Treatment-resistant or Resisting treatment?

This is turning out to be an adjunct to yesterday’s post. My brain is not cooperating with my attitude, or vise versa, I’m not quite sure which. While doing research on treatment-resistant depression, I’ve found the following information.

From Mayo Clinic

…with treatment-resistant depression, standard treatments aren’t enough. They may not help much at all, or your symptoms may improve, only to keep coming back.

Their suggestions include:

  • Stop drinking or using drugs – check
  • Manage stress – really? Good luck with that one.
  • Sleep well – as soon as I stop laughing at this suggestion, maybe I’ll take a nap.
  • Get regular exercise – OK, I barely have the energy to do everyday tasks and you think I’m going to get off my ass and go into the basement to get on the elliptical?

Wait…is that an attitude problem, or is it actual depression? OK, OK, let’s move on to the next website (which was WebMD, so maybe I’ll try the one after that-sorry WebMD people, I have a small problem with your website but I won’t get into that here).

This is from PsychCentral

These individuals may have treatment-resistant depression or refractory depression. While there’s some debate over the precise definition, treatment-resistant depression is typically thought of as failing to achieve remission after two treatments or two antidepressants, according to George Papakostas, M.D., director of Treatment-Resistant Depression Studies in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.


A variety of genetic, neuroimaging and electrophysiological studies have investigated the underlying causes of treatment-resistant depression. And researchers know one thing for sure: Refractory depression is not the result of one brain region or neurotransmitter system.

Once again, lifestyle changes are suggested. A couple of the other suggestions, which I forgot to mention earlier, are not open to me. I’ve had ECT, which is not something I care to repeat. Another suggestion is Transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), for which I did have a consult. That particular endeavor ended up quite disastrously (the definition of TMS can be found in the same link as the article).

The solutions all seem to be exacerbated by the fact that no mental health professional can seem to agree upon an actual diagnosis. Don’t get me wrong, I love my MH team, but come on, I really don’t want to get back on the medication merry-go-round again.

And here I go back to the bottom line, and my reason for the title of this post. Am I resisting treatment for some odd reason? As I mentioned in this past post, is it just too comfortable to be depressed? It’s certainly not fun for me nor my family. So like I said yesterday, I need to reread my positive posts, put on my big girl panties, and change my attitude…right? That will work, won’t it? I’m starting DBT in a couple weeks, and maybe I can find the energy to get my rear-end downstairs to the elliptical (c’mon, Sheri, how difficult can that be? You don’t even have to leave the house.). As for the ever elusive sleep, well that’s never been an easy one for me. I don’t like zombie drugs like Seroquel or Depakote, so I try to rely on one Klonopin just to shut up my brain.

Like I’ve said ad nauseum, there are so many non-traditional therapies I need to revisit. There are a multitude of options, but I feel like I’m blindly wandering around with my hands outstretched, trying not to fall in to the mire. Anybody got a spare rope?

blindfolded woman

Tagged: alternative therapy, attitude, depression, medications-psychiatric, mental illness, treatment-resistant

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