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Sanatorium Kilchberg

Special consultations/special offers

Sanatorium Kilchberg offers various special consultations in connection with its two outpatient clinics in Kilchberg and Zurich City.

To register for a special consultation, please call our main desk at 044 716 42 75 (8:00 am – 5:00 pm). Outside of these hours, please contact our on-call physician at 044 716 42 42.

Special consultation depression
Medical condition

Depression is one of the most common psychological illnesses of all. One out of every five people suffers from depression at some point in their life.
Depression manifests itself in downcast moods, sadness, feelings of inner emptiness and the inability to be happy about things that used to be meaningful. Due to a diminished drive and marked lack of energy, many people affected with this condition withdraw and struggle to manage their everyday life. People who suffer from depression complain about problems falling or staying asleep and quickly become exhausted during the day. This can impair their concentration and performance at work. At the same time they experience a tendency to brood. Depressed people worry excessively about the future and their own health. They feel inferior and helpless and often experience feelings of guilt. Some people even have thoughts of hopelessness and become tired of life. In terms of physical effects, an increase in headaches and back pain is reported as well as lack of appetite and weight loss, or the exact opposite, ravenous hunger.

The course of depression varies. It can be mild, moderate or severe. In many instances, there is only a single episode. Some patients experience recurring bouts of depression, either in the form of unipolar depression, which is characterised by repeated occurrence of depression, or in the form of bipolar depression, during the course of which both depression and mania are experienced. Delusional depression is complicated by psychotic symptoms, for example by the irrational fear of becoming poor or of having committed a sin. Winter depression is a seasonal disorder that is linked with a decrease in sunlight during the winter months. Pregnant women can develop depression during their pregnancy as a result of the adjustments that are necessary in this period of their life. Around 10% to 15% of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.

The causes of depression are multifaceted. It is presumably triggered by a combination of biological, social and psychological factors. The illness can occur at any age but is most prevalent during late adolescence or early adulthood/the second half of life. Bipolar depression usually begins during early adulthood.
Treatment options at Sanatorium Kilchberg
At Sanatorium Kilchberg treatment of depression is based on an individualised therapy plan that includes modern psychotherapeutic procedures and biological methods. Specialised therapies are used as well. Depending on the individual patient’s situation, the treatment can be carried out on an outpatient, semi-residential or residential basis.

Our psychotherapeutic methods, which are based on cognitive behavioural therapy, focus on encouraging patients to engage in positive activities, improving their daily routine and teaching them skills for coping with negative feelings, thoughts, outlooks and expectations. We want to create an environment of self-care in which patients actively use their own resources again and are given assistance when it comes to resolving and processing internal and external conflicts. Depending on the individual case, the following options are available:
Our biological treatment methods include the use of appropriate medication in the form of modern antidepressants based on the latest scientific findings. Should the desired effect not be achieved, a combination treatment – for example, with mood-stabilising medication – may be considered. We make sure that effectiveness and tolerance are regularly checked.

 The biological treatment methods include
  • Treatment with specific medication
  • Infusion treatments with antidepressants
  • Sleep restriction therapy
  • Light therapy
  • In the case of treatment-resistant depression: electroconvulsive therapy

Special consultation offerings
  • Diagnosis
  • Counselling on appropriate psychotherapeutic and medicinal treatment options
  • Consulting work for registered general practitioners, psychiatrists and psychotherapists
  • Placement into appropriate treatment programmes at Sanatorium Kilchberg (inpatient, day care and outpatient) or at external facilities
Special consultation for chronic depression
Medical condition

In around one-third of all cases, a rate that is higher than previously thought, depressive disorders may assume a chronic course which then leads to marked psychosocial and work impairments as well as to higher demands on the healthcare system. Depressive disorders are often accompanied by further mental illnesses – especially anxiety disorders, alcohol and substance abuse, personality disorders and boredom with life.
A chronic depression means
  • a depression which lasts for a period of more than 2 years
  • recurring depressions which are not completely cured between the phases
  • a depressed general mood since adolescence and low energy and drive (dysthymia)
  • a lifelong general mood of depression, which is complicated by recurring phases of depressions (double depression)

Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP)
Chronic depressions are treated in Sanatorium Kilchberg through drug therapy and psychotherapy. Use is made of the "Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP)" which was developed by James McCullough in the United States of America. CBASP is an integrated psychotherapeutic model which combines learning theory and developmental psychology findings as well as cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal therapy techniques. It is assumed that with chronically depressed people, early traumatisation, experience of loss, or chronic neglect hinder the development of self-confidence and curiosity. Chronically depressed people develop avoidance strategies, an anxious lifestyle and consistently fail in coping with development tasks and psychosocial stress as a result of problematic thought patterns and social skill deficits.
CBASP is a specific psychotherapy aimed at changing interpersonal and situation-specific behaviour. With the help of situational analysis, patients learn the relationship between their own behavioural and thought patterns and the link to their consequences in real life, develop desirable alternatives and finally to try these out. The specific design of the therapeutic relationship acts as a support in all of this.
Treatment in Sanatorium Kilchberg
Patients who have a chronic depression receive an individually planned therapy programme in Sanatorium Kilchberg which is based on a medically guided drug therapy and an individual CBASP therapy given by an experienced psychological therapist. In addition, patients can avail of a specific CBASP group therapy offered by specially trained medical professionals in the unit the patients are cared for. Specialised therapies are also offered and supplement the treatment programme. Treatment can take place in an inpatient, day care or outpatient setting.
The following is available in the special consultations
  • Diagnostic work-up
  • Counselling on appropriate psychotherapy and psychopharmacology treatment options
  • Screening related to possible treatment using the Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP)
  • Placement in appropriate treatment programmes at Sanatorium Kilchberg (inpatient, day care and outpatient) or at external facilities

Special consultation bipolar disorders
Medical condition

Bipolar affective disorders are medical conditions with specific causes, symptoms, progression and prognosis which, in respect of their treatment possibilities and treatment methods, clearly differ from unipolar depressions. Bipolar disorders are common illnesses which affect about 2% of the population.

In general, bipolar affective disorders can be recognized by depressive episodes, which typically are accompanied by subdued moods and a lack of drive but may also be characterized by hypomania or manic episodes in which mood and energy levels are elevated.

In the context of depressive episodes, the person affected often complains of:
  • Depressed moods
  • Loss of interest or enthusiasm
  • Increased levels of fatigue
  • Reduced concentration and attentiveness
  • Lower self-esteem and self-confidence 
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Fear of the future
  • Boredom with life and thoughts of suicide
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Loss of appetite

Manic episodes are often accompanied by symptoms such as:

  • Inflated self-esteem or grand ideas/schemes
  • Elevated or irritated frame of mind
  • Less need for sleep
  • Increased need to talk
  • Flight of ideas
  • Distractibility
  • Exaggerated preoccupation with pleasurable activities

Hypomanic episodes are characterised by:

  • An elevated frame of mind, which is often infectious and thrilling for outsiders
  • Lack of a feeling of illness, rather a feeling that they are in a particularly successful, cheerful or positive phase of life
  • A person’s state during a hypomanic episode is clearly different from the individual's usual non-depressed mood
  • In milder forms, all symptoms typical of manic episodes may be present
  • Relatives and those close to the affected person may well be able to recognize hypomanic episodes and to motivate them to seek treatment

Due to the nature of the illness, bipolar disorders have a significant impact on the individual’s social situation and social environment. Just like in the context of depressive episodes, as well as in manic or hypomanic conditions, the individual’s behaviour is so changed that it can have a grave impact on their relationships, employment, financial situation, health care and many other areas.    

Treatment in Sanatorium Kilchberg
Bipolar disorders are chronic diseases. The chance of a spontaneous healing without medical and psychological treatment is extremely unlikely.
However, the prognosis within a specialised and individual treatment setting is favourable.
Following a biopsychosocial model of disease, treatment is primarily composed of three main pillars:

  • Biological: establishing a mood stabilising medication which can treat current episodes of illness and prevent future ones.
  • Psychological: interdisciplinary psychotherapy with the goal of making the patient an expert in their own illness. This can include cognitive behavioural procedures, social rhythm measures , use of mood diaries, psychoeducation in the strict sense of the word, relaxation techniques and much more.          
  • Social: recognition, counteraction and prevention of social problems caused by the illness.

We are convinced that treatment which only uses medication is not enough for a successful and sustainable therapy. It is important and necessary that an individualised therapy is planned and offered to each and every patient. In this way personal deficits and problems, but also in particular the patient's resources (strengths) can be selectively integrated into the treatment. 

