Your depression has cast a long shadow over your life for far too long and you just want your life back. You’ve tried medications and the results just weren’t there, leaving you trapped inside a cloud of sadness and hopelessness.
It's alled treatment-resistant (or treatment-refractory) depression, and we want you to know that there are other treatment options. Dr. Diana Ghelber and the team here at Institute for Advanced Psychiatry specialize in treatment-resistant depression and we’ve helped many of our patients find the release they so desperately need, and deserve.
Defining treatment-resistant depression
To call brain chemistry complicated is a gross understatement. Each person’s brain has its own, unique brain chemistry, and finding the key to unlock or change this chemistry can be difficult since there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
In most cases, the frontline treatment for major depressive disorder is antidepressant medications. Under normal circumstances, these medications take some time to achieve the desired results — weeks, and even months.
Should the medications work, that's great news. In many cases, however, we need to adjust the dosing to find the right amount for your depression. Should the medication still prove insufficient, we try another type of antidepressant.
If, after two different antidepressant treatments, your symptoms haven’t improved by more than 50%, we now label the disorder as treatment-resistant.
Another way in which we consider depression to be treatment-resistant is if you respond poorly to the medications and the side effects simply aren’t worth continuing the medication.
To give you an idea about just how common treatment-refractory depression is, one study reports that the estimated 12-month prevalence of medication-treated major depressive disorder in the United States was 8.9 million adults, and 2.8 million of these people (30.9%) had treatment-resistant depression.
There are other options
If you qualify as having treatment-resistant depression, we want to assure you that your treatment options don’t end there.
At our practice, we offer two innovative treatments that successfully treat depression outside of antidepressant medications. These options include:
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
With TMS, we deliver quick pulses of magnetic energy into certain regions of your brain, targeting the brain cells that are responsible for releasing mood-regulating neurotransmitters.
Ketamine infusion therapy
With antidepressants, our goal is to increase the levels of certain chemical messengers in your brain that influence your moods (serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine). With ketamine infusion therapy, we’re able to increase the levels of glutamate, which is the most prevalent chemical messenger in your brain. As a result, ketamine works more quickly and effectively to alter your brain chemistry.
We’ve had great success with both of these treatments, helping patients to find much-needed relief from the symptoms of depression.
If you want to explore your options for treatment-resistant depression further, please contact one of our locations in Granbury or Fort Worth, Texas, to set up an appointment.