a standstill, and you're deperate, at the same time, you don't want to be in a big inpatient unit with cigarette smoke and all those (see Clink's former post) sexual offenders and unbathed. schizophrenics (please forgive me) or the fear of being put in a seclusion room, you're looking for treatment and hope, this place offers it without the constraints of "your insurance says we have to do x.." and you, like many many folks out there are forking over $50,000/yr to send your kid to college, what's another $40 grand for your sanity? In other words, you need treatment, but you're fearful of losing control, and you want what you perceive to be the finest of care.

I've never met anyone who's been treated on one of these units, so I don't know what to say about efficacy. I can talk myself into a way this might make sense.

I do know some of the folks who work on this particular unit (The Retreat at Sheppard Pratt), my sense is that they are well-trained, main stream psychiatrists, that this is a good level of care, Eastern healing gook aside, so don't dis them just cause you think "That's not how I'd spend my money?" And also, I'm not happy with the entire concept that you'd imply that because someone is willing to pay for creature comforts during an episode of mental illness, it means they are part of The Worried Well (you said it, not I). Do you really think mentally healthy folks are checking in here? Spas are cheaper, and when I'm at the end of my rope...well, let's just say I can generate a list of luxury hotels that run much cheaper AND have room service and that turndown service you're so fond of.

Are you the person who was going to call your insurance company to find a doctor? Let's be real, the top docs don't have to hassle with insurance, and so they don't. My internist isn't in my insurance network, and for the record, if you go nuts (technical terminology here) and want to sign yourself into the top show in town-- I think that's how Johns Hopkins views their psychiatry department-- you'll get a double room to share with a mentally ill stranger, a shared bathroom, treatment by a second year resident, and while the hospital will take your Blue Cross, the physican services don't, so you'll be asked to show up with a check for a few grand at the door.

Face it, Clink, treatment is free in jail, if you don't mind that you're doc time is split by 3000 patients/year and no chocolate turn downs.

you pushed a few buttons...

Glad your feeling better.

ClinkShrink said...

Dinah, I think that if someone is organized enough to use and enjoy Internet service and safe enough to have telephone (with cords) et al in their room, they're probably not that seriously mentally ill. The web page itself specifically spells out the diagnoses/people/behavior they're not willing to take. That rules out a heck of a lot of folks even if they had the money. Like I said at the end of my post, if they're paying for it themselves I'm not going to begrudge them what they want. I'm just not sure it's a good idea. Look at what happened with the VA system---we had all these months-long inpatient programs for PTSD, only to discover that when the outcome studies were done people came out worse than when they went in. I just don't think months and months of inpatient care is a good idea. It sounds like another variation of the MPD service. On the good side, the revenue brought in by these folks is probably underwriting the care provided to four or five others who don't get private suites.

Anonymous said...

Well this is a new and interesting standard for inpatient care: You made a phone call without hanging yourself, or you're organized enough to Google, Go Home! I can see insurers latching on to that and I thought it was bad when then asked an ER psychiatrist (I believe it was Camel) if the patient's gun had bullets in it (?We only let you admit if the patient is pointing a LOADED gun to their head and only if it's positioned in such a way to cause fatal injuries).

Many psychiatric patients are allowed to leave inpatient units, it's never been a standard that if you can get a soda from the cafeteria, you're good to go. Most allow trial trips home for a few hours before discharge. Your standard for needing inpatient care is no one else's standard.

I believe there was a suicide at The Retreat and for whatever reasons, they reserve the right to transfer patients to their regular hospital beds on sight. It's sort of like saying you can only be in the the Hotel Unit if you meet criteria for an unlocked ward (Do they still have those?). Most of the hospitals I've ever worked at have had suicides on the units while I was there, including a patient on a locked ward who hanged himself from the ceiling in the hallway, one who jumped out the window, one who shot himself with a gun brought back while on a pass. Should I go on?

I believe this is a cushy hospital unit trying to play down the hospital aspect of it---face it on a regular inpatient unit, you see a doc for a few minutes a day, go to OT and PT, maybe have a group session, get meds (monitored by that doc you saw for a few minutes a day), gets some check ins with nurses, and the many remaining hours are spent watching TV, smoking, unorganized. If these folks want to pay for a full daily session with a psychoanalyst, a Harvard-trained expert on psychopharmacology to make their med decisions, and a little yoga, I don't think it's any less therapeutic.

