What If Antidepressant Medications Are Not Effective?

Question: What if antidepressant medications are not effective?

Answer: Well, there are many options. Starting with the antidepressants, there are many different kinds of antidepressants that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for prescription in the Untied States, so that if one particular antidepressant doesn't work, or if a second one doesn't work, there really are many options. And there are also more advanced augmentation strategies where one antidepressant might be combined with another medication to give the first medication a boost.

The other thing is that there are a number of psychological treatments that have been shown to be effective for depression, and they work in a different way than the medications. But, these are the talking therapies, particularly a form of therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy, which has been shown to be particularly effective in depression.

And there also, in some cases where people don't respond to any antidepressants, electroconvulsive therapy -- also known as ECT -- is a highly effective treatment for depression.

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