Who Do I Need to See for Possible Depression- Psychiatrist or Doctor?

Question by Renna: Who do I need to see for possible depression- Psychiatrist or Doctor?
I think I might be suffering from depression, but I’m still a bit confused on who I need to see for treatment (at least initially)-

A general doctor or a psychiatrist?

I have no family doctor or doctor that I go to regularly for advice on this.

Best answer:

Answer by Pick A Winner
You should start out with a regular doctor because they can tell if your symptoms are mental or physical. If your only problem is depression most general practitioners are comfortable passing out medications. If not, they can refer you to a good psychiatrist.

Answer by YA Junkie
I suggest having a consultation with a psychologist or licensed social worker. These folks do psychotherapy (“talk therapy“), not medication. What they can do is provide a diagnosis (if you have one) and suggest different options, eg, therapy, medication, or changes in your lifestyle, etc. They can also refer you to a doctor if necessary.

We all need doctors at one time or another. However, most MD’s are geared to write out prescriptions. That’s how they were trained and that’s what they believe in (most of them). So if you see a doctor, he/she will almost automatically write out a prescription for you.

In most cases, my general advice with depression is to start with therapy or some form of alternative medicine—good nutrition, herbs, massage, etc. If nothing helps, then it is time to see a doctor.

A psychiatrist has more knowledge and training in psychiatric medication. So a shrink is preferred over a general doctor, who knows less about psychiatry and meds. However, some people see general doctors for depression. This doctor sometimes will prescribe psych meds, but it is really better if a general doctor refers you to a psychiatrist. Hope this helps.

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