Not only does it take time to get an accurate depression diagnosis, finding the right medication to treat depression can be a complicated, delicate process. Someone may have a serious medical problem, such as heart disease or liver or kidney disease, that could make some antidepressants unsafe. The antidepressant could be ineffective for you or the dose inadequate; there may not have been enough time to see an effect, or the side effects could be too bothersome -- leading to a failure of treatment.
There is no universally agreed upon approach to controlling treatment-resistant depression, also referred to as TRD. Your treatment will depend on your doctor's expertice as well as your own needs, concerns, and medical history.
But while the details may vary, most doctors follow the same basic pattern. Here is a rough outline of how your doctor might treat your depression. If you have treatment-resistant depression, your depression has already typically failed to respond to two or more treatments,...
Only about 30% of people with depression go into full remission after taking their first course of antidepressants. That’s according to a 2006 study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Those who got better were more likely to be taking slightly higher doses for longer periods.
Some antidepressants work better for certain individuals than others. It's not uncommon to try different depression medicines during treatment.
Antidepressants carry a boxed warning about increased risk compared to placebo for suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults 18-24 years old.
Working with your doctor, you can weigh the risks and benefits of treatment and optimize the use of medication that best relieves your symptoms.
What is an antidepressant?
Antidepressants, sometimes in combination with psychotherapy, are often the first treatment people get for depression. If one antidepressant doesn't work well, you might try another drug of the same class or a different class of depression medicines altogether. Your doctor might also try changing the dose. In some cases, your doctor might recommend taking more than one medication for your depression.