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How is depression diagnosed and treated?

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Summary:

The first step to being diagnosed is to visit a doctor for a medical evaluation.

Answer:

The first step to being diagnosed is to visit a doctor for a medical evaluation. Certain medications, and some medical conditions such as thyroid disorder, can cause similar symptoms as depression. A doctor can rule out these possibilities by conducting a physical examination, interview and lab tests. If the doctor eliminates a medical condition as a cause, he or she can implement treatment or refer the patient to a mental health professional.

Once diagnosed, a person with depression can be treated by various methods. The mainstays of treatment for depression are any of a number of antidepressant medications and psychotherapy, which can also be used in combination.
(Sources: National Institute of Mental Health and National Women’s Health Center.)

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