What’s the Next Step in Treating My Depression?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have struggled with depression since I was a teen. I chose to hide my struggle so never got tested for mood disorders. As I’m getting older I’m having more episodes. I can’t stop the episode once it starts. When I’m happy I’m really happy, but then when I’m feeling down I feel at my lowest. After my first child they diagnosed me with post partum but didn’t know I have been depressed for a long time. I’m irritated easily, I feel like I have no self control on my mood swings. Most of my episodes result in me yelling or jumping out the car at a red light when me and my husband are disagreeing. I have been in denial that I need help but it’s becoming more and more severe each time. So do I schedule an appt with my primary? What do I tell them when I call.

A. You can begin the process of seeking psychological help with your primary care doctor. During your visit, report your symptoms and request a referral to a specialist in mood or postpartum disorders. Many people see their primary care doctor to treat mild mental health disorders but generally, it’s best to see a specialist. Your primary care doctor likely has many contacts in the community and can refer you to the most appropriate therapist.

Visiting your primary care doctor is one way to receive a referral to a therapist. You can also try asking friends and family members for a referral, contacting your insurance company or the local health department, or by clicking on the “find help” tab at the top of this page. Psychology Today also has a great service in where you can type in your zip code and review the online profiles of therapists in your community.

When choosing a therapist, it’s best to meet with at least four or five. Report your symptoms, ask them to explain how they would treat your condition and choose the therapist with whom you feel the most comfortable. Not all therapists are the same and it’s important to choose the right one.

You should not have waited so long but it’s encouraging that you are finally seeking the help that you deserve. You owe it to yourself, your husband and your new child to be your healthiest self. I wish you the best of luck. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Jan 2014

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2014). What’s the Next Step in Treating My Depression?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/01/18/whats-the-next-step-in-treating-my-depression/