Despite what some people believe, clinical depression is a debilitating illness that can wreak havoc in your life and that of your loved ones. It’s not something you can just “get over.” It oftentimes requires medication and sometimes therapy. According to the National Institutes for Health, 14.8 million American adults suffer from major depressive disorder each year. That’s about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population.
Many health insurance companies make you jump through hoops to get treatment for mental health issues, and some don’t provide coverage at all. If you do get treatment, co-pays for prescription medications can be quite high. Those without insurance coverage may find it impossible to afford a doctor’s care as well as name-brand prescription medications like Zoloft, Paxil, Cymbalta or Celexa.
Without access to care – either because insurance doesn’t cover it or a qualified physician isn’t available – people run the risk of negative effects of untreated depression. Untreated depression increases the chance drug or alcohol abuse, and it can also negatively impact your relationships with others, create problems at work, make you more susceptible to disease and even result in suicide.
Symptoms of Depression
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression include:
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions.
• Fatigue and decreased energy.
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and helplessness.
• Feelings of hopelessness.
• Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping.
• Irritability, restlessness.
• Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex.
• Overeating or appetite loss.
• Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease with treatment.
• Persistent sad, anxious or empty feelings.
• Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts.
Clinical Research is Changing Mental Healthcare
Because many people find it difficult to get affordable treatment that works, some are turning to clinical studies of depression offered by major university academic centers or specialized physician groups.
Taking part in a depression study is one way to get access to mental healthcare if you don’t have insurance or if you have difficulty navigating your insurance provider’s requirements for referrals and justification. What’s more, you may even get compensated in return.
For example, FG Global recently recruited for a nationwide depression study that paid participants $800. People in 20 states took part. Other clinical research studies are posted regularly on www.fgglobal.com.
Plus, by participating in clinical research studies related to depression, you may help find better treatments to others. With the prevalence of so many clinical research studies that deal with depression and mental health, there’s no reason someone has to go without the care they need.