Guide to treatment providers.
If you have symptoms of depression, ask your primary care physician for a referral to a mental health professional, or contact your insurance company about local providers. Mental health professionals include: Psychiatrists: Physicians (MDs) who specialize in mental disorders. They can prescribe medications and also treat with talk therapy.
Psychologists: Hold a doctorate degree (PhD, PsyD, or EdD) or master's degree in psychology. They can diagnose depression and treat with talk therapy. In most states, they cannot prescribe drugs.
Psychiatric nurses: Registered nurses (RN) or advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) trained in psychiatry. In some states, they can prescribe medications, but only under a doctor's supervision.
Social workers: Trained in psychotherapy. They work with a psychiatrist, primary care doctor, or nurse practitioner if patients need medication.
Therapists: a broad term for professionals who provide support to families, groups, or individuals. They may have some certification and licensure. Ask about their training in treating depression.