What If Common Depression Treatments Don't Work?

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Some people may find that their depression treatments are not working and the first thing that I want to ask them is, are you taking your medication regularly as prescribed by your doctor? Some people say that, I'm feeling OK today, I felt like I don't need to take my medication, or I left it at home, or I'm traveling and I forgot to take it with me.

So taking your medication every single day as prescribed by your doctor, at the time that you need to take it. Some people find that there is a lapse of, instead of 24 hours perhaps 36 hours, so trying to be very regular with your medication. Are you taking the right dose? And that is an important reason why people perhaps are not feeling better, people say that I've been taking a dose and when I find out the dose perhaps was a starting dose that was suggested by the primary care doctor, but that was maybe five years and they've stayed on the starting dose of the medication, they have not been optimized to what we call the therapeutic evel of the medication.

Number three, have you been taking it for long enough? So not only is the right dose, but you are taking regularly, but are you also taking for a long period of time? A long period of time in the treatment of depression at least six to eight weeks to have a thorough therapeutic effect. If after that you have not had any response then perhaps consider switching to another medication, that might be helpful.

If switching to another medication perhaps within the same category has not helped, then switch in to another category. And lastly, perhaps you might need what's called adjunct treatments. So we often find that in addition to, for example antidepressant, perhaps a low dose anti-anxiety medication, perhaps a sleep medication, so at this point, having combinations of medication are helpful.

It's also very important to get a very thorough medical evaluation. We find that people who are not responding to treatment of depression may have underlying chronic medical illnesses that are causing it. So for example, diabetes, anaemia, thyroid problems, these are all very three big reasons perhaps even cancer, maybe certain types of brain diseases, brain cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, so there's a variety of medical illnesses which can mask a depression or at least prevent it from getting better.

So if you're not getting better, definitely see a specialist, a psychiatrist, and also get a thorough medical evaluation to make sure that there aren't any medical illnesses that are preventing your depression from getting better.