Harvard Mental Health Letter

Options for treatment-resistant depression

Why electroconvulsive therapy may be the best alternative to medication.

 Although medications and psychotherapy are usually the first treatments offered to patients with major depression, they don't work for everyone. As we reported in August 2008, the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study found that about one-third of patients were unable to achieve full relief of symptoms (remission) even after trying four different strategies.

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