You twice called these patients the Worried Well. I don't believe that the Worried Well are spending $1700/day on care (the well are out shopping or washing their yachts). These are, simply, the Rich Mentally Ill.

Begrudge them their wealth if you want. I've yet to see wealth protect anyone from suffering.

I'd be happy to ask the unit director to comment if you'd like...

ClinkShrink said...

Oy. I think probably I'll just leave things as they stand. I'm sorry if I pushed your buttons. Should we talk about jail release planning instead? :)

Roy said...

Whoa! I'm on Dinah's side here. Use of a phone and internet does not indicate you are too well to be in the hospital.

I think you have been successfully brainwashed by managed care into thinking that only imminently dangerous people require hospitalization. Add to that the inability to function at home, work, OR school; non-response to lower levels of treatment, such as outpatient, IOP, or PHP; and need to closely monitor and manage one's response to treatment.

Now, Mangled Care has been good at continuously raising the bar that defines the cut-off for whether your collection of symptoms are hospital-worthy or not. That is because insurance companies have to pay off its shareholders, and spending it on frivolous things like treatment don't fit in with that agenda.

That being said, without insurers or others to watch over these decisions, providers have historically lowered the bar so far down that anyone with a positive wallet biopsy met criteria. So, there needs to be a balance.

I have treated patients who have been at the Retreat, at Hopkins, at Father Martin's Ashley, Sierra Tucson, and other high-end treatment facilities. I have yet to see any of these as being what some would call "worried well" (though this depends on one's perspective -- if I had a chronic mental illness and was in jail, these well-off "patients" would appear to be worried well to me).

Some of the frills seem a bit hokey to me (like the holistic crap and the Sushi chef). [No flames... holistic crap can be very helpful... I'm just being ornery.] But, if I was spending these big bucks, then I would expect great food, great service, internet access, and maybe even a massage from a hot chick (ok, maybe that's going too far).

But there should be two bills. One, for the medical treatment (doctors, group therapy, tests, meds, maybe the therapeutic massage). The other bill would be for the frills (food, lodging, highballs). Even if you are paying cool cash for it all, it shouldn't all be tax-deductible (IMO).

Anonymous said...

It's good we have each other to talk to here.

Is psychiatric inpatient care tax deductible?
I asked Hubby, the business type, and he says: if your total medical expenses are more than a certain percentage of your income (maybe 7%?) you can tax deduct it, he doesn't know if there's a cap. I would guess that many of the bills are paid by a concerned relative and therefore wouldn't be tax deductible.

I will agree, I don't think one should tax deduct sushi expenses. I don't even think one should tax deduct a therapeutic massage for psychiatric treatment (no known efficacy), I might feel differently about therapeutic massage for muscle strain.

I'm still left to say that I don't think anyone is checking into expensive treatment facilities for R&R and that being rich doesn't protect you from mental illness.

ClinkShrink said...

If both of you say there are people with serious mental illnesses at the Retreat then I will take your word for it. Obviously, my patients don't go there and so far I don't think I've ever had any Retreat patients in jail. I'm going by what I read on the web site and I had a hard time reconciling a weeks-to-months long hospitalization with their listed eligible diagnoses of "anxiety disorders and adjustment disorders". The patients I know who need hospitalizations that long are psychotic folks who are resistent to most meds. Just on the face of it adjustment problems and anxiety are not something that usually warrants extended hospitalization. Again, I'll take both of your words on who actually goes there.

Are we podcasting today?

DrivingMissMolly said...

Reading this last night made me very very sad. I want to go here;
http://www.lawlispeavey.com/
but can't afford it.

There are always going to be rich people that can afford to get whatever they want or think they need. There will always be those that do without. At least I do have some resources and I am grateful for those.

I have a bone to pick with this statement; '"Eastern movement and meditative practices" (I wonder how you give informed consent for treatment for an unproven therapy?).'

Now, I was under the impression that the "mindfulness" aspect of DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder), inspired by Eastern practices (Buddhism, I believe), has been proven effective in studies, so is it so much of a stretch to think it could help with other issues too?

