At Your Appointment

Depression Appointment Guide

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Ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment. Answer two questions below to personalize your appointment guide.
  • How long have you felt down or had symptoms of depression, such as feeling hopeless or having little interest or pleasure in doing things?
  • Have friends or family expressed concern about your symptoms or changes in behavior?
  • Rate how your symptoms are affecting your quality of life, relationships, and ability to function day to day. Not at all, somewhat, or significantly.
  • Do you feel that you are getting sufficient restful sleep?
  • What activities are you enjoying?
  • Have you had thoughts of hurting or killing yourself?
  • When did you first notice symptoms of depression? Did a loved one bring any symptoms to your attention?
  • Is your mood always down or do you have periods of high energy?
  • Do your mood or symptoms interfere with relationships or your ability to function at work, school or home?
  • How would you describe your sleep habits and is your sleep consistent?
  • Have you ever had suicidal thoughts or thoughts of being better off dead?
  • Has anyone in your family had depression or another mental disorder?
  • What side effects, such as nausea, restlessness, or sexual problems, have you noticed?
  • What is your main concern about your symptoms?
  • What new symptoms are you experiencing? What raises your concern?
  • Do you drink alcohol or use recreational drugs?
  • How do you diagnose depression? What is the criteria?
  • What other possible causes could be responsible for my symptoms?
  • What treatments do you recommend for depression? How effective are they?
  • What are the possible side effects of antidepressant medicines?
  • Should I see a psychiatrist, therapist or counselor?
  • How long does it take for antidepressant medicines to start working?
  • How long does it take to know if an antidepressant medicine is the right one for me?
  • What is the next step if my current treatment doesn't help me?
  • Who should I or my loved ones contact in an emergency?
  • What programs can help me quit alcohol or drug use?
  • Could my medication be causing some recent issues I've had regarding sexual function?
  • What should I do if I forget to take my medicine?
  • Are my new or different symptoms related to depression or something else?
  • How do you know my symptoms are due to depression and not bipolar disorder?
  • Could this depression be masking some other medical problem?
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Last Review Date: 2018 Sep 20
  1. Depression (Major Depressive Disorder). Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 
  2. Maurer DM. Screening for depression. Am Fam Physician. 2012 Jan 15;85(2):139-144.
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