Teen with life-threatening depression finally found hope. Then insurance cut her off (2023)

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 9-8-8, or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Rose had already attempted suicide at least half a dozen times before the teenager's parents found an appropriate residential care facility for her, three states and more than 500 miles away.

Rose, then 15, had been in and out of the emergency department at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. She had tried two residential programs and one partial hospitalization program in two separate states. But nothing had eased her suicidal urges.

Finally, she was getting a treatment that was helping at Rogers Behavioral Health in Oconomowoc, Wis., a small town 35 minutes west of Milwaukee.

But a little over two months into her stay, just as Rose was starting to feel better, the family's health insurance – Medical Mutual of Ohio – declined to cover any further treatment.

"I was in my office when we got an email from Rogers that included a copy of the fax denial," says Rose's father, Michael. "I was shocked."

The denial of health insurance coverage for mental health treatment continues to be extremely common, despite federal and state parity laws that are supposed to ensure fairness. But as Rose's parents discovered, the parity laws are rarely enforced and people with severe mental illness often must rely on their own resources to get care.

(NPR has agreed to use middle names only for the family since this story involves a minor with mental illness.)

A long road to effective care

Rose's life-threatening depression, anxiety and chronic suicidality consumed her parents' focus. Michael, a corporate lawyer, took on navigating insurance hurdles and figuring out how to pay for her treatment. Her mother, Rochelle, quit her job as a school counselor, to keep a close eye on her daughter.

She also became Rose's care coordinator, making appointments, getting her there, researching treatment options. When outpatient treatment didn't help, Rochelle found residential alternatives for kids with more serious symptoms.

And the family had already spent thousands of dollars on treatments that were unsuccessful in addressing the range of Rose's symptoms that started when she was 13 years old.

"The vast majority of [providers] do not accept private insurance," says Michael. "We pay for that on an hourly basis, and it's added up to tens of thousands of dollars over a period of a couple of years."

Then, in the summer of 2020, Rochelle stumbled upon an evidence-based form of treatment for suicide that they hadn't tried yet: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT. It's a form of talk therapy designed specifically for people with chronic suicidality. She learned that Rogers Behavioral Health offered a residential DBT program for adolescent girls. Luckily, they also had a spot open for Rose.

Teen with life-threatening depression finally found hope. Then insurance cut her off (1)

/ Keith Negley for NPR


Keith Negley for NPR

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When Michael and Rochelle met the attending psychiatrist at the program at Rogers, they felt a sense of hope and relief for the first time in two years.

It was "the first connection that I had personally with a therapist who said, 'I have seen this before. These are the kids that we work with,'" recalls Rochelle.

Hearing that, "my stress levels just dropped," she says.

DBT is a structured form of treatment which includes individual, group and family therapy (for kids) and teaches people to accept their circumstances, while giving them key skills to help them change their thought patterns and behaviors. The skills help them manage their distress and regulate their emotions.

A large clinical trial published in 2018 in JAMA Psychiatry showed that DBT is more effective in helping teens with repeat suicide attempts and self-harm compared to more general therapeutic approach.

A six-month, outpatient DBT treatment is "sort of the starting point," for kids with moderate to severe suicidality, says Dr. Vera Feuer, the director of the emergency psychiatry division at Northwell Health in New York. "Usually six months is a decent amount of time to learn the skills, to integrate them."

However, residential treatment usually yields results faster, says Dr. Stephanie Eken, chief medical officer at Rogers Behavioral Health. "Residential gives results in about three months," she says, "because it's a more intense level of care, more treatment around the clock."

Getting better, then getting denied

About two months into the DBT program, Rose began to show signs of improvement.

"She started connecting with her therapist finally," says Rochelle. "We're having good once-a-week family therapy calls, where she's telling us some of the things that are working for her, and that she's starting to look at things a little bit differently."

And most importantly, Rose was starting to talk about wanting to live again, which "we hadn't heard her do in a couple of years," Rochelle says.

Michael remembers seeing those changes, too: "That was really the first glimmer of hope that we had seen in probably two years, so we thought we were on the right track."

But soon, the insurance company wanted to move her to a lower level of care, like a partial hospitalization program.