I never got informed consent for Haldol in hospital and it gave me dystonia. I had no idea what was happening.

Psychiatry doesn't help everyone and it seems presumptive to insist that anything outside that box is mumbo jumbo. I think I'm fairly intelligent and I have considered trying accupressure, ritual cleansing and other alternatives. I admit, OK, they freak me out a little and I have yet to try any.

There is something reassuring about white coats and diplomas on the wall...but is that just conditioning?

Anyway...what kinds of psychiatrists work in those places, anyway? Do they feel they are doing a service? Are they?
Maybe being 'mentally ill' will be the next 'cool' thing, like going to rehad seems to be today.

There is still a demographic for those seeking treatment from a private doc, right? White, female, educated, with $$$$$$.

I wonder. How many African-American homeless men are in psychoanalysis? Hmmmmmmmmmm

DrivingMissMolly said...

Revision:

DBT as a whole has been proven an effective treatment for borderline, but I am not aware that the part of it relating to "Eastern philosophies" has been singled out for effectiveness.

see http://www.dbtselfhelp.com

Gerbil said...

Wow. Is this the sort of place celebrities go when they are "hospitalized for exhaustion"?

NeoNurseChic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dinah said...

Carrie,
I don't know your aunt, but in psychiatrist's terms, anyone taking an antidepressant who has a suicide attempt and is psychiatrically hospitalized, has a major mental illness. The term doesn't just apply to Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder, or illnesses with psychosis. Anything might kill you cuts the call for me.

NeoNurseChic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dinah said...

Carrie, My best to your aunt and I hope she gets good care. I imagine The Retreat would be happy to have her if she comes with the cash. I hope you feel better soon, sounds like you've all been through a lot.

NeoNurseChic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I may or may not be an employee at Sheppard Pratt. It is an inpatient facility, but not a locked-door situation. In other words, the units where there are presently-dangerous sex offenders, 'the unbathed', schizophrenics / psychotics, and dangerously unpredictable individuals are locked-door settings. Many of those patients are 'certified' by a judge based on a petition by a mental health professional, and are deemed 'involuntary' for their stay. Regardless of whether you can or can't pay to stay at the Retreat, you are pre-evaluated and if you are deemed a danger to yourself or others, you will not be allowed into the Retreat. If you become a suicide risk or a threat to others, patients and/or staff, while in the Retreat, you may be transferred to a locked-door unit within the health system. There is no practice of 'hands-on', or 'locked-door seclusion' because the patients accepted to the Retreat do not need these methods of treatment at the time they are admitted. Also to clarify, there are no smokey rooms, as smoking indoors has been nonexistant for years. The 'gardens' are full of chain-smoking patients of the day hospitals, but that's about it. I have read a lot of positive feedback from patients who have received treatment, and know at least one doctor who treated patients in this program. Based on what I believe about that doctor's ethics, my perception of his/her drive to please people, and general decision-making and practice, I have very little doubt that this particular doctor gave the patients any reason to be displeased as far as the doctor's input / role in treatment. Take that however you want. As for the Eastern healing 'gook,' I'm pretty sure he's a white guy. Whether or not the docs treating the patients on the Retreat are 'top docs,' (and I even doubt that, considering that there are far more experienced doctors in other locked-door-setting areas of the hospital), it's not that they 'don't mess with insurance because they don't have to'... it's because when a patient pays out of pocket, it's instant cash-inflow to the hospital. Insurance payments for the care take much longer than someone whipping out a checkbook made out directly to the hospital. 'No third party' (i.e. insurance company) is a huge perk in terms of payment, for both the people who have the ability and the desire to pay, but much, much more-so for the hospital itself.
Mental illness comes in different forms, and in different severities. To say, "I think that if someone is organized enough to use and enjoy Internet service and safe enough to have telephone (with cords) in their room, they're probably not that seriously mentally ill" is not an entirely accurate presumption.. that is to say, it may not be true... you'd be right if you said "to be organized, use the phone with cord, and enjoy internet service means that you're stable enough that you're not an immediate danger to yourself or others" is more accurate. But what about drug addiction? Patients check themselves in for that, too. It's called dual-diagnosis. Your substance abuse problems are addressed and managed, and so are any underlying psychiatric conditions that contribute to that substance abuse. Druggies can use a phone and the internet too, and be filthy-rich. On a side note, you'd be surprised how many filthy-rich patients from the Retreat blend in extremely well with other outpatients, staff, and passers-by during the daytime hours, on the grounds and outside. Remember, it's not a locked-door situation. You come and go as you please, basically. Lastly, on whether or not this is where celebrities go for 'exhaustion'... every so often, there's a lot of buzz among staff. But you could guess that on your own.

