Getting help on a budget?


I’m reaching out to anyone with ideas. I have no support at home and no money for medication or therapy. My job doesn’t cover much of anything. Any ideas on how to get professional help without bills?


What do you struggle with the most?

I know we can’t solve all problems at once. If we start with the most challenging item, maybe we can chip away at them one by one.

Personally, just writing things down allows me to get an idea of what my mind is trying to carry at once. Then I can look at the list to see what truly needs done first. A bullet journal has done wonders for me.


For me the biggest things are fighting my should or shouldn’t impulse. There are times where I could take advantage of a rare moment of peace and decide I should do something useful. Then I end up sitting down to play games. When I fight the impulse I go back and forth so much I end up wasting the time fighting with myself or the reasoning side gives up and next thing I know an hour has gone by because I forgot the important thing.
The other big thing is a kind of failure ptsd. I’ve tried time and again to focus on learning new things and losing it all that I have a hard time getting the will, and by now time, to re-attempt progress. I get major anxiety and then become certain I’m taking too long or not making enough progress to get anywhere so I pass for some form of entertainment instead.
I know I have a problem but no idea how to fix it because all the advice boils down to support from friends and family or from trained proffesionals, which I don’t have or can’t afford. Well, I have a wife but she’s an agent of chaos in all that.


Hi! I’m sorry you’re struggling.
depending on where you live, it might be a good idea to look for local events you could try
This might sound weird, but you could look for anything between support groups and your interest
(In my experience) it can be easy to find people who might not have the same problems as you, but instead have resources…
you could also look for local support through work, friends, family, and also healthcare
I do understand that most things costs money but it shouldn’t have to be so hard, I wish you good luck and hopefully this helped a little bit



I tell you what, I learn a lot on U TUBE. Have you listened to Driven to Distraction? I am 49 now and have insurance, but once upon a time I was a 20 year old with 2 kids and nothing. Have you looked at your local health district or maybe even Medicaid. Also, there may be mental health resources you can find. In my state of Florida you call 211 for help. I relate to all of your symptoms. Cheers


I appreciate the sentiment but bupkiss on those things. Work has a line to call but they just listen and refer you to a professional. Thery’re more for suicide or relationship advise.


I’ll definitely check out driven to distraction. I haven’t found anything through the state yet and the money I make is just over the limit for medicaid. How to adhd has been a lifeline for me for some good ideas, proud bujo owner :grin:, but mostly for the community. All us brains are good people with good will for others. It makes me feel better about humanity as a whole.




It’s not a “professional” in the sense that it isn’t a human, but I found the Facebook Messenger app “Woebot” really interesting and sometimes helpful. He mostly asks you questions to help you track your moods, and also walks you through basic Cognitive Behavioral Therapy tasks. He’s no substitute therapist, but he can teach you a lot if you’ve never done CBT before.

Depending on your age, and the area you live in, there may be local disability services available. My first therapist was through the hospital where my family doctor worked. They happened to have a grant program and a graduate psychology student just to help with troubled teens. After that, I went through my county to find a local program that offered therapy at very discounted rates ($10 per session). Again, it was just graduate students, so they weren’t AMAZING therapists or anything, but it was helpful. I also got help through a local program called Denver Vocational Rehab School To Work Alliance program. They helped me when I was unemployed and severely depressed, by providing 12 sessions with a therapist (that I still see today!), and the funds to travel there. I would look for similar programs in your area? Perhaps start by calling local colleges, or county/city level human services departments.

If you have healthcare, it should at least cover a diagnostic session with a psychologist. Then, you can get medications prescribed through a family doctor during a (supposed to be free) preventative care visit. Choose a medication that comes in a generic - lots of places like Kroger/King Soopers, Walgreens, Target have $4 or $10 generics. (If medication is something that you want.)

If you’re having a crisis, the Crisis Text Line (741741) is good. I find I am more comfortable using the Crisis Text Line than something like a work provided help line, just because I wonder about privacy around the work connected one. CTL is also more oriented towards things like suicide or relationship advice, but they’ve done a good job in the past of listening when I don’t have a friend who can listen, or suggesting resources for me.

Since you describe your wife as an “agent of chaos,” it might be a good idea to re-examine how you’re letting that relationship affect your behavior? My husband also has ADHD, and is prone to deep depressive states. For a while, I let that get to me. If he was sitting around, I sat around, and then I blamed him for my sitting around. That made all of my failures “his fault”, which was super unfair to both of us. It eventually came to a head in a big fight, but that conflict opened the door to couples therapy and the opportunity to work together. I’m glad I asserted myself and forced him out of his hidey hole!

Let’s see, more non-professional help stuff… Exercise. Routines. Routines around exercise. Good diets. Routines around good diets. Hobbies. Routines around engaging in your hobbies. Maybe make a routine around playing video games? I’m a big listener of the podcast Cortex, which isn’t ADHD or mental health related at all, but actually more of a meta business podcast. One of the hosts, CGP Grey, talks in episode #25 about renting an office space and immediately removing all the pictures, phones, and even the chair in the room, because he’s intending to be there for ONLY ONE TASK that doesn’t require those items. He’s designing the space for the task, and then training his brain to understand that this office space is for THIS ONE TASK ONLY and no other tasks. Then, when he’s there, he’s either doing that task, or has to leave. Anyway, IDK if that kind of idea is helpful for you, but I guess what I’m suggesting is a gaming room or a home office where you can separate work/chores from play.

