Refractory Depression — Treatment, Definition, Severe

Depression in itself is a complicated disorder, but there may be further complications that can make treating the condition a lot more challenging. Diagnosing the malady in the first place can be complex. If symptoms are typically mental, it may be hard for the person being affected or the people around them to realize anything wrong. Physical symptoms which are commonly seen with the disorder may be mistaken for other common diseases as symptoms are rather generic. Some physical symptoms include weakness, body pain (muscle aches, headaches and other body pains), digestive symptoms and others. These physical symptoms may be easily confused with the flu or other common disease.

Once the disorder has been recognized, effects can usually be brought under control by the use of conventional treatments such as antidepressants. There seems to be a lot of debate regarding the effects of these drugs but for the most part, they are commonly used to treat the disorder quite successfully irrespective of side effects. There are some situations however, where individuals fail to respond to antidepressants. This can complicate the situation as antidepressants provide instant relief while the condition is further evaluated. This is known as refractory depression. According to the refractory depression definition, it occurs when a person does not show improvement after being under administration with two different antidepressant medications.

In most cases, while improvement is not shown at least minimal changes may occur even though it is insufficient. In some patients, it may not even have this minimal effect and may even result in several side effects. This is known as severe refractory depression. If this occurs, antidepressants medication should be completely avoided and not even reconsidered in future. Fortunately, there are several refractory depression treatments available. Conventional therapies include electroconvulsive therapy and magnetic therapy.

Electroconvulsive therapy can produce unpleasant side effects and can be very intrusive. For this reason, it is only used in extreme cases of the disorder. Magnetic therapy is usually a good substitute for antidepressants. It rarely produces any serious side effects and has been used effective as an alternative. Another option is to seek other alternative, natural treatments outside of medical jurisdiction. While they are not conventional treatments, they have shown promising results to treat patients with refractive depression.

Refractive depression can make treating the disorder a lot more inconvenient and difficult but it can certainly be done.

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