Mental health conditions
We cover more mental health conditions than any other leading UK insurer.†††
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An acute stress reaction occurs when symptoms develop due to a particularly stressful event. The word 'acute' means the symptoms develop quickly but don’t usually last long.
Download our podcast Three-minute breathing exercise
Our wellbeing platform, Healthy Me, has more information to help you manage your stress reaction, especially through mindfulness.
An adjustment disorder occurs when the normal process of adaptation to one or more stressful life experiences is disrupted.
This will occur within three months of the onset of this stressor or stressors. It could take the form of anxious feelings, nervousness, worry, feelings of sadness and crying, broken sleep, difficulty in concentrating, muscle tension and fatigue. A person suffering in this way might also withdraw socially, have difficulty working (or attending school or college), or suffer from headaches or stomach aches. They would be well advised to try to understand what is happening, and that this is a specific response not the way life usually works.
Read our article on how you can use mindfulness to manage stress
Our wellbeing platform, Healthy Me, has more information to help you adjust to your circumstances as well as your reactions.
Alcohol misuse is when you drink in a way that's harmful, or when you're dependent on alcohol.
Download our podcast Exploring your relationship with alcohol
Read our health information page about alcoholism, which can tell you about risk factors, symptoms, treatments and places to seek help.
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.
Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam or having a medical test or job interview. During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal. But some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives.
Listen to our series of helpful podcasts on Mindful walking meditation.
Read our health information page about anxiety, to find out more about the symptoms and available treatments.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that affects your moods, which can swing from one extreme to another.
People with bipolar disorder have episodes of:
- depression – feeling very low and lethargic
- mania – feeling very high and overactive
Symptoms of bipolar disorder depend on which mood you're experiencing.
Read our health information page about Bipolar disorder, which has information about types, symptoms and treatments.
Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you're depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days.
Read our health information page about Depression which has information about types, symptoms, treatments, and how to help yourself.
Dissociative disorders are a range of conditions that can cause physical and psychological problems.
Some of them are very short-lived, perhaps following a traumatic life event, and resolve on their own over a matter of weeks or months. Others can last much longer.
The three main types of dissociative disorder are:
- dissociative disorders of movement or sensation
- dissociative amnesia
- dissociative identity disorder
This can involve eating too much or too little or becoming obsessed with your weight and body shape.
The most common eating disorders are:
- anorexia nervosa – when you try to keep your weight as low as possible by not eating enough food, exercising too much, or both
- bulimia – when you sometimes lose control and eat a lot of food in a very short amount of time (bingeing) and are then deliberately sick, or use laxatives (medicine to help you poo), restrict what you eat, or do too much exercise to try to stop yourself gaining weight
- binge eating disorder (BED) – when you regularly lose control of your eating, eat large portions of food all at once until you feel uncomfortably full, and then often feel upset or guilty
- other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED) – when your symptoms do not exactly match those of anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder, but it's no less serious an illness
Mixed depressive and anxiety disorder is characterized by symptoms of both anxiety and depression. The symptoms include a depressed mood, or diminished interest in activities along with additional depressive symptoms, as well as multiple symptoms of anxiety.
Read our article The link between anxiety and depression.
There’s lots more information about both anxiety and depression at our wellbeing platform, Healthy Me. What's the difference between anxiety and depression? also talks about having them both at the same time.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common mental health condition in which a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. OCD can be distressing and significantly interfere with your life, but treatment can help you keep it under control.
Read our health information page about OCD, which has information about types of obsessions and compulsions, as well as the causes of and treatments for OCD.
Panic disorder is a form of anxiety where you regularly have sudden attacks of panic or fear.
Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety and panic at certain times, because it's a natural response to stressful or dangerous situations. But for someone with panic disorder, feelings of anxiety, stress and panic occur regularly and at any time, often for no apparent reason.
Read our health information page about Panic attacks, which has information about causes, symptoms, treatment and how to help yourself.
Personality disorders are a type of mental health problem where your attitudes, beliefs and behaviours cause you longstanding problems in your life.
The word ‘personality’ refers to the pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviour that makes each of us the individuals that we are.
None of us think, feel and behave in exactly the same way all the time. It depends on the situation we’re in, the people we’re with, and many other things. However, if you have a personality disorder, you may often experience difficulties in how you think about yourself and others. And you may find it difficult to change these unwanted patterns.
Read our health information page about Personality disorders.
A phobia is an overwhelming and debilitating fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal.
Phobias are more pronounced than fears. They develop when a person has an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation or object.
If a phobia becomes very severe, a person may organise their life around avoiding the thing that's causing them anxiety. As well as restricting their day-to-day life, it can also cause a lot of distress.
Read our health information page about Phobias, which has information about types, symptoms, treatments and how to help yourself.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.
Read our health information page about PTSD, which has information about causes, symptoms and treatments.
Postnatal depression can affect women in different ways. It can start at any point in the first year after giving birth, and may develop suddenly or gradually.
Many women feel a bit down, tearful or anxious in the first week after giving birth. This is often called the baby blues and is so common that it's considered normal. The baby blues don't last for more than two weeks after giving birth. So if your symptoms last longer or start later, you could have postnatal depression.
Read our health information page about Postnatal depression, which has information about postpartum psychosis.
You might be said to 'lose touch' with reality.
The most common types of psychosis are hallucinations and delusions. You might also experience disorganised thinking and speech.
Psychosis affects people in different ways. You might experience it once, have short episodes throughout your life, or live with it most of the time.
Recurrent depressive disorder is characterised by a history of at least two depressive episodes, separated by at least several months without significant mood disturbance.
Read our health information page about Depression which has information about causes, symptoms and treatments.
Schizophrenia is a disorder of the mind that affects how you think, feel and behave. Its symptoms are described as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’.
Read our health information page about Schizophrenia, which has information about causes, symptoms and treatments.
It can have a severe impact on your functioning as well as your physical health.
Substance abuse or misuse is formally defined as the continued misuse of any mind-altering substance that severely affects a person’s physical and mental health, social situation and responsibilities.
Depression is a low mood that lasts for a long time, and affects your everyday life.
If you have SAD, you'll experience depression during some seasons in particular, or because of certain types of weather.
Read our health information page about SAD, which has information about symptoms, treatments and self-help. You can also read our article about ways to treat SAD
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†Conditions that come back are defined as chronic. As of June 2019, we removed the chronic mental health rule on our consumer policies. However, if you joined Bupa or renewed your policy before June 2019, the chronic rule will still apply until you renew. Your certificate will show the date of your next renewal – but please call us if you are unsure. For any business policies please refer to your policy documents to see if you have mental health as part of your cover. If you have mental health benefits your guide will confirm if your employer has chosen to remove the chronic rule for mental health conditions.
‡ To support addictions we fund one addiction treatment programme in your lifetime.
††Each story refers to mental health cover and reflects the experience of one particular Bupa member. The cover you choose will have specific terms and conditions, and pre-existing conditions are normally excluded.
†††As of February 2023, this comparison to other products in the market is based on Bupa’s and Defaqto’s interpretation of the differences between Bupa By You health insurance and other health insurance products offering mental health cover. The comparison excludes any special offers or promotions which may temporarily alter the cover offered. Cover comparison information is for personal use and guidance only and does not constitute any contractual representation, warranty or obligation by either Bupa or Defaqto about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability of the comparison. Neither party accepts any liability for errors, omissions, direct or consequential loss in relation to this comparison.
Bupa health insurance is provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London EC2R 7HJ.