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 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.
If you don’t have insurance, you can look for free or low-cost mental health services. Find mental health services near you.
Seeking help is the best thing you can do for yourself, and the best way to start feeling better. If you don’t know where to go for help, ask your doctor for a referral.
Check out this guide to finding a mental health professional [PDF - 442 KB].
Here are some places you can go to for help with depression:
- 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”)
Get more ideas for building your support system.
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.
Find more resources for people living with a mental illness.
Get help right away if you or someone you know is thinking about suicide.
Getting active can lower your stress level as you begin treatment for depression. It can also help keep you from getting depressed again.
Eating healthy can help with depression. A healthy diet will give you energy and lower your stress level as you begin treatment for depression.