“You can go out there and conquer the world, but then there’s that voice say “who are you? You know you can’t do that. That cancerous attitude, that self-defeatist attitude and it’s always there.”
Iraq War Vet
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If you think you may be depressed, seeing a professional can help you figure out if you really are or not. And, if you are, they can come up with the best treatment plan for you. Your regular doctor or school health service is a good place to start.
Since there is no lab test for depression, figuring out whether someone is depressed or not can be a real challenge, even for a trained health professional. To diagnose depression, doctors or counselors use a set of questions to learn more about someone’s mood. That’s why it’s important to let your doctor or counselor know how you’re feeling – both in your mind and in your body. Your doctor may show you a list of signs and symptoms, like the one on page 6, to help you remember and describe how you’re feeling.
A lot of men only tell their doctor about the physical symptoms, like back pain, not sleeping, or headaches. This is one of the reasons that depression in men is often overlooked and never treated. That’s why it’s important to be as open as you can with your doctor about how you are feeling – both in your mind and in your body. That way, your doctor can figure out if it is depression, or if other health problems are making you feel the way you do.
If your doctor decides that you are depressed, he or she may give you the name of someone like a psychiatrist or psychologist to talk with to learn what you can do to get better. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe some medications for you that will help with your depression.