How well is your depression treatment working? Does it help a bit, but you still don't feel as if the darkness has lifted? Perhaps you feel the treatment isn't working at all. If so, you could have treatment-resistant depression, also called refractory depression.
What's a midlife crisis? It's the stuff of jokes and stereotypes -- the time in life when you do outrageous, impractical things like quit a job impulsively, buy a red sports car, or dump your spouse.
For years, midlife crisis conjured those images. But these days, the old midlife crisis is more likely to be called a midlife transition -- and it's not all bad.
The term crisis often doesn't fit, mental health experts say, because while it can be accompanied by serious depression, it can also mark...
Treatment-resistant depression can leave you feeling hopeless and discouraged. Months or even years can go by without any relief. And after the effort it took to get help, it can be demoralizing when you're just not getting better.
But if your depression treatment isn't working, don't give up. Many people can get their treatment-resistant depression under control. You and your doctor just need to find the right approach. This might include different drugs, therapy, and other treatments. If you're still struggling with depression despite treatment, here's what you need to know.
Understanding Treatment-Resistant Depression
What is treatment-resistant depression? Surprisingly, that can be hard to answer. Experts still disagree on what exactly the term means.
Many say that it's a case of depression that doesn't respond to two different antidepressants from different classes. Other experts say that a person needs to try at least four different treatments before depression can be truly considered treatment-resistant.
Of course for you, the exact definition doesn't matter. You just need to ask yourself some basic questions.
Has your treatment failed to make you feel better?
Has your treatment helped a bit, but you still don’t feel like your old self?
Have the side effects of your medication been hard to handle?
If the answer is yes to any of these, you need to see your doctor. Whether or not you actually have treatment-resistant depression, you need expert help.
Treatment-Resistant Depression: Getting Help
Although a primary care doctor can treat depression (research suggests that 60%-65% of antidepressants are prescribed by primary care physicians), it may be best to see a specialist, like a psychiatrist, if you think you may have treatment-resistant depression. It's a good idea to also work with a therapist, like a psychologist or social worker, because the best treatment is often a combination of medicine and therapy.