Some people have depression that doesn’t respond adequately to treatment. Unfortunately, no tests are available to help identify which medication will work in each individual patient, so treatment often involves trial and error.
There are multiple reasons an antidepressant medication may not be providing relief. For example, many patients are taking medications for other health problems, and this may interfere with the antidepressant’s effectiveness-as does consuming alcohol or using recreational drugs. In some cases, a patient’s depression may be so severe that routine treatments will not work, and only a combination of several medications, along with psychotherapy, has a chance of working.
The good news is that at least 80 percent of people will eventually find something that works for them. It is important to try different modalities of treatment-that is, don’t just rely on psychotherapy alone or medication alone, but combine them, and add other treatments such as light therapy.
It is also very important to stay connected with other people and engage in social activities. While it is discouraging when a treatment doesn’t work, it’s important to continue working with a psychiatrist to find relief by persisting in the search for treatments that may work.