What Is Treatment-Resistant Depression?
We’ve all heard of depression before, but very few are aware of treatment-resistant depression. When someone is diagnosed with depression, they will go through various treatments to find a way to limit, prevent, or reverse the symptoms. Anyone suffering from treatment-resistant depression will fail to see much in the way of results from their treatments.
This can be extremely frustrating to someone already going through a lot in life. Struggling with depression is one thing, but knowing the treatments being prescribed by doctors are not having a positive effect on your situation can make matters worse.
Nearly 40% of people with depression will only experience partial improvement in symptoms when taking an antidepressant. Furthermore, nearly 10% of people with depression will experience no improvement at all. Since antidepressants aren’t for everyone, researchers are constantly on the lookout for new treatments.
While a majority of people will have plenty of questions surrounding treatment-resistant depression, we’re hoping to clear some of those questions up with answers. Continue reading below to find out the various causes of treatment-resistant depression, how it’s diagnosed, treatments for it, and how Methyl-Life can help.
Causes of Treatment-Resistant Depression
As we mentioned above, researchers aren’t exactly sure what causes treatment-resistant depression in patients. There’s still a lot to learn about it, but there are various theories as to how this mental illness forms.
One of the leading theories surrounding this disorder is an incorrect diagnosis from the start. Some researchers believe that the patient might have been struggling with a different illness with similar symptoms. This would explain why the antidepressants and other treatments aren’t working. In fact, the antidepressants could have a negative effect on the body.
Another theory is centered around genetic variations and mutations that could affect how the body breaks down antidepressants, making them less effective. One study concluded that a majority of people who weren’t responding to antidepressants also had low levels of folate in the brain and spinal cord.
Some researchers believe the low levels of folate are due to a mutation of the MTHFR gene, which is responsible for converting folate into its active form -- methylfolate. The mutation can cause your body to struggle to make this conversion, leading to various health concerns.
How Is Treatment-Resistant Depression Diagnosed & Treated
Before they move forward with a diagnosis, they will want to analyze a few things regarding the treatments received up to that point. The doctors will try to figure out whether the antidepressants were taken correctly, whether there’s anything causing the depression to worsen, whether they gave the antidepressants enough time to work, and whether the patient received the correct diagnosis in the first place.