The 1st Department of the North Estonia Medical Centre’s Psychiatry Clinic is specialized in treating different conditions and illnesses related to depression and anxiety. For this reason the department is also known as the depressive and neurotic disorders department.
Besides treating depressive and anxiety disorders, the first department takes an active role in the treatment of many other psychological disorders such as adaptation reactions, somatisation disorder, psychiatric disorders related to organic brain diseases, psychotic episodes and early diagnosis of dementia.
The department was opened on 1 March 1999, after the renovation of the building: The staff consists of two psychiatrists, two psychologists, 15 nurses and caregivers, a creativity therapist and other specialists. Physicians doing their general practice and psychiatry residency also gain experience in the department. We specialize mainly in treating patients in northern Estonia, but also treat patients from all over Estonia. The department has a capacity of 26 patients.
What does treatment for depression and anxiety disorder involve?
The treatment given in our department is generally just one stage in the process of treating a patient. The treatment usually lasts two to three weeks and during this short interval, doctors must gain as adequate and realistic a picture of the patient’s psychological health problems. The entire working group is involved in the patient’s treatment process: psychiatrist, psychologist, attending nurse and creativity therapist. The patient and those closest to the patient also take an active part in the process.
The aim is to determine the mechanisms, reasons and dynamics underlying the complaints and pathological condition and to perform the necessary studies and analyses.
We arrange for the patient treatment process to continue after discharge from the hospital.
It is important to see the person behind the symptoms, take their physical, psychological and social background into account, while evaluating how well the person copes in everyday life. After all, our goal is to treat not just symptoms and diseases but the person as a whole.
How work in the 1st department is organized
The department is largely structured according to what is known as a Scandinavian operating model. Each patient is assigned a physician (psychiatrist) and what is known as an usaldusõde – an attending nurse. Various groups constitute an important part of our system – autogenic training, psychologist group, art and creativity therapy group, calisthenics, listening to music. The treatment process is thus quite an active one.
In addition, the patient engages in self-analysis under the supervision of the physician. This includes, for instance, reading and thinking about literature in a given field, writing essays regarding health and problems, keeping a diary, practising new behavioural patterns for breaking avoidance patterns. It is naturally important to couple these activities with effective modern pharmaceutical treatment. The treatment process continues with appointments at psychiatric clinics, private psychiatrists, general practitioners or psychotherapists.
It is important that the right diagnosis be made during a short interval, that the patient’s condition be objectively evaluated and that this be used to compile as effective a further treatment plan as possible.