Seeing someone about your depression is extremely important if you want to get better. It is not always easy but I can say it is worth it. So for the people who are nervous about it, or just want to know more about the process, this post is for you!
First things first, whether you want to find out if it is depression, if you want medication, or even if you just want to talk to someone, you need to make an appointment with your doctor. A doctor can recommend psychologists, psychiatrists, can listen to you, diagnose mental illness, and prescribe medication to help. Most doctors only give 10-15 minutes per patient, so when I went in, I booked a double appointment. That way I wouldn’t feel rushed and wouldn’t make other patients wait if the appointment went longer.
The first time I tried to go see the doctor, I had a panic attack and canceled. So don’t feel bad if you miss an appointment or two. Also, if you comfortable bringing a loved one, they can come with you for support, or even to talk to the doctor about what you have been like themselves.
When you go in, the doctor usually starts with asking how you are and why you came in. You simply just need to say that you think you might have depression. The doctor will take it from there. They have several questions to ask to figure out what mental illnesses you have, if you have any.
The doctor will talk to you about your sleep, if you’ve lost interest in things you loved to do, if your family knows, etc. Just answer as honestly as you can.
From there the doctor can diagnose you. You can choose to take medication, see a psychologist, or keep talking to your doctor.
If you want to see a psychologist or psychiatrist in Canada, you may need to be referred to a psychologist who works in your area, who will then refer you to the best person to help you. That process is fairly easy as you just need to show up for the appointment they make you, and answer questions similar to the doctor asked. The benefits to psychologists and psychiatrists is that they can track your journey, recommend books and apps, and give you coping mechanisms.
This is not only based on my own personal experience, but the experiences of some friends who have gone through the same things.