That was really the first glimmer of hope that we had seen in probably two years, so we thought we were on the right track.
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"It didn't make sense to me," says her father Michael. "And more importantly, it made no sense to her treating psychiatrist and the treatment team. They said, 'it was unworkable, it was extremely dangerous, and would likely lead to a worsening of her symptoms.'"

An internal appeal later filed by Rogers Behavioral Health to Medical Mutual states that discontinuing Rose's treatment "could interrupt recovery gains" and prove harmful to her.

Medical Mutual of Ohio declined an interview request from NPR. A company spokesperson said in an e-mail statement that their decision to deny further coverage "was made with the guidance of industry-leading, evidence-based guidelines and the review of board-certified physicians trained in the area of medicine" related to Rose's care.

'A long history of discriminating'

Families routinely get denied access to mental health coverage, especially when on private insurance, says Ellen Weber, vice president for health initiatives at Legal Action Center, a non-profit that works on improving health equity.

"Private insurance has never treated mental health and substance use services in an equitable, fair way," she says.

"This goes back to a long history of discriminating against mental illnesses, patients with mental health disorders," says Meiram Bendat, founder and president of Psych-Appeal, a law firm that helps patients and providers fight denials by insurance companies.

Health insurance policies used to have "limited mental health benefits," explains Dr. Joseph Parks, a psychiatrist and medical director at the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. "You only got so many days. And when the days were up, the days were up."

In 1998, a limited federal mental health parity law took effect. Then in 2008, Congress passed the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which requires insurance companies to cover mental health treatment no differently than how they cover physical health. States also have mental health parity laws in place.

So, Parks says, insurance companies were forced to change their contracts and remove previous limitations they had for mental health conditions. But little has changed in practice, he adds.

Insurance companies don't "know what to do with people that have much longer term needs," he says.

So, they continue to violate parity laws, says the Legal Action Center's Weber. And they do this by treating mental health conditions as acute health issues, and not the chronic conditions they really are.

For example, if a suicidal patient is past a suicidal crisis, insurance plans often try to move them to a lower level, and "a much less expensive level of care," she explains.

And that's what happened in Rose's case.

A string of denials and review calls

Michael's high deductible health plan posed hurdles to Rose's treatment right from the beginning. For one, they required the treatment to be pre-approved by the insurance company.

Prior-authorizations are widely used by health plans to examine whether a certain drug or treatment plan is medically necessary, a practice that has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years for delaying care and hurting the health of patients. On the mental and behavioral health side, states and the federal government are increasingly requiring health plans to eliminate prior-authorizations to better comply with the federal parity law.

After initially approving Rose's treatment for a few weeks, Medical Mutual of Ohio declined coverage a few times. However, each time Rogers Behavioral Health appealed that decision on behalf of Rose's parents and succeeded in extending her treatment.

"Our experience is that Medical Mutual is always looking for any excuse and opportunity to deny coverage at the residential level and urging and insisting that they try something different, something less expensive," adds Michael.

NPR obtained recordings of a phone call between Rose's psychiatrist on October 30, 2020, and a reviewer – a physician – from Medical Mutual of Ohio. (NPR is not naming the physicians because neither had permission to speak to NPR, and we could not give them the chance to follow up.)

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The call began with the Medical Mutual physician suggesting Rose be transitioned to a "lower level" of care – like a partial hospitalization program or virtual DBT sessions that she could do from home. "[It's] so hard to find the right time to transition to a lower level," the reviewer said, "but I felt like that this wasn't a bad time."

The reviewer repeatedly raises the need to step Rose down to a lower level of care, even as Rose's psychiatrist stresses that it would be unsafe to send her home, or move her to another program.

"She's at a point where if she were at home," he said, "I could expect an attempt, I would expect ongoing self-harm behaviors."

But the Medical Mutual physician insists on getting an estimated end date for Rose's treatment, stating that "Medical Mutual's never approved" such "a long treatment" plan before.

"The insurer was making decisions on what appear to be time-based expectations," says Psych-Appeal's Bendat. "In other words, we've paid for a month, two months, and we think that your child should either be better by now or attempt and possibly fail at another [lower] level of care that's less restrictive. Then, if things go awry and your child survives to tell about it, maybe we'll put that kid again in residential treatment."

Such treatment time frames imposed by private insurers are a "vestige" of how insurance companies approached mental health care before there were parity laws, he explains.

