Preparing for Your Appointment
When depression is suspected, a doctor will want to do a thorough review of the patient’s physical and emotional state. To make your doctor appointment a smooth one, there are some steps you can take to prepare ahead of time, including:
- Make a list of all medications and supplements you take, along with the dose.
- Compile your medical history, including all previous illnesses, surgeries and test results from the past year.
- List all of your symptoms, along with when they began and what makes them better or worse.
If you are scheduled to have a CT scan, you can prepare by doing the following:
- Do not eat or drink 4-6 hours prior to the test.
- Do not wear jewelry to the test site.
- If you are over 300 pounds, check to see whether the machine can accommodate you.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Depression
If you’re diagnosed with depression, you’ll probably have questions about your condition and care. Review the following list of common concerns before your appointment, or print it out to take with you.
Questions About My Diagnosis
- What caused my depression?
- Are there diagnostic tests that I should have?
- Can I be cured or is this a life-long problem?
- Will psychotherapy cure me of depression?
Questions About My Treatment
- What medication will I need to treat depression? Why was this medication chosen? Are there side effects?
- How long will I need to take this medication before I see relief of symptoms?
- Will I always have to take the medication?
- Is there a treatment that I can have without drugs? Are there supplements, vitamins or herbs that can cure my depression?
- What will happen if I don’t take any treatment?
- Will I get progressively worse?
Questions About My Lifestyle and Family
- Does this type of depression run in families?
- Will my children develop this depression?
- What signs should I look for?
- Is there a special diet that will help me?
- Are there foods that I should avoid? Can I drink alcoholic beverages?
- Will exercise relieve my depression?
- Will antidepressants interfere with my sexual performance or sex drive?
- Can I drive with antidepressants?