Are there any long term depression issues going on for you? As in, do you feel good about your marriage, your career, etc? I find adjusting those moving parts was critical in my ability to manage my disorder. The example of engaging in a necessary conflict with my husband applies here. Or, for example, I went back to retail work because the job requires me to exercise and requires me to engage with people face to face, and those things are very good for my mental health. I make a lot less than I did at my office job, but the expectations are a little lower (lol), and I get a lot more exercise.

ADHD is a chronic disorder, nothing is going to make it go away, so it’s more about managing it by setting up a lifestyle that relieves the symptoms in a way that you can remain on “auto pilot.”


Have you considered looking for a better job? One with benefits and/or higher pay? I’ve found that factories and call centers are particularly good for this kind of thing for entry level, atleast around here. Sales positions can also be used to your advantage, if you like to talk :slight_smile:


get insurance.


I work retail now. My position has me running around a lot. But I never exercise outside of that.
I have tried better jobs in the past, including call center, but something always happened like the site shutting down, to send me back to retail. By now I have kids and just my check to work with so I can’t take the risk of losing another job to fate if I have one now that’s dependable.


I understand that. I’m pretty much in the same position. The only other option for immediate help would be something like state assistance. For instance here in Tennessee if you’re on good stamps, regardless of how much you get you instantly have some health insurance. Something similar in your area may be able to help.


Not sure what region you’re in, but have you considered/looked into local trade apprenticeships? They don’t have to be through union, or something that you pay to go to school for. Suggesting this because my husband has had a lot of upward mobility since switching from retail to trades. He has gone from $11/hour in retail with no benefits or career moves available, to $17/hour with full benefits, a $1000-2000 yearly bonus, and plenty of career options just 18 months later. The work is tough on him, but no tougher than retail, and his employer pays for his schooling.


I didn’t even know apprenticeships were a thing anymore. I’ll definitely look it up.


Yeah, if it’s something you’re interested in, go for it! When my husband switched to his trade (plumbing), I just got on Craigslist and emailed his resume to ANYONE and EVERYONE with a trades job open. For the company that eventually hired him, I had emailed on a posting looking for a journeyman level plumber (4 years experience/6800+ hours experience). They’re constantly hiring for apprentice plumbers, HVAC techs and sheet metal workers, so they interviewed him for that, even though it wasn’t the position they were advertising.

Good luck! :slight_smile:


Same! Thank you!


Money has always been a weird thing for me. I do have the burning a hole in my pocket issue when I have money, yet when I am broke or down to my last $10 or so I really don’t care and don’t freak out over not having money.

Luckily, I have a spouse who is good at “moving money”. We used to maintain a budget and we always fought over it and like most people with ADHD, I am not very good at living with constraints.

This year we tried something different. Instead of a Budget, we used a “Spending Plan”. Even the word is less of a panic trigger than the “B” word. We have fought less about money this year than any year previous which is great since we’ve been married for almost 32 years.

Here is a link to a good article on Spending Plans that wasn’t written by a financial planning firm so isn’t trying to sell you something. it might be a good starting point.


So there are quite a few apps out there. I like apps. I think a lot of us like apps. It’ll be a matter of trying different things out to figure out what works for you. Personally I think menu planning and preparing food is really huge towards helping budget, and I like pepperplate for that. There’s the website and an app, at least for android. I would assume for iPhone too. You can upload from the web and manually enter recipes and once you’ve built up your list of recipes it’s as simple as entering the recipe to the day you want to eat it, adding the recipe to your shopping list (checking the items you don’t already have on hand) and take your list to the store.
I know a lot of people really like YNAB (you need a budget) and I used it long enough with a trial to know it would work well for me, and will likely get the full version and app when I buy a new phone with more functional space. I really liked Wally Next for keeping track of what I was spending, but didn’t have time to fully explore the budgeting future bills capabilities. I am trying to remember the other app I had really liked for keeping track of upcoming bills, but found lacking for following the day to day purchases.
I have seen somewhere else someone mentioned Habitica for building routines and keeping track of to-dos and totally support that recommendation, and getting the utilities paid on time is part of a routine.
Lastly, I would recommend looking into Pacifica. It’s a free mental health app, and has meditations and talks to listen to, journaling excercises, recommends “mental health missions” like spend 30 minutes outside, or spend some time with a friend or doing a creative project based on your input. It’s not therapy or medication, but it can help you take a few minutes on your own to help your mental health.
Maybe something in this whole mess of ideas will ring true for you.


There’s a budget app called YNAB. it stands for you need a budget. My parents use it to avoid the for of thinking that you have enough money when you don’t. We were quite poor for a phase, which is why were so careful nowadays.

YNAB is kind of difficult to learn, but you won’t regret it, trust me.

My parents are about to add me to the site as well!