Doctors Who Treat Depression – Patient Education

Visits with healthcare providers would most likely be conducted with the physicians individuals have an ongoing relationship with:

General Practitioner – Deals with prevention, discovery and treatment of illnesses in all age categories.

Internist – Focuses on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of adult illness.

Gynecologist – Deals with female health.

Pediatrician – Specializes in infant, childhood and adolescent care.

Gerontologist – Deals with senior or elder health.

Nurse Practitioner – Focuses on prevention, wellness and education of patients about health and health choices.

Once a diagnosis of depression has been determined, a collaborative team approach is often most beneficial for the patient.

Psychologist – Provides therapy for depressed individuals through counseling and psychotherapy.

Psychiatrist – Medical doctor who focuses on health and disorders of the mind and mood. This doctor may prescribe medications in addition to the psychotherapy and perform medical procedures (e.g. shock therapy or electroconvulsive therapy-ECT.)

Holistic Practitioner – Views the body overall, considering physical, mental, and spiritual components. Herbs and nutritional supplements are considered in addition to meditation, cleansing, diet and exercise protocols.

Nutritionist – Formulates diet plans to impact positively on health.

Occupational Therapist – Devises and encourages participation in daily activities, especially for those with compromised cognitive or emotional function. They evaluate the environment, whether it be home, school or work, and recommend training and guidance with the focus on helping the individual to adapt.


Written by Barbara Hales, MD