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Low mood: Diagnosis and treatment

To receive a diagnosis of low mood or depression you should arrange an appointment with a doctor. During your appointment you will be asked questions about your symptoms and family history. Typically, your doctor will want to know about your sleeping, eating, and drinking habits, and whether you’ve been thinking about harming yourself.

If your doctor makes a diagnosis of low mood, they may advise self-management. This involves getting more sleep and exercise, eating healthily, cutting back on alcohol, and making sure you keep busy and see friends. If self-management doesn’t prove effective, you may be referred for therapy or prescribed medication.

If your doctor suspects that you have depression (i.e. severe, ongoing low mood) they will want to find out if you pose a risk to yourself. They will make you aware of your treatment options, and make sure you know how to access help if your depression becomes worse.

Treatment for low mood

The two main treatments for low mood are talking therapy, and medication.

Talking therapy is where you speak to a trained professional about what you’re thinking and feeling, either on your own or with other patients. One form of talking therapy is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which is where you try to identify, understand, and alter negative thinking patterns and behaviours.

Antidepressants such as SSRIs are the main medication for low mood/depression. They work by improving your mood.

Get diagnosed & treated online

At Doctor Care Anywhere we offer phone and video appointments. Following an appointment, one of our experienced GPs can make a diagnosis and recommend self-management or refer you for treatment.

If you have private health insurance, we can refer you for talking therapy (for very severe symptoms we can refer you to a psychiatrist for specialist treatment). If you don’t have private health insurance, we can give you information on NHS services or refer you back to your own NHS GP.

Currently, we cannot supply therapy or issue a new prescription for antidepressants. However we can provide ongoing support, guidance, and advice, and talk you through your options when it comes to medication and therapy.

You can book an appointment to speak to a GP with Doctor Care Anywhere today if you're worrying about low mood.


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