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Well, I have suffered from depression since I was in high school. Of course, back then, there was still a severe stigma attached to the disease. It was not until after my grandfather died (I was almost a senior in college by this time) and I was still severely grieving (a year later) that I went to my general practice doctor and told him how I'd been feeling. I had been to many counselors, but they of course could not give perscriptions and thought all I needed was to talk through my problems. Well, that did help, but this was also very much a physical issue that would only resolve itself with medication. So, my doctor started me on Celexa, I believe. I had to go through a few kinds before I found something that worked for me.
The BAD thing that I did was get off the meds, which made the depression much, much worse. Then I saw a psychiatrist and am on the medicine which I am currently taking. I have since stopped seeing this particular doctor (because he insisted that I could never have children because of this disease...WTH??) and now my midwife is helping me with perscriptions, etc.
So, the point of my very, very long story is that any doctor or midwife can help you out, and they can pretty much diagnose you immediately, I guess. No one ever officially said to me, "you have clinical depression", but I know I do, and I get the help that I need, so I'm good with it all. You just have to be open with them and tell them how you've been feeling for awhile.
I highly reccomend counseling in addition to the meds though...it was so very helpful for me-it's always good to vent to someone who doesn't really know you and can be objective!
Well in my case I already had two doctors, my Primary Doctor and my Neurologist (because I get seizures). So when I got medication for my seizures-my Neurologist recommended Zoloft because the meds I have to take for my seizures can cause mood swings....well I got married and had a kid LOL=my Primary doctor with my request increased my dose but then when I went back to see my neurologist I explained I felt more "depressed" than usual and well she knew I was having martial issues as well so she increased my Zolft even more! Then just recently I have noticed I bee getting these "panic attacks" and ask my Neuro about a med that could help that so she prescribed me yet another drug Kloripin sp? (like a valium) So there you got it- a neurologist is the best to go as they can test your brain better-test for chemical imbalance but your Primary Doctor should be able direct you the right way as well.