4 Ways Doctors Can Treat Depression

Depression is a complex mental health problem that doesn't have just one single cure. Physical adjustments, medication, and counseling can all help someone with depression feel better. Your doctor can help you get the mental health care that you need. Here are four things that your doctor will do to help you when you have depression:

1. Perform a physical exam

If you're experiencing symptoms of depression, the first thing you'll need to do is submit to a physical exam. This exam can be performed by your primary care physician. Its goal is to determine whether there's an underlying reason for your depressive symptoms. For instance, some vitamin deficiencies can lead to feelings of depression. Your doctor will help you address any physical problems you have before continuing on to other forms of depression treatment.

2. Give you a mental health survey

Depression can only be diagnosed through self-reported symptoms, which can make it hard for doctors to understand the exact problems that you are experiencing. To standardize patient reports, doctors sometimes use mental health surveys. These surveys ask patients to answer a series of questions about their symptoms, ranking their severity. Mental health surveys can be used to determine the type of treatment that's right for you. They can also be used to keep track of your progress over time.

3. Refer you to a counselor for talk therapy

Talk therapy is an effective way to combat depression. Many people find that talking about their feelings can make them easier to deal with. Counselors can help patients get to the bottom of their depression by exploring their past memories. Your primary care doctor can help you find a therapist by writing you a referral. You should feel free to try different counselors until you find one whom you feel can help you. Talk therapy is a highly personal process, so it's important to find a therapist whose style works for you. Talk therapy is not an overnight fix for depression, but over time, you should find that you feel better as your symptoms start to lessen.

4. Help you get antidepressant medication

For many people, antidepressants are an important part of their mental health care regimen. Antidepressants won't automatically make you feel happy, but they can stabilize your moods, which can make talk therapy more effective. Your doctor can refer you to a psychiatrist who will help you find the right antidepressants for your situation and biochemistry.