Anonymous said...

I may or may not be an employee at Sheppard Pratt. It is an inpatient facility, but not a locked-door situation. In other words, the units where there are presently-dangerous sex offenders, 'the unbathed', schizophrenics / psychotics, and dangerously unpredictable individuals are locked-door settings. Many of those patients are 'certified' by a judge based on a petition by a mental health professional, and are deemed 'involuntary' for their stay. Regardless of whether you can or can't pay to stay at the Retreat, you are pre-evaluated and if you are deemed a danger to yourself or others, you will not be allowed into the Retreat. If you become a suicide risk or a threat to others, patients and/or staff, while in the Retreat, you may be transferred to a locked-door unit within the health system. There is no practice of 'hands-on', or 'locked-door seclusion' because the patients accepted to the Retreat do not need these methods of treatment at the time they are admitted. Also to clarify, there are no smokey rooms, as smoking indoors has been nonexistant for years. The 'gardens' are full of chain-smoking patients of the day hospitals, but that's about it. I have read a lot of positive feedback from patients who have received treatment, and know at least one doctor who treated patients in this program. Based on what I believe about that doctor's ethics, my perception of his/her drive to please people, and general decision-making and practice, I have very little doubt that this particular doctor gave the patients any reason to be displeased as far as the doctor's input / role in treatment. Take that however you want. Whether or not the docs treating the patients on the Retreat are 'top docs,' (and I even doubt that, considering that there are far more experienced doctors in other locked-door-setting areas of the hospital), it's not that they 'don't mess with insurance because they don't have to'... it's because when a patient pays out of pocket, it's instant cash-inflow to the hospital. Insurance payments for the care take much longer than someone whipping out a checkbook made out directly to the hospital. 'No third party' (i.e. insurance company) is a huge perk in terms of payment, for both the people who have the ability and the desire to pay, but much, much more-so for the hospital itself.
Mental illness comes in different forms, and in different severities. To say, "I think that if someone is organized enough to use and enjoy Internet service and safe enough to have telephone (with cords) in their room, they're probably not that seriously mentally ill" is not an entirely accurate presumption.. that is to say, it may not be true... you'd be right if you said "to be organized, use the phone with cord, and enjoy internet service means that you're stable enough that you're not an immediate danger to yourself or others" is more accurate. But what about drug addiction? Patients check themselves in for that, too. It's called dual-diagnosis. Your substance abuse problems are addressed and managed, and so are any underlying psychiatric conditions that contribute to that substance abuse. Druggies can use a phone and the internet too, and be filthy-rich. On a side note, you'd be surprised how many filthy-rich patients from the Retreat blend in extremely well with other outpatients, staff, and passers-by during the daytime hours, on the grounds and outside. Remember, it's not a locked-door situation. You come and go as you please, basically. Lastly, on whether or not this is where celebrities go for 'exhaustion'... every so often, there's a lot of buzz among staff. But you could guess that on your own.

Anonymous said...

I may or may not have been a resident at the Retreat... sadly, no sushi chef!

Anonymous said...

