Doris Bersing, PhD
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Alternative Therapies for Mental Illness

Copyright : chachar
Copyright : chachar

Searching for more information about how much or how little the public look for alternative therapies when suffering from mental illness and distress, I found an article titled Surprising Alternative Treatments for Mental Disorders. The article claims what I suspected “…The use of alternative treatments for mental illness is growing in popularity due to concern over the side effects of some medications and a general mistrust for pharmaceutical companies. Let’s look at some of the natural ways people are treating disorders like depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

9.6 million Adults (18+) in the U.S. with a serious mental illness; 52.6% of those with a serious mental illness who used prescription pills to treat their condition in the past year; 36.2 million of Americans who paid for mental health care services in the span of a year.

While a combination of medicine and therapy can help many individuals suffering from a mental illness, some people are seeking other methods of treatment. What options are out there? This article explains how the so called alternative therapies “medicine douce” like Acupuncture, Hypnosis, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Bio-feedback, Reflexology, Yoga, nutrition and nutritional supplements can help. Actually $34 billion are spent per year in the U.S. on alternative medicine for general use.

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No Magic Bullet for Treating Mental Illness

Copyright by  Piotr Marcinski
Copyright by Piotr Marcinski

On a medical model oriented society, we always look for the magic bullet to cure all our illnesses. Mental Illness has not been spared of such a mythical quest. There is not one size fits all or magic bullet to makes “whole”.  People in the field of healing and psychiatry like Dr. Stan Grof , author of the holotropic paradigm shift, refers to disease like the manifestation of our “body and soul” trying to move towards wholeness. Thus, health is a total state of physical, mental,  emotional, spiritual and social well-being and yet Western medicine is poor at preventing and treating mental distress otherwise called diseases and keeps looking for the “magic bullet” to cure every disease

Referring specifically to HIV/AIDS related mental illness treatment. Dr. Thomas Insel has written “… Universal prevention has been a focus of psychiatric research for the past 4 decades. Using a public health approach, research has shown that mitigating major risk factors, such as poverty and early life stress, and promoting protective factors can improve behavioral outcomes. In other areas of medicine, we have observed how similar preventive approaches have reduced deaths from cancer and infectious disease. By contrast, while reducing environmental stress and providing better maternal support improve general behavioral outcomes (by preventing the development of antisocial behavior, for example), there are few, if any, examples of preventive approaches in psychiatry that reduce either the morbidity or the mortality of our most disabling illnesses—such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (Read More)

Dr. Insel expresses the needs of doing the same type of preventive work when approaching HIV/AIDS related mental illness and caution of the myth of the magic bullet. He says “…Imagine for a moment that we had the magic bullet for depression or schizophrenia or anorexia or autism. A single pill, taken once a day, safe and effective, that would immediately and continually keep all of the symptoms at bay. With this magic bullet, an end to episodes threatening job and family, no more hospitalizations, and a chance for a long life not cut short by mental illness and its complications. Now imagine that such a magic bullet existed, but only one in four people received it. Seems impossible?  (See more)

Imagine for a moment that we had the magic bullet for depression or schizophrenia or anorexia or autism. A single pill, taken once a day, safe and effective, that would immediately and continually keep all of the symptoms at bay. With this magic bullet, an end to episodes threatening job and family, no more hospitalizations, and a chance for a long life not cut short by mental illness and its complications. Now imagine that such a magic bullet existed, but only one in four people received it. Seems impossible? – See more at: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/blogs/couch-crisis/aids-cautionary-tale?GUID=&rememberme=1&ts=15072014#sthash.LXr8RamO.dpuf
Universal prevention has been a focus of psychiatric research for the past 4 decades. Using a public health approach, research has shown that mitigating major risk factors, such as poverty and early life stress, and promoting protective factors can improve behavioral outcomes. In other areas of medicine, we have observed how similar preventive approaches have reduced deaths from cancer and infectious disease. By contrast, while reducing environmental stress and providing better maternal support improve general behavioral outcomes (by preventing the development of antisocial behavior, for example), there are few, if any, examples of preventive approaches in psychiatry that reduce either the morbidity or the mortality of our most disabling illnesses—such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – See more at: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/neuropsychiatry/prevention-preemption-paradigm-shift-psychiatry#sthash.NKRl0BQW.dpu

Universal prevention has been a focus of psychiatric research for the past 4 decades. Using a public health approach, research has shown that mitigating major risk factors, such as poverty and early life stress, and promoting protective factors can improve behavioral outcomes. In other areas of medicine, we have observed how similar preventive approaches have reduced deaths from cancer and infectious disease. By contrast, while reducing environmental stress and providing better maternal support improve general behavioral outcomes (by preventing the development of antisocial behavior, for example), there are few, if any, examples of preventive approaches in psychiatry that reduce either the morbidity or the mortality of our most disabling illnesses—such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – See more at: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/neuropsychiatry/prevention-preemption-paradigm-shift-psychiatry#sthash.NKRl0BQW.dpu
Universal prevention has been a focus of psychiatric research for the past 4 decades. Using a public health approach, research has shown that mitigating major risk factors, such as poverty and early life stress, and promoting protective factors can improve behavioral outcomes. In other areas of medicine, we have observed how similar preventive approaches have reduced deaths from cancer and infectious disease. By contrast, while reducing environmental stress and providing better maternal support improve general behavioral outcomes (by preventing the development of antisocial behavior, for example), there are few, if any, examples of preventive approaches in psychiatry that reduce either the morbidity or the mortality of our most disabling illnesses—such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – See more at: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/neuropsychiatry/prevention-preemption-paradigm-shift-psychiatry#sthash.NKRl0BQW.dpuf


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