Getting Treatment for Depression
you are experiencing symptoms of depression that you can’t manage on your own,
or that don’t seem to be improving with lifestyle changes, make an appointment
with your primary care physician. He or she can check for any underlying
physical problems that may be causing your symptoms. At this appointment, your
doctor can also do some basic screening for depression. Here are a few
questions you should be prepared to answer:
long have you had your symptoms? Is it unusual for you to have low moods?
you experienced any recent personal losses or changes in your life?
your loved ones noticed any changes in you?
your sleeping patterns changed? Your appetite?
you no longer enjoy certain activities the way you used to?
depression run in your family?
your appointment, make a list of your own questions to ask your doctor. Here
are a few provided by the Mayo Clinic to help you get started:
depression the most likely cause of my symptoms?
than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms or
kinds of tests will I need?
treatment is likely to work best for me?
are the alternatives to the primary approach that you’re suggesting?
have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
doctor may prescribe antidepressant medication for you. After an initial
assessment, your doctor may also refer you to one of the following specialists
for further care:
are licensed physicians who treat mental health conditions. Once they finish
medical school, they have four more years of training in psychiatry. They
specialize in mental health and emotional problems. A psychiatrist’s special
training can help you talk through any emotional issues that may be
contributing to your condition. Psychiatrists can also prescribe medication. When
used in combination with medication, talk therapy has proven very effective in
treating clinical depression.
Psychologists are not
medical doctors and cannot write prescriptions. However, they do specialize in
talk therapy. They hold advanced degrees in the science of behavior, thoughts,
and emotions. After getting their degrees, they must go through specialized
training. They must also be licensed and certified before treating patients. They
help patients learn how to cope with mental health problems and day-to-day life
issues in a healthy way.
Social workers need a
master’s degree in order to provide talk therapy. They are trained to help
individuals with emotional situations. Although social workers have less
schooling than psychologists, they can be just as helpful.