Depression is a condition that impacts millions of adults in the United States. Anyone who suffers from depression knows that it's more than just a bout of sadness. It's a medical condition that should be taken seriously.
Thankfully, many people find relief from depression with medication and therapy. But studies show that an estimated one-third of people aren't helped by medication. Furthermore, a case of depression that doesn't respond to two or more antidepressants is generally considered treatment-resistant (TRD).
At least, that's what some experts say.
Others attest that a person must try at least four treatments and/or therapies before depression can be truly considered treatment-resistant. Different insurance providers also have guidelines on how many medications or therapy sessions a person must undergo before they can be defined as having treatment-resistant depression.
Regardless, when you suffer from treatment-resistant depression, the exact definition doesn't matter — but the signs do. If you're experiencing symptoms of depression after treatment (whether one treatment or several), it's a sign you still need help. And the more confident and informed you are about the symptoms of TRD, the more likely you are to seek out other options for relief like TMS Therapy.
Watch out for these five signs that may indicate you are suffering from TRD:
Your Mood Isn't Improving After Several Weeks On A Medication
If you're taking medication for depression and it's not helping, that's a sign you may have TRD. However, it’s essential to give your medication a chance to work. Typically, it can take four to eight weeks to see results and ten to twelve to achieve remission. But if you're still not feeling any better after that time, it may be time to explore other options.
You Have More Frequent And Severe Depression Episodes
If you suffer from depressive episodes more frequently, or if your episodes are becoming more severe, this could indicate that you have TRD.
How can you tell if your depressive episodes are worsening? One way is to keep track of your symptoms using a daily mood tracker. This can help you and your doctor spot patterns and trends in your mood that may indicate a need for a different treatment approach.
You Feel More Anxious
Anxiety is also a symptom for many people with depression, as the two often go hand-in-hand. So if your anxiety is getting worse — or if you're feeling more anxious and depressed — that's a sign your current treatment isn't working as well as it should.
The Side Effects Of Medications Are Impacting The Quality Of Your Life
In some cases, depression medications can, unfortunately, do more harm than good. Side effects from antidepressants often include weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and fatigue. If your medication's side effects make it hard to function in your daily life, overriding any positive changes you may see, it might be time to try another treatment.
Your Depressive Episodes Last Longer
Some people notice that their depressive episodes are lasting longer than usual despite taking medications for depression. However, if symptoms are still lingering or growing more intense, it's a sign to contact your doctor to review your options.
Look Beyond The Next Medication For Relief
The bottom line is that if you don't notice improvements in your mood or feel worse after taking medication for depression after several weeks, it's worth exploring innovative depression treatment options like TMS Therapy.
At Pacific Mind Health, we offer complimentary TMS Therapy consultations to help you understand more about the benefits of TMS Therapy for treatment-resistant depression. So schedule your consultation today, and we'll walk through the process with you to begin your healing journey.