If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of depression, or that your current treatment is not managing your symptoms, you should see your doctor. When booking your appointment inform him or her that you may need extra time to discuss your symptoms.
One way to make the most of your visit is to create a list of questions beforehand and then check them off as you and your doctor talk.
Here are some sample questions to get you started. You can also print them.
It’s also a good idea to discuss with your doctor his or her overall approach to treatment. Agree on how he or she will be monitoring your progress. Find out if it is best to follow up in person or on the phone and how often you should do so.
Make a list of all your symptoms. Write down approximate dates for when these symptoms started. Note any patterns or triggers you’ve noticed.
A list of any medications you’re taking. Include prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, herbal remedies, and nutritional supplements.
A list of any medical conditions you have. Note any chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes or high blood pressure) and any recently diagnosed illnesses.
Any major life changes you’ve recently experienced. Don’t forget positive events too (e.g., getting married or receiving a promotion).
Your family medical history. Note any relatives who have suffered from depression or other mental illness, as well as any family history of suicide, alcoholism, substance abuse or erratic behaviour.
A list of treatments you’ve tried in the past, if any. Include alternative therapies, such as acupuncture or meditation.
In addition to the information you’ve provided above, complete and print this Symptom Checklist and bring it in to your doctor for every visit. Doing so will allow him to track your progress on your journey to improvement.