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Diagnosis - Clinical depression

Talk to your GP if you have symptoms of depression every day for more than 2 weeks.

You should also talk to your GP if you:

  • have symptoms of depression that are not improving
  • notice your mood affects your work, other interests, and relationships with your family and friends
  • have thoughts of suicide or self-harm

When you're depressed it can be difficult to imagine that treatment can help. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner your depression will improve.

Talking to your GP about depression

Conditions such as an underactive thyroid can cause symptoms of depression. Your GP will do a urine and blood test to rule this out.

There are no physical tests for depression. Your GP will try to find out if you have depression by asking you questions. They will ask about your health and how it is affecting you mentally and physically.

Try to be open and honest with your answers. Describe how your symptoms are affecting you.

Any discussion you have with your GP will be confidential. This rule will only be broken if there's a significant risk of harm to yourself or others, and if informing a family member would reduce that risk.

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

Page last reviewed: 1 September 2022
Next review due: 1 September 2025