Treatment-resistant depression can be hard to define.
Some experts define it as depression that hasn’t responded to two different antidepressants from different classes; others define it as depression that doesn’t respond to at least four different types of treatment.
It is important to note that antidepressants are not designed to work immediately. It can take four to eight weeks to see the full effects of using an antidepressant, and even then, the dosage may need to be adjusted.
Treatment-resistant depression is a diagnosis given to individuals who have already been diagnosed with another form of depression. To determine if your depression is treatment-resistant, your therapist or psychiatrist may ask you questions such as:
- Have you been taking your medications?
- Have you been taking any other medications?
- Do you have any other medical conditions that could be impacting your depression?
- Have there been any recent changes to your routine or environment?
- Are there any new stressors in your life?
These questions will help your care team determine if the origin of your resistance to treatment is biochemical, linked to another condition, or related to your environment. This can help your care team come up with a treatment plan.