I have untreatable depression. What else can I do?
Q: I’m wondering if any of you therapists have heard of a case like mine. I have been severely, suicidally depressed for over two years. During that time I have been in weekly therapy and tried many so-called antidepressants” and “mood stabilizers” prescribed by the four psychiatrists I’ve seen. These drugs had absolutely no effect on my mood. They include Celexa Effexor, Remeron, Zoloft, Lamictal, Wellbutrin, Anafranil, Buspar, and Seroquel. (In addition, I have various benzos for anxiety and sleep). I have also been in an out-patient CBT-oriented program (6 hrs a day, 3 days a week). Last June I was hospitalized in the psych ward for a week. Nothing helps me. I’ve gone through the mental health system and it has provided no help. Every day is a nightmare, a living hell. I try to sleep as much as possible since it’s the only time I am not in agony. Because therapy, medication, and hospitalization do not work as advertised I seem to have used all my options except for one. I’m thinking I’ll soon have to use that option, since all the others have failed. I am very angry at the mental health profession for assuring me that medication and therapy would ease my depression and then finding it to be not so.
A: In answer to your first question, I have worked with some clients who have similar issues to what you describe. I’m sorry things have not worked for you and you are still suffering so much. I would suggest doing a search on our site (and others) for terms such as chronic depression or untreatable depression to see what has been written so far. I understand how frustrating it is to be doing all the right things and not feeling like you are getting anywhere. Aside from traditional mental health services, there is a huge and growing world of alternative and complementary medicines out there. If you have not tried any of these you may want to look into things such as acupuncture, naturopathy, ayurvedic, Healing Touch, EMDR, hypnosis, energy psychology, etc. Many people find success with alternative treatments and some find that it is most helpful to use them in adjunct to traditional medicine. Explore your options and stay up to date on the latest research so you don’t feel like a victim of the system. I’m also wondering why you’ve had four psychiatrists in two years. I agree that you should change providers if you don’t feel comfortable or that you are getting the care you need, but you also need to stick with someone long enough for them to get to know you and track your progress. I genuinely hope you begin feeling better soon. Just don’t give up. Something someday will help and your life is worth it to keep trying. Good luck.
Counts, H. (2007). I have untreatable depression. What else can I do?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/05/06/i-have-untreatable-depression-what-else-can-i-do/