Skip Navigation

Talk With Your Doctor About Depression

Photo of sad man resting his face on his hand

The Basics

If you think you might be depressed, talk with your doctor about how you are feeling. Depression is a serious illness.

The good news is that depression can be treated. Your doctor can help. Watch this interactive tutorial to learn more about depression.

What are the Signs of Depression?
It’s normal to feel sad once in a while. If you are feeling sad or “down” for more than 2 weeks at a time, you may be depressed.

Here are some signs of depression:

  • Feeling hopeless or empty
  • Forgetting things or having trouble making decisions
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Gaining or losing weight
  • Thinking about suicide or death
  • Losing interest in activities that you used to enjoy

Take this quiz to find out if you might be depressed. External Link

The Benefits

Most people with depression feel better when they get treatment. That’s why it is important to talk to a doctor as soon as possible. Getting help is the best thing you can do for yourself or someone you love. Recovery is possible.

Treatment for Depression
Depression can be treated with talking therapy, medicine (called antidepressants), or both. Your doctor may refer you to a counselor or therapist.

Getting active and eating healthy can also help with depression.

Take Action!

Depression is a real illness. Don’t wait. If you are depressed, see your doctor.

Talk to a Doctor About how you are Feeling
Get a medical checkup. Ask to see a doctor or nurse who can test you for depression.

What About Cost?
Free and low-cost mental health services are available. Find a free depression screening site near you. External Link

Here are some places you can go to for help:

  • Doctor's office or health clinic
  • Family service or social service agency
  • Church or clergy person
  • Psychologists
  • Counselors or social workers
  • Psychotherapists

Are you worried about seeing a doctor for your depression? Check out this Guide for Finding a Mental Health Professional [PDF - 442 KB]. External Link

Understand that Depression is a Medical Illness
Depression affects 19 million adults each year. Depression is treatable and nothing to be ashamed of. Learn more about depression:

Get Active
Exercise can lower your stress level as you begin treatment for depression. It can also keep you from getting depressed again.

Eat Healthy
A healthy diet can help with depression. Eating healthy will give you energy and lower your stress level as you begin treatment for depression.

Find more help for depression with tips on getting active and eating healthy.

What do you want to do today?

  • Look for signs of depression.
  • Get help right away if you or someone you know is thinking about suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK or 911.
  • See a doctor. Get a medical checkup and talk about how you are feeling.

  • Note:  Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®.
    If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®.

    National Health Information Center

    P.O. Box 1133, Washington, DC 20013-1133