Are Insurance Companies Sexist?

Are Insurance Companies Sexist?

Viagra is a modern example of patriarchy.
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In October 2017, the Trump Administration decided to rollback the contraceptive coverage mandate. This sparked debate that men were making decisions about the women's body without fully understanding that birth control aids more than preventing pregnancy. Without jumping the gun, I decided to analyze sexual expenses of men and women per year.

1. Percentage of Americans sexually active?

Men: 86%

Women: 70%

(CBS American Sex Survey 2017)

2. Who is more sexually active?

Single Men: sexually active 2x per month

Single Women: sexually active 1x per month

3. Prices of each medication.

With Insurance:

Birth control: $0-$5 for 30 pills

Viagra: $20 per pill

Without insurance:

Birth control: $15-50 for 30 pills

Viagra: $35 per pill

4. Benefits of each:

Viagra:

1. erectile dysfunction

Birth control:

1. hormone regulation,

2. poly-cystic ovarian syndrome,

3. endometriosis,

4. relief of irregular menstrual cycles.

When reading and understanding these facts, it seems as though birth control is cheaper and more affordable. This rollback of the mandate does not restrict the availability to receive birth control, just the availability to get discounts with insurance.

When cross-referencing the fact a male is sexually active two times a month, let's assume he uses a pill each time. With insurance it is $360/year for males to be sexually active when on Viagra. For women, without insurance birth control can range to be $600 per year.

With these facts, it frustrates me to have men in a position of power to decide that a medicine that aids one medical issue is more important to be covered by insurance than a medication for women that aids numerous medical issues.



When I came to college my parents emphasized the need for birth control. It seems all my female friends are on it too. I have not taken a birth control pill in almost two years due to it affecting my body negatively. When I tell people I am not on birth control I get responses that are negative and hurtful.

They will say I am neglecting my ability to defend myself from a mistake. So to take something that has become a part of a woman's life, then take it away is not right. We should have the chance to have access to medicine that we are basically required to take daily all our lives.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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We Need To Rid Ourselves Of The Social Stigma Surrounding Substance Misuse

It's 2019 and people still are afraid to talk about certain things because of the stigma associated with it.

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We, as a society need to get rid of social stigmas. There is a social stigma surrounding many topics and, in a way, people, but one of these stigmas is playing a role in blocking getting help. The social stigma that needs to be eliminated immediately is the one surrounding people who struggle with the substance abuse/misuse disorder. Now I am sure some of you are probably triggered right now that I have identified this as a disorder and not just "addiction," but hear me out.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a disorder is "an abnormal physical or mental condition". And a person who struggles with the misuse of opioids fits that description because once they become dependent on the drugs, their normal state of being is gone, and they embody abnormal physical and mental conditions.

People with this disorder can get help, through rehabs and the correct resources and support, but with the way an overwhelming percentage of our population views this disorder, how can they? People become afraid, fear that they have no options for help because they don't think anyone will understand what they're going through, and they don't want to be an embarrassment.

According to drugabuse.gov, 70,237 deaths in 2017 alone were from drug overdoses. There is this high a number in deaths and people still just want to judge instead of educating themselves on what is actually going on. So many of these deaths are kept a secret though, not the death itself obviously, but the cause for the death. It is too often that people are afraid to speak up about a loved one's death being caused by substance misuse because they don't want people to judge them, or the deceased individual.


https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates


This is what creates the issue, we can't bring light to a subject if people are hiding from it. We can't begin to help those suffering if we judge them and make assumptions before we even meet them. And we can't begin to move forward and bring our country out of this epidemic if the stigma surrounding it is not removed.

We need to be better, as a society, as friends, sisters, brothers, moms, dads, cousins, as individuals we need to begin to be the change we want to see. We need to reach out to help if we see someone beginning to engage in this type of behavior. We need to stop judging what we don't know. And we need to embrace reality, accept deaths from overdoses and talk about them, not be ashamed and hide from it, but speak about it so that it can help others from losing someone too.

The negative stigma associated with substance misuse needs to end, and we need to take every necessary measure to help these individuals who are suffering.

The national drug helpline is available 24/7 with representatives who can help individuals suffering from substance misuse. If you or someone you know needs the help, call at 1-888-633-3239.

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