Have you been feeling sad or lonely in the past few weeks? Of late, have you not been feeling like yourself? Does nothing seem to be giving you joy? You suspect you have depression and wonder, “how to talk to your doctor about depression?” You speak to a close friend and tell them “I’m scared to tell my doctor I’m depressed.”
We will start this article by discussing depression and its symptoms. Following this, we will discuss how you can talk to your doctor about depression. We will also tell you what the doctor will do once you share your feelings with them. Finally, we will tell you why you should not be scared to tell your doctor you are depressed.
You will come across some key terms in this article:
- Depression – It is a serious mental health condition that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People who undergo depression are sad most of the time. Depression feels like a dark cloud floating above your head that will not go away, no matter what you do.
- Anxiety – People who undergo depression are also anxious. Anxiety is a reaction from our body when it alerts us of potential danger, especially when we face a stressful situation.
- Assessment – It is the act of evaluating or judging something. When you approach your doctor about depression, they will conduct tests to understand your condition.
How Do You if You Are Depressed?
- Constant sadness most of the day, every day.
- Lack of interest in activities that you enjoyed once upon a time
- Change in appetite due to which you gain or lose weight
- Feeling tired most of the time. Having low energy
- Feeling anxious, restless, and irritated
- Having difficulties focusing and concentrating
- Constantly feeling guilty, worthless, and hopeless
- Sometimes, people feel like ending their life.
It is very important to understand that depression is a common mental health condition that can negatively affect your professional, personal and social life.
What Causes Depression?
- If you have gone through a bad childhood and faced some trauma and abuse
- When you are dealing with the death or loss of a loved one
- In some cases, depression runs in the family
- You are battling a serious illness such as cancer
- When you lose your job, break up, or get a divorce
- Sometimes age and gender can also be a cause of depression. Elderly people who are lonely and undergo depression. Women are more prone to depression than men.
Why Do You Fear Telling Your Doctor About Depression?
What Will the Doctor Think?Many people are not sure how to talk to their doctor about depression because they feel shame. Some people may worry that the doctor may judge them. Hence, people suffer in silence. Remember, a doctor is a trained professional who is aware of depression. Just like you speak to your doctor about fever and take medicine, you should talk to them about depression.
What Will People Say?When you talk to your doctor about depression, you worry they may tell your family members. You may also worry that your friends or employers may find out about your issue, However, a doctor has to follow privacy laws that prevent them from sharing this with others without your permission.
Scared of the LabelSome people feel ashamed of the label “depression”. They do not like having mental health issues and feel guilty about it. Sometimes, they also feel embarrassed because they have depression.
How Do I Talk to My Doctor about Depression?
Talk About Your SymptomsFirst and foremost, the doctor will talk to you about your depression symptoms. While we have given you a brief idea of the signs, a doctor will discuss them in detail.
Assessment TestsAfter the doctor discusses the signs and symptoms with you, they will ask you to undergo some tests. These will include some medical tests as well as psychological tests.
Under psychological tests, the doctor will analyze all the risk factors associated with depression.
Test Result and Way ForwardOnce the doctor has thoroughly evaluated you, they will talk to you about your results on depression. You don’t need to have the thought “I’m scared I’m depressed”.
If you do have depression, the doctor will prescribe some medicines to help you with the feelings. Along with this, the doctor will also ask you to meet a psychologist and do therapy.
We recommend some changes in your lifestyle. You can make these simple changes to your schedule even before you seek help. Start by getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, doing yoga, and meditation. Moreover, it is important to eat healthy food and avoid having alcohol or doing drugs
While we understand you are scared to talk to your doctor about being depressed, it is important to open up about your feelings. Once you cross the initial hurdle of talking to your doctor about depression, you will get the right help that you want.
In the meantime, we recommend enrolling in our self-help course, Low self-esteem which will help you deal with your negative thoughts and feelings. This course will also help you change your perception of yourself and the world. With the help of this course, you will be able to overcome the thought, I’m scared to tell my doctor I’m depressed”.