Talking to Your Doctor About Depression

General Tips for Gathering InformationSpecific Questions to Ask Your DoctorAbout DepressionAbout Treatment OptionsAbout Lifestyle ChangesAbout Your Outlook

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with depression. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if needed.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
  • What could be causing my symptoms?
  • What should I do if these symptoms interfere with my happiness and ability to function in my relationships, work, or home life?
  • Do I need a physical exam and testing to look for other causes?
  • Have you diagnosed and treated people with depression?
  • If not, can you refer me to a mental health professional who can diagnose and treat depression?
  • What treatment options are available for depression?
  • What medications might help me and how long will they take to work?
  • What side effects should I watch for while on this medication and what should I do if I develop them?
  • Can I stop taking medications if they make me feel better?
  • Can you provide me with names of counselors or therapists who treat depression?

If you decide to try counseling, interview potential counselors and find one with whom you feel comfortable discussing your problems. Ask the counselor such questions as:

  • What training and experience do you have in treating depression?
  • What is your basic approach to treatment?
  • How long will I need to be treated for depression?
  • How long are treatment sessions and how often will I have them?
  • What are your fees?
  • Which health insurances do you accept?
  • Do you offer sliding scale fees to accompany various financial circumstances?
  • What lifestyle changes can help me manage depression?
  • What resources are available to help me with:
    • Eating a healthful diet
    • Exercising regularly
    • Finding social support
    • Managing stress
  • What are my chances of recovery from depression both with and without treatment?
  • What are the chances of my depression recurring and is there anything I can do to prevent it?

Revisions

Please note, not all procedures included in this resource library are available at Henry Ford Allegiance Health or performed by Henry Ford Allegiance Health physicians.

All EBSCO Publishing proprietary, consumer health and medical information found on this site is accredited by URAC. URAC's Health Web Site Accreditation Program requires compliance with 53 rigorous standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audits. To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at HLEditorialTeam@ebscohost.com.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Editorial Policy | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Support
Copyright © 2008 EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.

To reduce stress and protect your heart, give yourself a 20 minute “time out” to slow down and rejuvenate. Relax your muscles with yoga stretches, deep breathing, or meditation.