Treatment-Resistant Depression? There Is Hope


When you are first diagnosed with depression, your doctor will typically prescribe some common antidepressants, such as SSRIs. You might need to try a few different medications or adjust your dose a few times — the hope being that, before long, you'll find the perfect medication and dose to ease your symptoms. But sometimes, even after a few months of trying, you don't get much if any relief from these meds. At this point, your doctor may make the determination that you have "treatment-resistant depression."

As the term suggests, treatment resistant depression is not easy to treat! However, all hope is not lost. While conventional medications aren't working for your depression, there are several alternative therapies that show promise for people in your situation. Here are three of them.

TMS Therapy

TMS stands for transcutaneous magnetic stimulation. This treatment sounds weird, and the device used to administer it looks weird. But all that the device really does is create a magnetic field around your head. This is meant to alter your brain waves in a way that eases depression symptoms. Side effects are mild and include headaches and fatigue. Often, patients feel much better after just one TMS session, and a couple of sessions can leave you feeling right as rain.

Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine is a drug that has long been used as an anesthetic. More recently, people have begun using it as a treatment for depression. You don't take it every day like you would SSRI pills. Rather, you will have one medically supervised ketamine treatment session at a specialized clinic. The medication will cause you to hallucinate, which can be a little strange for many patients. However, after the treatment is over, many patients experience profound relief from their depression. You may need follow-up treatments every few months or every few years, depending on how you respond.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation

The vagus nerve is a nerve that runs through your neck. It affects your moods, and stimulating it can sometimes help manage treatment-resistant depression. The most common way to stimulate the vagus nerve is by implanting a small electrode near the nerve. This electrode can then be activated to stimulate the nerve, which can give you relief from depression symptoms as needed. This treatment is more invasive than the others on the list, so it is usually only used as a last resort.

While treatment-resistant depression does not respond well to SSRIs, it can respond to other treatments. Don't lose hope; talk to a doctor from a clinic like Advance Wellness Centre about these alternatives.


22 March 2022

Counseling: It's for Everyone

Who is counseling for? That's a bit of a trick question because the true answer is that counseling is for everyone. Whether you're struggling with depression, trying to form deeper relationships, wondering how to get through the day with less anxiety, or grieving the loss of a pet, talking to a counselor can be a hug help. You may not be in one of these situations right now, but at some point in your life, you probably will be. So keep the benefits of counseling in mind. We invite you to read more about counseling on this website. Here, you will find all sorts of articles on the topic!