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Depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses are worldwide to be thought of diseases that are “just in the head”. Even if that is true the patients know they are sick and they need help by taking medication or just talking to someone (depending on the severity). Though some medicines and anti-depressants have side effects, going untreated can be dangerous, and there are alternatives for treatment.
Mental illnesses are among the most common conditions affecting health today: One in five American adults suffers a diagnosable mental illness in any six month period. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, though, some 90 % of these people will improve or recover if they get treatment. Psychiatrists and other physicians treating mental illnesses have a wide variety of treatments available today to help them help their patients. Most often, psychiatrists will work with a new patient to construct a treatment plan that includes both psychotherapy and psychiatric medication. These medications--combined with other treatments such as individual psychotherapy, group therapy, and behavioral therapy or self-help groups--help millions each year to return to normal, productive lives in his or her communities, living at home with loved ones and, continuing his or her work. (HealthyPlace, 2009)
Psychiatric researchers believe that people suffering from many mental illnesses have imbalances in the way his or her brain metabolizes certain chemicals, called neurotransmitters. Because neurotransmitters are the messengers the nerve cells use to communicate with one another, these imbalances may result in the emotional, physical and intellectual problems that mentally ill people suffer. New knowledge about how the brain functions has permitted psychiatric researchers to develop medications which can alter the way in which the brain produces stores and releases these neurotransmitter chemicals, alleviating the symptoms of the illness. (HealthyPlace, 2009)
There is an uprising use of anti-depressants in teenagers, and adolescence. Some believe the use of these medications is dangerous to the younger people but there are far worse penalties such as suicide. Suicide is a major concern even though it is hard to tell who will in fact kill themselves or who is just severely depressed. There are characteristics that identify those that are at risk; social isolation, stressful life events such as the loss of a loved one, financial problems or job loss. Depression, bipolar disorder and acute schizophrenic episodes are also major risk factors, and suicide is often associated with alcohol, or substance abuse. A history of previous attempts or a family member who has committed suicide should ring alarm bells. More women attempt suicide, but men are significantly more likely to be successful.
There are some side effects of the medicines doctors prescribe, but the good outweighs the bad. In this table are the common medications used for depression.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors Other Antidepressants Tricyclic Antidepressants
Fluoxetine Buprorion Desipramine
Sertraline Trazadon Imapramine
Paroxetine Venlafaxine Amitriptyline
Most side effects only last a few weeks then go away. Side effects of anti depressants are; nausea, increased appetite, or weight gain, sexual side effects, fatigue, insomnia, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, agitation, restlessness, and anxiety; all which are treatable symptoms and are just a little hurdle when it comes to the recovery of depression. (MayoClinic, 2009) All anti depressants have warning labels. If he or she follow the instructions and be cautious of the warning signs they are safe.
It is important that children have a thorough evaluation before he or she starts taking an antidepressant. This evaluation should include: A physical exam and a psychiatric exam by a psychiatrist, pediatrician or family doctor. The psychiatric evaluation should include: A detailed review of any potential risk factors a child may have that may make it more likely for him or her to engage in self-harm, an assessment of whether the child may have other mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders, attention-deficit or hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder, and an evaluation of whether there's a family history of mental illnesses or, suicide. (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2009)
If one is still unsure about using prescription medication to treat mental illnesses there are alternatives such as herbal medication. The potential for treatment as well as increasing use of herbal medicine and psychiatric disorders patients wanting to use alternative treatment options have lead to the need for psychiatrists to become familiar with the effects of herbal medicines. Mental health professionals not only need to know what the herbs are but their contraindications, side effects and risks. Four of the most popular herbs, St. John’s wort, kava, ginkgo biloba, and valerian are commonly used for as alternative herbal treatment for psychiatric symptoms. (Alternative Medicine, 2008)
Kava is typically used to reduce anxiety, relieve stress or tension and treat insomnia. Kavapyrones, the active natural ingredient in kava, has been proven to relax muscles, is an anticonvulsant, protects against strychnine poisoning, and reduces limbic system excitability. When it comes to herbal medicine and psychiatric disorders, kava certainly comes to the rescue. South Pacific Islanders have used a mildly psychoactive beverage made from the rhizome of the kava plant for centuries to help them relax or induce a sense of calmness. Kava should not be used by anyone taking CNS depressants or alcohol. (Alternative Medicine, 2008)
St. Johns wort is the second most commonly purchased herbal product in the United States with at least 17% of the American population using some type of product that has St. John’s wort in it. St. John’s wort is a very popular choice for an herbal medicine and psychiatric disorders treatment. Although St. John’s wort is commonly used to treat depression it has other useful properties as well such as being used as a topical treatment for nerve or muscle pain, skin inflammation, wounds ,and burns. The chemical make-up of the plant is the reason St. John’s wort has been successful in supporting depression related medical conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and post menstrual symptoms. St. John’s wort has also been used as an alternative herbal treatment for patients with hysteria or nervous depression. (Alternative Medicine, 2008)
If one feels he or she are addicted to a medication there is also a way out for that too. A person may have a variety of reasons for wanting to stop taking psychiatric medication. He or she may want to be free of the dulling effect that most psychiatric drugs cause or of more serious side effects that he or she may be suffering. The person may be worried about the long-term effects of the drugs, including tardive dyskinesia (involuntary muscle movements) or, they might just want to make a major change in his or her life by freeing themselves from a dependence on powerful medication.
There are some basic principles that a person has to follow to stop taking psychiatric drugs safely. Do not try to stop taking psychiatric drugs without support, if at all possible, find a supportive doctor to supervise the process, never stop taking psychiatric drugs abruptly -- going "cold turkey" can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms, can be life-threatening. The best way to stop is to reduce the dosage gradually; by withdrawing gradually and carefully it may be possible to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from sedatives and minor tranquilizers can be extremely dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms do not necessarily start immediately; they may begin anywhere from 8 hours to several days after quitting. The time it takes for withdrawal symptoms to set in and their severity varies from person to person, and depends on how long one has been taking the drugs, his or her dosage, ones overall health, his or her body weight, and so on.
When one wants to stop remember it will not be easy. One has to support another in these ways: Respect the person's right to make their own choices. Be informed about the process of withdrawing from psychiatric drugs. Be familiar with the withdrawal symptoms so that they can stay clearheaded and not panic. Realize that people who disapprove of what the person is doing may want to interfere with the process. Be prepared for that. Remind the person to get enough sleep. Make sure they get enough to eat. Help them prepare food, as they may be too nervous to cook on their own. Help them get in touch with other people who will support them. Do not be misled by the withdrawal symptoms, thinking that they are signs of one’s "illness." Be patient; it takes time to withdraw from the drugs and adjust to life without them. (Safe Harbor, 2005).
The treatments, medication, and alternatives for treating psychiatric patients have been covered. If not treated correctly the illnesses can be very dangerous to the patients and other people around them. Making the world aware of the realness of the situation will help the patients and their families so everyone can lead a normal life as possible.
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I'll read this over and get back to you in a bit.
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First of all, are you to follow APA or MLA guidelines?
Do. Not. Plagiarize. -
If you are not clear on what plagiarism is and how NOT to plagiarize from a source, read through this entire webpage from Capital Community College in Connecticut:
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All of it. Including the examples.