By: Anastasia Iliou

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately one in five Americans is affected by mental health conditions. Mental Health Awareness Month is important for spreading awareness and reducing the stigma associated with mental health concerns.

Mental Health Stigma

People who struggle with mental health conditions face an uphill battle with stigma every day. Those who do not have their own mental health battles commonly misunderstand the meaning of depression, bipolar disorder, and other common conditions. Depressed patients commonly hear that they are “only acting this way for the attention,” or “should just suck it up,” but the truth is that it’s not that simple.

Depression, bipolar disorder, and other similar mental health ailments are not only emotional but also physical and chemical. Those who are clinically depressed often have a chemical imbalance in the brain that makes it easier to feel stressed and harder to feel at ease. The emotional stress of depression can then cause physical ailments.

How Emotions Affect The Body

Stress and depression can weaken your immune system and cause severe exhaustion. Stress and depression are chemical reactions. When you feel stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol, which slows down your metabolism, resulting in weight gain. Plus, the emotional toll of stress and depression can lower your motivation, making it harder to eat right and exercise.

Medicare & Mental Health

Depression is increasingly common among the senior population. The stress of aging can take a severe toll on the human body. Thankfully, Medicare includes benefits that can help seniors fight depression and other mental health ailments.

To start, some Medicare plans offer SilverSneakers. SilverSneakers is a fitness program for seniors only. Most SilverSneakers programs take place at local YMCAs. Seniors can come and attend fitness classes, like yoga, walking, etc. These classes not only promote healthy physical habits, but also can help seniors make friends and stay active in their local community.

Plus, did you know that Medicare allows for one free depression screening each year? Medicare coverage includes checkups, hospitalization, prescriptions, injections, and so much more. You don’t have to live in pain. Medicare will cover you.

Get in Touch with Medicare Plan Finder

Do you need better Medicare benefits? Our partners at Medicare Plan Finder can help you figure out whether or not you are in the best plan for your needs. They can even help you find extra Medicare cost savings! The best part is that they’re partnered with our group, so they can make sure you stay in-network with your favorite doctors.

To get information about your Medicare, complete this form or call Medicare Plan Finder at 833-GET-ENROLLED (833-438-3676).