Treatment-resistant depression is when your depression does not respond to antidepressants. There are 10%-15% of people with depression who do not respond to antidepressants and 30%-40% of people who only notice a partial improvement in their symptoms. If you are aware that antidepressants are not working for you, it is important to not give up hope treating your depression and to look into other options. 

How Do You Know If the Antidepressants Are Not Working?

Doctors generally diagnose you with treatment-resistant depression if you have tried at least two different types of antidepressant medications with no results. Your doctor may ask you questions like if you were correctly diagnosed, any other conditions are getting in the way, you used the right dose, and if you tried the antidepressant for a long enough time. Usually, antidepressants take six to eight weeks in the right doses to achieve a full effect. Those who do not have a response early in treatment are less likely to have full improvement.

Why Wouldn’t Antidepressants Work?

One reason could be that you may not have depression disorder. You may have bipolar disorder or any other condition that is similar to depression. Genetics can also play a role in that certain genetic variations can increase how the body breaks down antidepressants or how you respond to them. There are some doctors that can order a genetic test to determine which antidepressants work for you. Your body may also process nutrients differently, like if you have low levels of folate in the brain and spinal cord. Other factors can be how long you have had depression and the severity of your symptoms.

How Do You Treat Treatment-Resistant Depression?

Your doctor may suggest you try another antidepressant in a different class like SSRIs. Your doctor may also prescribe two antidepressants to be taken at the same time as it may have better effects than taking just one. There are also other medications you can take with antidepressants like lithium, antipsychotics, thyroid hormones, dopamine drugs, ketamine, and nutritional supplements. Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy can also be beneficial while you are on the medication to help change your thought patterns and to talk to someone about your symptoms. With a little time and patience, you and your doctor can figure out a treatment plan that will work well with your symptoms so that you can live happily.

At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.