A-Z Teen Health Glossary

What Is Teen Treatment Resistance?

Teen Treatment Resistance refers to teens that have mental illnesses or disorders that are considered hard to treat, or ones in which initial traditional efforts do not show the normal, desired results.  For instance, teens with Resistant Depression may not show much improvement after being prescribed the usual amounts of SSRI medications which, in the majority of teens with Depression, produce relatively quick, positive effects.


Teen Treatment Resistance | Teen Drug Rehab | Paradigm Malibu


What Treatment Resistance Looks Like

There are a number of different ways in which teens might be resistant to treatment.  Some of the factors that can affect the outcome of treatment approaches include:


  • Types of medication
  • Combinations of medications
  • When treatment began (how early on)
  • How long treatment has gone on
  • Co-Occurring disorders
  • Other types of psychotherapy being used, in combination with medication
  • Substance abuse



Residential Treatment for Teen Treatment Resistance

When it comes to treatment resistant teens, there are several very important factors.  It’s important to have as thorough an initial evaluation as possible, to begin treatment as early as possible, and to be persistent in trying to find the most precise treatment possible, in order for the teen to find relief.


This is why personalized teen resistance treatment can be extremely helpful for teens that are resistant.  Many times, when more general, over-reaching treatment is provided based on a disorder or disease, then important aspects of a teen’s specific case of the illness can be overlooked or missed, resulting in ineffective treatment.


At Paradigm, we design a treatment plan for every individual teen and give special attention to the possibility of resistance, as well as other important factors, like co-occurring disorders and family history.  Furthermore, when treating any teen, we’re relentless in our pursuit to find the most effective and successful combination of treatment approaches and medications possible, in order for the teen to succeed in their recovery and in their lives.


It’s also important to note that we understand that seeking treatment can be hard and scary and that it can become very frustrating and discouraging if the first effort doesn’t work.  We want to encourage you that it’s fairly normal for people to need to do some trial-and-error, in order to discover what works best for them.  This might mean trying a variety of medications and treatment approaches.  So if the first attempt wasn’t as successful as you hoped, don’t worry.  It may take a little time, but the great news is, there’s good reason to hope that you’ll be feeling much better, very soon.  And we’re here to take that journey toward wellness with you.




If my teen is treatment resistant, does that mean their disorder is more serious?

There are many different ways in which mental disorders and diseases can be evaluated, but resistance doesn’t necessarily mean severity; it just means it’s different.  In a number of research studies, once a second type of treatment (such as a medication) was prescribed, the teen’s results improved.  Therefore, we encourage you not to be discouraged and certainly not to give up.  Every person is different, so treatment has to be different, too.

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