I just read the last post and it sounds as though this person is quite familiar w/ the retreat. How would I know this? I STAYED THERE! Currently it's about 2k a day though paid upfront with a min of 20 days (most people stay an avg of 4-5 weeks). The staff are top notch and can give you plenty of their time (hence the hefty price tag). You are checked on constantly by nurses and can't really come and go whenever you want (to some extent you can but not 100% and it is locked). On the weekends you can go to the mall or hairdresser, but any time you go you need persmission and they do check w/ your Dr. to make sure you are 'fit' to go. I would say the patients are the worried well taken to their extreme- in my case depression that just couldn't be treated- daily monitoring and endless tests turned out to be an ideal way to treat me. In the real world doctors just can't give you this amount of time/attention. You have a team of people working on you, and it's kind of like living in a fishbowl. There is the illusion of normality, but you are checked in on hourly or more by nurses, if you are watching tv/eating etc. you are monitored casually by nurses (and their observations will appear in your report). I noticed someone said personality disorders aren't diagnosed, this is 100% NOT true. Everything is checked for by more than one professional in many cases. You have a primary psychiatrist, family therapist, group therapy (3-5 different kinds I think or more!) In addition there is acupuncture and tai chi and yoga, The tai-chi guy also does some bodywork which he is very good at... but not any luxury or 'out there' treatments. I think the staff are probably extra nice to their cash patients and most are very wealthy, but I found everyone to be quite nice and also quiet about their wealth. I found the crowd to be relatively 'normal' if someone were suicidal they were immediately sent to the hospital part of the facility and stayed there until stabilized. Paying this amount of money is a luxury, but the care is great, you are treated as a human and a team of people work hard to find the best solution for you. In my time there I learned a lot and was helped a lot- was it worth 2k a day, maybe not, but there are almost no options for this type of care out there. Bottom line, if you can afford it, why not receive top notch care and become well?

Anonymous said...

There are much nicer places that really are luxurious. They are in unique and private settings that are really conducive to the healing process. Many are supported by Mental Health Centers of Excellence. "The Retreat" is on the Sheppard Pratt main campus. A location that was called "institutional" by the CEO of the hospital. I've seen the inside and it looks more like a Motel 6 than any kind of resort.

The new place they are trying to open in Ruxton is just a McMansion shoehorned into to an area behind a bunch of stores. There is nothing lux about it at all! The photos make it look like it's on acres of land, but the surrounding houses are right on top of it. There is no privacy whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Motel 6? A very low blow. The Retreat is a separate unity from the main hospital. They have their own rules, drs, ect....
And in regards to that supposed mansion-
It is a home for people who no longer need as
much care that the retreat offers. It is a transition home. You continue outpatient care bc many retreat patients live out of state.

Anonymous said...

I've been inside The Retreat. It's not an attractive space. Motel 6 is not far off the mark. You would think for so much money it would be prettier. Having Towson University students right next door was an unexpected drag!

kait said...

I definitely sympathize with the homeowners in Ruxton. Especially in light of what has come out about this expansion in the news recently.

I just saw on the Neighbors Against Sheppard Pratt site that a lawsuit has been filed against Sheppard Pratt and others attempting to expand The Retreat.

You can find more information and the legal complaint at the website http://www.naspgh.com .

Rach G said...

I was excited to see that a lawsuit was filed against Sheppard Pratt. It's about time someone other than the neighbors and some elected officials said "STOP!"

There is more information about the entire history of this at the Neighbors Against Sheppard Pratt website - http://www.naspgh.com

Anonymous said...

I have not read all of these comments but after reading a few, I wonder how many of you have a bright successful college student who suddenly has a bipolar episode. It comes out of nowhere and manifests itself at college age. It takes them to a place where you are no longer talking to your child but to their disease. If there are places that can help them without treating them like the homeless, just throwing drugs at them without caring, of course you would so that. Anyone who can say that because the person can use the internet or make a phone call, obviously knows nothing about mental illness. i find some of these comments come from people with no personal experience or knowledge. These places give hope and bring results. They teach people to accept and understand their disease. Then they show them how to manage it. The general psyche ward gives them meds and then releases them before they are stable to keep costs down. They do not really care about long term stabilization.

Anonymous said...

I've been in SP before for depression, no not the retreat, but the main hospital. The Retreat sounds like it's just place for those who are wealthy, although The Retreat spins it with their comment about how one doesn't have to worry about the red tape with insurance. Yeah! because you have to pay out of pocket and if you have the money, hey no problem!!
If doctors really cared about their patients, then why not have this kind of treatment for everyone? They only care about the money. Ever see a doctor drive anything less than a Lexus, Mercedes, and other status cars?

