Depression, Is this something I need to get checked out?

Patient

Q: My friend wants me to go to the doctors to see if I have depression, but I'm really scared of going. I've done quite a few online depression tests, and every single one has resulted in "high risk" which worries me. Is this something I need to get checked out?

Doctor

A:   If you have depression, or at least you think you have one, you must realize that you should not diagnose yourself. You need to have a healthcare practitioner that is skilled to give you a correct assessment and professional diagnosis of your condition.There is absolutely no reason to feel shy or embarrassed when talking to a healthcare provider regarding any symptoms of your condition. There are many healthcare professionals that are very understanding of your problem. Many symptoms of depression could also be due to an underlying problem. For example, weight loss, fatigue and sleeping patterns may not be caused by depression, but by some medical problem. Other symptoms like losing interest in activities that you previously enjoyed or problems with attention or memory may not be related to depression at all but may be indicative of a undiagnosed medical condition.You need to consult a doctor so that you can make sure that the symptoms you are experiencing are actually a result of your depression and from there, you can start what the best treatment for you individual case. The doctor might ask you to answer questions to fully assess and help determine if you actually have depression and possibly conduct tests to determine that your symptoms are a result of some other health issue. If you do not know if you need drugs or medications, it might prove best to start your treatment of depression under a psychiatrist's care.

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