If you felt depressed, would you tell your doctor during your next appointment? Most people…
What to Do When Depression Treatments Aren’t Working
Depression treatments such as medications and psychotherapy have come a long way in the past few decades. However, they still don’t always work for everyone. If you are struggling to find a depression treatment that works for you, keep fighting by trying these alternative options.
Try a Different Therapist
Many people assume that psychotherapy is the same no matter where you go. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. While all licensed therapists and counselors are trained in the same evidence-based therapies, there are many different ways to apply those therapies to each individual client.
Also, a great deal of psychotherapy relies on the chemistry between the client and the counselor. You need to be able to trust your counselor and feel as though he or she understands you and is trying to help you. If you’re not sure if your therapist is right for you, try seeing someone else. It may take some time to find someone who is able to apply treatment in an effective way for you.
Schedule a Doctor’s Appointment
Many depression treatments don’t work because they aren’t targeting the root problem. If your depression symptoms are being caused by a medical problem and not a mood or neurochemical problem, then normal depression treatments might not work for you. Depression can be caused by a number of medical conditions including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Heart disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Thyroid problems
Ask your doctor to screen for any illnesses that may be causing your depression symptoms. Similarly, certain medications can cause depression as a side effect. If you take regular medication, ask your doctor if changing your dosage or the type of medication might alleviate your depression symptoms.
Evaluate Your Diet and Lifestyle
Sometimes depression is so persistent because it’s actually the things we do every single day that are causing the symptoms. Talk to a nutritionist or a registered dietician about your daily diet. If you’re not getting the vitamins and nutrients you need to be healthy, this can sometimes affect your moods, and your body may be trying to tell you something. It’s also possible that you have a food intolerance or vitamin deficiency that is causing your symptoms.
If you’ve ruled out any dietary causes for your depression, consider changing your activity levels. Some people have found that increasing their exercise is enough to alleviate some depression symptoms. Try a variety of different exercises such as running, jogging, hiking, organized sports, yoga and group exercise classes to find out what works best for you.
It’s normal to hit a few roadblocks when it comes to finding the best depression treatments for your unique make-up. Don’t give up. Talk to your doctor, nutrition experts and friends who have experienced depression to find out what has worked for other people. Then try whatever you can to beat it. You can conquer depression if you persist.
National Institute of Mental Health. (2016). Depression. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml
National Institute of Mental Health. (2015). Depression: What You Need to Know. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-what-you-need-to-know/index.shtml