When Your Treatment Isn’t Working:What to Do When Nothing Seems to Help

You take medication to ease the symptoms of your condition,but it is not improving. This is a common case for people starting treatment for depression.


Most patients that have just received their diagnosis are prescribed SSRIs, the typical medication prescribed for this condition. And it doesn’t work for everyone. “For example, in the first level of the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) trial, only about 30% of patients were in remission following up to 12 weeks of therapy with the selective serotonin receptor inhibitor (SSRI) citalopram “(www.medscape.org/viewarticle/574817_2). This means only about a third of people being prescribed something such as Zoloft were getting relief from their symptoms.

So what do you do if your meds aren’t helping?

Tell your doctor

It may go without saying, but let your doctor know that you’re still depressed. People who have trouble with a particular medicine tend to think that maybe they won’t feel any relief at all from taking it at all. It can be very discouraging to find out what you thought would help does not.

But take note that you will often you have to give different ones a try in order to find the right one for you. Each anti-depressant has different effects on the brain. It’s worth it, however.

Tricylic, or cylic, anti-depressants affect both serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the brain.”Cyclic antidepressants may be a good option for some people. In certain cases, they relieve depression when other treatments have failed”(www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/antidepressants/art-20046983). A med in this category was prescribed to me when my SSRI ceased to be effective for me. For me, it was even more effctive than the Zoloft I’d been prescribed previously.

So if your current medicine isn’t working, try asking to try one from a different category of antidepressants.

Participate in therapy 

Therapy is essentially a meeting with a counselor who will teach you new coping skills and/or engage you in activities that will change how your mind functions.If medicine is not allowing you to function as it should, therapy should be your focus.

Therapy treats depression differently than medicine does. Rather than affecting hormone levels, therapy affects your actual thought processes.

“Drugs had a quicker impact on symptoms than talk therapy, but it often took trial and error to find a drug that worked without undesirable side effects. “(www.webmd.com/depression/news/20040907/drug-vs-talk-therapy-for-depression#2)This shows that therapy works well without having to go through the process of searching for the right medicine.

In the end, depression treatment is not necessarily a straight-forward or quick process. You may feel like your disorder will not improve, but it is crucial to continue taking steps to treat it. The work is worth it in the end.

Feel free to ask any relating questions below:)

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