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Treatment Resistant Depression

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If your symptoms have continued despite your attempt to cure depression with many treatment modalities, you may have what is called treatment resistant depression.

Usually defined as persisting depression symptoms despite the trial of antidepressants in conjunction with psychotherapy, treatment resistant depression requires a comprehensive look at you depression’s underlying causes, which can indicate other treatment modalities that might be successful.

Remember that environmental stressors such as anxiety from a job, relationship or other life situation, cannot be cured through an antidepressant. If though an examination of your life you find that there are some obvious stressors, it would be helpful to change that circumstance. A psychotherapist, health coach, social worker, support group or friend could help you treat this part of your life that might be contributing to your depression.

Underlying health problems that are not treated with antidepressants may also contribute to an individual’s depression symptoms. Anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and chronic pain are other health challenges that often mimic or add to one’s depression. Also, medications taken to treat other health challenges can sometimes cause or worsen your depression symptoms.

Also, taking the wrong medications (either due to a period of trial-and-error for a new prescription, or due to a wrong diagnosis) can add to the severity of your depression.

Since depression is a multifaceted disease and most individuals have many causes instead of just one, it makes sense that the treatment of depression would need be multifaceted as well. Many holistic health practitioners (some MDs and RNs, NDs, LAC, DC, HOM, RH) will look at your life/environmental factors as well as the chemical levels of neurotransmitters in your brain to help set up a treatment plan. Along with medication (or sometimes without) you might be involved in a body-based treatment modality like exercise, as well as a min-based treatment like meditation.

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