My Antidepressant Doesn’t Work. What Can My Psychiatrist Do?

Maria has been increasingly depressed for the past few years. She has tried at least four newer antidepressants but so far, she doesn’t seem to respond. Unable to work, she’s now feeling helpless and hopeless. Likewise, her family is discouraged. Frustrated and baffled by Maria’s lack of progress, the family doctor refers her to a psychiatrist. What can the psychiatrist do to help Maria? The psychiatrist has several options in dealing with a treatment-resistant or refractory depression. First, Maria’s psychiatrist can optimize the dose of her antidepressant. Maria has been taking low doses of antidepressants. In spite of her...

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