Mental health conditions we support
We cover more mental health conditions than any other leading UK insurer.†††
This is a sudden, fairly short-term response to a major stress – like a crisis, bereavement, accident or assault.
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.
Our wellbeing platform, Healthy Me, has more information to help you manage your stress reaction, especially through mindfulness.
After a stressful event, regardless of severity, you may have more trouble coping than is usually expected.
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.
Our wellbeing platform, Healthy Me, has more information to help you adjust to your circumstances as well as your reactions.
This can have serious consequences for your mental as well as your physical health, and for your safety.
Anxiety is only to be expected at times, but for some people it can spiral out of control.
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.
This causes dramatic mood swings, which can be hard on everyone and can even have serious consequences.
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.
This is what you have when you’re first diagnosed with depression, unless it then becomes recurring.
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.
Here, you may have physical symptoms which appear to be caused by a psychological trigger.
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
An eating disorder is when you have an unhealthy attitude to food, which can take over your life and make you ill.
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
This might be the diagnosis if you have equally balanced symptoms of anxiety and depression.
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.
This can vary from mild to extreme, causing people to think obsessively and act compulsively.
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.
This means recurrent panic attacks, which can involve additional psychological as well as physical symptoms.
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.
Including borderline and antisocial personality disorders, which cause people to think and act differently.
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.
These involve intense and excessive fears of an object or situation, such as a fear of buttons or flying.
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.
A psychological disturbance after an event like an accident or assault, or witnessing something horrific.
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.
This is a mental health condition that can affect a woman after she has given birth.
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.
Psychosis (also called a psychotic experience or psychotic episode) is when you perceive or interpret reality in a very different way from people around you.
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.
Sometimes depression can be just a single episode, but this refers to repeated episodes of depression.
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.
These can involve delusions, unpredictable behaviour, disorganised thought and incoherent speech.
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.
Substance abuse includes the misuse of a range of mind-altering substances.
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.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that you experience during particular seasons or times of year.
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
Even if you have a history of mental illness, that doesn’t automatically mean we can never support you in future. Every decision we make is based on your personal circumstances, so please call us on 0113 495 0866^ to discuss your options. Here’s some more helpful information about our support for pre-existing mental health conditions.
Our health insurance is designed to cover you for the treatment of conditions that appear after you take out a policy with us, and that includes mental health conditions*. However, even if you have a history of mental illness, that doesn’t automatically mean we can never support you in future.
When you take out a policy, you’ll usually be asked for some medical history. We’ll ask you about any symptoms, treatment or advice you’ve had in the past, including your mental health and wellbeing. How recent that was will affect what we can cover you for in future. Then we’ll tell you how we could support you in future. This is a wide-ranging area, so even if you’ve struggled in the past with similar but unrelated symptoms, we’d still look to see if we can support you.
For example, if you’ve had PTSD before, we could still cover you for future unrelated episodes of stress. And if you’ve had post-natal depression, we could still cover you for unrelated episodes of depression. We may be able to review any such exclusion whenever you renew your policy, so do ask us for a review. We can only consider covering you for previously excluded conditions for which you’ve had no symptoms, treatment or advice for at least 12 months**.
Every decision we make is based on your own personal circumstances, so do call us to discuss your options on 0113 495 0866^. We may record or monitor our calls.
Please check your policy to see if you have mental health cover.
** The period of time will depend on the condition.
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†††As of June 2020, this analysis is based on internally conducted review of the consumer health insurance market using publicly available information from the major insurers in the UK consumer health insurance market. Combined, Bupa, AXA PPP, Aviva and Vitality hold approximately 90% of the Gross Written Premium income of UK PMI providers. Refers to standard mental health cover when this is included in the selected consumer health insurance product.
†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 per membership lifetime. To support chronic mental health conditions (conditions which recur) we have removed restrictions on cover from June 2019. If you joined Bupa, or renewed your policy, before June 2019, there will be still be restrictions on chronic mental health cover until your next renewal. Please call us if you would like to discuss the benefit limits on your policy.
††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.
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.