What Is Treatment-Resistant Depression and How Can Mid City TMS Help?

What Is Treatment-Resistant Depression and How Can Mid City TMS Help?

Celebrities’ candor paired with the evolving body of scientific knowledge have aided in the public’s understanding that depression is a disease, not a choice. If you suffer from depression, you are not alone. According to a study published in Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, unipolar major depressive disorders compose 11% of the global population’s years lived with a disability (YLDs). There are many factors that contribute to long lasting and debilitating impact of depression, but the prevalence of treatment-resistant depression is chief amongst them.

Like any disease, there are treatments that can cure or mitigate the symptoms of depression. However, what happens when standard treatments fail? According to a study published in Depression Research and Treatment, 50-70% of patients with depression resist conventional, psychopharmacological treatment methods. Standard treatment through medications often fail to provide acceptable levels of relief. Instead of settling for unsatisfactory treatment outcomes, we need to employ better strategies such as TMS therapy to achieve exceptional results. 

If you are among those who haven’t received treatment’s promised benefits, do not lose heart. Mid City TMS, your premiere New York TMS center, wants you to know that depression is treatable. If you’ve asked yourself, “What is treatment-resistant depression?”, Mid City TMS is happy to use our knowledge and expertise to explain the clinical definition of treatment-resistant depression, its risk factors, and alternatives when medications fail. 


Treatment-Resistant Depression Defined

Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is generally defined as an episode of major depression that has not improved after at least two trials of different classes of antidepressants at appropriate dosage levels and of adequate duration (at least 4-6 weeks). 

At Mid City TMS, we believe that patients with depression whose symptoms do not reach full remission have not received adequate relief.  If you are still struggling with symptoms such as pervasive sadness, sleep and appetite disturbances, low energy, and poor concentration and difficulty functioning, including performing your daily work, engaging socially, and performing your basic needs, you have not received adequate relief.


Risk Factors for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Given the high percentage of patients with treatment-resistant depression, clinicians have expended considerable time and energy into understanding its risk factors. The most common are:

  • Extended Depressive Episode 

  • Old age

  • Severity of The Depressive Episode
    • Both severe and mild depressive episodes can result in adverse, long-term effects that contribute to MDD patients’ resistance to treatment. Researchers have uncovered an association between severe depression and biological imbalances that most medications are incapable of remedying. In the case of mild depression, clinicians have charted a reduced patient response to viable medications versus placebos.

  • Lack of symptomatic improvement within the first couple of weeks since the start of treatment

  • Comorbid Anxiety and Personality Disorders
    • Anxious symptoms and full anxiety disorders (especially generalized anxiety disorder) are predictors of lower rates of response and remission in patients with depression; personality disorders, especially avoidant and borderline, are negative prognostic factors. 


TMS at Mid City TMS: Your Options When Depression Medications Fail

If you’re among the 50-70% of patients with depression who have received inadequate relief from medication, you still have options. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive, nonconvulsive means of stimulating the parts of your brain that are poorly functioning.

A 2008 study employed brain imaging technology to determine how TMS is able to treat depression, and determined that TMS is able to effectively change the function of the brain’s left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex as well as its and limbic-paralimbic region. To learn more about how TMS works, click here

After performing a systematic review and meta-analysis  of 24 TMS trials which tested the efficacy of active versus sham TMS treatments, Dr. Lam and colleagues determined that TMS is an effective means of relieving treatment-resistant depression.

Depression medications come with a plethora of adverse side effects and fail 50-60% of MDD patients. Alternately, TMS has no long term side effects, is not painful, and produces positive results in about 70% of treatment resistant MDD patients. 

Relieve Treatment Resistant Depression At Mid City TMS

Mid City TMS’ leading psychiatrist, Dr. Bryan Bruno, started our practice after watching his patients receive inadequate relief from traditional treatment methods during his fifteen years of practicing psychiatry in an inpatient psychiatric unit. The FDA approval of TMS in 2008 was exactly the innovative treatment option Dr. Bruno knew his patients needed; it directly addressed the disease instead of masking its symptoms. Dr. Bruno has dedicated his career to providing relief to TRD patients by being an early and ongoing advocate of TMS.

If you’ve been suffering from treatment resistant depression, contact our office. Mid City TMS’ dedicated team is here to help.

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