Skip to content

    Depression Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    12 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Depression

    Everybody knows about the emotional symptoms of depression. But depression doesn't just affect your mood. Not only can it make you feel alone or hopeless, it can also affect sleep, appetite, and weight. It can also cause physical pain.

    Even people who know they are depressed might not connect some of these symptoms with their condition. Since it's so easy to miss some symptoms of depression, here are questions you can ask your doctor. Print them out and take them to your next appointment. Go in prepared -- it's very easy to forget the questions you wanted to ask when you're actually sitting in the doctor's office.

    Recommended Related to Depression

    Dealing With Chronic Illnesses and Depression

    For millions of people, chronic illnesses and depression are facts of life. A chronic illness is a condition that lasts for a very long time and usually cannot be cured completely, although some illnesses can be controlled or managed through lifestyle (diet and exercise) and certain medications. Examples of chronic illnesses include diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. Many people with these illnesses become depressed. In fact, depression is...

    Read the Dealing With Chronic Illnesses and Depression article > >

    1. What kind of depression do I have? Depression can take many forms. Different types respond better to different sorts of treatment.
    2. Can you recommend a therapist who can help ease my symptoms of depression? Finding a therapist is a crucial first step in beating your depression.
    3. How might depression affect my appetite and weight? Many people notice physical changes because of their depression. Some lose weight because they've lost their appetite or feel sick. Others gain weight because they might stop exercising or turn to food for comfort.
    4. How could depression affect my sleep? People often associate depression with oversleeping. But depression can also cause insomnia.
    5. Could my depression be causing me physical pain? Studies have shown that depression can increase the feelings of physical pain, including headaches, back pain, and abdominal pain.
    6. Could other health conditions be contributing to my symptoms of depression? Conditions like heart disease, cancer, and thyroid problems can trigger or worsen the symptoms of depression. Some can affect how well your antidepressants work.
    7. Do I need medicine to treat my depression? Medication -- often along with therapy -- can be a highly effective way to treat depression. This can especially be true when symptoms are severe or certain symptoms are present -- such as suicidal thoughts, hopelessness, or a marked inability to feel pleasure.
    8. What are the side effects of this drug? Talk over the pros and cons of taking the each of the different medication options to treat depression. Ask how any side effects might be managed.
    9. Do the symptoms of depression need special treatment? In addition to treating depression, you may need to treat specific symptoms as well. For instance, if your depression is making it impossible to sleep, you may need to treat that directly.
    10. What kind of lifestyle changes will help with my symptoms of depression? Ask your doctor about what you can do to ease symptoms. Getting exercise, eating well, avoiding alcohol and illicit drugs, and following a regular routine might help.
    11. What about alternative treatments? So far, research has not shown that any alternative treatments or supplements can cure depression. However, some may be helpful. So always talk to your doctor before using these treatments.
    12. What should I do in an emergency? You and your doctor should have a plan for a crisis. If you are ever in danger of hurting yourself, you -- and your family -- need to know what steps to take.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on September 07, 2014

    Today on WebMD

    contemplation
    Differences between feeling depressed and feeling blue.
    jk rowling
    Famous people who've struggled with persistent sadness.
     
    depressed man sitting on hallway floor
    Learn the truth about this serious illness.
    Sad woman looking out of the window
    Tips to stay the treatment course.
     
    unhappy teen boy
    Health Check
    jk rowling
    Slideshow
     
    Pills with smiley faces
    Article
    Teen girl huddled outside house
    Article
     
    Depressed man sitting in hospital hallway
    Article
    antidepressants slideshow
    Article
     
    pill bottle
    Article
    Winding path
    Article