Available in the special consultations:

  • Diagnostic work-up
  • Counselling on appropriate medication, psychotherapeutic treatment options, and further support measures
  • Referrals to registered general practitioners, psychiatrists and psychotherapists
  • Placement into appropriate treatment programmes at Sanatorium Kilchberg (inpatient, day care and outpatient) or at external facilities
Special consultation for anxiety disorders
Medical conditions

Panic disorder
  • Panic attacks are characterised by sudden, unexpected and unbearably strong feelings of anxiety without any particular cause. They are accompanied by unpleasant bodily symptoms such as heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, shaking, nausea, numbness or blurred vision. Those affected are afraid of dying, suffering a heart attack, going 'crazy' or losing control. Because of their fear of further attacks, those affected by panic attacks often avoid certain situations, something which can adversely affect their daily life.

  • With agoraphobia or claustrophobia there is a clear and long-lasting fear of crowds, open spaces, travelling alone or leaving your own home. This is often accompanied by simultaneous panic attacks. Those affected avoid these types of situations or seek the close support of relatives, something which restricts their own personal freedom and makes completing daily tasks even more difficult.

Specific phobia
  • Anxiety with specific phobias is caused by being confronted with a specific yet harmless situation such as blood, high altitudes, flies or spiders, which are accompanied by bodily symptoms of fear.
Social phobia 
  • People with a social phobia are afraid of situations in which they are the focus of attention. They are scared they may say or do something that could be embarrassing or humiliating. They believe that others will judge them as incompetent or weak once their symptoms of anxiety like shaking or blushing are noticed. For these reasons they avoid giving speeches, attending public events or meeting new people. Some people try to help themselves using alcohol and tablets which provide only short-term relief and long-term can even increase the anxieties and lead to addiction. 
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • A Generalized Anxiety Disorder manifests itself in an enduring, excessive, and excruciating anxiety. The anxieties relate to the patient’s own health, close relatives or the future. The constant brooding can result in physical tension, lapses in concentration, irritability and nervousness as well as increased exhaustion and other physical symptoms.

Treatment options in Sanatorium Kilchberg
Anxiety disorders are treated in Sanatorium Kilchberg with the use of well-established cognitive behavioural therapies. People suffering from anxiety disorders learn to realistically assess their anxieties with the aid of targeted information and specific strategies. As part of exposure training, patients are confronted with anxiety-inducing situations in a gradual fashion. In this way they learn that they can endure the anxiety, and that it can reduce of its own accord  without anything bad happening. Support in the form of medication can also be taken into consideration. Patients who have social anxiety disorders can avail of social competency training and a specially designed group therapy programme. The treatment can take place in an outpatient, day care or inpatient setting.

 The following is available in the special consultations:
  • Diagnostic work-up
  • Counselling on appropriate psychotherapy and medication treatment options
  • Consulting work for registered general practitioners, psychiatrists and psychotherapists
  • Placement in appropriate treatment units at Sanatorium Kilchberg (inpatient, day care and outpatient) or at external facilities
Special consultation memory clinic
Medical condition dementia

Dementia is an illness that predominately affects the elderly and is characterised by memory impairment in possible conjunction with speech impairment (e.g. difficulties remembering words), problems with basic everyday tasks (e.g. getting dressed, personal hygiene), difficulties recognising faces and objects or general difficulties in connection with planning and organisation.

It is currently estimated that approx. 125,000 persons in Switzerland suffer from dementia. Due to demographic changes and increasingly better medical care in old age, a significant increase in the number of people in Switzerland with dementia is expected in the coming years.

Dementia can have many causes. The most common ones are Alzheimer’s disease and circulatory disorders as a result of existing vascular risk factors (e.g. smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.). In addition, however, there are also many rare neurodegenerative diseases such as, for example, frontotemporal dementia or Lewy body dementia. Higher brain function disorders can also arise in connection with many physical illnesses such as thyroid dysfunction, psychiatric illnesses like depression, brain damage caused by accidents or resulting from early childhood development disorders.

