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Mental Health Treatments Have Come a Long Way


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.

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.

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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.

Study after study has found that physical activity can boost mood You don’t need to run marathons to get a benefit. “It seems like half an hour several times a week may be enough,” Cook says. “More than that may not have a further effect on mood. There seems to be a plateau.”

Study after study has found that physical activity can boost mood. The department of Health suggests exercise can help reduce symptoms of mental health issues. People don’t need to run marathons to get the benefits and walking a half hour several times a week could be enough to help.

As we move forward in the research and study of mental health, more humane treatment options are being offered to people with mental health concerns. Mental health treatments have come a long way from removing parts of the brain to getting in touch with the brain and our feelings.

Materials from Health Care Industry, Pub Med, Psych Central are used in this report.

Written by Tyler Woods Ph.D.
Tucson, Arizona
Exclusive to eMaxHealth