Lifting the Barriers to Depression Treatment: Making Depression Treatment More Accessible

More than 300 million people in the world suffer from clinical depression, but 50% of them will never seek treatment. Rather, these people suffer from such symptoms as sadness, inability to concentrate, and loss of appetite—with limited hope for improvement. Many individuals diagnosed with depression never admit that they need treatment in the first place. However, there are still others who recognize that they need depression treatment, but feel it is inaccessible to them.

A paper recently published in Psychiatric Services outlines the reasons why those diagnosed with depression don’t pursue treatment. The top five reasons were:

1. Affordability: 48% of patients could not afford depression treatment

2. Self-Managed Care: 22% of patients believed they could manage their symptoms without professional or pharmacological intervention

3. Unaware of Depression Treatment Centers: 17% of patients didn’t know where to turn for help

4. Fear: 15% of patients had concerns about being committed or forced to take prescription medications

5. Too Busy: 14% of patients reported that they were just too busy to seek treatment for depression

The Psychiatric Services report outlines several other reasons why depressed individuals don’t seek mental healthcare: no health insurance coverage; afraid of being judged; assumption that depression treatment wouldn’t work, etc.

Naturally, depressed people often lack the energy or motivation to seek treatment for their mental health disorder. Thus, more aggressive outreach is necessary to encourage these people to engage in a depression treatment program. Patients needs to understand that there are effective treatments available, where to receive those treatments, and that they are more affordable than they might expect.

Patients should start with a primary care physician or mental healthcare provider who can initiate a prescription medication and/or psychotherapeutic treatment program. Many antidepressant medications are available for less than $10/month and can help reduce depressive symptoms over the course of 2-3 months. For those patients who are treatment resistant to traditional methods or who suffer from suicidal ideations and need a more immediate treatment, ketamine infusion therapy is a highly effective, rapid acting depression treatment. While ketamine for depression is not generally covered by health insurance, some plans will make an exception. Also, many clinics—such as our Colorado area clinics—offer financing options to help make these life-changing treatments more accessible to those suffering.

As for the stigma of depression, the best way to eliminate that factor is simply by talking about it. If patients understand that depression is a disease and not a personal weakness—and that depression affects almost 50% of Americans, rich and poor, male and female, with no racial or ethnic discrimination—they may feel less ashamed about seeking depression treatment.

Contact Vitalitas Denver

Vitalitas Denver has two ketamine clinic locations in Colorado: one in the greater Denver area and the other in close proximity to Boulder and Fort Collins. We offer ketamine infusions to patients suffering from severe depression, anxiety PTSD and other debilitating mental health disorders. Our clinics are some of the most trusted in the country. Contact us today and ask about ketamine infusions for you or a loved one—we will schedule a free consultation to determine your eligibility and get you started on a path towards health and happiness.

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