A novel approach to treating severe depression
Conventional therapies for depression, such as psychotherapy and medications, can occasionally be ineffective. Can medication be the answer?
First, the good news: according to Prof. Mazda Adli, “depression is an easily treatable illness, even if it is persistent.” He is the leader of the Berlin Charité’s Affective Disorders research group.
Therefore, it doesn’t mean that there is nothing that can be done to treat your depression if your doctor mentions that you are “therapy resistant.” When two different antidepressants taken in suitable dosages over a period of four to six weeks have not resulted in improvement, medicine is already discussing treatment-resistant depression.
Mazda Adli states, “It is crucial to emphasize that a disease’s stubbornness does not imply that you cannot be treated. Rather, it just means that you are resistant to treatment.” Persistent behavior is also not uncommon at all. Approximately one-third of depression patients, according to Adli, would not improve after two rounds of drug treatment.
“Throughout the course of the treatment, the patients, their families, and the doctors all need to be very patient and persistent.” Nevertheless, even in cases where the initial medicine and/or psychotherapy attempt have failed, there are numerous approaches to assist individuals suffering from depression.
Depression treatment has a well-defined, step-by-step protocol.
If the tried-and-true treatment approaches for depression do not help, we keep working with a carefully regulated, step-by-step strategy and keep trying until the depression gets better.
The available alternatives for depression medication and therapeutic treatment are outlined in guidelines. These consist of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and electroconvulsive treatment (ECT).
An epileptic seizure is brought on by a short electrical stimulation of the brain during ECT. On the other hand, using rTMS, a magnetic field is used to externally excite nerve cells in specific brain regions.
Both brain stimulation techniques have been tried and tested. Less scientific research, or evidence, supports the use of rTMS for treating depression that is resistant to treatment. Thus far, statutory health insurance companies have exclusively reimbursed ECT.