Only one-third of patients with major depression achieve remission
after trying one antidepressant. When the first medication doesn't
adequately relieve symptoms, next-step options include adding a new
drug to the first or switching to another drug. With time and
persistence, nearly seven in 10 adult patients with major
depression eventually find a treatment that works.
Of course, that also means that the remaining one-third of patients
with major depression cannot achieve remission even after trying
multiple options. Experts are hunting for ways to understand the
cause of persistent symptoms. In recent years, one theory in
particular has gained traction — that many people with
hard-to-treat major depression actually suffer from bipolar
disorder. However, a paper suggests otherwise, and the findings
provide new insights into the nature of treatment-resistant
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