Note: The information given on this web site is meant to help you to understand how and why drugs, and other treatments, are used to treat mental disorders.
Identification of symptoms and advice on appropriate treatments and side effects must be carried out by a mental health professional. Self -treatment and medication can be very dangerous.
Not all mental disorders are serious or long lasting - many are mild and short-term. Most ment
all disorders can be treated effectively.
Therapy - a course of treatment aimed at changing the way a person thinks, feels or behaves.
Therapy is used to try to reduce mental distress or make their behaviour more socially acceptable.
Psychologists have developed many different therapies depending on what they believe to be the causes of various disorders.
Beliefs about 'madness', 'abnormal' or unacceptable behaviour have changed through the ages. Treatments have been shaped by the beliefs of the time. From religious visions, witchcraft, lunacy and possession by spirits, to unconscious processes in the mind, neurological and genetic explanations.
It is difficult to identify causes of mental illnesses - there are no simple answers, often there are complex interactions between different factors - the search for the most appropriate and effective treatments goes on.
Appropriate means which therapies are suitable for various different types of disorder.
Effectiveness means how well a therapy works.
There are four psychological approaches used in treating illnesses:
- Biological - therapies of this type include psychosurgery, ECT and drug therapy.
- Behavioural- therapies of this type include token economy, flooding and aversion therapy.
- Cognitive-behavioural (CBT) - therapies of this type include rational emotive therapy.
- Psychodynamic therapy - therapies of this type include psychodrama and psychoanalysis.