Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms

Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience only a few symptoms, some people suffer many. The severity of symptoms varies among individuals and also over time.

As you read through these signs and symptoms, identify those that describe what you are feeling:

  • Persistent, sad, anxious, or “empty” mood

  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism

  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities

  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions

  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping

  • Appetite and/or weight changes

  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts

  • Restlessness, irritability

  • Persistent physical symptoms

If you have identified one or more of these signs and symptoms, talk to your doctor. You can also contact a behavioral health provider directly or call WHA's behavioral health partner, Optum at: 800.765.6820 or go online at Optum's LiveandWorkWell Webpage to search for mental health providers, and see their helpful videos on how to choose a therapist.

To learn more about depression and its symptoms, visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Depression Screening

The following questions can help to determine if you or someone you know is depressed. If you answer "yes" to both questions, further evaluation and treatment may be necessary.

  1. During the past month, have you often been bothered by feeling down, depressed, or hopeless?

  2. During the past month, have you often been bothered by little interest or pleasure in doing things?

It is important to talk to your doctor about receiving the appropriate care. You can also contact your behavioral health provider or Optum Behavioral Health at 800.765.6820 (Medicare members, call 855.857.9748) to discuss care options for depression.

Source: Whooley MA, Avins AL, Miranda J, Browner WS Case-finding instruments for depression: two questions are as good as many. J Gen Intern Med. 1997; 12:439-445

Things to remember when making an appointment

Ask about copayments.

A copay is a charge that you are required to pay out of pocket for a specific service. For instance, you may have a $20 copay for each office visit. In the past, copays for mental health visits may have been greater than those for most medical visits. That should no longer be the case for insurance plans subject to the *parity law.

Ask about your deductible.

A deductible is an amount that you must pay out-of-pocket before WHA makes any payments. Depending on your deductible, for instance, you may have to pay $500 or even $5,000 out-of-pocket before WHA will begin making payments on claims. As a result of the *parity law, your deductible should apply to both mental and physical health coverage.

Talk to your provider.

When you call to schedule an appointment with a mental health provider, ask if he or she accepts your WHA insurance.

Coordinating medical and mental health services. 

Given the complex relationship between physical health and mental health, communication and coordination between medical and mental health providers is crucial to safe and quality care.  Ask your mental health provider about the importance of coordinating your mental health care with your medical treatment plan.

*The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) requires group health plans and health insurance issuers to ensure that financial requirements (such as co-pays, deductibles) and treatment limitations (such as visit limits) applicable to mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits are no more restrictive than the predominant requirements or limitations applied to substantially all medical/surgical benefits.

Last review date: January 18, 2023