Work with Your CF Team
If you are feeling sad or overwhelmed it is important to talk with your CF care team. There are many effective treatments for depression and anxiety.
Anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications can help people with chronic illnesses and depression or anxiety. Talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), with a trained therapist also helps people with chronic illnesses. For most people, combining medication and talk therapy works the best.
Make a Plan with Your Team
Your CF care team or primary care doctor can help you come up with a plan. They can also prescribe medications, provide referrals to counselors and therapists or just listen to understand what you are going through.
At your CF center, the social worker or psychologist may be able to provide you therapy or offer referrals to specialists in the community who have experience treating anxiety, depression or substance abuse in adults with a chronic illness such as CF.
At many CF centers, the social worker is the team member most likely to be your “first stop” for help and psychologists are available by referral.
If you decide to see a therapist or mental health specialist, it is important to talk with your health insurance plan. Mental health treatment such as therapy or seeing a psychiatrist is often covered under a special mental health “carve out.” This means that your claim for mental health services are processed and paid by a different company than your medical services.
We suggest that you talk with your health insurance plan before starting services to find out which providers are covered and what expenses you will be expected to pay.
If you do not have insurance or cannot afford treatment, you may be eligible for treatment at publicly funded mental health centers and through other mental health programs. These programs often work on a sliding scale based on your ability to pay. Check out "Get Help When You Need It" to help you find treatment, or talk with your CF team members.