So when will it go well for her? When will she ever go home?

During the phone call with Rose's psychiatrist, the insurance company physician also asks: "So when will it go well for her? When will she ever go home?"

This kind of language and approach is discriminatory, says Parks of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. NPR shared the recording of the calls with Dr. Parks.

"Most of the reviewer's questions didn't really reference the patient's condition," he says.

Besides, he adds, the reviewer doesn't use any medical/psychiatric criteria to guide the discussion about Rose's treatment. "The provider's saying 'They need more [time], they're not doing that well, they're not ready yet.' And the reviewer is saying, 'But they have to go home some day."

It's a clear failure to comply with mental health parity, he adds. A patient recovering from a recent heart attack, for example, would never be sent home if they were still having chest pains and shortness of breath.

$40,000 out-of-pocket

When Medical Mutual finally cut off coverage in November, 2020, Michael and Rochelle were faced with a tough choice. They could take their daughter home despite the treatment team saying she wouldn't be safe at home, or keep her in the program and pay out of pocket.

They chose to pay $1,000 per day to keep their daughter in the program.

"Luckily we could do that," says Rochelle. "I'm imagining most people just go pick up their kid and try to figure it out at home."

But in January, when they ran out of funds – Rose's stay at Rogers had cost them more than $40,000 out-of-pocket – they "fast-forwarded her release," says Rochelle.

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Despite all the progress Rose had made in the program, the transition proved rough on her.

"Two and a half weeks later, we're back in the emergency department," says Rochelle, because Rose had once again attempted suicide.

While Rochelle busied herself with watching Rose and connecting her to outpatient care, Michael filed an external appeal with the Ohio Department of Insurance.

Two and a half weeks later, we're back in the emergency department.

In 2022, the department received a total of 18 requests for external reviews related to mental health and substance use treatment, according to a department spokesperson. Eight of those cases were upheld in the company's favor, 7 were overturned in the consumer's favor and 3 cases are still pending.

As for Rose's case, the Ohio Department of Insurance assigned an independent organization called Lumetra Healthcare Solutions to review it. In August 2021, the organization overturned Medical Mutual of Ohio's denial of coverage for Rose's treatment at Rogers.

In its report, the reviewer at Lumetra wrote that the insurance company's denial was "not appropriate," because all of Rose's medical records show that she was at high risk for self-harm and suicide.

The report also concluded that Rose's ongoing treatment at Rogers was medically necessary, and Medical Mutual of Ohio was required to cover the remainder of Rose's treatment at Rogers Behavioral Health.

"They didn't pay me," says Michael. "They paid Rogers, and then I had to go collect from Rogers."

Michael says he's relieved that the external review worked in the family's favor, but it shouldn't have taken nine months of red tape.

"It just doesn't seem right the way they were treating me," he says, "the way I know they're probably treating other people in similar circumstances, but don't have the means to pay out of pocket and don't have the time, energy, knowledge or resources to hold the insurance company accountable."

Michael and Rochelle still worry about Rose, who's now 17. She is stable but still struggles.

"She still has a high level of depression and anxiety and high level suicidal ideation," says Michael. "So it's sort of day by day, week by week."

But she's made significant progress, he adds. Rose currently takes courses, works with animals she loves and even makes plans for the future. And for that, he says, he is grateful.

This story was edited by Diane Webber. Visuals were produced by Meredith Rizzo.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Will depression affect my life insurance? ›

Depression and Life Insurance

Generally, for people with Depression, Life Insurance premiums will not be rated if the condition is well controlled and there has been a period without any hospitalisation, treatment, self-harm or suicidal thoughts/ attempts.

Is clinical depression life threatening? ›

At its most severe, depression can be life-threatening because it can make you feel suicidal.

Is clinical depression my fault? ›

Depression is not your fault, and it is certainly not a choice. Evidence-based treatment options including medications and psychotherapy can be helpful in reducing symptoms of depression. You also can make lifestyle modifications that can help you cope and provide some relief.

What is the mental health parity law and why is it important? ›

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 requires health insurers and group health plans that offer mental health and substance use disorder benefits to provide the same level of benefits for mental and/or substance use treatment and services that they do for medical/surgical care.