The main hospital at Sheppard Pratt is filled with rude nurses and indifferent doctors. Oh and don't get me started on the cafeteria workers. They are even ruder! When you walk past them, all they do is stare, and some even make inappropriate comments, especially when they are eating in the dining room on their break after the cafeteria closes for patients and SP workers.

If you get lost in the hospital's hallways, don't expect anyone to help you. Parking is horrible as well. Employees park in spaces reserved for visitors and patients.

For a world class hospital, SP needs to get it's act together.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this blog as I was researching Sheppard Pratt's retreat program for the treatment of my long-term major depression. I have been in intensive outpatient programs twice which were very productive but obviously run on a comparative shoestring. I don't know of a single "regular" hospital outpatient program that is not.

I'm a former executive and successful entrepreneur. As you can see, I'm using the internet and I have an iPhone that I'm pretty good with as well. Yet I have a serious, life-threatening disability. I have descended into hell and I am looking for a path back and if I can get more effective treatment for $1700/day instead of the last program that my insurance covered in full, I'd say that's a small price to pay. After all, that money won't do me much good if I hang myself now, will it?

You suggest two main ideas in your original post and subsequent comments. First, that if you're well enough find this program and afford it, you're really not that ill. Second, that spending more does not get you more, and that long-term programs are by their nature actually counter-productive.

Both of these opinions are ignorant and honestly a bit shocking coming from a mental health professional. They point to an unsophisticated understanding of depression and a lack of knowledge of the benefits of intensive DBT and CBT and other therapeutic modalities in helping patients to heal.

Depression is an opportunistic disease. It feeds off of other psychological issues that are present, and can aggravate them in the process. Effective treatment is not always just a matter of finding the most effective medication (which may only "raise the floor" as they say). It very often, particularly in long-term suffers who's brains have changed through neuroplasticity, requires rewiring, something that medication cannot do.

I suggest that Sheppard Pratt is likely a case of you getting what you pay for. Certainly there is positive feedback from many "alumni" attesting to its helpfulness. As to where you get what you pay for, assessing "value" in a situation like this is difficult when the default hospital program might actually be free for you, depending on your insurance.

ClinkShrink said...

To the most recent Anon:

I understand you stumbled over the blog so you may not be familiar with the bloggers or their backgrounds. All three of us co-bloggers are psychiatrists with different interests.

I am the author of the "Pay In Advance To Retreat" post. My clinical practice is with forensic patients in secure settings: jails, prisons and forensic hospitals. The majority of my patients are indigent, homeless and have serious mental illnesses. By 'serious' I mean illnesses that are resistant to treatment, people with psychosis and severe disability.

I do have a clear understanding of the risk that mental illness can pose to the sufferer. I don't begrudge anyone the right to be healthy and I'm glad you're doing better.

You found my post ignorant and shocking. Frankly, I find a society that provides concierge care to a few and no care to many to be equally shocking, and offensive. I stand by my opinion that mental health professionals should protest these disparities. This post was written many years before the Affordable Care Act. Hopefully, the ACA will allow my prison patients to get the care they need following release.

Anonymous said...

A close friend of mine who has suffered from depression and severe anxiety for 10 years has been treated at The Retreat. The doctors and staff are amazing. They actually look at your current meds and analyze them. My friend was on the totally wrong meds as well as dosage. They monitor you on the new meds and see if they should be adjusted. There is not much "Eastern Medicine" there actually. You do Yoga and T'ai Chi once per week. It's a great way to get in touch with yourself. My friend has visited many therapists and psychiatrists, but unfortunately many don't thoroughly listen or it is not intensive enough. My friend now has more hope than they've had in their lives. Also, insurance does NOT pay for it. You must pay out of pocket fully in advance. I'm a very skeptical person and I do my research, and I can honestly say this place has sincerely been the best place for him. *Disclaimer* Not every place is good for everyone. Obviously results will/may vary.

Anonymous said...

Stay away from the Retreat, even if you can afford it. I got this info from a friend who stayed there recently and hated it. She
s so sorry she wasted her time there! And by the way, she said that the only redeeming quality about the program is the Eastern healing. According to her, the doctors on staff misdiagnosed her and prescribed the wrong meds, and lots of them. (She said that she's gotten better treatment from a Blue Cross participating provider (ie, an inexpensive co-pay).)