There are three modern types of treatment options for mentally ill patients namely drug therapy, brain stimulation therapy, and psychotherapy. However, over 60 percent of people with mild or severe mental illnesses do not receive any form of treatment (Steinman, 2009). The reasons are that most treatment options are inadequate, the rates of mental illnesses have stagnated over the years, physicians have limited training, resources, and experience required to convince mentally ill patients to follow a treatment option. The reason that most mentally ill patients hesitate before getting help is that there is limited information on these conditions, in particular on the negative implications of treatments that mentally ill patients use to control mental disorders (Steinman, 2009). The primary focus in this essay is to discuss the impact of different treatment options and therapies and their critiques.
Psychiatrists and doctors prescribe a broad range of highly efficient psychoactive drugs to their patients depending on the type of disorder that they have. Psychiatric medication cannot cure mental illness, but they significantly improve the symptoms of the mental disorder (Berke, 2012). To improve the effectiveness of psychiatric medication, it is important for the psychiatrist to combine drug therapy with other forms of treatment such as psychotherapy. The effectiveness of psychiatric medication varies across different patients because the appropriate medication depends on a particular situation and how an individual’s body responds to drugs (McHugh et.al, 2013). There are four classes of psychiatric medication: antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers.
Critique to Drug Therapy
There is no medical evidence that any of the four classes of psychiatric drugs works by partially reversing an underlying process that is responsible for producing the symptoms of a mental illness. With these drugs, long-term studies show no proof of effectiveness and instead they produce adverse long-term effects and chronic brain impairment. Psychiatric drugs cause permanent damage to the brain and only have a placebo effect when consumed in a low dosage enough for the toxic effects of the drug not to be pronounced (Leucht, et.al, 2013). In reality, psychiatric drugs reduce the mental functioning of the patient and do not add to anything, which makes some of the patients feeling worse than before.
More often than not, if a patient is getting any effect from the use of a psychiatric drug, it is a disabling effect. Psychiatric drugs fall outside the usual meaning of the word medication because they do not help the patient and have the potential to cause harm to the patient and no psychiatric drug cures mental illness. Some people believe that the concept of a mentally ill individual being stabilized on medication is a myth by pharmaceutical companies that seek to make supernormal profits and media, which portrays mentally ill people as violent once they quit their medication. In reality, the mentally ill people on psychiatric drugs are not stabilized by medication but instead they are disabled by drugs. These drugs seem to work because their sedating effect suppresses violence, irritation, and suicidal behavior but they have been known to be neurotoxic and cytotoxic, which accounts for the temporary and permanent damage they cause to the body. More specifically, antipsychotic drugs can cause impairments to every system in the body. Testimonials of psychiatric patients in involuntary treatment feel miserable and feel the urgency to quit taking the drugs. Laws that compel patients to take drugs that harm their health while falsely believing that they treat an illness forces the patient to change outwardly expressed action to avoid punishment (Levin & Chisholm, 2015). However, this is not health care but health care quackery by psychiatrists, policy makers, and pharmaceuticals.
The psychiatry practice has harmful drugs but no right medication. Psychiatric drugs such as mood stabilizers and antidepressants are useful as sleeping pills, but in reality, they block real sleep that is usually vital in the dream phase. All forms of SSRI, TCA, MAOIs suppress rapid eye movement which consequently causes disruption of sleep continuity. Deprivation of sleep causes people to go crazy very quickly because they are more susceptible to hallucinations. Psychiatric drugs appear to induce sleep, but instead, they produce a dreamless unconscious state, which is not sleeping. Psychiatric medication creates a disease instead of curing one. Deprivation of REM sleep causes the patients to become aggressive, violent (Steinman, 2009). They tend to become more instinctually driven. Research on psychoactive substances indicates that long term use causes chronic insomnia.
