Anxiety and depression affect more than 40 million adults in the United States. It’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa. In fact, nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. As with any illness, treatment should be tailored to a specific diagnosis and can include the following:
Psychotherapy (psychological treatment without medical treatment) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) work to replace negative and unproductive thought patterns with more realistic and useful ones. These treatments focus on facing one’s fears as part of the pathway to recovery and don’t involve medication.
Medications can be useful for symptoms of depression and anxiety, as both respond to treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) medications.
Support groups, relaxation/meditation techniques, therapy and regular exercise can also help to reduce mild symptoms of depression and anxiety.
So how does your mental health factor in with your health insurance? Under the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), all individual and small-group plans are required to cover ten essential health benefits with no annual or lifetime dollar limits. Mental health and addiction treatment (collectively referred to as behavioral health services) are among the essential health benefits. The ACA also requires all non-grandfathered health plans – including large-group plans – to cover a range of preventive care at no cost to the patient. Among the benefits included are depression and alcohol misuse screening for adults and adolescents.
You can find guides to treatment, resources for support and tips for helping friends and relatives at the Anxiety and Depression Association of America website, www.adaa.org.
Source: Anxiety and Depression Association of America