Do You Struggle with Treatment-Resistant Depression?
Statistics show around 17 million adults in the United States have at least one episode of depression every year. Although the condition is highly treatable, some people don’t respond to medication or traditional therapies. They have what doctors call treatment-resistant depression (TRD). If you think you or a loved one has TRD, take our treatment-resistant depression test to find out.
What Is Treatment-Resistant Depression?
More than half of individuals with depression don’t respond to antidepressants. Patients with hard-to-treat depression include those with varying degrees of the disorder, and every individual responds to treatment in unique ways. A diagnosis usually requires the completion of one or two full regimens of antidepressants without a full remission or significant relief of symptoms.
In 2012, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) published a journal article that listed five strategies for dealing with TRD.
- Optimizing medication by extending the length of treatment or adjusting the dose
- Switching to another antidepressant when the first doesn’t work
- Augmenting treatment with therapies or drugs not usually used to treat depression
- Combining antidepressants for more effective treatment
- Introducing somatic therapies like vagus nerve stimulation or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
While it may be difficult to relieve the symptoms of hard-to-treat depression, most people find relief with the right combination of therapies. The key to successful treatment is finding the ones that work.
What Is Is Treatment-Resistant Depression Associated With?
Episodes for TRD usually accompany major depressive disorder, but they may also occur during the depressed phase of bipolar disorder. Over 30% of bipolar patients who receive treatment fail to experience a lasting remission of depressive symptoms.
Depression patients with chronic pain, thyroid disease, eating or sleep disorders, and substance abuse are at higher risk for TRD.
TRD patients risk twice the chance of hospitalization, and their hospital bills are over six times higher than the average for depressed patients who aren’t resistant to treatment. Around 1 in 3 depressed patients have feelings of sadness, sleep problems, lack of energy, or thoughts or death that don’t respond to medication.
Four Facts That Offer Hope
Researchers say they need to do more studies, but they may have new ideas that help them understand and manage TRD. Here’s what they’ve learned that offers new hope:
- Age, gender, and health may play a role in TRD.
- Depression may result from unknown factors that complicate treatment.
- There are more strategies than ever for treating TRD.
- A growing volume of research is shedding new light on hard-to-treat depression.
What Is TMS?
TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, is an FDA-approved, non-invasive medical procedure that uses a magnetic coil to send electrical impulses to nerve cells in regions of the brain that affect mood. The therapy involves daily treatments lasting 18 minutes daily for 6 to 8 weeks.
Some people report positive results within a few sessions, and others feel benefits after several weeks. Symptom relief lasts an average of a little over one year. The process can be repeated if symptoms come back.
During treatment, you sit in a comfortable chair in a peaceful setting. The most common side effect is a headache, but headaches are usually mild and go away quickly. You can take over-the-counter medication if you need it.
Most insurance companies pay for the procedure, and we can make appointments convenient for your personal schedule. At Pulse TMS, we offer Deep TMS, a process that sends magnetic impulses deeper into brain cells than other TMS treatments. You’ll get one of the fastest and most effective TMS therapies available.
TMS and Other Disorders
Depression is a disorder that often occurs with other mental and physical conditions, making both conditions harder to manage. TMS can be an important part of managing disorders that co-occur with hard-to-treat depression or in treating conditions that occur alone. It is being used to treat some of the disorders below. Research is being done to test its effectiveness on some of the others:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Chronic depression
- Chronic pain
- Eating disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Ringing in the ears
- Sleep disorders
- Traumatic brain injury
If you or a loved one took our treatment-resistant depression test and think you are a candidate for TMS, we can help. Contact us today to request a free depression treatment consultation.