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Dr. Bonnie
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist and RN
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  35 years experience counseling children and families
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Good evening, I would like to know how one goes about being

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Good evening, I would like to know how one goes about being placed on anti-depressant medication. I have always felt a stigma about taking such medication. However, I feel that I am generally in a low mood, and I can really tell the difference during the times when I am in a more elevated mood. I feel like I am missing out on a lot of positive experiences and would be more productive in work and school with a more elevated, satisfied demeanor. Else, what would be alternatives to anti-depressant medication? Thank you very much.
Hello and thank you for consulting JA,

I am sorry that you are experiencing these uncomfortable symptoms. Depressed mood can be a abnormality of brain chemistry and medication can help.

Research (and my practical experience) shows that a combination of medication and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are most effective in treating depressed mood. First, find a therapist at a website such as or

The therapist will give you a proper diagnosis from all the mood disorders (i.e., major depressive disorder, dysthymia, Bipolar Disorder). The therapist can help you find a psychiatrist to prescribe the medications. The CBT approach to therapy helps a person look at their irrational thinking and helps them change the way they think with the goal of improving the depressed mood.

There is another way to go which may not be as effective. However, if the above just sounds too overwhelming and you are not ready to consult the specialists, you can talk with your primary doctor about medication and teach yourself cognitive strategies through the following workbook.

I hope that one of these approaches will work for you. Good for you for seeking help. That is the first step towards a healthy lifestyle.

Warm regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you very much, Dr. Bonnie. I believe a lot of my depressed mood arises from low self esteem - which causes me to be a perfectionist, to often overwork, and to have difficulties making decisions. I would very much like to have my potential condition addressed before I begin graduate school in the fall. I will need to be a very positive thinker to succeed. I appreciate the comment "good for you for seeking help." It is difficult to face the potential of needing psychological assistance.
Regarding selecting a therapist, would you mind offering a bit more information on how this process works (perhaps how the diagnosis is made)? There are only a few to choose from in my state - CA. This therapy is done online? How costly is such therapy? I believe therapy may prove to be invaluable, however, I am uneasy (at the moment - I hope to eventually discuss everything with my family as this would be the best in the long run) working through this potential problem with it out in the open for my parents. I would rather handle this between myself and the therapist, with some sort of discrete billing - something along those lines. How much does medication tend to cost? Again, thank you very much, this is very helpful!
Hi again Chris,
Ohhh, this can be quite costly without insurance. Usually insurance pays for face-to-face therapy and medication. The therapy sites I mentioned are face-to-face and not online, although there are some on-line sites (i.e., is paid per time unit). The diagnosis is made through interview about you and your symptoms. The DSM-IV is a manual which lists all the diagnostic criteria to help a clinician diagnosis.

Another place to find affordable therapy is at the university. They often have a student counseling center geared toward the student's financial situation and understanding the confidentiality issues. Sometimes the doctors will provide samples medication and each drug company has "patient assistance programs".

I hope this helps.....

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Great, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX the university sounds like my preferred option. One final question - Do you have advice on how to personally work on improving low self-esteem? Thank you.
I would need to refer you to that workbook mentioned above and there is one other.....

You only need to do one workbook though...I an afraid with your perfectionism you will try to to it all.....just take one step at a time. :-)

Best of luck to you!!
Dr. Bonnie and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
haha thank you very much, take care.
Thank you for the accept and pleasant interchange.