Secondly, psychiatric drug toxicity has been known to lead to neurological, cardiac, a neuroleptic malignant syndrome related deaths. The effect of these drugs on REM sleep explains why they induce violence, suicide, homicide, and impulsivity. Antidepressants also impair activity within the frontal lobes, which act as the centers of personality, executive functioning, and impulse control. Patients taking serotonergic drugs tend to suffer from the apathy syndrome after two months of initiation or with an increase in dosage. Apathy syndrome manifests itself in delayed behavior among the patients characterize by diminished motivation, disinhibited actions, apathy and the flat effect. Antidepressants have been known to spur psychiatric symptoms such as paranoia, panic attack, mania, hallucinations, and obsessive ruminations. Rather that correctly identifying psychiatric drugs as the problem, suicide and violence of people under medication have increased the demand to keep them on their medication; a medicine which is thought of as the cure but in reality is the problem.
Lithium, a mood stabilizer, is said to treat manic depressive disorder whose only rationale for use is that it causes a mildly depressed, standard lethargic feeling. However, some patients have reported that use of lithium promotes a sense of unhappiness and despondency. Health care professionals say that it causes kidney damage over long periods of use. Patients who use lithium are 30 times more likely to die. Finally, lithium is given as treatment for a supposed mentally illness for which there is minimal biological evidence.
Doctors who prescribe minor tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanan say that they panic suppressing and calming effects similar to sleeping pills. Benzodiazepines cause sorrow and despair, do not cure anything and are simply mind disabling drugs. Xanan remains the most profitable mental drug because its therapeutic dosage is high enough to be addictive. The withdrawal anxiety keeps the patients hooked for life since attempts to quit taking Xanan causes anxiety problems greater than the one the patient started with. When Xanan is used collaboratively with other prescription drugs and alcohol, it can cause death. Misuse of Xanan cannot be addressed by FDA since it lacks a mechanism that reins in drugs that cause more harm than do good (Miklowitz, et.al, 2014). Use of tranquilizers causes the very symptoms that the drug is required to ameliorate.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity is a mental illness that no doctor or psychiatrist has shown to exist in a biological sense which makes its diagnosis subjective. More so, there is no evidence that short term or long term improvement in academic performance and cognitive capabilities in those that take medication for ADHD. Medication for ADHD has harmful because it causes mania, psychosis, suicide, and cardiovascular complications. Newer forms of neuroleptics, also known as major tranquilizers, cause movement disorders previously believed to manifest in a larger degree than older forms of the drug. They cause misery rather than tranquility because they reduce the patient’s ability to think or act. These drugs only stop the behavior or thinking that the psychiatrist wants to stop which consequently disables good aspects of the patient’s personality as much as the bad. A permanent side effect of antipsychotics, chemical lobotomy, is analogous to those of basic surgical procedures.
Antipsychotic drugs are commonly used and involuntary administered to mentally healthy old people in nursing homes in the United States. Half of the antipsychotics used in these homes cannot be accounted for by diagnosis of the patient. Nursing homes administer antipsychotics as a way of pacifying unruly patient. Consider the case where a senior man complains because he is strapped in a wheelchair, which prevents him from walking with his cane, or he is strapped in bed to keep him from falling in bed, which forces him to defecate in bed. In both scenarios, the two older adults are physical challenges and pose no danger to anyone. After they complained, the nursing staff responded by administering antipsychotics which mentally disabled them and made hard for them to complain (Campanelli, 2012).
Despite the many unsubstantiated claims and theories, most psychiatrists have no knowledge of how the mental drugs they prescribe work biologically since the exact mechanism of these drugs remains unknown. None of the psychiatric drugs have the specificity that is claimed for them and are used to treat a broad range of mental illnesses which makes it difficult not to conclude that any and every psychiatric drug can address any supposed mental problem. The reason that psychiatric drugs are categorized is salesmanship and not science. More so, psychopharmacology is a trial and error process guided only by the symptoms where a candidate is given different medication until he finds one that works. Modern pharmacology proves that psychiatrists have no real conception of what they are trying to fix or how the drugs are working in the patient’s body. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
There are no legitimate uses of psychiatric drugs. I believe that an adult has every right to use whatever drug they want. However, use of mental illness drugs by psychiatrists is an indication that the profession cannot regulate itself and that bodies such as the FDA have failed to protect the public. The public would be better off if all psychotropic drugs were eliminated from the market because the doctors cannot handle them and their availability has proven to do more harm than good.
