The importance of finding a doctor and therapist that possess a good education, good clinical training, and plenty of experience and success treating unipolar major depression cannot be stressed enough. Sometimes this is not good enough, and you need to get a second opinion. You should try to get a second opinion from a psychiatrist, especially if you have been seeing an internist, obstetrician/gynecologist, or family doctor for depression treatment. See Chapter 8, Finding a Doctor, for help in finding a consulting psychiatrist for a second opinion. You should be prepared to explain the details of your depression history as well as your medication and psychotherapy treatment, beginning from the first moment you realized that you might be depressed. Also, it is a good idea to bring test results and past medical records.
After your consultant tells you his opinion, ask plenty of questions until you understand everything he is saying. You may want to discuss your consultant’s opinion with your current doctor and therapist. Remember that you and your doctor are still a team as long as you remain their patient, and you are still entitled to their opinions and support.
If it seems that your current doctor and therapist are just not up to the job, it is time for new blood. Go back to the section on finding a doctor, and try again. If you liked the conclusions of the consulting doctor and felt comfortable in his presence, you can ask if he will take over your case or suggest another doctor who thinks the same way he does.
- What should I do if psychotherapy or medication doesn’t help me?
- What are some common causes of treatment failure?
- How long should I wait for my treatment to work?
- Can discussing my loved one’s hallucinations help her in any way?
- What types of hallucinations are common?
- Is Stelazine still available?
- What is psychotic depression ?
- What can I do to prepare for my loved one’s release from the hospital?
- Why is the psychiatric ward so stark?
- What can the hospital do to help with my depression?
- Is there any way to speed up the time we spend in the emergency room?
- What’s the best way to help my loved one get admitted into the hospital quickly?
- What can the hospital do to prevent my friend from killing himself?
- How do I know when it is time to take someone to the hospital?
- Why does my therapist freeze up when I talk about suicide?
- Is there anything else I should do to keep from hurting myself?
- What is Risperdal?
- What can I hold onto during these suicidal periods?
- Do these terrifying suicidal thoughts mean I’ll kill myself?
- When should I take a suicide threat seriously?