There are countless people across the country who live with depression every day. If you live with depression, you are not alone. There are always people who can lend a helping hand to those in need, so it’s important to reach out to a mental health professional who can assist you when you need. The frontline treatment options for depression are therapy and prescription medications. For example, your doctor may have prescribed an SSRI to help you with your depression. Everyone is different, and if your depression is not responding to medication, you may be diagnosed with drug-resistant depression. This is also known as treatment-resistant depression.
Your Primary Care Doctor May Refer You to a Psychiatrist
It is not unusual for a primary care doctor to lead the way during the treatment of depression. If your depression is not responding to prescription medications, such as an SSRI, your primary care doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist. Your psychiatrist will conduct a few important tasks during your initial visit. They include:
- Your psychiatrist will probably ask about certain life situations that may contribute to the development of depression.
- Your psychiatrist will also want to know about your response not only to the current medication but any other ones you might have tried.
- He or she will also review other medications you might be taking, regardless of whether they are related to depression or not.
- Your psychiatrist will also want to make sure that you have taken your medications as prescribed.
- There are physical health conditions that could be contributing to depression, such as a thyroid condition, that your psychiatrist may ask about.
- You may suffer from other mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, that may be complicating your response to therapy.
Expect your psychiatrist to be very thorough during this visit.
Changes to Your Medication Strategy
Everyone is different, and your psychiatrist will customize your medication strategy to meet your needs. There are several strategies that your psychiatrist may employ. They include:
- More time. It may simply take more time for your medications to respond. It is not unusual for your body to take up to six weeks to respond to an antidepressant. Your psychiatrist may want to wait even longer than that to give medications a chance to work.
- Change the dose. Your psychiatrist may want to change the dose. For example, he or she may want to increase the dose of your antidepressant to see if you get a better response.
- Switch medications. If the psychiatrist says that the medication is not working, he or she may want to switch classes entirely. For example, your psychiatrist may want to switch from an SSRI to an SNRI or a TCA.
- Treat other conditions. If the psychiatrist believes that there are other conditions that are complicating your response to treatment, he or she may want to prescribe medications to treat other conditions first. Then, your depression may respond better.
It is important to keep in mind that this is a team approach. Your psychiatrist will make decisions in conjunction with you.
Combine Medications With Therapy and Counseling
To put you in the best position possible to recover, your psychiatrist will want to combine medications with therapy and counseling. There are several important benefits of going to therapy regularly as a part of your depression treatment. They include:
- In therapy, you will find better ways to cope with the challenges that life throws at you.
- A therapist can help you deal with prior emotional trauma.
- You will learn how to manage their relationships in a healthy way.
- If there are substance abuse issues, you will learn how to address those.
- You will also learn a lot of valuable stress management techniques that will make it easier for you to manage your various personal and professional relationships.
Just like your prescription medications, you should expect your therapeutic sessions to be tailored to meet your needs as well. You should also expect your therapy sessions to change over time as your depression improves.
There are still alternative treatments available besides therapy and drugs for drug-resistant depression. One option that is available here at Prime Behavioral Health is TMS Therapy.
Contact Prime Behavioral Health for Help With Depression
In the end, these are just a few of the most important points you should keep in mind regarding drug-resistant depression. No matter what your mental health issues might be, you do not need to face them by yourself. We are Prime Behavioral Health, and it would be our pleasure to help you address any mental health issues you might be facing, including drug-resistant depression. We have a team of experienced professionals who can give you the compassionate care you deserve. If you would like to learn more about the options we have available, give us a call today to speak to a member of our team. It would be our honor to assist you.