You may decide to schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor to talk about your concerns or you may decide to see a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, for evaluation.
What you can do
Prepare for your appointment by making a list of:
- Any symptoms you've had, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment
- Key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes
- All medications, vitamins, supplements or herbal preparations that you're taking, and the doses
- Questions to ask your doctor
Taking a family member or friend along can help you remember something that you missed or forgot.
Basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Why can't I get over this depression on my own?
- How do you treat this type of depression?
- Will talk therapy (psychotherapy) help?
- Are there medications that might help?
- How long will I need to take medication?
- What are some of the side effects of the medication you're recommending?
- How often will we meet?
- How long will treatment take?
- What can I do to help myself?
- Are there any brochures or other printed materials that I can have?
- What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor may ask you several questions, such as:
- When did you first notice symptoms?
- How is your daily life affected by your symptoms?
- What other treatment have you had?
- What have you tried on your own to feel better?
- What things make you feel worse?
- Have any relatives had any type of depression or another mental illness?
- What do you hope to gain from treatment?
Aug. 08, 2017
- Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia). In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
- Kriston L, et al. Efficacy and acceptability of acute treatments for persistent depressive disorder: A network meta-analysis. Depression and Anxiety. 2014;31:621.
- AskMayoExpert. Persistent depressive disorder. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Hales RE, et al. Depressive disorders. In: The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 6th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2014. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
- Depression. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
- Depression. National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression/Overview. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
- Cristancho MA, et al. Persistent depressive disorders: Dysthymia and chronic major depressive disorder. In: Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology. 1st ed. John Wiley and Sons; 2015. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/book/10.1002/9781118625392. Accessed Oct. 13, 2015.
- Stewart D. et al. Risks of antidepressants during pregnancy: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
- Coryell W. Unipolar depression in adults: Course of illness. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
- Ciechanowski P. Unipolar major depression in adults: Choosing initial treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
- Ravindran AV, et al. Complementary and alternative therapies as add-on to pharmacotherapy for mood and anxiety disorders: A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2013;150:707.
- Natural medicines in the clinical management of depression. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/ce/CECourse.aspx?cs=MAYO&pm=5&s=nd&pc=09-30&searchid=53681138#keywordanchor. Accessed Oct. 12, 2015.
- Hoban CL, et al. A comparison of patterns of spontaneous adverse drug reaction reporting with St. John's wort and fluoxetine during the period 2000-2013. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology. 2015;42:747.
- Marchand WR. Mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and Zen meditation for depression, anxiety, pain, and psychological distress. Journal of Psychiatric Practice. 2012;18:233.
- Rohren CH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 22, 2105.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 27, 2015.
Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)