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Psychological Disorders - Essay Example

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Sur Date: Psychological Disorders Since the 1950s, there have been many changes regarding mental illness in terms of the care of the patients and the finance. The definition of mental illness has also been broadened to include cases of non- psychotic disorders since the 1950s and the negative attitudes and stereotypes have drastically decreased…
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Psychological Disorders

Download file to see previous pages... In the 1950s treatment of the mental health illness was only given in big state hospitals and other mental institutions. During this period, treatment by means of pharmaceutical drugs was budding and there did not exist an affordable community based mental health centers. In an increasingly urbanized society, families would rather send their ailing family members to these institutions rather than take care of them. These state mental health institutions were perceived as humane compared to homelessness or incarceration. The patients taken to these institutions would spend many days there (Anderson and Cannova) The invention of new pharmaceutical drugs enabled the control of the extreme behavior of the patients living in these institutions and hence it was considered more humane to allow the patients to go and get treatment in their community. The Community Mental Health Act of 1963, supported by President John Kennedy, provided federal financing to the states to establish community mental health centers. The community health centers became an essential part of the upcoming community health society. However, lack of adequate funding undermined the effort to provide mental health care to all those patients who had been deinstitutionalized. Due to institutionalization, patient population in the state mental hospitals reduced from about 560, 000 in 1955 to below 100,000 in the 1990s (“Timeline: Treatments for Mental Illness”). This deinstitutionalization process has led to the elimination of about 90% state mental health hospital beds (Unite For Sight). Nevertheless, efforts to establish an adequate community based psychiatric system to cater for all mental patients have failed. The progress of pharmaceuticals fostered the reliance on pharmaceutical drugs rather than hospital care for mental health, surgical and medical care. The business model of mental health treatment prompted the medicalization of medical psychiatric care hence detaching it from the mental health support services. Managed care became the customary way of systematizing health care after the efforts to reform the national health care, in 1992, failed. The increase in the dependence on pharmaceutical care in combination with managed care resulted in a decrease in talk therapy and the availability of support services to deinstitutionalized individuals reduced (Anderson and Cannova). Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, in his speeches to the medical societies in the 1940s and 1950s he emphasized the crucial role of leading psychiatrists in the growth of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Yet there emerged a split between the treatment of mental diseases and treatment of substance abuse & addiction each of which required a unique treatment. The stigma connected with these two sets of disorders combined with the failure of health community care to comprehend the interrelationship resulted in a circumstance where patients with both disorders were in a state of confusion since none of these health care systems (AA and community care) could fully treat both disorders. The situation has now improved due to the great advances in mental illness research which has made clear the underlying disease processes at work and identified the appropriate treatments to diagnose both disorders simultaneously (Anderson and Can ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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