Introduction Mental disorder is an illness of the mind that is characterized by disorganization and confusion in the mind. Mental disorder is by far not realizable early enough, for early realization occurs in very minimal instances. In a survey by Harding, De Arango, Baltazar, Climent, Ibrahim , Ladrido-Ignacio, and Wig (2009), the existence of the ailment cannot be underestimated for of the 1624 patients who needed mental attention in 4 developing countries, 225 cases had psychiatric mobility attributing to 13.
9%. Once realised, there are several ways through which a mental condition could be treated, among them drugs (pharmacological), counselling and psychological treatments (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). This paper will address different issues concerning mental disorders, different types of mental disorders and how they affect an individual, and it will show why pharmacology is so far the best way to treat these disorders. What does Mental Disorder Entail?
According to Marchesi (2008), mental disorder is one of various conditions characterized by distortion of an individual’s normal cerebral, emotional, or behavioural functioning, often induced by social activities, physical activities, how the body functions or the genetic factor or among other factors. Research has it that mental illness is most times caused by a combination of several causes including psychological, biological, genetic and environmental factors. Recovery from a mental illness is never a matter of will or self discipline, for the causes are not depended of personal weaknesses or character.
Treatment of mental illness depends on the type of mental illness the patient is suffering from, the severity of the illness, and the treatment that works best for the patient. According to Whitaker & Cooper (2007), treatment of mental disorders aims at ensuring that psychiatric, medical and social needs are met, more so for such ailments as schizophrenia. Ormel, VonKorff, Ustun, Pini, Korten, and Oldehinkel, (1994) observe that among other treatment team, one has to ensure that the family is there since it is the primary care taker.
Others include a psychiatrist, psychotherapist and a social worker. All these members participate in the following ways in treatment of the sick: • Psychological Therapy-A treatment where the patient is attended by a psychologist, doctor or a health professional who makes them aware of their symptoms and concerns and helps them on new ways of thinking on how to manage their ailments. • Medication-This is where drugs are offered to the patient for a while on an ongoing basis. The doctor ensures that the drugs taken by the patient benefit the patient and have minimal side effects.
According to Sammons and Schmidt (2001) mental illnesses are closely associated with changes in the brain chemistry. Pharmacology helps in restoring the original chemical balance in the brain, thereby reducing the symptoms and sometimes eliminating the fully. • Community support programs-These are programs put in place to help people with recurrent symptoms or those with psychiatric disability. It includes among other things accommodation, training, psychosocial rehabilitation and mutual support to groups.
As such, pharmacology remains an ideal solution for mental disorders for it is the only approach that has the capacity to affect the chemical structure of the brain, which is a major factor in brain disorders. Pharmacology is the study of drugs, their sources, their nature, and their properties. It is also the study of the body’s reaction to drugs. Pharmacology seeks to find a solution to these disorders in terms of biochemical drugs that are scientifically proven to be of help in curbing some of these disorders.
It is mainly a biomedical science that seeks to find out the “biological effect and elucidation of cellular function of the organism in relation to these disorders,” (Whitaker & Cooper, 2007). Antipsychotic drugs are used in treatment of mental disorders including schizophrenia, psychosis and mania. Depending on the effects they have on the user, they are categorized as either Typical or Atypical antipsychotics. Antipsychotics block one of the dopamine receptor in the brain, thereby producing effectiveness as well as extrapyramidal side effects (Marchesi, 2008). Types and Forms Mental Disorders.
There are different forms of mental disorders and it is important to explain how pharmacology is the best way to handle disorders. These disorders include the following: • Anxiety disorders: This is best often marked by physical signs of anxiety which includes nervousness with such signs as sweating and rapid heartbeat, Webmd, (n. d). The patient reacts to specific situations or objects in fear and dread Webmd, (n. d). Anxiety disorder is often identified if the person’s response to a situation is not as per expectation especially when the person cannot control the response, or anxiety interferes with normal functioning.
Canadian Mental Health association(n. d),Example of anxiety disorder are: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) OCD is an anxiety disorder branded by persistent disturbing ideas, thoughts, impulses or images often resulting in performing compulsive rituals over and over again perceived by the individual to bring relief i. e. washing, checking and arranging things, and counting. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs long after exposure to some form of physical danger, through flashbacks and nightmares by the individual.
