Q: I have tried almost every antidepressant there is – each of them were used for a long length of time before changing to another – all I managed to do was gain much weight. I have been hospitalized many times in the past year for major depression. Always changing meds and messing up my system. I stopped taking any of it anymore – I do feel better without them but my doctor thinks I should take them regardless. Question is what do you do when medicines don’t work?

A: It is difficult to advise you without more information. I hope you have also tried therapy in addition to medication. There are cases of what we call “treatment resistant depression” that can be severe and chronic. If you feel better without the medication, maybe it is time to give yourself a trial period in which you try some other alternatives. However, if you do this I would suggest monitoring yourself very closely for any indication of a worsening condition and you may even ask friends and family to give you feedback as well. If your symptoms worsen, maybe it would be time to try meds again. However, 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 don’t ever give up on getting better!