There are many types of depression: major depressive disorder, bipolar depression, seasonal affective disorder, and postpartum depression — just to name a few. All of these can profoundly affect your life, but nothing’s quite as frustrating as when you’re going to therapy and taking medication but not feeling any better. You may be dealing with treatment-resistant depression, a term that describes depression that isn’t responding well to traditional treatments.
Dr. Hadi Estakhri knows how frustrating treatment-resistant depression can be, but he also knows that there’s hope for those with this condition.
Read on to learn four things we know about treatment-resistant depression and how we can help you here at Allied Psychiatry & Mental Health in Newport Beach, California.
1. Underlying health conditions can increase your risk
Risk factors for depression include genetics, experiencing trauma or grief, and experiencing major life changes. Underlying health conditions, such as anxiety and chronic pain, have the potential to make you more prone to being resistant to treatment with antidepressants.
Other risk factors include inflammatory system activation, abnormal brain (neural) activity, neurotransmitter dysfunction, and experiencing intense trauma.
2. Treatment-resistant depression affects your quality of life
Depression — regardless of which type you have — can quickly affect your quality of life. Symptoms, including fatigue, loss of passion for your hobbies, and changes in eating and sleeping habits, can make it harder to get through your daily tasks, perform well at work, or enjoy social activities. Treatment-resistant depression is particularly hard to deal with on your own.
According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, there are 8.9 million adults with medication-managed depression and 2.8 million with treatment-resistant depression. After comparing both groups, researchers found that those with treatment-resistant depression experienced more unemployment (related to depression) and higher health care costs.
3. Treatment-resistant depression isn’t impossible to treat
Treatment-resistant depression is harder to treat, but it’s not impossible to treat. Here at Allied Psychiatry & Mental Health, Dr. Estakhri offers ketamine therapy in two forms for those with treatment-resistant depression:
- Intravenous infusion
- Spravato™, an FDA-cleared nasal spray
Ketamine therapy helps alleviate your depression symptoms by stimulating a different part of your brain (than what antidepressants stimulate). This is why this treatment can provide relief even when your antidepressants don’t: They aren’t targeting the same parts of your brain.
4. Lifestyle factors can help you manage your symptoms
Although lifestyle modifications alone won’t alleviate treatment-resistant depression, they do go a long way in helping you feel better. In addition to ketamine therapy, the following lifestyle modifications can complement your treatment:
- Regular exercise
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Joining a support group
- Following all guidance from Dr. Estakhri as thoroughly as possible
- Practicing good sleep hygiene
Treatment-resistant depression isn’t easy to pinpoint at first. That’s because it can take weeks for antidepressants to start to work.
You might suspect you have treatment-resistant depression if:
- You’ve already tried multiple medications and doses
- You’ve already adopted new lifestyle habits
- Your symptoms are getting worse
- You feel a little better … but not enough
Ready to explore your options for treatment-resistant depression? Book an appointment with Dr. Estakhri today by calling our office at 949-945-0927 or using our online scheduler.