Erratic behaviour is triggered by an action, sound or general event that resembles the physical danger that the individual was exposed to. For instance, a pedestrian that was hit by a car would react erratically if a vehicle hooted at them while they cross the road. • Mood disorders: also called affective disorders, mood disorder are marked by fluctuations from extreme happiness to extreme sadness, uncontrolled concurrent incidences of feelings full of sadness or in some instances feelings of extreme happiness.
• Psychotic disorders: It involves distorted awareness and thinking marked by ordeals of pictures, images and even sounds that are not true or real such as one hearing voices when in reality there is no voice that is just their minds imagination, they also have a lot of illusions and delusions (Sammons & Schmidt, 2001). • Eating disorders: Eating disorders involve weight and food. With either the patient eating a lot and gaining weight fast, or simply gaining weight while either eating little or nothing. i. e. the most common eating disorders.
? Anorexia nervosa: This is an eating disorder where a person is afraid to gain weight. ? Bulimia nervosa: This is also an eating disorder where a person eats a lot of food within a very short span of time. ? Binge eating disorder: This occurs when a person feel that they are compelled to eat very large amounts of food on a regular basis • Impulse control and addiction disorders: Impulse control disorder where the individual lacks the free will to resist the urge to undertake certain activities that may even hurt them ?
Pyromania (starting fires): ? kleptomania (stealing): ? compulsive gambling: • Personality disorders: This simply means that a person’s behaviour is fully accompanied by significant changes in most cases disability which appear not to go well in terms of social expectations especially in relating to other humans in most cases. People with this disorder have very extreme and character traits or personality is so inflexible hence causing distress to the person around them for example it could be in school, at work and also in social relationships.
In most cases a person’s way of thinking and his or her behaviour is totally opposite from what is expected from them by the society. In most incidences these people end up being isolated from the society due to their behaviour change and this is what makes them become worse. This problem does not need isolation. Application of Pharmacology in Treating Mental Disorders Pharmacology mainly seeks to reduce the effect of mental disorders on the patient (World Health Organization, 2010). Pharmacology treatment of mental disorder is the use of medicine to treat or to suppress mental disorders that an individual has.
According to MHPOD( n. d) pharmacology is considered an “important part of treatment for mental illness frequently used lateral with other supportive and therapeutic inventions” such as cognitive behavioural therapy, psycho education, psychosocial recovery, individual, group, therapy, motivational and assertiveness skill training, stress management in order to assist in the recovery process. Classes of Medication that can Be use in Psycopharmacology According to MFMER (2012) there are some major prescriptions that are given to the patients in most cases: • Antidepressant medications.
Different types of antidepressants are grouped by how they affect brain chemistry. Antidepressants are mostly used in treating several forms of depression as well as other conditions including to improve of a bad mood, for instance, the feeling of a lot of sadness, lose of hope also, and at times even the levels of concentration of a person are so low. They also make users lose interest in most of the activities going on around them if not all. • Mood-stabilizing medications. Commonly used to treat bipolar disorder, characterized by alternating episodes of enthusiasm and depression.
At times medications aimed at stabilizing the patient’s mood are added to antidepressants in treating depression. • Anti-anxiety medications. Typically fast acting, by reliving symptoms in as little as 30 to 60 minutes after intake, this medication are given to patients with anxiety disorders who in most cases undergo generalize anxiety and also those who undergo panic disorders. They also help reduce agitation and insomnia. This has a disadvantage, in that the patient becomes dependant on this particular drug, which in most cases it is hard to find. • Antipsychotic medications.
These are also known as neuroleptics, and are mostly used in treating psychotic disorders including schizophrenia,” (Whitaker & Cooper, 2007). These prescriptions can also be given or prescribed for bipolar disorder patients or added as an antidepressant to be able to treat depression. There is a medication that can be used in treatment of certain mental disorders and they include the following: Psychotic disorders: Chlorpromazine; Injection, Oral liquid, Tablet Fluphenazine: Injection Haloperidol: Injection, Tablet Depressive disorders: Amitriptyline: Tablet Fluoxetine: Capsule or tablet.
