Q&A: How can I find out officially if I am depressed?
posted on 1/3/2017
Ask A Doctor Question:
How can I find out officially if I am depressed? I've taken a few quizzes online, and my results are either depressed or severely depressed. What do I do? - Hannah
Hi. I would suggest to you that taking quizzes online will not provide you with accurate information, and the best thing to do would be to see a mental health professional in your area. In most cities, there are mental health clinics who would see you for a lower fee that if you see a private professional.
Sometimes the clinics have names with the city name and then the words mental health, and then, you can make an appointment. Please remember that depression is treatable, so try not to worry.
--Murray S. Kaufman, MA. LMFT, NBCDCH
Good for you that you have recognized that your emotional state is a problem, and want to do something about it. Thank you for reaching out! To find out if you have depression "officially," the next step would be to consult with a mental health professional.
People often start with their physicians to find out if there are any underlying health issues that could contribute to their mood. The physician can also make referrals to mental health professionals, e.g., licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs).
When you find a therapist who feels like a good fit, you can explore what's going on for you and start on the path to feeling better again. Meanwhile, you can also try to spend more time with friends and loved ones, get exercise, fresh air, eat and sleep healthily. Of course, these are the very things that can get more challenging with depression, but they do help.
--Jessica Reid Tsukahara, RN, LMFT
Mill Valley, CA
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