Free «How Has the Medicalization and De-Medicalization of Mental Health Affected the Effectiveness of Treatment for Mental Illness?» Essay Paper

How Has the Medicalization and De-Medicalization of Mental Health Affected the Effectiveness of Treatment for Mental Illness?

The medicalization of mental illness has had detrimental impacts on the effectiveness of treatment of psychiatric conditions in the past decades. Behavior analysts have indicated that the implementation of non-drug treatment is inevitable for some psychiatric conditions which are associated with an extreme aggression (Wyatt 49). Medicalization of mental illnesses has increased the aspect of the drug overdose which has resulted in high mortality rates (Woo and Keatinge 290). Woo and Keatinge have also raised the concerns about the cardiovascular side effects of medical treatments that can result in sudden death of the patients. On the other hand, the de-medicalization of the mental illnesses has reduced the aspect of overdependence on the antidepressants which have long-term effects on them. This essay critically examines the impacts if medicalization and de-medicalization on the management of mental illnesses.

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Some of the medical processes such as the usage of tricyclic antidepressants and desipramine have increased in the management of psychiatric patients. They have been identified to have a longer half-life that ranges from 28 to 36 hours (Woo and Keatinge 292). However, these medicines have severe side-effects such as anorexia and cardiac arrhythmias that can cause a sudden death. On one hand, medicalization with the antidepressants mentioned above has been associated as frequently overdosed in the ADHD treatment which hs dire impacts on the patients (Woo and Keatinge 292). This aspect implies that when used on children the impacts can be more serious. On the other hand, the medication process has shown to be effective in reducing impulsivity with less aggressive behavior for the chronic mental illnesses such as ADHD. This aspect usually results in fewer conflicts and more appropriate interactions which are significant in the treatment process. It is also important because the effectiveness of the medical application is faster and encourages a peaceful atmosphere for socialization. Therefore, medicalization can be appropriate for patients in a family environment where the interpersonal relationships are required in the treatment process.

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The introduction of the non-drugs processes such as a behavioral parent training (BPT) has played an integral role in the treatment of mental illnesses (Woo and Keatinge 299). For instance, this strategy has been effective in the management of comorbid anxiety disorders. Moreover, the programs have also been effective for younger patients who have shown efficient improvement without medication. 

The non-drug interventions for the treatment of psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders have also been proved to be productive. Traditionally, the primary methods of treating schizophrenia entailed the application of the antipsychotic medications. The medical practitioners also useed the complementary and alternative medicine as a main intervention for schizophrenia. In its turn, this strategy had adverse effects on young patients because of the frequent exposure to amnesia and other side effects.  However, the modern research has proved that using a group therapy, mental illnesses such as schizophrenia can be managed with minimal chances of the risk factors. There is also an evidence base that is attributed to CBT treatment that argues that standardized brief medical treatments do not address the causes of mental illnesses. The WHO has also acknowledged that less than one patient out of every four psychiatric patients has an access to an effective treatment (Stange, Oyster and Sloan 384). This aspect is due to the financial requirements that are involved in the pharmacological treatment of the mental illnesses.

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In conclusion, the medicalization of the mental illnesses is necessary for depressive patients but have some detrimental effects on them. Therefore, it is an obligation of the psychiatric practitioners to avoid its application as much as possible to save the patients from the undesirable effects. It is also essential for the government and WHO to intervene and promote the awareness regarding the non-drug strategies of managing the mental illnesses. Admittedly, the implementation of these strategies will ensure that minimal sudden deaths are arising from the overdose and the side effects of using the antidepressants.

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