How to bring up depression with GP?


I've been really stuck lately with what to do, as I feel I may have depression, but I have severe social anxiety which puts me off going to my GP to ask about it. However, I know to get help that I need to bite the bullet & do what's best, but I don't know what exactly to say to my doctor?

First of all I don't want to exaggerate the situation if it really isn't depression or anything serious at all, and also, if it was, ideally I really would want to be put onto medication, which I have a feeling he won't be keen on. I'm already on a long waiting list for CBT for anxiety, but to pile the (potential) depression on top I just don't think I can carry on life as usual at the moment without some form of help like medication

If I went to my GP, what could I say to convey that I think I may be depressed? I just feel like he's not going to believe it


9 Replies

  • Hey cld. I think you've just captured in a nutshell what we all felt about going to a GP, whether we have diagnosed anxiety or not. When I went it took me 10 mins of sitting in the waiting room just to report to the reception desk!

    Some really good advice I got from this site was to write things down that you want to say before you go. Also, if you google NHS depression you can find a short test which acts as an indicator of whether you may have depression. You could do that and record what score you get, you could use that as a gambit to open up a conversation.

    Don't worry about what the GP will think. If anything, I think it's quite common for severe anxiety and depression to go together.

    Medication will take a few weeks to have an effect so go as soon as you can :)

    Good luck


  • Hi,

    I found that I told my GP I wasn't really coping well. She gave me a tick box questionnaire to do, looked at the results and said I was severely depressed and then we spoke about ways that I could be helped. My advice is to go in there, be as honest and open as you can and let them help you.

    Gentle hugs


  • Any practical examples that you can give the doc about how the depression is affecting your quality of life-----, like how it has stopped you doing day to day things, or how it affects your relationships, how it might be messing up work / college?

    Are there physical symptoms it is leading to that he can understand from a medical point of view?

    Is it making the social anxiety worse? Are you more depressed than when you saw the g.p. before? The doc might not have been keen to use meds before if he thought that your quality of life had not been affected all that much previously, but if things have gone down hill since then ------the approach will change.

    If you think the g.p. you saw last time was not that aware of mental health issues check out the practice website to see which ones specialise in depression, if you register for the practices electronic booking system you should be able to pre-book an appointment with any of the g,p.s without having to explain to the receptionist why you want to see a different doc.

    As Themsy mentioned, writing down what you need the doc to know is a good idea, esp if you think the anxiety might stop you saying what you need to say.

    And don't forget what your body language is saying at the time will also tell a story all of its' own......So don't worry about not being able to keep that stiff-upper-lip.

  • Hello

    If you are feeling that you now have depression on top of the anxiety, that sadly is how it goes for most of us, both problems are very much related. If you are having problems functioning you really need to see the GP who will arrange treatments for you. The longer you wait the worse the condition becomes.and it can effect so many life decisions it can become a big problem.

    Sadly medication is the stock and trade of the GP for these conditions and you may find that you will be advised to take something that will calm the problem down, as this will eventually assist in functioning more rationally. It can take about three weeks for these drugs to react, one tablet type should be sufficient to do this for both conditions. I have been on these medications now on and off for thirty years and I have noticed how much they have changed over that time, they seem very selective and have less contraindications.

    Your GP will not be upset if you go back and see him regarding this, in fact He will most probably be concerned if you chose not to go back to discuss the problems you now have. When you see the GP take a list of questions you want to ask and explain all your feelings, ask for a doubled up appointment for this so you can explain what is going on.Without rushing through what is on your mind

    Good luck with your appointment, your GP is there for you. Both you and Him are in partnership to treat your health use this facilitator to his best effect


  • Hi

    Perhaps you could write down in enough what makes you think you are depressed and how you feel generally especially if you have any thoughts about why you might have those particular feelings, then take the writing to him as a good starting point.


  • Thank you for all of your replies, really appreciate all of your advice. I'm going to try to call tomorrow morning for an appointment

  • Hi cid, Please go and see him, the longer you put it off, the longer there horrible feelings will last. Read all the advice our friends have given you, it's spot on. As to worrying how to approach and what to say to your GP, you would be amazed how many people suffer from this, so there'e nothing you can say, that they have'n't heard a thousand times before.

    When I had these feelings initially, I kept putting it off, until I finally forced myself to go, and as to what to say, when my GP asked me what was wrong, I just burst into uncontrollably crying. He got the message right away.

    Best of luck


  • Hi Jamie,

    Thanks so much for your reply - I actually did go to my GP this week & am now on my 4th day of medication, so hopefully it can only get better from here


  • Hi, I agree write yourself some notes to take into the appointment and just say you are having a difficult time and think you may be suffering from depression. Your gp should be really understanding and if you clam up or you have difficulty getting your message across you have always got your notes.

    good luck with the appt and let us know how you get on

    jules x

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