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?