Ask the Doctor: Picking Your Professional

esperanza | Winter 2017 | By J. Raymond DePaulo, Jr., MD  | Our expert compares the merits of three groups of medical practitioners who prescribe antidepressants: primary care physicians, psychiatrists, and nurses with advanced training.

Where should I turn for antidepressant treatment?

J. Raymond DePaulo, Jr., MD
J. Raymond DePaulo, Jr., MD

Certain changes in mood or behavior send up a red flag: feeling sad or apathetic for more than two weeks, unusual irritability, neglect of daily duties and personal hygiene, sleeping more than is typical or unable to sleep. Such signs indicate the need for a professional evaluation.

Recovery from moderate to severe depressions generally requires treatment with medications, preferably in conjunction with talk therapy.  The longer someone goes without getting effective treatment, the greater the risk for the wrong things to happen.

Regulations allowing psychologists to prescribe medication vary widely, so let’s look at three sets of medical professionals: primary care physicians, psychiatrists, and nurses with advanced training.

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