Even without therapeutic treatment, a depressive episode may subside “on its own” after a certain time, usually after 6 to 8 months. However, the probability of developing another episode is considerably higher if the previous depressive episode was not treated therapeutically .
In the case of a mild depressive episode, depression-specific treatment does not always have to be implemented immediately. The German National Treatment Guideline for unipolar depression recommends initially monitoring the appearance of mild symptoms (preferably in consultation with the treating physician/psychotherapist), confiding in relatives, partners, and friends, and making use of online programs or self-help groups.
However, if symptoms persist for a longer period of time (longer than two weeks) or if symptoms should increase in severity, professional support should be sought out, especially if thoughts of self-injury or suicide are present !
Don’t forget: depression is a mental illness that has a very good chance of recovery, if it is properly treated in time!
The following sections provide an overview of the most common treatment methods.