Treatment-resistant depression can easily worsen your quality of life, relationships, and career prospects. This condition doesn’t simply get better or go away on its own; it requires committed treatment. Fortunately, there are several medication options for people who don’t respond to a first treatment regimen — from newer medications to mind-body therapies.
Many people with this form of the condition have tried several courses of antidepressants. The new treatments often work, but side effects and costs can be barriers to completing them. And even when you receive optimal care, you may still need an alternative medication plan to overcome the condition. Let’s explore the signs, risks, and how you can get help if you suffer from treatment resistant depression.
This condition involves symptoms that occur despite taking an adequate antidepressant. You may also experience these symptoms with other types of mental conditions. Treatment resistant depression usually begins after the patient has tried at least one antidepressant medication.
• You feel depressed most of the time, even when you are well and doing well.
• You become more depressed when you want to improve or feel better.
• You have been feeling depressed for a while, but it doesn’t always feel the same.
• The condition seems to last an unusually long time
• You have tried several different antidepressants, and often the side effects are worse than the condition itself.
For people with this condition, medical treatments may still be effective. The trick is to discover which ones will be most effective for your symptoms. The key is persistence and patience — don’t be discouraged if the first medication doesn’t work. Your doctor will likely recommend several different medications, keeping in mind that you may need to adjust the course or try something new.
This condition is caused by another condition, such as a thyroid disorder or an anxiety disorder for some people. You should ask your doctor if other health issues can be at play. If you haven’t yet ruled out other conditions, it’s important to do so before setting up a medication plan.
The risks, though different for each patient, can be serious. They include the following.
• Worsening of the symptoms
• Increased risk of suicide or death by suicide
• Severe memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and problems with thinking clearly.
• Problems with social relationships, work-life, and hobbies are very important to you.
• Unable to participate in daily activities that help you feel better about yourself.
Numerous options are available for you if you suffer from this condition. Your doctor will recommend various treatments according to the severity of your symptoms. These may include the following.
Antidepressants help lift the high levels of inflammation in your body and boost your mood. However, many depressed individuals don’t improve with antidepressants and may require alternative medications. In some cases, the condition can gradually progress for months or years before being appropriately diagnosed. It’s also possible that you will feel worse when you try an antidepressant, only to work well again on another drug. In some cases, antidepressants will have little effect on your condition. These drugs may have a different side effect profile or work better for some people, so it’s essential to find the right antidepressant and stick with it.
Mind-body therapies are complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that focus on restoring physical and emotional balance. For people with treatment-resistant depression, these therapies may be helpful if they help restore their mood in some way. These treatments include:
Psychotherapy is a form of talk therapy that focuses on your relationship with yourself. This can help you learn how to motivate yourself and cope with stress.
It’s no surprise that psychotherapy can help many people overcome this condition, but it also plays a role in other treatment plans. Psychotherapy may help you understand how your thoughts and feelings affect how you feel physically and emotionally.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into certain points on your body. These needles are placed in a specific order, depending on your ailment and the part of your body that you would like to treat. Acupuncture is thought to stimulate specific organs and energy flows in particular ways, affecting your mood. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years for several conditions and disorders, including anxiety.
Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic method that can help you change the way you think about yourself, which can help improve your overall health. Hypnotherapy has been studied for its effects on anxiety, insomnia, and other conditions. However, it remains unclear whether hypnotherapy might be effective for anxiety or just an effective placebo.
4. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of psychotherapy used to treat several mental disorders. This type of therapy focuses on changing how you react to your feelings and helping you change specific behaviors. DBT is most effective when used with other treatments that include antidepressants.
5. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy used to treat this condition. This form of therapy focuses on the relationship between your thoughts and behaviors. CBT helps you recognize how your thoughts may be causing problems for you and can help you change those negative thoughts.
Mindfulness is used to help you pay attention to your thoughts and feelings at the moment. Mindfulness has become more widely used and has also been studied extensively. Research suggests that mindfulness can help people with anxiety, but it may not work as well as antidepressants.
Contact the Professionals
If you are struggling with treatment-resistant depression and haven’t yet found a treatment that works for you, don’t lose hope. At Silvercreek, we can help you find a medication that works for you. We will help you explore options with our team of physicians, nurses, and social workers.