Berlin, 04.10.2021 – The range of mental disorders is wide: in addition to depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol dependence or sleep disorders are also included. Regardless of the type of disease: Who can affected persons turn to if they need help due to psychological complaints??
The signs for mental illnesses can be manifold. According to the Robert Koch Institute, depression is accompanied by symptoms such as sadness, sleep disturbances, inner restlessness, irritability, loss of energy or loss of appetite. Those affected feel so depressed that they are unable to free themselves from this low under their own steam. If people notice symptoms of this kind over a period of at least two weeks, they should seek help. The first step can already be to talk to people who are close to you.
Health information on depression
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses. How depression develops, who is particularly at risk and how the illness manifests itself, you can find out here.
1. Turn to a trusted person Put in the info basket
Some people keep mental problems to themselves. But it can help to open up – to your partner, a relative or a friend. This allows sufferers to break free from the feeling of being alone with the illness. On the other hand, advice such as "pull yourself together" or "go on a trip" may be well-intentioned, but they can trivialize the situation of those affected.
2. Talk to the primary care physician about treatment options Put in the info basket
When it comes to health – and also to the psyche – it is one of the most important places to go: the family doctor. Ideally, he or she knows the patient's medical history. Can rule out physical illnesses. As a rule, the general practitioner makes the initial diagnosis and refers the patient to a psychiatrist or psychotherapist if necessary. Depending on the individual case, referral to a psychiatric clinic may also be possible.
3. Consult a psychiatrist or psychotherapist Put in the info basket
The initial diagnosis is followed by contact with a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. However, patients can also contact one of these therapists directly without first involving their family doctor. An overview by zip code. Contact options can be found, for example, here.
However, patients rarely get a place for psychotherapy right away. Between the first request to the psychotherapist and the start of treatment usually takes several months. Around 40 percent of patients wait at least three to nine months before starting treatment. This is the result of a study by the German Federal Chamber of Psychotherapists (BPtK), in which more than 300.000 insurance data were evaluated.
Getting a therapy place – but how?
Since April 2017, patients have been entitled to a consultation with a psychiatrist or psychotherapist within four weeks. This is what the federal government has stipulated in the Care Strengthening Act. For this purpose, patients can also contact the appointment service of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians.
In principle, every psychotherapist in private practice is obliged to offer consultation hours for those seeking treatment. Specifically, they must provide 100 minutes per week, spending at least 25 minutes per patient. In these consultations, people describe their problems – it is a short-term and easy way to get in touch with a psychotherapist. Patients have been in the hospital since 1. April 2018 obliged to attend such an initial consultation.
In the consultation hour, the expert may make an initial diagnosis. If the psychological problems are serious, acute psychotherapeutic treatment is available to those affected. This allows symptoms to be treated in the short term. If there is a need for further treatment, short- or long-term therapy may be considered. However, two to four preparatory sessions are obligatory before starting this treatment. In these, patient and therapist clarify whether psychotherapy makes sense and: whether they would like to approach further treatment together.
In order for public health insurance companies to cover the costs of psychotherapy, patients must always apply to their health insurance company. The appropriate forms are usually held by the psychiatrist or. Psychologist ready. For those with private insurance, the rules may differ from one insurance company to another. It is best to contact your insurance company. Inform themselves about the conditions.
Who helps in an emergency? Put it in the info basket
Sometimes the suffering is so great that those affected cannot wait for a treatment appointment. Then immediate help is needed – especially for suicidal thoughts. These help offers support.
Under the telephone numbers 0800-1110111 and 0800-1110222, patients and their families can get immediate help. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, anonymously and free of charge. The "TelefonSeelsorge" also offers mail, chat and on-site consultations.
In addition, there is a Muslim counseling hotline that can be reached around the clock at 030-443509821.
On the website of the German Depression Aid Foundation, you can find clinics and contact points with a focus on psychiatry and psychotherapy by doing a quick search. Users enter their place of residence. Get a list of facilities in close proximity. Likewise, affected people can crisis services. Find counseling centers in your area.
In an acute crisis, sufferers should not be afraid to dial 112. The rescue service provides first aid in the shortest possible time.
Other contact points Add to info basket
The Robert Enke Foundation, founded in 2010, has set up an advice hotline together with the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics at RWTH Aachen University Hospital – for competitive athletes, but also for other people suffering from mental disorders. The phone number: 0241-8036777 (available from Monday to Friday, 9 am – 12 pm and 1 pm – 4 pm).
The Stiftung Deutsche Depressionshilfe (German Depression Aid Foundation) has set up a depression information hotline at 0800-3344533 (always available Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 1 – 5 p.m. and Wednesday and Friday 8 a.m.).30 – 12.30 p.m.). The hotline is free of charge and informs sufferers and their relatives about contact points for mental health problems.
The "Nummer gegen Kummer" (number against grief) was set up especially for children and young people. At 116 111, employees provide anonymous advice. Free of charge – Mondays to Saturdays from 2 to 8 p.m.
With [U25] Germany, the German Caritas Association e.V. Counseling services especially for children. Adolescents with suicidal thoughts.
When coping with mental problems, contact with other sufferers helps. In the online forum for depression, those affected exchange views and give each other advice.