8 Tips To Manage Treatment-Resistant Depression

Treatment-resistant depression is also called chronic depression or recurring depression. It's a type of depression that does not respond to two or more treatments which are provided by your doctor or therapist. If you are now suffering from this right now, below are the tips to manage your condition.

1. Talk to your doctor about alternative treatments

Alternative treatments are not only safe and effective, but they can help you to avoid the side effects of prescription medications. Some of these alternative treatments include yoga and meditation, massage, acupuncture and exercise.

Medication is often the first form of treatment for depression, but it's not always effective in people with severe cases or those who have failed to respond to other medications. Alternative therapies can help you manage your symptoms without the side effects associated with antidepressants and other drugs prescribed by doctors.

2.  Consider psychotherapy

The decision to consider psychotherapy as a treatment for treatment-resistant depression is not an easy one. You may be concerned that your insurance provider will not cover the cost of therapy, or you may feel uncomfortable with the idea of talking about your feelings with a stranger.

But if you are suffering from treatment-resistant depression, the benefits of psychotherapy can outweigh these concerns.

Psychotherapy is one form of talk therapy where you meet with a licensed mental health professional, such as those at Counselling Kingston, on a regular basis (usually once or twice a week) to discuss your feelings and experiences.

3. Use supplements that have been shown to help with depression, like SAMe and St. John's wort

Supplements are an easy way to add nutrients that may be missing in your diet, or that may be deficient because of medication side effects. They can also help improve mood and energy levels—which is important when you're struggling with depression. 

SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies that helps produce serotonin and melatonin (hormones involved in mood). SAMe has been shown to relieve symptoms of depression, including anxiety and fatigue.

Another supplement is, St John's wort which has long been used as an herbal remedy for depression because of its ability to raise serotonin levels in the brain without causing the side effects associated with prescription antidepressants like Prozac or Zoloft.

4. Try acceptance and commitment therapy 

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an alternative treatment approach that aims to help people learn how to accept their feelings and thoughts more fully, while also committing themselves to positive actions they want to take.

ACT is not just about managing feelings — it's about changing your life. With both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), ACT teaches you how to pay attention to thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and behaviors without getting caught up in them or judging them as good or bad. 

This means that you're no longer controlled by your thoughts. Instead, they're just another part of your experience. In other words, you're learning how to let go of certain thoughts so that they don't take over your mind as much as before. This can help lower anxiety levels and improve moods overall — which can make it easier for you to manage depression symptoms like hopelessness or sadness on an ongoing basis.

5. Be open-minded about treatment options

It's not uncommon for people with depression to have tried more than one type of treatment without success. It can be difficult to try new things when you feel like nothing has worked before, but there are many reasons why it's important to keep an open mind about different types of treatments.

For example, some treatments work better for some people than others. If you've tried a medication or therapy that didn't help, it doesn't mean that all medications or therapies will be ineffective for you. There are many different types of treatments available and it's possible that one may provide relief when another didn't work as well. Many of these things are due to the actions of your endocannabinoid system. Everything from thinking to nutrition can affect this system and why something will work and something else won't is often due to the balance or disbalance of this system. It can be affected by exercise, nutrition, vitamins, nootropics, and more. Check out their article for an in-depth description of this entire system

Additionally, new research often means that there are new developments in treating mental illness every day. Even if something has been tried before without success, there's always a chance that new research will improve how well it works in the future.

6.  Exercise regularly

It’s well-known that exercise can help people with depression. But if you are suffering from treatment-resistant depression, it can be especially beneficial.

Exercise can boost serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain. These chemicals are responsible for controlling mood, sleep and appetite. Low levels of these neurotransmitters are often linked to depression.

It can also reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels. This hormone increases when you’re under pressure or feel threatened and is thought to contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety.

On top of that, exercise improves self-esteem by increasing dopamine production. Dopamine triggers feelings of pleasure in the brain, making us feel good about ourselves and boosting self-confidence.

It is also important to note that exercise works best when you do it regularly — at least three times a week for 30 minutes at a time — and keep at it over time. It may take up to 12 weeks before you start feeling better from regular exercise alone. But once the effects kick in, they tend to last longer than antidepressant medications do (6-12 months).

7. Ask your doctor about electroconvulsive therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a treatment for severe, treatment-resistant depression. It's a type of electrical brain stimulation that has been shown to be effective in some people who haven't responded to other treatments.

The procedure involves passing electricity through the brain, which stimulates nerve cells and changes their activity. ECT is usually done under general anesthesia, so you're asleep and don't feel any pain during the procedure.

ECT can be effective in helping people with severe depression who haven't responded to other treatments. But it's not a cure for depression, and it may have side effects including memory loss or confusion after treatment. Your doctor will explain these risks before you decide whether ECT is right for you.

8. Don't stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor first!

Stopping taking your medication without consulting your doctor is the worst thing you can do to yourself. This is because you could risk an overdose or other harmful side effects if you stop taking your medication too soon. Some medications are designed to build up in your system over time, so stopping early could lead to dangerous levels of the drug in your body. The same applies if you skip doses or don't take them at regular times.

In addition to that, you might experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking antidepressants after using them for several weeks or months. Withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, headaches and fatigue — all of which can make depression worse than ever.

Worst is that stopping treatment abruptly could cause relapse even if your depression has been under control with medication. So, don't stop taking your antidepressants without talking to your doctor first. Your doctor will help you gradually reduce the dosage over time so that your body will adjust to the lower levels of medication. This way, any unpleasant side effects are less likely to occur and your mood should remain stable during withdrawal.

Good treatment for depression is remarkably effective. At the same time, though, not every person with depression responds well to one particular antidepressant or to any antidepressant at all. Treatment-resistant depression is a very real complication, and it can lead to serious consequences for those who have this condition. Fortunately, with determination and persistence, treatment-resistant depression can be effectively managed.  We hope that you could use the tips above when you are currently experiencing this condition.

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