a. Psychotherapy. The definition of psychotherapy is the treatment of mental
disorders by psychological methods. Almost everyone has had the experience of being
helped by some advice from a relative or friend. Sometimes an experience has
prompted us to make a drastic change in our lives. Psychotherapy is very close to the
advice or the experience that caused us to make a change in our lives. A basic
assumption in psychotherapy is that the individual with a personality problem can
change. He can learn more effective ways of perceiving, evaluating, and behaving so
that he will be able to function in society more effectively and happily. General goals of
psychotherapy include these steps:
(1) Change in patterns of behavior which are maladaptive; that is, behavior
which is detrimental to the well-being of the individual and/or group.
Improving the individual's ability to deal with other people.
Resolving the person's inner conflicts and thus reducing his personal
(4) Changing the person's inaccurate assumptions about himself and the
world around him.
Helping the person achieve a clear sense of who he is.
All of the above will help the troubled person toward a more meaningful and
b. Drugs Commonly Used in Treatment of Mental Illness. One of the
medical profession's long term goals has been to discover drugs that can combat
mental disorders effectively. In years past, research centered on medications that
would have soothing, calming, or sleep-inducing effects. These drugs would help
manage distraught, excited, and the sometimes violent patient. Current research has
focused on development of drugs that will allow the troubled person to lead a more
normal life rather than just sedate him. Major tranquilizers include chlorpromazine
(Thorazine), thioridazine (Mellaril), and trifluoperazine (Stellazine). Other drugs used
to treat mental disorders include lithium carbonate (an antimaniac agent) and minor
tranquilizers (antianxiety agents) such as Librium, Valium, Vistaril, and Miltown.