Brain Stimulation Therapies
There are many types of brain stimulation therapy namely electroconvulsive therapy, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation (Berke, 2012).
- Electroconvulsive therapy
In electroconvulsive therapy, electrodes are attached to the head while the patient is sedated. A series of electric shocks are delivered to the patient to induce a seizure. Electroconvulsive therapy has shown tremendous improvement among patients with severe depression. However, these patients experience temporary memory loss (Berke, 2012). Contrary to how the treatment option has been portrayed in the media, electroconvulsive therapy is safer because it has fewer side effects compared to drug therapy.
ECT causes headaches and muscle aches to patients after the procedure. Some patients become distressed and may be frightened during the recovery process. However, these symptoms for most patients after few hours of treatment with the help of nurses who administer pain killers (Liu et.al, 2014). ECT is known to cause temporary memory loss and confusion after the procedure. ECT causes contraction of the patient’s jaws, which may damage his tongue, lips, and teeth in cases where the patient has dentures or bridges. Long-term memory problems are likely from a series of ECT procedures conducted for an extended period (Liu et.al, 2014). A few patients may complain about personality changes after the ECT procedures which implies that they have lost skills or traits they had before therapy.
- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation
TMS is a non-invasive procedure that involves placing a coil on the scalp that generates magnetic fields for few seconds in the treatment of depression and other brain disorders. This process is repeated in the course of a twenty minutes session. The magnetic field stimulates the brain to alleviate mental illness that has antidepressant medication has failed to cure. TMS has a few side effects such as headaches, discomfort in the area of stimulation, light-headedness and spasm of the facial muscles. In rare cases, patients under TMS experience mania especially for bipolar patients, hearing loss and seizures (Bersani et.al, 2013). However, a doctor cannot use TMS for patients with medical conditions such as brain tumors or CSF shunts.
- Vagus nerve stimulation
VNS is a procedure that uses electrical impulses to stimulate brain centers that regulate motivation, sleep, mood, and appetite. VNS is used for the treatment of recurring and chronic depression and bipolar mental disorder. VNS acts as a pacemaker for the brain because it delivers electrical impulses to the brain at regular intervals. Unlike TMS, the doctor surgically implants a VNS device in the upper chest and connects it to the vagus nerve (Berke, 2012) Studies indicate that VNS has improved the quality of life and relapse rates for depressive episodes of 30 percent patients with chronic depression and type II bipolar. However, rapid cycling bipolar, schizophrenia, acute suicidal behavior, and severe personality disorders exclude some patients from receiving VNS. Mentally ill patients with progressive neurological disorders, previous brain injury, lung problems, vasovagal syncope, heart arrhythmias, and sleep apnea do not qualify for VNS therapy (Liu et.al, 2014). Patients who fail to respond to psychotherapy and drugs are the only ones allowed to use brain stimulation therapies as a last resort. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is a therapy that involves creating a supportive relationship between the psychiatrist and the patient. An accepting and empathetic environment helps the patient to identify sources of problems and develop alternatives to solve them. Emotional insight helps the person with the mental disorder to change his behavior and attitude and live a more satisfying life. However, in cases where the patient has chronic mental illness, psychotherapy is not sufficient and requires drug and brain stimulating therapies (Steinman, 2009). There are six types of psychotherapy namely psychoanalysis, supportive psychotherapy, cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and interpersonal therapy.
Supportive psychotherapy entails developing a supportive environment that allows a personal with a mental disorder to express his emotions that help with problem-solving. However, this form of therapy receives petite time and resources in the professional training curriculum which leaves a significant number of professionals on the fundamental process and nature of supportive psychotherapy. Psychoanalysis is a form of psychotherapy where the patient attempts to say whatever comes to mind (Miklowitz et.al, 2014). This information helps to understand patterns of behavior. Behavioral and cognitive therapy identifies distortions in thinking and how they affect the patient’s their daily lives. However, these forms of psychotherapy do not provide solutions to the patient and must be combined with drug therapy or supportive psychotherapy. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
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