Rethinking treatment-resistant depression (TRD) to quasi-tenacious depression (QTD)

Shokouh Arjmand, Rodrigo Grassi-Oliveira, Gregers Wegener*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


With almost one-third of patients with major depression not adequately responsive to treatments, the management of treatment-resistant depression (TRD) has continued to be challenging. Recently, an essential step was taken to replace TRD with difficult-to-treat depression (DTD), pointing to some drawbacks associated with this terminology and identifying addressable barriers. In line with the DTD concept, we discuss why terming this population of patients as TRD could be semantically and clinically misleading. We then suggest replacing TRD with quasi-tenacious depression (QTD), a model and terminology that are derived from a potentially measurable outcome, the tenacity index (TI). QTD predicts that in theory remission is achievable by providing suitable treatments at hand. QTD states that every patient with major depression (even those who respond well) has some degree of tenacity that needs to be overcome by the use of proper treatment modalities. Ergo, in patients with a higher TI, due to the dearth of available armamentaria, one might suffice to achieve a partial resolution of symptoms balanced with an optimal quality of life. However, QTD calls for an incessant pursuit of novel treatments and the identification of contributing factors leading to high TI. On a track toward personalized psychiatry, and in harmony with DTD, QTD embraces all key barriers leading to a failure to treatment response and tries to provide a measurable entity for a better clinical decision while conveying a dynamic positive outlook of the disorder for both patients and health care providers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Treatment resistant depression
  • treatment-resistant depression
  • quasi-tenacious depression
  • tenacity index
  • Difficult-to-treat depression
  • Depressive Disorder, Treatment-Resistant/drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Depression
  • Depressive Disorder, Major/therapy


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