If you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day for more than two weeks, you should seek help from your GP.
It's particularly important to speak to your GP if you:
Sometimes, when you're depressed it can be difficult toimagine that treatment can actually help. But the sooner you seek treatment, the sooneryour depression will improve.
There are no physical tests for depression, but your GP may examine you and carry out some urine or bloodtests to rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms, such as an underactive thyroid .
The main way your GP willtell if you have depression is by asking you lots of questions about your general health and how theway you're feelingis affecting you mentally and physically.
Try to be as open and honest as you can be with your answers. Describing your symptoms and how they're affecting you will help your GP determine whether you have depression and how severe it is.
Any discussion you have with your GP will be confidential. This rule will only ever be broken if there's a significant risk of harm to either yourself or others, and if informing a family member or carer would reduce that risk.
Read about treating clinical depression .
Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you're depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days. Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition.
Read about the symptoms of depression, which can be mild, moderate or severe. Symptoms can also be classed as psychological, physical and social.
Read about what causes depression. There's no single cause and many possible risk factors.
Find out how depression is diagnosed. Your GP will ask you lots of questions about your general health and how your feelings are affecting you mentally and physically.
Find out how depression is treated. Treatment depends on how severe your depression is, but usually involves a combination of self-help, talking therapies and medication.
Information and advice about coping with depression, including diet and exercise, talking therapy, dealing with bereavement and caring for someone who's depressed.
Read about psychotic depression, a severe form of depression where people experience the usual symptoms of depression, plus delusions and hallucinations.
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