Your health care provider will find out how severe your depression is (mild, moderate, or severe) and look for the cause by doing a:
- Health history
- Mental health interview
- Physical examination
If there is a risk of suicide, you may need to stay in the hospital for treatment.
You will talk with the health care provider about the issues and events that may be causing your depression. Your doctor will ask you about:
- Your mood and other symptoms (sleep, appetite, concentration, energy)
- Possible stressors in your life and support systems in place
- Whether you have had thoughts about ending your life
- Drug and alcohol use, and any medications you are currently taking
Treatment will depend on your symptoms. For mild depression, counseling and self-care may be enough. The most effective therapy for moderate or severe depression is a combination of antidepressant medication and talk therapy.
Your primary care doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist if your depression is moderate to severe, or if it does not improve with treatment.
For more treatment information, see: Major depression