Depression is a widespread condition and can become a daily struggle affecting many different areas of life. It is important to get help if you are experiencing signs of depression. Medicare offers coverage for depression screening and may even help you cover the costs of getting help. If you think you may be experiencing any signs of depression, do not wait to ask for help.
Depression can take a toll on nearly every aspect of your life. It can put a strain on relationships and make normal daily activities feel overwhelming. Symptoms include feeling sad or hopeless, losing interest in normal activities or hobbies, changes in sleep, feeling tired and unmotivated, fixating on the past, and suicidal fantasies or attempts at suicide. Depression is more commonly experienced by individuals ranging in age from early adulthood into the 30s, but it can happen at any age—even young children.
Experts estimate that 4.7% of all adults in the U.S. suffer from depression. Worldwide, it is a leading cause of disability. Women tend to be more at risk of developing depression than men. Serious cases can lead to thoughts of suicide and in the U.S. over 40,000 people commit suicide every year. It is important to recognize the signs of depression and get help early on.
Medicare will cover one depression screening every year through Part B medical insurance. Your screening must be done by a primary care doctor that is able to provide follow-up appointments and referrals. There is no cost for the screening as long as your doctor accepts assignment. Medicare may also help cover the costs of treatment. Refer to your Medicare handbook and speak with your doctor to find out more about what treatment options may be covered and how much Medicare will cover.
There are many different ways to treat depression. Many times doctors will recommend starting treatment with more conventional approaches like antidepressants and psychotherapy. However, there are also other alternative therapies that may be helpful in addition to conventional treatment. Taking a look at lifestyle habits and addressing the patterns that could be contributing to your depression may help manage or prevent depressive episodes. Other helpful therapies include acupuncture, yoga, meditation, art therapy, or exercise. Make sure to discuss all the options with your doctor to create a plan that suits your particular needs.
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