Treatment-Resistant Depression

Mental Health & Wellness Clinics located in Aurora, Louisville and Westminster, CO

Treatment-Resistant Depression

About Treatment-Resistant Depression

Up to 2.8 million American adults have treatment-resistant depression, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. At Axis Integrated Mental Health, with offices in Louisville and Aurora, Colorado, the team of mental health specialists provides high-quality care for treatment-resistant depression. They take an integrative approach that may include counseling (talk therapy), prescription medication, ketamine infusions, or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Call the nearest Axis Integrated Mental Health office to schedule an in-person or telehealth treatment-resistant depression consultation, or book your appointment online today. 

Treatment-Resistant Depression Q&A

What is treatment-resistant depression?

Treatment-resistant depression is a mental health condition that occurs when you take two antidepressant medications, and they still aren’t enough to manage your symptoms. It’s a type of major depressive disorder (MDD) or clinical depression.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most common medication used to treat depression. Although these drugs are typically very effective, they don’t work for everyone. Thankfully, treatment-resistant depression can be managed in other ways.

What are the symptoms of treatment-resistant depression?

Treatment-resistant depression symptoms include:

  • Depressive symptoms that last months
  • Anhedonia (reduced ability to experience pleasure)
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal ideation and/or thoughts of self-harm
  • A high number of lifetime depressive episodes

Because treatment-resistant depression presents similar symptoms to COVID depression and clinical depression, getting a professional’s opinion is crucial. 

How is treatment-resistant depression diagnosed?

The Axis Integrated Mental Health team diagnoses treatment-resistant depression if you have depressive symptoms and they don’t improve after taking at least two types of first-line antidepressant medications. Examples of these medications are bupropion and mirtazapine.

Most people need to take an antidepressant for six to eight weeks to experience a noticeable improvement in their symptoms. If your symptoms don’t get better after taking at least two antidepressant medications, your provider discusses other options.

How is depression treated without antidepressants?

Alternatives to antidepressants for treatment-resistant depression include therapy, ketamine infusions, other prescription medications, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). 


Therapy, or talk therapy, involves working one-on-one with a qualified mental health professional. During therapy, you discuss your feelings and thoughts openly. Your provider helps you work through challenging emotions and teaches you how to develop healthy coping behavior.

Prescription medication

The FDA has approved several antipsychotic drugs for the management of treatment-resistant depression, including brexpiprazole (Rexulti®) and olanzapine (Zyprexa®). 


Spravato® is a ketamine derivative administered via nasal spray. When combined with oral antidepressants, it may provide lasting relief. 

The team also offers ketamine infusion therapy. Ketamine infusions are administered intravenously and reduce the severity of your depressive symptoms. Often, ketamine is combined with talk therapy, allowing you to work through the causes of your depression.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

TMS uses targeted magnetic pulses to activate the regions of your brain responsible for emotions and mood regulation. Increasing the electrical activity in these areas helps relieve depressive symptoms, improving your outlook and mood in general.

The Axis Integrated Mental Health team monitors your symptoms at regular checkups. They adjust your treatment plan as needed to ensure positive results.

Call the nearest Axis Integrated Mental Health office to schedule a treatment-resistant depression consultation, or book your appointment online today.