One common complaint among many depressed patients is that their medication no longer works. The majority of individuals notice that the depression just will not go away with the medication that helped them previously. So what gives?
Well, failure of anti depressants to work on long-term basis has been known for decades. The exact number of people affected by this so called “pooping out” effect is not known, but is said to be quite high – at least 20%-40% of individuals.
This phenomenon where anti depressants fail to wok has not been thoroughly studied but there are a few speculations as to why this may happen.
Most psychiatrists feel that depression is a chronic disease that does get worse with age. Why depression worsens with age is not understood but is felt to be due to depletion of certain neurochemicals in the brain. With age, the depressive episodes also are more frequent and more intense. Often the depression is affected by daily stresses in life and is harder to control
In a few individuals, the reason why anti depressants fail to work all of a sudden is presence of another medical disorder. The most common disorder that can worsen depression is hypothyroidism. If you are on an anti depressant and the medication fails to work, go and get your thyroid hormone levels checked out.
Often the failure of medications to work is because of interaction with other medications. Most individuals who are on anti depressants are on a hodge podge of many different medications, including sleeping pills, sedatives and anti anxiety pills. In many cases, the use of the other depressant drugs or even alcohol has been found to be the reason why anti depressants no longer work.
There are rare cases when the there has been a confusion in the diagnosis. Often some individuals are diagnosed with depression when they actual have manic depression, a disorder where depression is a well-known element.
Whenever an anti depressant fail to work, your health care professional will adjust the dose. Sometimes an additional drug may be added or a completely new class of anti depressant drug may be prescribed.