Mental Health Treatments Have Come a Long Way

2009-10-05 13:00

The week of October 4-10 is national mental health awareness week. As we embark on local screenings, removing stigma, and looking at treatment options, it is a good time to reflect that.

The early decades of the 20th century had little understanding of the treatment of mental diseases. Until then, people with psychoses were usually locked away in insane asylums, receiving only limited custodial care and no social support. There were no effective therapeutic options.

In 1936, the first Lobotomy was performed. It was considered psychosurgery which was to have to “bad” parts of the brain removed. In 1945 In 1945 Electrotherapy (ECT) which was applying electric current to the brain was first used in American hospitals to treat mental illnesses. In the 60’s the first conventional antipsychotic drug, chlorpromazine, antipsychotic drugs, such as haloperidol, and lithium surfaces as psychosurgery and ECT makes a quick exit.

Today, mental health agencies are trying to focus some techniques. These techniques can be attainable because many consumers can affordable them and many more doctors are recognizing them.

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Some agencies focused more on nutrition and giving sound nutritional advice as part of the treatment for mental health. According to a report Feeding Minds, produced by the Mental Health Foundation they did a study and surveyed 200 people and 88% found that changing their diet improved their mental health.

Agencies are also looking into techniques such as stress reduction and relaxation such as yoga. Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine have found that practicing yoga may elevate brain gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels, the brain's primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. The findings suggest that the practice of yoga be explored as a possible treatment for depression and anxiety, disorders associated with low GABA levels.


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