Harvard Mental Health Letter

New insights into treatment-resistant depression

Psychotic symptoms, rather than unrecognized bipolar disorder, may underlie poor response.

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.

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