Depression is a complex problem that requires extensive management. For some people, depressive episodes are not adequately addressed using the typical methods. According to the Mayo Clinic, treatment-resistant depression occurs when a patient receives the proper treatment, but their symptoms fail to improve.
If you experience treatment-resistant depression, further follow-up can help get a handle on symptoms. This guide explains what you can expect from the process.
How doctors diagnose treatment-resistant depression
The process for diagnosing treatment-resistant depression is similar to diagnosing other mental health issues. A psychiatrist will review your past medical history, as well as ask you questions about your life and what is contributing to your depression. They will review what medications you are taking now and for how long. They will also ask about your approach to treatment to ensure you are taking medications and receiving therapy as required.
Therapy and medication
The goal of counseling is to develop healthier coping mechanisms to deal with life’s stressors. Many people benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, which aims to identify problem thoughts and change them. Your spouse and loved ones can also attend therapy, which helps them understand your condition and provide a higher level of support.
Many doctors recommend a combination of therapy and medication to help patients cope. Your dosage might change or you may switch medications. Doctors can also prescribe two medications at the same time, which amplifies their therapeutic effects and reduces the impact of depression.
Advanced procedures and treatments may provide additional support to people unable to overcome the effects of depression. A doctor can administer ketamine medication in an office or medical clinic to people who have taken two or more antidepressant medications in the past without success. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation stimulates nerve cells within the brain using magnetic waves.
Depression is often very limiting and can affect you on a personal and professional level. If you are unable to control symptoms using regular means, you must meet with a mental health professional to discuss other possible treatments.