Medications are fundamental in the treatment of various mental disorders and it is essential that people strictly follow the medication plan prescribed by their doctor. 56
There are different types of medication to treat different mental disorders.
Antidepressants are the most commonly used medication to treat depression, but they can also treat other problems, such as anxiety, pain and insomnia. These medicines improve symptoms of depression and prevent them from returning. For reasons still unknown, some people respond better to some antidepressants than others. Therefore, in some situations, people with depression need to test several drugs until they find the one that works best for them.56
Anxiolytics help to reduce anxiety symptoms such as panic attacks, extreme fears and restlessness. Some of the anxiolytics should only be taken for a short time to help a person keep physical symptoms under control, and they can also be used to reduce acute anxiety attacks. Others must be taken over a longer period of time to achieve their full effect. 56
Antipsychotics are primarily used to treat psychoses. Psychotic episodes can be the result of a physical condition, such as drug abuse, or a mental disorder, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or very severe depression. Often, antipsychotics are combined with other medications to treat delirium, dementia and other conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, among others. Antipsychotic drugs do not cure these disorders but relieve symptoms and ensure quality of life for patients. 56
Mood stabilizers are mainly used to treat bipolar disorder but also mood changes associated with other mental disorders and, in other cases, to increase the effectiveness of other medications used, for example, to treat depression.56
b. Psychological treatment
Psychological treatment is one of the pillars of the treatment of people with psychiatric disorders. It consists of the application of specific techniques of psychological intervention centered on dialogue or action. In general, in minor mental disorders, psychological treatment may be sufficient, but in major mental disorders, psychological treatment is always a complement to pharmacological treatment. This type of intervention can be for a short period of time (brief psychotherapies), as in the case of conflict resolution, or for longer periods of time, as in the cases of psychotherapy for depressive disorders.
Psychotherapy is a form of psychological treatment that presupposes a psychological diagnosis and the application of a varied set of techniques to achieve the defined objectives. There are many and varied forms of psychotherapy, but essentially they are all aimed at better self-understanding and self-control. Examples of psychotherapies include psychoanalysis, cognitive-behavioral therapy, humanistic therapies, among others. Cognitive remediation techniques which aim to stimulate deficient cognitive functions cannot be confused with psychotherapies, as happens in cognitive remediation training in psychoses and dementias.
Psychiatric hospitalization is a form of treatment with precise clinical indications, such as, for example, the risk of suicide, cases of acute psychotic episodes or severe behavioral changes. Given the effectiveness of new forms of treatment, in modern times psychiatric hospitalization is usually of short duration (with exceptions), with the post-discharge treatment period being a complementary period of treatment to the internment.57
In this sense, modern psychiatric treatment results from the combination of complementary forms of treatment between inpatient treatment regimens, in post-discharge outpatient settings and in the community. The rationale behind this model is the creation of clinical conditions that allow patients with psychiatric disorders to have a rapid and seamless process of social integration, permanently promoting conditions for the restoration of autonomy.5
and electroconvulsive therapy
Electroconvulsive therapy is a form of treatment that aims at brain synchronization through the application, under anesthesia, of an electrical current in defined areas of the brain. Its application has specific and consensually defined clinical indications.58
This form of psychiatric treatment was developed in 1937 by Italian doctors Ugo Cerletti and Lucio Bini. During the 1960s and 1970s electroconvulsive therapy was portrayed in a biased way in many books, films and plays,
been recovered with technological developments and clinical research regarding the conditions of its application and its effectiveness..9
Treatment by electroconvulsive therapy has proved to be efficient in the treatment of depression, but it can also be indicated for cases of schizophrenia and manic episodes. The fact that it acts more quickly and is effective even in patients who have taken medication without noticing improvement, makes electroconvulsive therapy an alternative in the treatment of mental disorders.9