Depression is a mood disorder that can have a debilitating effect on life, cause extreme anxiety, and feel like an insurmountable obstacle. Unfortunately, treatment-resistant depression is a common challenge, particularly among those with serious depression.
What Is Treatment-Resistant Depression?
Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is a type of major depressive disorder that doesn’t respond to traditional forms of antidepressants and other therapies. This can include a combination of different medications, psychotherapy or counselling, and lifestyle changes.
When it comes to TRD, doctors typically classify it as either “partial response” or “no response” based on the person’s improvement. The main criteria for no response are if symptoms have not responded to two or more different antidepressant or psychotherapy treatments.
Causes of Treatment-Resistant Depression
There is no single cause of TRD, but many potential issues can play a part. These can include:
- Genetics: Research shows that genetics can play a role in the risk of developing treatment-resistant depression.
- Brain chemistry: Abnormalities in the neurotransmitter pathways in the brain can contribute to depressive symptoms that don’t respond to standard treatment methods.
- Psychological factors: Traumatic events or ongoing stress can lead to treatment-resistant depression that doesn’t respond to medication or therapy alone.
- Medication side effects: Certain medications can make symptoms of depression worse, contributing to treatment-resistant depression.
How To Master Treatment-Resistant Depression
The good news is that treatment-resistant depression can be managed, with the right combination of treatments. Here are a few tips for mastering TRD:
- Ask for help: It’s essential to find the support you need from your doctor, therapist, or support group.
- Be proactive: Take an active role in your depression management by tracking your symptoms, learning more about the condition, and understanding your medications and treatments.
- Don’t give up: Depression is challenging, but with time and the right treatments, you can gain control over your mental health.
- Find healthy ways to cope: Find healthy ways to manage your depression, such as deep breathing, exercise, and healthy eating.
- Find hope: No matter how difficult it may be, there is always hope. Focus on the positive and remember that you can get through this.
Treatment-resistant depression can be an arduous journey, but it is not insurmountable. By seeking the right help and taking steps to manage your condition, you can find the relief you need.