Diagnosis in the memory clinic
Examination, advice and treatment require several outpatient consultations and, if necessary, check-ups. If possible, patients should be accompanied to the consultations by a family member or a different caregiver.
The examination includes the following:
  • Inquiry into history of the illness with patient. Involvement of family members and caregivers.
  • Psychiatric diagnostic interview
  • Physical and neurological examination
  • Laboratory tests
  • Neuropsychological examination
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain
  • If necessary, additional tests are performed

Treatment options in the memory clinic

  • Sharing of materials and information about the medical condition
  • Assessment of retained abilities and resources to develop an individual therapy plan
  • Medication if necessary
  • Optional treatment of psychiatric accompanying symptoms such as depressive moods, using medication and psychotherapy
  • One-on-one and/or family counselling on individual support and relief, e.g. for caregiving relatives of persons with dementia
  • Cooperation with various aid organisations and self-help organisations in the region
  • Information and counselling on illness-related questions concerning the following areas: living, employment/daily routine, finances, insurance, legal issues with assistance from our social counselling team
  • Ärztlich geleitetes Gedächtnistraining in der Gruppe

The memory clinic is part of the geriatric psychiatry outpatient clinic. The psychologists and doctors at the latter perform psychiatric evaluations and prescribe treatment for persons 60 years and older in the outpatient clinic itself as well as in the retirement and nursing homes of the region. Depression in old age is the most common diagnosis.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
As a centre for the treatment of mood disorders, Sanatorium Kilchberg, in cooperation with the department of anaesthesia at the See Spital Hospital in Kilchberg, is pleased to now offer electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

ECT is mainly used as a form of treatment for severe or manic depression (possibly even bipolar) as well as certain forms of schizophrenic illnesses.
The therapy consists of short controlled bursts of electricity which, thanks to an anaesthetic, cause an epileptic convulsion which cannot be seen. This convulsion causes the brain to set off a chain of biochemical changes which relieve the symptoms of illness or could even cause them to disappear altogether. In general six to fifteen sessions are required in order to achieve a therapeutic outcome.

Special consultation for sleep disorders and chronotherapy
Healthy sleep is an important requirement for our well-being as well as our physical and mental performance. Disturbed sleep has many causes. Longer-term sleep disturbance constitutes a risk factor for related physical or psychological illnesses and should not go untreated. In such cases it is important to identify the specific sleep disorder and to apply the corresponding treatment which, depending on the type of sleep disorder at issue, can differ greatly. A detailed case history, physical examination and the use of sleep medicine measurement devices allow for a differentiated view of the individual situation and a corresponding diagnosis.

The specialist outpatient clinic for sleep disorders and chronotherapy at the Centre for Stress Related Illnesses at Sanatorium Kilchberg offers diagnostic and therapeutic services. The diagnostic work-ups, which are carried out by a doctor or designated specialist, include a detailed case history, laboratory tests as well as a physical examination by an internist and neurologist. Depending on the problem, actometer analyses, sleep diaries, questionnaire surveys, resting-waking EEGs, Multiple Sleep Latency Tests, nightmare histories or individual chronotype analyses are utilised.

In addition to individualised treatment with medication, the therapies offered include one-to-one consultation on sleep disorders based on psychiatric and neurological expertise. The problem-oriented psychotherapeutic treatment of insomnia is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness methods. Individual nightmare therapy as well as individualised chronotherapeutic counselling and treatment are also among the various components of the services we provide.
Special offerings for women
Psychological illnesses are equally prevalent among women and men. However, gender-specific differences can be observed when it comes to frequency distribution and causes. For example, women exhibit a particular physical and psychological susceptibility to – and are at an increased risk of – developing psychosomatic disorders in connection with typical life transitions and during times when major and far-reaching life changes take place.

As part of a new special offering for women with gender-specific psychosomatic illnesses, we provide differentiated psychiatric and psychological assessments, consultations and treatments.

The special offerings for women at Sanatorium Kilchberg include the following:

  • Diagnostic work-ups of psychological problems in connection with illnesses in the areas of gynaecology and obstetrics
  • Consultative support in cooperation with obstetricians and gynaecologists
  • Consultations and second opinions
  • Psychiatric-pharmacological treatment taking into account the special circumstances during pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Psychotherapeutic treatments
  • Counselling for couples and families
  • Social counselling and support
  • Possibility of outpatient or inpatient treatment
  • Premium offers for patients with supplementary insurance
Sanatorium Kilchberg AG
Alte Landstrasse 70
CH-8802 Kilchberg
Telefon +41 44 716 42 42
Telefax +41 44 716 42 14

For registration / assignments
Telefon +41 44 716 42 75
Telefax +41 44 716 43 43

Zentrum für Psychosomatik
Selnaustrasse 6
CH-8001 Zürich
Telefon +41 44 716 38 38
Telefax +41 44 716 38 40
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