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How to Overcome Treatment-Resistant Depression

By nature, depression is a difficult mental condition to cope with. Patients face persistent depressive feelings. Their eating habits and sleep patterns change. These symptoms (in addition to others) severely impact their daily life. Common treatments for depression include medication and therapy.

Some, however, have more difficulty battling depression than others. Those with treatment-resistant depression have a hard time finding relief from their condition despite medication. The typical treatment methods don’t seem to work, leaving the patient feeling hopeless.


Read on to learn more about treatment-resistant depression and what you can do to overcome it.

What Is Treatment-Resistant Depression?

Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is relatively common for those suffering from depression. Patients might be prescribed medications or have regular appointments with a psychologist. Even after sticking to these treatments for a period of time, some might be unable to find relief.

TRD can be an incredibly frustrating condition to cope with. You are putting in the effort to recover yet are failing to see results. The impacts of TRD can vary. You might feel that typical treatments aren’t as effective as they should be, or you might not find any relief at all.

What to Do About TRD:

See the Right Doctor

Primary care doctors can treat depression and actually prescribe the majority of antidepressants. However, consider seeing a specialist. Professionals such as psychiatrists have lots of experience in the mental health field. They may be able to offer you a more effective course of action.

Be Honest with Your Doctor

It is important that you are honest with your doctor. Do you feel that your treatment isn’t working? Has the medication and/or therapy helped a little bit, but you still don’t feel quite right? Are the side effects of your medication debilitating? Consider questions such as these and bring up any concerns you have to your doctor.

Changing Medications

Once your doctor knows your treatment isn’t working, they can make the appropriate changes. They might prescribe additional antidepressants or alter your medication type and/or dosage.

Psychological Counseling

If you are already going to psychological counseling, your doctor might suggest a different approach. Some types of therapies include:

· Cognitive-behavioral therapy. This approach will help you address how your mood is affected. You can then develop healthy techniques to confront life’s challenges.

· Interpersonal psychotherapy. This type of therapy helps you resolve relationship issues.

· Group psychotherapy. During group sessions, you can connect and learn from others who are in the same position.

Additional Treatment Options

Altering medications and approaches to therapy doesn’t always work. In that case, you might want to consider additional treatment options. Some procedures for treating depression include:

· Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). During ECT, your brain receives a small dose of electricity. This triggers a minor seizure and changes your brain’s chemistry. Many patients have used ECT to find relief for severe depression.

· Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. The procedure is noninvasive and typically lasts about 60 minutes.

· Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). With VNS, electrical impulses stimulate the vagus nerve. The impulse then travels to the mood centers of the brain.

Steps You Can Take

Some steps you can take on your own to ensure successful treatment include:

· Sticking to your doctor’s recommendations

· Eating healthy and exercising regularly

· Practicing good sleep habits

· Stop drinking and using recreational drugs

· Implementing stress-reduction techniques into your daily routine

Don’t Give Up

Remember that everyone’s case of depression is different. Individuals often require an approach that is unique to them and their situation. It just may take some time to find the right treatment plan. Keep in mind that there is hope for those suffering from TRD.

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