Depression is a real illness. If you think you might be depressed, see your doctor.
Talk to a doctor about how you are feeling.
Get a medical checkup. Ask to see a doctor or nurse who can test you for depression.
The doctor or nurse may also test you for other health conditions (like thyroid disease) that can cause depression or make it worse. If you have one of these health conditions, it’s important to get treatment right away.
What about the cost?
Screening for depression is covered under the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010.
Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get screened at no cost to you. Talk to your insurance company, and ask about the Affordable Care Act.
Even if you don’t have insurance, there are free and low-cost mental health services. Find mental health services near you.
Here are some places you can go to for help:
- Doctor’s office or health clinic
- Family service or social service agency
- Church or clergy person
- Psychologist (“sy-KAH-lah-jist”)
- Counselor or social worker
- Psychotherapist (“sy-koh-THAYR-uh-pist”)
Check out this guide to Finding a Mental Health Professional [PDF - 442 KB].
If someone you care about is depressed, get help.
If you think a friend or family member may be depressed, check out these tips on how to talk to a loved one about depression.
Get help right away if you or someone you know is thinking about suicide.
Exercise can lower your stress level as you begin treatment for depression. It can also help keep you from getting depressed again.
A healthy diet can help with depression. Eating healthy will give you energy and lower your stress level as you begin treatment for depression.