Bipolar disorders: Carbamazepine; Tablet (scored) Lithium carbonate: Capsule or tablet Valproic acid: Tablet Generalized anxiety and sleep disorders: Diazepam; Tablet Obsessive-compulsive disorders and Panic attacks: Clomipramine: Capsule Although these medications can be very helpful to the user in reducing the symptoms, they have their pros and cons (Sammons & Schmidt, 2001). The main advantages include the fact that these medications treatment help individuals whose anxiety indications make it difficult for them to attend and participate or to practice therapy exercises.
Secondly, these medications can also benefit a person when they have a co-occuring disorder that does interfere with the particular treatment for example depression. Thirdly, the medications can also help people to endure more difficult and anxiety-aggravating exposure better, and response prevention (ERP) exercises (Sammons, 2002). One of the major disadvantages is that some people keep on experiencing some side effects from the medication and also some become uncomfortable with the medication because of these same side effects.
One of the side effects is headache. In addition, some of these patients do not experience the response expected from the medication hence not able to benefit a lot from the particular prescription that they had been given. Mental disorders are best treated pharmacologically, but based on literature review of various medical practitioners as well as academia’s pharmacological treatment, the use of medication to treat a condition cannot be fully relied upon as the best and only solution to treat mental disorders (Ormel, et al 1994).
Pharmacology should be used alongside other methods used in treating mental disorder such as psyotherapy. In a situation where the patient has an allergic reaction to the medicine used for the treatment of the mental disorder, medical practitioners prefer the employment of other techniques temporary, before the best approach to treat the disorder is determined. In conclusion, pharmacological treatment is a good treatment technique for mental disorders but is reliant on other techniques for effectiveness. References American Psychiatric Association.
(2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Arlington: American Psychiatric Publishing Canadian Mental Health association(n. d), Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved on 01/05/2013 from http://www. cmha. ca/mental-health/understanding-mental-illness/anxiety-disorders/ Harding, T. W. , De Arango, V. , Baltazar, J. , Climent, C. E. , Ibrahim, H. H. , Ladrido-Ignacio,A. L. & Wig, N. N. , (2009). “Mental disorders in primary health care: a study oftheir frequency and diagnosis in four developing countries. ” Psychological Medicine.
Vol. 10 (2) pp 231-241 Jacofsky, D. ( n. d). Pharmacologic Treatments. Retrieved on 02/05/2013 from http://www. sevencounties. org/poc/view_doc. php? type=doc&id=38501&cn=1 Marchesi, C. (2008). “Pharmacological Management of Panic Disorder,” Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 4(1): 93-106 MFMER (2012). Treatments and drugs. Retrieved on 01/05/2013 from http://www. mayoclinic. com/health/mental-illness/DS01104/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs MHPOD,( n. d). Pharmacological interventions. Retrieved on 01/05/2013 from http://www. mhpod. gov.
au/assets/sample_topics/Pharmacological_treatments. html Ormel, J. , VonKorff, M. , Ustun, T. B. , Pini, S. , Korten, A. , Oldehinkel, T. , (1994). “CommonMental Disorders and Disability Across Cultures Results From the WHOCollaborative Study on Psychological Problems in General Health Care” The Journalof the American Medical Association. Vol 272, (22). Sammons, M. T. & Schmidt, N. B. (2001). Combined Treatments for Mental Disorders: A Guideto Psychological and Pharmacological Interventions. Washington D. C: AmerPsychological Assn WebMD,(n. d).
Types of Mental Illness. Retrieved on 01/05/2013 from http://www. webmd. com/mental-health/mental-health-types-illness. Whitaker, L. C. & Cooper, S. L. (2007). Pharmacological Treatment of College Students with Psychological Problems. London: Routledge WHO. (2009). Pharmacological treatment of mental disorders in primary health care. Retrieved on 01/05/2013 fromhttp://whqlibdoc. who. int/publications/2009/9789241547697_eng. pdf World Health Organization. (2010). Pharmacological Treatment of Mental Disorders inPrimary Health Care. Geneva: World Health Organization.