HI Jamie,

Nice to hear from you. This is an interesting question.

I suspect that if you used the word "untreatable" with a group of psychiatrists, you would end up with a discussion of what that word actually means. They would also have differing definitions of what it means to say that depression has been "treated."

What I always say to clients is that treating mental illness is a process. It takes time, sometimes two steps forward, one step back, along the way. This has certainly been my experience with depression. Getting to the best treatment regimen is a process.

You might at some point consider seeking a second opinion, even just to provide additional reassurance that you and your doctor have considered all the options. This might be something you could do together.

I would have suggested seeing if you can work with a psychotherapist. Medication and therapy in combination can be powerful. Therapy can help you to learn new ways of coping with your symptoms of depression, to gain some additional perspective, to see if there areas in your life where you might want to consider creating some changes.

If you don't have insurance, I encourage you to explore community mental health resources in your area. I know options are limited these days, but you never know what you might be able to get connected with. You might also check into support groups in your area. www.nami.org lists support groups.

Stay in touch with us. Don't go through this alone!


Answered By Answered by Dr GaryCA
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LoriJeanH May 5, 2013 at 10:01 am   

Hi Jamie,

I'm Lori, also with MDD, and I'm new here. Your sentence, "I have been fighting for 7 long years" compelled me to comment.

As Dr. Gary suggested, a 2nd or 3rd or 4th opinion with different perspectives wouldn't hurt. I'm currently in "deep" therapy with an amazing psychiatrist, after my meds provider was kind enough to not only recommend for me, but took the effort to pull some strings to get me in for a consult. After decades of med concoctions, several doctors & counselors' worth of private and group therapies, my current psychiatrist is the best match EVER. With him, I finally feel like I'm making progress.

If insurance (or lack of) is an issue, consider researching what mental health resources are available where you live that might have sliding scale fees or even free counsel.

Clicking with the right person can make a world of difference. This is something I wish I had realized years and years ago, even though I may not have been as ready to work on myself as I am now.

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