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's essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors 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. Make sure you understand what you are hearing. If you don't, tell the doctor. Ask for educational materials.
  • Ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.
  • What could be causing my problems?
  • What should I do if my happiness and ability to function in my relationships, work, or home life changes?
  • Do I need a physical exam or tests to look for other causes?
  • Have you diagnosed and treated people with depression?
  • If not, can you refer me to someone who can?
  • How is depression treated?
  • What medicines might help me and how long will they take to work?
  • What side effects should I watch for while on medicine and what should I do if I develop them?
  • Can I stop taking medicines if they make me feel better?
  • Can you provide me with names of counselors or therapists who treat depression?

Interview potential counselors. Find one with whom you feel comfortable discussing your problems. Ask questions such as:

  • What training and experience do you have in treating depression?
  • How do you treat it?
  • How long will I need to be treated?
  • How long are the sessions and how often will I have them?
  • What are your fees?
  • Which health insurances do you accept?
  • Do you offer a payment plan?
  • What lifestyle changes can help me manage depression?
  • What resources are available to help me with:
    • Eating a healthful diet
    • Exercising regularly
    • Getting enough sleep
    • 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.

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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.

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