Frequently Asked Questions

8. What should I do if I think I am depressed?

First, visit a doctor. Talk to him or her about your symptoms, discuss any medications you are taking, and discuss any other medical conditions you may have. Certain medications taken for other medical conditions, a vitamin B12 deficiency, some viruses, or a thyroid disorder can cause the same symptoms as depression.

A doctor should give you a complete physical exam and do any lab tests to rule out the possibility that medications or another medical condition are causing your depression. If these can be ruled out, he or she may refer you to a mental health professional such as a psychologist, counselor, social worker, or psychiatrist.

The doctor or mental health professional will ask you about your symptoms, such as when they started, how long they have lasted, their severity, whether they have occurred before, and if so, whether were they treated and how. He or she then will diagnose the depression, and work with you to choose the most appropriate treatment.