Does mental illness disqualify you from life insurance? ›

It's unlikely you'll be denied life insurance coverage just because you have a mental health condition. You may pay more with some insurers, but others might offer you their most affordable premiums.

Is depression covered by critical illness insurance? ›

Of course, the opposite can also happen. For example, major depression can leave you unable to work. While you'll receive disability benefits, mental illness is not a covered condition in critical illness policies. As a result, only the disability policy will pay.

What is the most serious form of depression clinical depression? ›

Clinical depression is the more-severe form of depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder. It isn't the same as depression caused by a loss, such as the death of a loved one, or a medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder.

What is considered severe major depression? ›

Severe (major) depression is classified as having the symptoms of mild to moderate depression, but the symptoms are severe and noticeable, even to your loved ones. Episodes of major depression last an average of six months or longer.

What is the last stage of clinical depression? ›

Depression creates a sensation of isolation as if you are lost in the wilderness with no direction. The final stage is acceptance, which means you have finally made peace with the reality of your mental illness.

How do you prove clinical depression? ›

To be diagnosed with depression, an individual must have five depression symptoms every day, nearly all day, for at least 2 weeks. One of the symptoms must be a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities. Children and adolescents may be irritable rather than sad.

When should you walk away from someone with mental illness? ›

When it comes to letting go of someone with mental illness, the priority is safety. If physical abuse is present to any degree, especially abuse severe enough to cause you to fear for your life or that of your children, it is important to leave as soon as possible.

What does the Bible say about depression? ›

Psalm 9:9. “The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” The Good News: Depression can make you feel as though you're weighed down. But no matter how troubled you feel, this verse reminds you that the Lord is always there to support you.

Which president emptied the mental institutions? ›

Gov. Reagan signed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act in 1967, all but ending the practice of institutionalizing patients against their will. When deinstitutionalization began 50 years ago, California mistakenly relied on community treatment facilities, which were never built.

What is an example of parity in mental health? ›

When a plan has parity, it means that if you are provided unlimited doctor visits for a chronic condition like diabetes then they must offer unlimited visits for a mental health condition such as depression or schizophrenia.

What is a stop loss carrier? ›

Stop loss insurance is exactly what the name implies – a policy that enables your business to predictably cap expenses for employee medical bills. It's a specialized type of coverage designed to protect self-insured employers from catastrophic losses.

What are health reasons to be denied life insurance? ›

  • Obesity. Unfortunately in America, this has been a pretty big issue for a while. ...
  • High Cholesterol. High cholesterol, lipids, and triglycerides may be a reason for the denial of your application. ...
  • Diabetes. ...
  • Chronic Illness. ...
  • Age. ...
  • Blood or Protein in Your Urine. ...
  • Alcoholism. ...
  • Hazardous Occupation.

Do you have to disclose depression for life insurance? ›

Disclose your full medical history

As with any other type of health concern, a mental health disorder should be disclosed as part of your term life insurance process. (This includes the diagnosis and all medication used to treat symptoms and conditions.)

On what grounds can life insurance be denied? ›

Why are life insurance claims denied? A claim can be rejected if the policyholder stopped paying premiums, lied on their application, died by suicide within the first few years of the policy, or died while committing a crime. How often do life insurance companies deny claims? Less than 1% of the time.

Is there hope for clinical depression? ›

There is no one cure-all for depression. Depression is one name for a condition that can have many disparate symptoms. It may require using several medications in order to target different symptoms. But what those suffering from depression—and their loved ones—must know is that depression is treatable.

Is depression considered a mental health disability? ›

Yes. People with depression are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA defines a person with a disability as anyone who: Has a physical or mental health problem that “substantially limits” at least one major life activity — this could be working or taking care of yourself.

What can you claim for depression? ›

There are 3 main benefits that you can claim if you regularly need support to manage your mental health: Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people over 16 to State Pension age. Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people under 16. Attendance Allowance (AA) for people at State Pension age.

What is the danger of major depressive disorder? ›

Individuals with MDD are at a high risk of developing comorbid anxiety disorders and substance use disorders, which further increases their risk of suicide. Depression can aggravate medical comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and coronary artery disease.

