What qualifies as clinical depression

Depression: an overview of therapies

The treatment of depression should be individually tailored to the patient. The standard is a combination of talks or psychotherapy and antidepressants

What Helps With Depression? In the case of very mild forms of the disease, sports and exercise therapy, relaxation procedures, regular helpful discussions or antidepressants or herbal remedies, such as special St. John's wort extracts prescribed by a doctor, may help. Attention should be paid to possible side effects, such as particular sensitivity to light. Seasonal depressive episodes - that occur during the darker months of the year - may respond to light therapy.

Three cornerstones of therapy

In most cases, however, treatment for depression is built around three main pillars:

  • Treatment with antidepressants (pharmacotherapy)
  • psychotherapeutic procedures
  • Additional therapeutic measures such as body-related therapies (occupational therapy, exercise therapy) or socio-educational measures, for example at the workplace.

The best results are achieved with a person-oriented depression treatment, which puts together the best combination of the three areas for the respective patient.

For this, the treating person should see the patient as an individual with personal complaints and problems and, moreover, have sufficient experience in the therapy of depression. For example, relevant professional associations provide information about the qualifications of a therapist.

Inpatient treatment if necessary

In the case of very severe depression, for which outpatient psychotherapeutic and drug treatment methods are not sufficiently effective, care is required as part of an inpatient stay in a clinic for psychiatry, psychotherapy and psychosomatics (possibly with a "depression ward" as a special treatment unit). This is especially true in the case of an acute risk of suicide, in the case of a prolonged course that does not improve on an outpatient basis, if previous therapies do not help, in the case of difficult social problems or if severe physical illnesses exist at the same time.