Antidepressants are invaluable aids in the treatment of clinical depression and other mood disorders, but they’re not for everyone. According to the World Journal of Psychiatry, antidepressants don’t improve symptoms in 10–15 percent of people with depression and only partially improve symptoms in 30–40 percent. Also, many people experience side effects from antidepressants that can impact their overall well-being.
On the other hand, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has shown significantly better results when used alongside antidepressants. Patients with severe depression or bipolar depression have seen a success rate of 75-83%, where their symptoms were significantly decreased or even not present at all. But unfortunately, the benefits of ECT don’t last for many patients. Approximately half of all patients receiving ECT experience a return of their depression symptoms within a year. For this reason, doctors often recommend maintenance ECT usually in combination with antidepressant drug therapy.
It is important to understand that mental health treatment plans are not a one-size-fits-all situation. Because of this situation, treatment plans may take longer or require different treatment option combinations to work best for certain patients. It is important for patients to communicate clearly with their provider about how their treatment plan is working. Collaboration between patient and provider can greatly impact the results of a patient’s wellness journey.