What are the 5 levels of depression? ›

Types of major depression include melancholia, psychotic and antenatal or postnatal. You may be diagnosed with mild, moderate or severe depression. Your mental health professional may diagnose you with depression if these symptoms: happen most days.

Is crippling depression worse than clinical depression? ›

Crippling depression is clinical depression (major depressive disorder) that is severe to the point of limiting basic functioning, including the ability to work and live normally. Some of those afflicted experience episodes that last for a few weeks or months, as in after a loss or the death of a loved one.

What is the survival rate of severe depression? ›

The crude mortality rate per 1000 person-years was 39.5 for the nondepressed, 71.4 for persons with minor depression, and 60.7 for those with major depression (Table 2). Persons with minor depression had a significant 1.84-fold higher risk of dying than nondepressed persons (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.49-2.27).

How long must depression last to be classified as a major depressive disorder? ›

Major depressive disorder isn't something that eventually “passes.” While most people feel sad at times in their lives, major depression is when a person is in a depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks.

What is common for a person with major depression? ›

Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness. Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters. Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports. Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much.

What is the average lifespan of someone with major depressive disorder? ›

The Impact of Major Depression on Overall Health

This difference in overall health, on average, translates to a reduction in future healthy life expectancy of 9.5 years for women and 9.7 years for men.

What is the critical stage of depression? ›

Suicidal ideation or self-harm

Thoughts of suicide, self-harm, or death is often the most serious stage and symptom of depression.

What are the peak ages of depression? ›

Causes and Risk Factors

Women are about twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression. You're also more likely to develop depression if you are between ages 45 and 64, nonwhite, or divorced, and if you never graduated high school, can't work or are unemployed, and don't have health insurance.

What are the 2 questions to diagnose depression? ›

The two simple questions are; 1) have you felt down or depressed or hopeless? and 2) have you been bothered by little interest or pleasure in doing things? - in the past month. The questions are already recommended by NICE to identify people who may be at higher risk of depression, prior to further assessment.

Can a blood test detect depression? ›

New research shows that blood tests may also help diagnose depression, in addition to physical and mental health exams. From examining your symptoms, discussing your medical history, and going through a series of physical and mental health tests, diagnosing depression can often be a lengthy process.

Does major depression qualify for disability? ›

Major depression has been included in the Social Security listings as an affective disorder, which means that if your illness has been diagnosed by a qualified medical practitioner and is severe enough to keep you from working, you have an excellent chance of receiving benefits.

What is a psychotic breakdown? ›

A psychotic breakdown is any nervous breakdown that triggers symptoms of psychosis, which refers to losing touch with reality. Psychosis is more often associated with very serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, but anyone can experience these symptoms if stress becomes overwhelming, triggering a breakdown.

How do I stop enabling my grown child with mental illness? ›

How to Stop Enabling Your Grown Child
  1. Learn to Say “No” ...
  2. Set Boundaries & Follow Through On Holding Them. ...
  3. Try Parent Coaching. ...
  4. Adopt New Language. ...
  5. Redirect Resentment. ...
  6. Grow Your Own Social Network. ...
  7. Create a Written Timeline For Your Transition Plans. ...
  8. Self-check Your Own Caretaking Behaviors.
Jun 2, 2022

How does God deal with depression? ›

Psalm 40:1-3

In this, and other Scriptures for depression, we're reminded that God is always near to the brokenhearted. No matter how deep the pit of despair you're in, God can lift you out. Just as He did for David, God can set you back on a path towards hope and He will steady you whenever you start to stumble.

What is the root cause of depression in Bible? ›

Fear and a Lack of Faith

To fear is to not trust God. Hopelessness is at the root of depression; but so is fear. Fear also sends the emotions into a tailspin. From Genesis (15:1) to Revelation (2:10), God commands His children not to fear, but rather to trust and rest in Him.

What did Jesus say to the depressed? ›

Matthew 11:28

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Which president shut down mental health? ›

The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, signed by President Ronald Reagan on August 13, 1981, repealed most of the Mental Health Systems Act.

How did Reagan get rid of mental health? ›

Ronald Reagan signed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, a landmark piece of legislation that sought to end the involuntary commitment of people with mental health disorders and established a conservatorship system, where the court can assign someone to manage a mentally ill person's assets and legal decisions.

