Treatment Resistant Depression

Research data by the National Center for Biotechnology show that many patients initially prescribed antidepressant medication do not report a timely remission of their depression. Studies have shown that only 33% of those diagnosed with major depression get better with the initial antidepressant medication. Another 30% achieve depression relief after taking a combination of different medications, or through a combination of medicines and cognitive behavioral therapy.  The final roughly 30% of patients do not respond to numerous treatment attempts and may have treatment resistant depression (TRD).

Depression by the Numbers

Clinical depression affects more than 15 million adults in the U.S.  It is being predicted that in the years to come depression will become the second most common illness in the world. For those 30% that do not respond to various treatment options, an experienced psychiatrist may find them to have treatment resistant depression – the diagnosis that is one of the most challenging conditions a psychiatrist may face.

What is Treatment Resistant Depression?

The answer is often hard for mental health professionals to explain or agree upon. Some questions you may ask yourself before calling to set up an appointment with a local psychiatrist experienced in TRD follow:

  • Has your depression treatment / medications failed to make you feel better?
  • Do you feel your treatment has helped with the depression but you still do not feel like your old self?
  • Have you found that your medication’s side effects have been hard to handle?

If you said “yes” to any of the above questions get a specialist involved to develop a treatment plan that “fits” you. Whether or not you have treatment resistant depression, it is important to talk with your mental health professional to examine how your life can become a joy that feels worth living.

Living with Undiagnosed TRD

Depression treatments do not always work. Those with undiagnosed treatment resistant depression may become disheartened when their treatment plan keeps changing but no positive results are seen.  Living with TRD can leave one feeling hopeless, discouraged, and even demoralized. Months and years can go by without finding any relief for your depression. It can take time to work through, but an experienced psychiatrist can help.

Finding the Right Doctor Key to Success

Primary care doctors do treat depression and prescribe 60% to 65% of antidepressants in the U.S.  If you have not had success with the medications prescribed for your depression or think you may have treatment resistant depression it is time to see a TRD specialist.

Call the office for a confidential assessment. Evening and weekend appointments are available for your convenience.

About Darvin Hege

Dr. Darvin Hege, MD, PC, is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is an Emory Hospital residency trained psychiatrist who has been practicing psychiatry for more than 25 years. He maintains over 50 hours of AMA certified education each year to stay informed of advances in psychiatry.

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