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How to Manage Treatment-Resistant Depression


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Depression is a serious condition that may cause a continuous low mood, hopelessness, and disinterest. Many people take recommended steps to receive help for depression, such as talking to a professional and taking prescribed antidepressants. Yet, their symptoms continue to persist and may even worsen over time. Doctors refer to this type of depression as treatment-resistant depression or refractory depression. In this article we will be discussing managing treatment resistant depression.

Managing treatment resistant depression

A doctor may diagnose treatment-resistant depression after someone tried one or more types of antidepressant medications but did not see consistent improvement. In these cases, the individual may wonder what they can do to manage their depression. Fortunately, many approaches have improved the condition and the lives of those living with it. We will explore a few of the best treatment methods below.

1. Antidepressants

Antidepressants are typically the first line of treatment for moderate to severe depression. They work to decrease or eliminate the symptoms of depression so that individuals can enjoy their lives and carry out regular everyday activities. 

There are different classes of antidepressants, each acting upon different types of neurotransmitters. If an antidepressant medication from one class did not have a positive effect, another group may prove more beneficial. 

A doctor may also consider increasing the dosage of a particular antidepressant, combining two types of antidepressants, or augmenting antidepressants with other medications. Individuals must be patient during this time, as finding the right prescription may take some time.

2. Medications

Medication can be a critical part of managing treatment-resistant depression. Doctors may prescribe medication alongside an antidepressant to ensure that the individual receives ample support for all their symptoms. 

These medications may include antipsychotics, dopamine agonists, mood stabilizers, or anti-anxieties. Additionally, suppose the individual is suffering from physical health symptoms or issues. In that case, doctors may also consider hormone therapies, nutritional supplements, or painkillers.

3. Psychological Counseling 

Psychological counseling can be beneficial in managing depression. It can provide individuals with a safe space to discuss their feelings, thoughts, and experiences. Then, they can work with trusted professionals to understand emotions and behaviors, develop healthier coping methods, and handle challenges in everyday life. If they prefer a group setting, they may hear from a mental health professional and others with similar experiences. 

Over time, individuals can learn personal ways to manage their treatment-resistant depression. They may understand some of the underlying causes of their depression or triggers of specific symptoms.

4. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Antidepressants, medications, and therapy may prove ineffective for many individuals with treatment-resistant depression. Yet, there are plenty of advanced treatment options available that have been successful. One of the most sought-after procedures is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).

TMS is a promising treatment option for severe or chronic depression, treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It is a non-invasive treatment using an electromagnetic coil. The device sends electromagnetic waves to stimulate different regions in your brain, specifically those contributing to mood disorders such as depression. Individuals typically see decreased symptoms over numerous sessions.

5. A Healthy Routine 

It is essential for those suffering from treatment-resistant depression to develop healthy routines. It will improve their quality of life, help them manage symptoms, and cope with different thoughts and emotions. 

A professional can work with individuals work on a wellness routine that considers the following:

  1. Nutrition: Individuals may have trouble receiving adequate food and nutrition when they have depression. A nutritionist can incorporate healthy foods and supplements into their diet. 

  2. Sleep: Inadequate sleep may contribute to severe symptoms of depression. Doctors can work to discover why someone may not be sleeping correctly and treat it accordingly.

  3. Regular Exercise: Exercise is key to boosting mood, improving well-being, and enhancing health. Individuals may also enjoy calming or healing movements like dance or meditation.

  4. Stress Management: Stress can intensify depression, so it is beneficial to learn to manage or cope with stress healthily. Individuals may discover stress management methods with a qualified mental health practitioner.

  5. Medical Care: Excellent medical care is a necessity for treatment-resistant depression. If primary antidepressants or medications fail, seeking a second opinion for diagnosis and treatment may be worthwhile.

Managing Treatment Resistant Depression with BrainHealth Solutions 

If you are suffering from treatment-resistant depression, you deserve the best medical and psychiatric care, advanced techniques, and effective treatments. At BrainHealth Solutions, we want to help you manage your condition successfully and experience much-needed relief. Give us a call or send us an email to learn more!

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