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.
  • Please describe the symptoms and issues you’re having that led you to schedule this online appointment. Start at the beginning of this current episode and tell me how and when things have changed and progressed.
  • 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. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20356013 
  2. Maurer DM. Screening for depression. Am Fam Physician. 2012 Jan 15;85(2):139-144.
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