Mental Health Care for Children, Adolescents, and Adults
There are times when an anti-depressant stops working. First of all, what does that mean? It is largely a subjective experience, one that each individual describes differently, but we clinicians can use our skills to evaluate a change in someone's symptoms. For example we may ask about any changes in the intensity or frequency of someone's sadness. And we may also ask about any changes in one's capacity for interest in pleasurable activities. However the conclusion is drawn most patients are asking for help when they feel their anti-depressant stops working! When an anti-depressant stops working it can be called anti-depressant poop-out! It can feel devastating! Techniques such as those taught in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be useful during this time, but what I want to focus on in this blog is anti-depressant augmentation or adding another medication to help the anti-depressant work again. Most importantly, when patients feel their anti-depressant has stopped working, patients should seek help and do not wait until depression worsens to the point of suicidal thoughts.
Scenario two: an anti-depressant doesn't completely help with feelings of sadness or loss of pleasure. Or it doesn't help completely with other related things such as sleep, feelings of guilt, energy, concentration, or appetite. Again, anti-depressant augmentation to the rescue! Don't get me wrong, other things can be done such as switching anti-depressants or adding supplements or alternative remedies, etc., but this blog focuses on augmentation. I'm not one to prescribe in a one-size-fits-all fashion nor am I one to stick to old practices nor am I one to prescribe based on the latest trend. Each one of my decisions is carefully weighed against risks, benefits, and patient preference and situation. So what I'm recommending in this blog is adding an FDA approved medication to the anti-depressant that either stopped working or that is not working completely. I've seen wonderful success with this approach. Like all medications in psychiatry it is not guaranteed and it is not meant for everyone, but I want people to know that they have this as an option. It is a terrific option for those who have experienced this approach's success! So if you feel like your anti-depressant has stopped working or is not working completely then ask about anti-depressant augmentation!
This article is not intended to give medical advice. No one can diagnose your condition from email or other written communications, and communication via our website cannot replace the relationship you have with a physician or another healthcare practitioner.