Treatment Resistant Depression - Discussion

As the name suggests, treatment resistant depression does not really respond to treatment and, despite several attempts and methods to help afflicted persons overcome depression, the signs and symptoms continue to manifest. This is therefore a form of depression where various treatment modalities fail to cure the patient.

Dysthymia is one such form of depression which is treatment resistant, where the symptoms of depression continue to last for a long time and affected persons often complain that they do not experience relief despite taking several medications. Dysthymia, however, is not a severe form of depression and does not normally disrupt normal activities, although afflicted persons tend to feel depressed and sad for months on end.

When the symptoms of depression continue to persist despite several attempts at treating it, it is a sure sign of treatment resistant depression. Depending upon the severity of symptoms, affected persons are advised to try to establish the cause of depression and start addressing them in a different manner.

Most often, treatment resistant depression does not have any specific cause; therefore, it is important to first establish the various possibilities that could be triggering depression in these persons. Once the trigger or triggers for depression have been established, there would then be higher chances of curing these persons.

A few possibilities for the presence of treatment resistant depression which does not respond well to treatment include the following:

  • Sometimes, in cases of chronic depression, the diagnosis of the problem could be wrong and affected persons might be getting the wrong treatment. Therefore, it might help to get a second opinion, reassess the problem, and get another proper diagnosis done. Once the correct diagnosis has been made, starting on the right treatment might help successfully treat depression.

  • Also, other underlying medical or physiological conditions could be contributing to chronic depression in persons, and once the medical condition has been diagnosed and treated, the symptoms of depression might decrease and eventually disappear.

  • Affected persons who do not stick to the treatment plan, fail to take medication on time, skip medication, discontinue or stop taking medication, etc, often suffer from chronic depression because there are high chances of relapse. Under these circumstances, one must share this information with the physician and ensure all advice is strictly followed. Here, it is important to note our stand - we do not believe in the use of drug medications, which we state should only ever be used as a last resort, and not in the free and easy manner they are prescribed today. However, once they ARE used, instructions must be strictly adhered to.

Persons suffering from treatment resistant depression need to observe their moods carefully and make a note of all events or occurrences which trigger depression as well as those which decrease the symptoms. This record of events will help them arrive at a pattern that might hold the clue for factors contributing to or relieving depression. This information can then be shared with the mental health practitioner, who will be able to accurately diagnose the problem.

The ultimately aim should be for remission of all signs and symptoms of chronic depression. If one continues to experience symptoms despite therapy, counseling, and medication, one should certainly discuss other options with the healthcare practitioner. Unless one experiences complete remission of symptoms, chances of relapse or depression increasing are high. Therefore, it is important to be frank and share your concerns with physicians, who can then try different diagnostic and treatment options.

Always be open to trying newer methods of overcoming depression, in particular treatment resistant depression. For example, try and find out more about various stress busters, give group therapy a chance, try herbal remedies for depression, generally try and become more optimistic, think positively, and learn to move on in life without dwelling too much in the past, etc.

Cultivating new hobbies, investing in detoxification programs, learning yoga, and practicing meditation on a regular basis also help improve both mental and physical health. These natural remedies are discussed in more detail elsewhere on this website.






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