What president had a mental illness? ›

Likely the most well-known president with a mental illness was Abraham Lincoln.

What are the 6 categories of Mental Health Parity? ›

The provisions of the regulation include the following: The substantially all/predominant test outlined in the statute must be applied separately to six classifications of benefits: inpatient in-network; inpatient out-of-network; outpatient in-network; outpatient out-of-network; emergency; and prescription drug.

What is odd parity approach? ›

In odd parity, if the number of bits with a value of one is an even number, the parity bit value is set to one to make the total number of ones in the set (including the parity bit) an odd number.

What is an example of loosening of association psychiatry? ›

What are loose associations? “Loose associations” is a psychological term to describe a lack of connection between ideas. This can manifest in speech as an individual moving quickly from one idea to an unrelated one in the same sentence, expressing a random jumble of words and phrases.

What triggers a stop-loss? ›

If a stock price suddenly gaps below (or above) the stop price, the order would trigger. The stock would be sold (or bought) at the next available price even if the stock is trading sharply away from your stop loss level.

What is a stop-loss for health insurance? ›

Stop-loss insurance (also known as excess insurance) is a product that provides protection against catastrophic or unpredictable losses. It is purchased by employers who have decided to self-fund their employee benefit plans, but do not want to assume 100% of the liability for losses arising from the plans.

What is an example of stop-loss in insurance? ›

For example, if an employer elects that their maximum liability per person on their benefits plan for that policy year be $100,000, and a specific claimant exceeds that liability and their total claims are $102,000, the stop-loss policy will reimburse them for claims in excess of that amount, the $2,000.

Is depression considered a pre-existing condition? ›

Many insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. This means that they will not pay out on a claim related to a pre-existing condition, including mental health problems. For example, if you have a diagnosis of depression when you apply for insurance, this would be considered a pre-existing condition.

Can depression disqualify you? ›

Having a previously diagnosed mental health condition such as depression can actually be a disqualifying factor for service in the United States military, though individuals may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Does stress affect life insurance? ›

Can I get life insurance after stress? YES – stress isn't considered to be a serious health problem for life insurance in most cases. If you've suffered from mild to moderate symptoms with no other health problems, then you should be able to get cover instantly.

What is considered a mental disorder for life insurance? ›

Mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can be considered risk factors that may impact a person's ability to obtain life insurance coverage.

Why is depression not considered a disability? ›

Depression is considered a disability when it prevents you from engaging or completing daily activities and tasks. These types of depression may qualify you for a disability claim if you meet specific requirements: clinical depression. persistent depressive disorder.

How many symptoms are necessary to qualify for a diagnosis of depression? ›

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), the diagnosis of a Major Depression Episode (MDE) requires five or more symptoms to be present within a 2-week period (4).

Is major depressive disorder considered a mental illness? ›

Major depressive disorder is a serious mental illness that affects how people feel, think, and go about their everyday tasks. The condition can also impact a person's sleep habits, appetite, and ability to enjoy life.

Is depression legally a mental illness? ›

Depression is considered a psychiatric disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It's a significant mood disorder that's known to interfere with daily activities, which may include your ability to work. Depression sometimes becomes so severe that you can no longer go to work.

Does depression show up on a background check? ›

Does mental illness show up on a background check? No, employer background checks don't typically include details of your medical or mental health, as these are kept confidential. There could be an exception where mental health history is directly relevant to the job you're doing.

How hard is it to get disability for major depression? ›

Major depression has been included in the Social Security listings as an affective disorder, which means that if your illness has been diagnosed by a qualified medical practitioner and is severe enough to keep you from working, you have an excellent chance of receiving benefits.

Is major depression and anxiety a disability? ›

If you've been diagnosed with depression and you expect that you won't be able to work for at least a year because of depression, you can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits.

What are common reasons to be denied life insurance? ›

A serious medical condition or poor results from your life insurance medical exam tend to be the most common reasons why people are rejected. Or it might even be non-medical related, with factors like bankruptcy, a criminal record, a positive drug test, or a dangerous hobby all having an impact.

What conditions disqualify you for life insurance? ›

Due to the added risk health problems create for insurers, some pre-existing conditions can raise your premium or even disqualify you entirely from certain types of life insurance. A few common examples of pre-existing conditions include high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and asthma.


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