Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD)
If you’ve been treated for depression but your symptoms haven’t improved, you may have treatment-resistant depression, TRD. Taking an antidepressant or going to psychological counseling (psychotherapy) eases depression symptoms for most people. But with treatment-resistant depression, standard treatments aren’t enough. They may not help much at all, or your symptoms may improve, only to keep coming back.
If your primary care doctor prescribed antidepressants and your depression symptoms continue despite treatment, ask your doctor if he or she can recommend a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions (psychiatrist).
The psychiatrist reviews your medical history and may:
- Ask about life situations that might be contributing to your depression
- Consider your response to treatment, including medications, psychotherapy or other treatments you’ve tried
- Review all of the medications you’re taking, including nonprescription drugs and herbal supplements
- Discuss whether you’re taking your medications as prescribed and following other treatment steps
- Consider physical health conditions that can sometimes cause or worsen depression, such as thyroid disorders, chronic pain or heart problems
- Consider a diagnosis of another mental health condition, such as bipolar disorder, which can cause or worsen depression and may require different treatment; dysthymia, a mild but long-term (chronic) form of depression; or a personality disorder that contributes to the depression not getting better
Treatment-resistant depression symptoms can range from mild to severe and may require trying a number of approaches to identify what helps.