Getting the best treatment
Your family member/friend might be feeling unwell, not willing to look for help or information and you do not know if he/she needs treatment or not. To see if he/she may be in need for help, fill in the self-test on this website and if positive, take a look at our section on Treatment for Depression in the For All tab.
If a clinical diagnostic confirmation or help is needed, first of all, you should convince your friend/family member to go to his/her personal doctor, which is in most cases a GP.
Either the GP will state that he/she do not meet the diagnostic criteria, or the GP will confirm the diagnosis depression or another diagnosis.
If the GP prescribes medication, make sure that the GP’s instructions are stated clearly to allow the patient and the family or informal carers to comply adequately. This is very important in order to achieve best treatment results.
The GP might state that they do not feel comfortable either in diagnosing or treating your family member/friend for mental health issues. In that case, the GP will refer you to a mental health professional. If the GP doesn’t do that you should ask him to do so or why he thinks that is not needed.
If your family member/friend already has a diagnosed depressive disorder and is on medication prescribed by the GP, the GP may refer your family/friend to a psychotherapist, generally a clinical psychologist, in order for him/her to access psychotherapy.
If the doctor is not certain whether medication needs to be prescribed, the doctor will refer your family member/friend to a psychiatrist.
Especially in situations in which your family member/friend is too unwell to see their doctor, it is important that a family member can consult with the GP to discuss the best treatment option.
Interested in learning more about depression treatment? Take a look at our section on Treatment for Depression.