Could You Be Depressed? Here's How You Know And How To Talk To Your Doctor

Could you be suffering from depression? If so, you don't have to endure a lengthy wait to see a psychiatrist to get help. If, like many people, you see use a specialist in internal medicine as your regular physician, he or she can help.

Here is how you recognize the signs of depression and how to start the conversation with your doctor.

What Are the Signs You Need Help for Depression?

Depression is more than just a short period of "the blues." It's also more than just a reactive feeling due to a recent loss, like the death of a loved one or a romantic breakup. It's a pervasive set of symptoms caused by a chemical imbalance in your body and brain -- and very much a physical problem. (In other words, depression is not just "all in your head!") Symptoms often include:

  • You feel hopeless and sad almost all the time, every day.
  • You feel guilty about being sad, or worthless.
  • You feel powerless to change your condition or "snap out of it."
  • You have no energy, even for the things you normally love to do.
  • You're sleeping too much or not enough. Either way, it isn't your normal sleep patterns.
  • You're eating too much or not enough. You're gaining or losing weight in an abnormal fashion.
  • You're restless, irritated, anxious or annoyed easily -- and it's not like you to be that way.
  • You find yourself crying a lot and don't feel better afterward.
  • You can't concentrate or make decisions.
  • You hurt. You have unexplained aches and pains, digestive issues or headaches that don't seem to respond to treatment.

While anyone may have one or two of these symptoms, you know yourself best. If you find yourself identifying with the majority of these statements and you feel there's been a distinct shift in your well-being at some point, you could be suffering from depression. It's time to have that conversation with your doctor.

How Do You Talk to Your Doctor About Depression?

Many internal medicine specialists screen their patients for depression -- but they might only do it when a patient is new or when they notice a problem. That means that you need to be proactive about this so you don't get worse. The best way to start the conversation is simple: you take the list above, print it out, and circle everything that applies to you. Hand it to your doctor and say, "I think I'm depressed. Can we talk about it?" 

The bad news is that it can be scary to take that step. The good news is that your doctor won't be surprised about the problem. Depression is incredibly common -- at any given point, around 350 million people in the world suffer from it. That's about 1 out of every 20 people! 

More than likely, your doctor will want to run a few blood tests to rule out physical problems that can mimic or cause depression. Thyroid problems, for example, can often provoke many of the same symptoms and feelings. In women, perimenopause can sometimes do the same thing. Then you and your doctor can settle on a course of treatment! To learn more, contact an internal medicine doctor like Harvey Harold E II MD PLLC

About Me

Helping My Kids To Improve Their Health

I have always been one of those people who is overly concerned about parenting effectively, but a few weeks ago, I realized that my kids were really struggling with their health. They just weren't getting as much exercise as they needed, and it was really hard to watch them struggle with weight-related issues at such a young age. Fortunately, by working with our health team, we were able to create a treatment plan to improve each of our kid's lives. Check out this website for more information on helping kids live healthier, longer lives while enjoying the way they feel.


Latest Posts

4 June 2024
The decision to enroll in a family Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program is a big step towards a rewarding career in healthcare. CNAs play a cruci

29 March 2024
In the fast-paced world of sports and fitness, one thing that can truly slow an active enthusiast or professional down is an injury. Gone are the days

6 February 2024
The journey to addiction recovery is fraught with challenges. Traditional methods often focus predominantly on the physical aspects of dependency, pot