What is Treatment Resistant Depression? Signs and Symptoms

Across the globe, depression affects 5% of all people. But, what is treatment resistant depression? Of all the people that get professional help with depression, 30% don’t respond well to traditional methods of treatment. The population of people who don’t respond to traditional depression treatments like medications are known to have what’s called treatment resistant depression. Think you or a loved one is living with treatment resistant depression? Find out more about this condition and the available options for treatment that are successful in helping individuals living with this disorder find relief from depressive symptoms.

What is Treatment Resistant Depression?

Typically, when a person is diagnosed with a depressive disorder, traditional treatments are used first in attempts to control and reduce symptoms of depression. These include prescription antidepressant medications and psychiatric counseling. In most people, these treatments help to reduce the severity and increase management of depressive symptoms. But, for some, these treatments don’t work to allow for the relief of depressive symptoms. These individuals may experience symptom relief briefly after starting treatment and symptoms reappear after a while. Or, they may experience relief of some symptoms, but other symptoms are not controlled (sleeping problems, eating issues, etc.).

Going through treatment for depression and not experiencing symptom relief can feel defeating and frustrating. However, those who experience this shouldn’t despair or lose hope. There are treatments available for people living with treatment resistant depression that can help.

Signs and Symptoms of Treatment Resistant Depression

People living with depressive disorders that aren’t resolved with traditional treatment may experience similar signs and symptoms. Identifying these signs and symptoms can help you know that traditional medication and therapy aren’t enough to treat a depressive disorder. They can include:

-not having relief of depressive symptoms from traditional therapy or antidepressant medications
-not experiencing expected results from traditional depression treatments
-some reduced symptoms of depression but others continuing after starting traditional depression treatments
-experiencing a brief relief in depressive symptoms after starting depression treatments, but a return of these symptoms after some time

Getting a Diagnosis for Treatment Resistant Depression

Before getting further help for depression that doesn’t respond to traditional methods of treatment, a diagnosis for treatment-resistant depression is necessary. With a diagnosis, your treatment team can find the best solutions available that may help you in your path to symptom relief. During diagnosis, you can expect:

  • an initial assessment to talk about medical and psychiatric history
  • examining all the medications, therapies, and other treatments you have tried in the past
  • talking to your doctor about the results of treatments you’ve tried and your expectations for treatment
  • assessing if whether or not a misdiagnosis of depression has occurred and whether or not you may be dealing with other psychiatric issues
Available Treatments for People Dealing With Treatment Resistant Depression

After assessment and diagnosis of treatment resistant depression, you can begin to utilize therapies and treatments that are successful for people living with this condition. Some of these treatments include:

TMS Therapy: This treatment involves a device that is similar to an EEG. It pulses magnetic stimulation into the brain to painlessly stimulate areas of the brain that are known to lead to depression symptoms. The result is better brain function, reduction of depressive symptoms, improved sleeping patterns, and more.

Ketamine Therapy: This treatment is a relatively new approach to depression symptom reduction. It works by administering low doses of ketamine into the bloodstream via IV. Every administration is guided and monitored by a psychiatric professional to ensure safety and correct dosage. With only a few sessions, individuals who are living with treatment resistant depression experience a reduction in feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair.

Finding Help at Delray Brain Science

Here at Delray Brain Science, we are committed to helping individuals finally find sustained and successful recovery from depression. If you or a loved one hasn’t experienced symptom relief from traditional depression treatments, find out more about how we can help today.