Depression Diagnosis - When do you see a doctor if you have (or you think you have) depression?

If you suspect that you are depressed, remember that self-diagnosis is simply not an option. You need to understand the importance of getting a diagnosis from a medical professional! You need to have a relationship with a doctor who can give you a correct diagnosis and prescribe a treatment plan that will work for your particular case of depression.

Doctors have been professionally trained to treat depression. Remember that there is nothing to be embarrassed about when it comes to the disorder. It is imperative to be open and honest about your feelings and physical symptoms. Otherwise, your treatment may not help you.

Again, it is imperative to ensure a proper diagnosis. Without that, nothing will help you should you find yourself in a depressed episode. Without proper treatment, your condition will likely worsen or recur more frequently than it would with adequate medical treatment by a professional.

You see, depression symptoms are many times also symptoms indicating other problems. If a patient has always been a very sound sleeper with normal sleeping habits and all of the sudden he/she begins experiencing insomnia or restless sleep there is a reason for concern. Conversely, if the patient begins sleeping much more than normal there is also a reason for concern. Remember that these problems could also be caused by an altogether different physical illness.

Depression is sometimes accompanied by a general shift in the patient’s attitude and outlook. Lack of desire to participate in normal activities, especially fun ones, is to be viewed as a potential sign of depression. Also, there may be denial on the part of the patient or a statement that they are just too tired to do anything. When the statement is made that someone is just too tired, there are many medical conditions that could be responsible. It’s important for a physician to rule out such medical problems.

Indecision or concentration problems could very easily be connected to some other medical disorder that is not at all mental – but completely physical.  So once again – you must seek the advice of a medical professional and NEVER self-diagnose.

Seeing a physician will allow you to be confident that the problems you are experiencing are not the result of a serious medical condition unrelated to depression. Because depression is sometimes used to diagnose people when a medical problem cannot be determined, you must be certain to find a qualified and experienced medical professional who is specifically trained to handle the treatment of depression patients.

Once you determine that your problem is depression, you are on your way to finding the best possible combination of treatments for your particular case of depression.  Your doctor will probably ask you some questions about your mental state and emotional reactions in addition to the physical exam that will take place at your appointment.  Other health issues may come to the forefront during that appointment as well.

Depression involves physical, emotional and mental states of a person suffering from the condition. It’s much more than sadness that will eventually go away on its own. The patient usually has little control over their ability to come out of an episode and time is often the best medicine when used in conjunction with a treatment plan from a physician. There are many variations of depression, and if left untreated the condition will undoubtedly worsen. There is no reason to be embarrassed or ashamed over a diagnosis of depression.

Depression is not simply something that will go away on its own. There’s no shame associated with seeking help, and depression is not a sign of weakness or not being strong enough. You cannot tough out depression no matter what you might be told. It’s not a matter of will. Just like you cannot will heart disease or cancer away, you cannot will away depression either. You can’t try to cheer yourself up when you are depressed, because in most cases the results will be short-lived and your depression will continue. It is vitally important that if you are suffering from depression you seek help immediately. Vitamins may help, exercise may help, but these things only treat symptoms and not the root cause whether it be physical or emotional. You must get qualified help from a professional in order to beat depression, but know that it is possible to beat it!

Depression is one of the easier medical conditions to treat. And unlike other conditions, the results of treatment are almost immediately visible to the depressed patient. That is another reason to seek treatment; to end your constant sadness or other symptoms.

There are questions that need to be addressed, such as which doctor to see for your depression and what type of treatment to request.

Drugs and therapy are the standard treatments prescribed for depression whether alone or in combination.  A Psychiatrist is the best option when seeking the assistance of a medical professional for depression because they are capable of providing both types of the most commonly used treatments. Questions abound regarding what is appropriate treatment for depression. The psychiatrist can help you to find the answers that are best for you, your lifestyle, and your particular type and severity of depression.

Psychologists are also excellent at treating depression related problems. But they cannot treat you with medications.  Psychologists excel at therapeutic methods for alleviating the symptoms of depression, however if your case is severe and really requires medication they may need to recommend a psychiatrist for you. Or, they may work in conjunction with a psychiatrist who can prescribe the best possible medications for your depression episodes.

If you would prefer to avoid taking medications for your depression treatment, and you think that you would benefit from talk based therapy, a psychologist is probably a great option to explore. Be aware that if the psychologist suspects that your case requires medication, they will tell you that. They may request that you talk to a physician regarding medication while still continuing your therapy regimen.  We will discuss treatment options in the next section, Treating Depression.



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