Depression: Prevention and Insurance Coverage

Depression, including major depressive disorder, bipolar, or other forms of depression, are often covered under health insurance to some degree. Here's what you need to know.

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Depression: Prevention and Insurance Coverage

Depression is not just a bad mood, but a change in the chemical makeup of the brain that can create a number of challenges for your physical and mental wellbeing. If you have been diagnosed with depression of any form, work with your doctor to manage the condition. Learn more about prevention and the causes of depression here. Use this information to help you buy health insurance, and not as medical advice.

What Causes Depression?

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides insight into depression in all of its forms, including clinical depression and major depressive disorder. The causes of depression can range widely. In some situations, a biological difference can occur in which the makeup of the brain changes through life. Brain chemistry can change as well. Sometimes, an imbalance of hormones may make it more likely that a person experiences depression. And, in other cases, it may be due in part to hereditary conditions. Because depression is so far-reaching and can include everything from anxiety attacks to life-threatening suicide attempts, individuals should take any symptom of depression seriously.

Depression Risk Groups

Depression risks are higher for some people, including people who have low self-esteem or those who have experienced sexual or physical abuse throughout their lifetime. It can also be more common in those who are transgender, gay, or lesbian. Others may develop the condition after experiencing an eating disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or anxiety disorder. Alcohol abuse or drug abuse can also increase the chances of developing depression. In some cases, serious health risks, such as cancer, heart attacks, or chronic pain, can cause an onset of depressive symptoms as well.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression symptoms can range from one person to the next. However, profound and long-lasting feelings of sadness, hopelessness, emptiness, and tearfulness are the most common. Some people who are depressed are angry and frustrated. They may lose interest in things they once loved to do, or in people they used to spend time with. Other warning signs of depression include anxiety, difficulty concentrating, slowed thinking, and a loss of appetite. Some people also have unexplained physical pain, such as back pain.

Prevention of Depression

In some situations, it may be possible to prevent depressive episodes, though once a person experiences depression itself, it is very difficult to control it. However, controlling stress and reaching out to family and friends for support when you need it can help. In addition to this, many people can prevent depression side effects and risks by getting help from their doctor as soon as they begin to feel the warning signs of it. Sometimes, long term medications can help to reduce these risks. Most of these services should fall under your health insurance.

Health Insurance Coverage for Depression

Depression is a type of mental health condition. Laws in the U.S. now require health insurance plans to treat mental health disorders like depression the same way they treat other types of illnesses, such as heart disease or cancer. That means that if you have coverage for access to treatment for diseases like that, you should have the same level of protection available to you for depression symptoms.


Because depression can range widely, it is important to have health insurance that covers your specific needs. This may include medication for depression, counseling for depression, and, in some cases, rehabilitation to stabilize your mental health. Your health insurance policy may help cover some or all of these needs or cover a portion of them. It is important to ensure your existing doctors and medical care providers, those you wish to maintain, are covered in your network of medical providers through your insurance.


Depression is a serious mental health condition and requires ongoing and often frequent medical visits. Yet, with a competitive health insurance plan, you should be able to receive that care on an ongoing basis. When choosing health insurance, consider a plan with good prescription drug coverage.


Treating depression is likely to require good health insurance because this can be a life-long condition. Yet, it is a serious condition and one you should take care of through routine care.


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