Depression symptoms are most often treated with antidepressant medications. It is believed that antidepressant medications work by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. These changes have a positive effect on mood and reducing feelings of depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, treating major depression is sometimes more complicated and requires more than antidepressants.
Although antidepressants can be effective for many patients, they do not work for everybody. This condition is sometimes referred to as treatment resistant depression, or drug resistant depression.
For these patients, alternative treatments for depression are available. These depression therapies have proven to work in some people that do not receive benefit from antidepressants and/or cannot tolerate the side effects caused by them. These treatments include: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).