Consult a doctor before you find a specialist, and draft a comprehensive plan for treatment, especially if you are diagnosed with a severe form of depression, such as bipolar disorder.
Connecting with a Psychiatrist
Begin by contacting your primary care physician or a general medical practitioner. Your physician can provide a preliminary diagnosis and recommend the best course of subsequent treatment. It’s also good to have a physical exam in order to rule out potential physical problems that may have an effect on your mental well-being. Once you’re properly examined, your doctor can refer you to a proper specialist if necessary.
Since all forms of depression are characterized by chemical imbalances that could be caused by a physical ailment, physicians will ensure that you are properly diagnosed and directed toward the right type of professional.
General care practitioners will also have resources to find the most reputable psychiatrists in your area. Your doctor will likely recommend a local psychiatrist she has had experience with in the past, but you should also ask questions and do your own research to make sure that the psychiatrist suits your needs. Psychiatric therapy relies on a level of comfort between the patient and the doctor, so you’ll want to make sure you’re relatively at ease with your psychiatrist.
In the Event of a Serious Diagnosis
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is one of the more extreme and dangerous forms of depression. Marked by violent mood swings between the highs of manic episodes and the lows of depressive episodes, bipolar disorder can be dangerous and unpredictable, and is best treated by psychiatrists who specialize in the treatment of bipolar and other serious mental health disorders.
Patients diagnosed with serious conditions like manic depression should always seek treatment from a specialist. Because of the extreme mood swings in manic depressives, the psychiatrist must be well versed on both the symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as how to treat them.
Finding a Psychiatrist You Trust
Visit multiple psychiatrists and consult each to see how you feel about their methods and personality. Being comfortable with your psychiatrist, as well as having a firm trust in her, is imperative to properly treating depression.
Before you seek out a psychiatrist, consider how seasonal affective disorder is different than depression.