We need you here.

I started this on Twitter on my way to a doctor’s appointment. I just left that doctor’s appointment. That doctor happens to be a psychiatrist.

I should be able to say this without fear of losing my job or my relationships, because I have a lot to offer, and so do you.

I’m a producer, which means there’s always some enormous catastrophe happening around me. Two years ago, I stopped seeing doctors regularly because I was “too busy.” One day, after months of missed appointments, a colleague started blasting me over a :10 spot for the TV show Ballers. I had every intention of seeing my doctor that morning, but instead rerouted the cab.

Don’t do this. You are never too busy.

You can’t do anything if you’re not healthy, and you certainly can’t do it if you’re not here.


I realize I’m coming from a place of enormous privilege. I pay out of pocket. My family helps. Those who do have insurance know that the deductibles and copays for what insurance companies call “behavioral care” are astronomical. Even with really good insurance, which I had before getting sick.

To see a doctor regularly is nearly impossible. That’s because some think this kind of care is gratuitous, or that it involves lying horizontally on a leather chaise lounge, talking about your father.

But there’s a reason suicide is now one of the top ten causes of death in the United States, increasing 30% since 1999. Americans feel burdened by debt. They’re in danger of being torn from their families. Others with long-term physical illnesses can’t afford medical bills, so they choose death over recovery. Some have PTSD, from gun violence or sexual assault, or an avalanche of other factors that multiply by the day. And yes, some have deep-rooted childhood trauma. I’ve still never seen a chaise lounge.

Some people are in pain, and they don’t know why. If it’s physical, they see a doctor, and no one bats an eyelash.

Some won’t seek mental health treatment out of fear or pride, and some won’t risk tarnishing their brand. Nearly 8 million Americans are too busy working multiple jobs, some are too busy to recognize the symptoms. Some self medicate because its cheaper and easier. 1 in 4 Americans refuse treatment — any treatment — because they can’t afford it.

We need these people here.


When I got sick, my mom stayed with me for weeks. We watched Parts Unknown marathons until 3 am and picked out places we’d go when we finally win the lottery (not if, when, and if we have anything left after finally paying off debts).

As a writer and filmmaker and as a human being, Anthony Bourdain was so, so important to me.

He was part of my treatment, and he helped me get better. For that, I thank him.


Debbie Saslaw is an award-winning producer and Internet person who writes about web culture, technology, and our behavior. If you need to talk to someone, her DMs are open.

Phone: 1–800–273–8255 . Text: HOME to 741741