Treatment-resistant depression is a type of depression that doesn’t respond to traditional treatments. Unfortunately, many people living with depressive disorders don’t get the help they need. Or, the care they get isn’t suitable for their needs in helping them to manage symptoms of depression. Sadly, only 3% of people who have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) achieve lasting symptom remission by using traditional treatments. The rest of the people who get help through traditional treatments may have results that don’t last long-term or not have any results at all. The people diagnosed with depressive disorders that don’t achieve long-term symptom remission are living with what’s known as treatment-resistant depression.
Treatment-resistant depression can be frustrating to deal with as people who are living with this depression may feel like they will have to live with the symptoms of depression forever. But, that’s not the case. There are effective treatments that are non-traditional that are available for people living with treatment-resistant depression. However, before considering these treatment options, it can be helpful for people living with treatment-resistant depression to understand more about their condition.
It can help people who are potentially living with treatment-resistant depression to know that traditional treatments for depression may not be providing good results due to underlying health conditions. These can include both physical and mental health issues. For example, physical health issues like chronic pain due to injury or illness can increase a person’s risk of developing treatment-resistant depression. Furthermore, concurring mental health issues like anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, and trauma can also increase a person’s risk of developing treatment-resistant depression. It can be helpful to understand that if you’re living with a medical or mental health issue, your chance of developing treatment-resistant depression is increased.
Living with a depressive disorder is different than just feeling sad. The effects of depressive disorders, especially treatment-resistant depression that doesn’t respond to traditional treatment methods, are debilitating to daily life. It can impact relationships as symptoms of depression can include isolation and avoiding social situations. And, it can negatively affect hobbies and interests as people living with depression may develop feelings of apathy for passions. People living with any type of depressive disorder will have trouble having the life they want due to the effects of depression.
It can be easy for people living with treatment-resistant depression to lose hope of getting help, especially if they’ve been prescribed multiple different medications and none of them have worked. But, there are non-traditional treatment options available that are effective in reducing and even eliminating the symptoms.
Some of the non-traditional treatment options available for people living with this mental health condition that are effective include:
TMS: TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, is a non-invasive yet effective treatment that specifically identifies areas of the brain that are responsible for the effects of treatment-resistant depression. This type of treatment utilizes a machine that has an attachment that attaches to the head. This attachment sends electromagnetic pulses into the brain in order to stimulate areas of the brain that are responsible for mood management and symptoms of depression. This leads to a result in decreased symptoms of depressive disorders, even treatment-resistant depression.
Ketamine Infusions: Ketamine infusion therapy is a type of treatment that is non-invasive and uses an IV application of low doses of ketamine. Ketamine is a medication that, when used in low doses, can help to stimulate the area of the brain responsible for mood management and symptoms of depression.