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Depression: Its Diagnosis and Treatment-From Elgin, Barrington, Lake-in-the-Hills and Cary, IL

Apr 16, 2008
Sometimes, a physical problem or medication you are taking can cause symptoms that feel like depression, so the first step in getting an accurate diagnosis is to get a complete medical history and physical exam. Your physical will probably include an interview and lab tests in order to rule out any physical causes for your symptoms.

If no other cause is found, people with depressive symptoms often undergo psychological testing administered by a clinical psychologist. During this testing, the doctor asks a series of questions, including:
1. What symptoms do you experience?
2. How long have they lasted?
3. How severe are they?
4. Have you ever experienced them before?
5. Have you ever been treated for depression?
6. If so, what treatments were prescribed and which ones worked best?
7. Do you have a family history of depression?
8. If so, what relatives were treated for it, and which therapies worked best?
9. Do you abuse drugs or alcohol?
10. Do you ever think about death or suicide?
11. If so, have you formulated a plan to commit suicide?
12. Do you experience any problems with sleep, appetite, concentration or your energy level?
13. What are the most important issues causing stress in your life?
14. What support systems do you have in place?

If your answers suggest that you may have depression, your psychologist will recommend a treatment plan.

How Do I Get Treated for My Depression?

Your depression can be serious, and even life-threatening if you are having thoughts of suicide. The good news, however, is that effective treatment is available and more than 80 percent of those who get it find significant relief.

A rule of thumb is that if you are depressed for at least two weeks, you should contact a psychologist or other mental health professional to discuss treatment options. Also, if you have any imminent thoughts or plans regarding the commission of suicide or the possible harming of others, call 911, a suicide hotline or go to a hospital emergency room.

Call your doctor or psychologist immediately if:
1. You hear voices that are not there.
2. See things that are not there
3. You have frequent crying spells with little or no reason.
4. You have feelings of depression that disrupt your work, school or family life for at least two weeks.
5. You have three or more symptoms of depression.
6. You believe that your consumption of alcohol or drugs is causing you a problem, someone who knows you has suggested that you quit and/or you drink alcohol or use non-prescribed mind-altering substances, first thing in the morning.
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt orlearn more about counseling at: http://www.carypsychology.com
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