The first step in treating clinical depression is recognizing that you are depressed. The second step is seeking help. These two steps may in fact be the hardest part of the entire treatment process. Once you seek help from a qualified health care provider, you will find that there are numerous treatment options to help you get back on track.
Early recognition and treatment will offer you the greatest chance of recovery and the earlier you seek help the greater the chance that recurrences can be prevented.
The 20-something couple, married just a few years, was eagerly looking forward to the birth of their first baby.
Labor and delivery went fine, and the baby was born healthy. But problems began when the new mom, overwhelmed by motherhood, suffered depression.
"The husband had to take care of everything," recalls Joan R. Sherman, MFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Lancaster, Pa., who saw the couple in counseling. When he was at work, he worried that his wife was so depressed she...
Once you decide to seek medical help, start with your primary care doctor. He or she can evaluate you to make sure that medicines or another illness are not the source of your symptoms. Your primary care doctor can also thoroughly assess your symptoms and provide treatment.
If needed, he may refer you to a mental health care professional for care.
Your primary care doctor may routinely screen you for depression during a regular office visit.
Which Health Care Providers Treat Clinical Depression?
Physician: Primary care doctors (such as internists or family practice doctors) are primarily skilled in medical health care but also are trained to treat mental or psychiatric problems. They can also screen you for depression. Physicians usually recommend specialized care for patients with more than mild symptoms of depression.
Physician Assistant: These medical health care givers are trained to identify symptoms of depression in patients and have some training in treating mental or psychiatric disorders under the supervision of a physician.
Nurse Practitioner: These health care providers are registered nurses (RNs) with added nursing training and some training in treating mental or psychiatric problems.
Psychiatrist: These are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental or psychiatric illnesses. Psychiatrists are licensed to prescribe drugs as part of their treatment regimen and are also trained in psychotherapy, a form of "talking" therapy.