Imagine suffering from depression and trying different medications, treatments and therapies and nothing seems to really help alleviate your symptoms? This is what it is like for those with TRD.
TRD or Treatment Resistant Depression, also known as Intractable Depression, is defined as a depression which does not respond to two or more of the standard anti-depressant medications prescribed to treat depression and taken for an adequate duration of usually 6-8 weeks.
Depression affects about 3 in every 100 people in the UK, and TRD accounts for approximately 50% of those diagnosed with depression, so this is a condition which cannot be ignored. If you have TRD, the battle to conquer depression can seem a long and complicated one, as there is no one treatment which functions on its own successfully to treat TRD.
Before pursuing any treatment, it is important to first establish that TRD is actually the correct diagnosis and that there are not other conditions at play, where depression may be just one of a number of symptoms such as bipolar disorder, eating disorders or an anxiety disorder. Thyroid problems and substance abuse can also cause bouts of depression, and some medications used in the treatment of some physical conditions may have depression as a side effect.
Medications normally prescribed to treat depression work very well for most patients. Medications of this type require a number of weeks in order for them to work effectively – a minimum of 6-8 weeks and sometimes as much as 12 weeks. If after a sufficient period of time, there is still no significant response to these medications, then TRD may then be diagnosed.
Sometimes these medications can be more successful in tackling TRD if they are used in conjunction with other treatments and therapies, such as Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) and Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS).
There are some interesting and promising new developments coming to the fore which may eventually come to be accepted as standard treatment for the condition, including the development of new drug treatments, such as high dosage thyroid extract, and the use of existing drug treatments used in conjunction with other therapies. It is hoped that eventually there will be a standard and effective treatment which will help all sufferers of TRD.
Appointments with Dr Winbow are available online via Zoom and can be booked by contacting us.