Before Your Visit

After you make an appointment with a healthcare provider for major depression diagnosis and treatment, there are some steps you can take to make your visit a smooth one.

  • Write down a list of all your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to depression such as stomach aches, headaches, trouble sleeping or loss of appetite.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins, and supplements that you’re taking. Include the dosage you are taking of each.
  • Write down key personal information, including past or chronic illnesses, diet and exercise habits, and any major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Be prepared to talk about difficult topics such as troubles in your life or whether you have ever thought about suicide.
  • Be prepared to answer many questions and to take an active role in managing your disease. Depression is a complex condition that requires ongoing medical care and active participation by patients.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Depression

Before your appointment, you should also compile a list of any questions you have for the doctor about depression. Review this list of common concerns to see if any of them apply to you, or print it out to bring with you.

Question About My Diagnosis

  • How did I get major depression?
  • What is the difference between major depression and milder forms of depression?
  • What makes my condition major depression rather than mild depression?
  • How long will my depression last?

Questions About My Treatment

  • What type of medication is used to treat major depression? Are there side effects?
  • Will I have to take medication for the rest of my life?
  • How do you decide which medication or therapy is best for me?
  • Should I see a therapist? Will insurance pay for therapy?
  • Will other medications I take interact with my depression medication?
  • Are there vitamins or herbal supplements that treat depression?

Questions About My Lifestyle and Family

  • Are there changes in my diet or daily activities that could help improve my mood?
  • Is it true that exercise can cure depression?
  • Can I take antidepressants if I am pregnant, nursing or trying to become pregnant?
  • Are there any groups for support or education in my area for people with depression?
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