Antidepressants have revolutionized depression treatment. But these medications are only effective for some. Are there alternative treatments for patients who don’t respond to antidepressants?
Antidepressants were first prescribed in the 1950s and have completely changed the way healthcare providers treat depression. (1) Antidepressants have helped catapult scientists’ understanding of the mechanisms that cause depressive symptoms and have provided symptom relief to millions of people worldwide.
But what if you’re one of the millions of people who have not seen improvement while taking antidepressants? Today, scientists and doctors alike recognize that a significant number of people are not responding to antidepressants.
Antidepressants Relieve Symptoms, But Not for Everyone
Antidepressants are considered the first line of treatment for depression. This is because they have been proven to relieve depressive symptoms, especially for individuals with severe depression. (2) However, sometimes, the first antidepressant will not relieve symptoms of depression. For this reason, physicians recommend trying different antidepressants. There are multiple types of antidepressants — each one works by using different mechanisms to relieve depressive symptoms. For example, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) work by increasing levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and behavior) in the brain, while tricyclic antidepressants work …