Exploring Treatment-Resistant Depression Options: The Benefits of Residential Care

Feeling unable to overcome major depression can greatly wear down your resolve. But by understanding the challenges of treatment-resistant depression (such as finding the right medication, attending therapy, and making the right lifestyle changes), you’ll come to understand the benefits of a residential treatment setting. Using the tools offered by this path to recovery, you’ll have a clear view of the hope and potential that lie ahead.

After the third round of medication, Michael started to feel hopeless. If medication wasn’t working, what else could he do? He began missing my therapy sessions, seeing his psychiatrist less often, and falling back into old habits that he vowed to move past. His depression lingered and he grew tired of the struggle. He began to fear that things would never get better.

Treatment-resistant depression can be discouraging. It’s hard enough to realize that you need help and take your first steps toward getting treatment. Trying out different medications and therapies, only to realize the symptoms of your major depression don’t seem to be improving at all, can make an already difficult situation feel hopeless. It may even seem like a sign that it’s time to accept depression as a part of who you are, something you will have to live with as-is for the rest of your life. But this is an illusion created by your depression, not the truth.

Although for many, coping with depression can be a lifelong journey, it doesn’t have to be one that is governed by helplessness or despair. Just because relief seems out of reach doesn’t mean that it is—hope exists in the form of long-term, residential treatment. In the right facility and with the right team, a treatment plan will be designed to adapt and evolve along with you, helping you overcome each struggle that you face. Compared to a doctor’s visit or weekly therapy, these programs are much more suited to deal with complex mental health issues that require multi-faceted solutions.

The Challenges of Treatment-Resistant Depression


To understand why residential programs are necessary, you need to recognize the unique challenges posed by treatment-resistant depression.

  • Finding the right medication. While selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly used for treating depression, they’re not all equal. Medications that work well for one person might not work at all for others. In fact, many depression patients will have to cycle through three or four different medication plans before they find one that manages all of their symptoms effectively.
  • Attending therapy. While both conventional and holistic therapies can be very beneficial for mental health treatment programs, attending each session within your standard schedule is tough. You might find yourself missing some and ultimately building your treatment plan around your life, instead of the other way around. One of the main contributing factors to treatment-resistant depression is non-adherence, whether that’s missing integrative therapies or not taking medication regularly.
  • Making the right lifestyle changes. Between medication plans and weekly therapy, you probably feel like you have your hands full making changes. So when it comes to lifestyle changes necessary for recovery, including altering your diet, sleep schedule, or exercise routine, it’s easy to lose focus. But even the smallest steps forward are important, and ignoring them can play a big role in holding you back from a full recovery.

Recovery is a long road, one that will shed light on the positivity waiting for you ahead. But it requires a lot of dedication and focus, which can be tough to handle when you have other things that also need your time. For this reason, treatment-resistant depression is best addressed in a setting that provides you with the time and tools necessary to thoroughly address your depression.

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The Benefits of a Residential Treatment Setting


By entering a residential treatment setting, you are entering an environment designed to help you move forward with recovery. Through psychological testing and various therapies, you will be connected with a team that can determine the best medication and therapy sessions for your unique challenge. As you walk your path to recovery, these treatment modalities will adapt along with you to ensure that your evolving needs are always being addressed.

In addition to these more traditional facets of treatment, you will learn invaluable coping skills through holistic therapies such as acupuncture, as well as physical fitness programs. The answers to your treatment-resistant depression will become clear once you have the opportunity to focus all of your energy toward moving past it. It is this combination of a non-judgmental environment, adaptive treatment modalities, and professional and peer support networks that makes treatment so crucial for treatment-resistant depression.

A comprehensive residential treatment program might seem like a big step, and it is. But if you feel that the options you’ve tried so far aren’t working, it might be just what you need to move past your major depression. In the long run, it will help you lead a happier, healthier life and provide you with invaluable experience that will shed light on the positivity that feels so out of reach.

Finally, Michael was referred to a local residential treatment facility by a friend. There, he was able to connect with a professional medical team who worked with him to uncover the most effective combination of psychological and medical therapies for treating his depression. In group therapy, meanwhile, he bonded with others who had faced similar struggles, some of whom were already well on their way to recovery. For the first time in years, he was reminded of what it felt like to feel real hope.

Bridges to Recovery offers comprehensive residential treatment for people struggling with mental health disorders as well as co-occurring substance abuse and eating disorders. Contact us to learn more about our renowned Los Angeles and San Diego-based programs and how we can help you or your loved one start on the path to lasting wellness.