Finding the Right Professional
Sure, your medical doctor can help with your physical aches and pains, but when it comes to dealing with your depression, you may want to consider some extra help. Whether you have a mild or serious case, a therapist can assist in your treatment.
The professional help that you seek out will depend on the severity of your symptoms and your preference for medication. There are generally two types of therapists who can help you:
Psychiatrist: A medical doctor who can prescribe medication and provide some form of psychotherapy or talk therapy.
Psychologist: A therapist who relies on psychotherapy but is unable to prescribe medication.
Finding the right therapist is just like finding the right medical doctor. You may have to “shop around” before you find the right one for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind when selecting the right mental health professional:
- Get a referral from your current medical doctor, or ask friends if they can recommend a therapist.
- Make sure you’re comfortable with your therapist. If you’d prefer a male or female therapist, let your preference be known.
- Do some research—is he or she knowledgeable and experienced in treating people with your condition?
- See if your therapist will work with your insurance company, or if they will charge you on a “sliding scale” if money is tight.