How do I manage my depression?
Taking an active role in making decisions about your care is the most important thing you can do to ensure you get high-quality health care. Help and Healing brings together quality information available about depression to help you understand your diagnosis, highlight treatment options, and explain how to work with your doctor, nurse or therapist to manage your depression.
Depression might be overlooked in routine medical appointments. Doctors or nurses may be less comfortable screening for depression that they are for other common diseases. If you have depression symptoms, it can be helpful to think of your health care professional as a partner. As a partner, he or she needs to know if you think that you might be depressed. Sharing your concerns with your doctor, nurse or therapist is one of the first steps to being an active participant in your care and getting treatment for your depression.
Quality Care for Depression
Quality health care helps you stay healthy and get better, faster. Quality health care for depression uses a treatment plan that helps you manage your symptoms and improve over time. When you know what to look for in depression care, you can feel more confident about treatment choices and decisions for yourself or a family member.
Quality care to manage depression includes:
- A correct diagnosis for the type of depression you have
- A treatment plan that is a good fit for you
- Regular visits and communication between you and your doctor or therapist
- Completing the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 survey at every therapy visit, or as needed
The PHQ-9 survey can help your doctor or therapist measure your symptoms, including how you feel. One way to monitor your progress with treatment is to take the PHQ-9 survey every 6 months, or as needed. If your treatment is working well, your scores should go down over time until your score is 5 or less. At this score, you should be feeling much better.
MNHealthScores has multiple reports that look at how well health care providers care for adults with major depression.
- How many patients said they felt better six months and 12 months after starting treatment
- How many patients had improved symptoms and were making progress toward feeling better six months and 12 months after starting treatment
- How many patients had their depression symptoms evaluated by their provider six months and 12 months after starting treatment
- How many providers use the PHQ-9, which is the recommended tool, to evaluate their patients symptoms of depression
Helpful ways to manage depression
- How to prepare for your health care appointment (2 pages)
- National Alliance of Mental Illness: A Roadmap to Wellness (32 pages)
- National Alliance of Mental Illness: Healthy eating (2 pages)
- National Alliance of Mental Illness: Keeping active (2 pages)
- Meditation and mindfulness (2 pages)
- Help with sleep problems (11 pages)
Information to share with your health care provider