Over the past several decades there has been a larger movement in the medical field to move towards understanding the way that the brain works. With this interest comes more of an understanding of mental illness and extraordinary advances are being made towards treatment options. As more than two million people in the world suffer from some type of mental illness these advancements are greatly needed.
Most of the treatment methods for mental illness can be divided into two sections which are categorized as somatic or psychotherapeutic. Somatic treatments include any type of drug therapy and electroconvulsive therapy. Many drugs are used and are highly effective at helping people to live normal lives with a mental illness. Depending on the type and severity of the illness, different drugs are used. Electroconvulsive therapy may sound scary but it is not as bad as it sounds. A person is sedated and electrodes are attached to their head which send electric shocks into the brain to induce a temporary seizure activity. This has been proven to cure sever cases of depression but can cause temporary memory loss. However, the procedure is safe and there are no other long term side effects.
Psychotherapeutic treatments include any type of psychotherapy which can range from individual, group, or family counseling. In the therapy people are introduced to behavior techniques, breathing exercises, relaxation training and exposure training. In some studies, patiants may even experience hypnotherapy. Psychotherapy is a very important part of a person with a mental illness being able to live a normal life. While drugs may help to curb a problem, techniques for dealing with stress and fear are also important so that people are less likely to give into a distructive behavior. Psychotherapy is also beneficial because it can help loved ones learn about what someone suffering from a mental illness is going through and the best ways to react when they need help.