Talking to Your Doctor About Depression
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write out 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 necessary.
- 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 you provide me with names of counselors or therapists who treat depression?
- 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?
- What health insurance 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?
Ask Me 3. Partnership for Clear Health Communication website. Available at: http://www.npsf.org/for-healthcare-professionals/programs/ask-me-3/. Accessed July 31, 2012.
Depression. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-easy-to-read/depression-trifold.pdf. Accessed July 31, 2012.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/17/2014 -
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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