Psychology and Behavior Discuss Antipsychotic Drugs Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1555 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

Psychology and Behavior

Discuss antipsychotic drugs, and mention a few typical side effects. Briefly describe the category of anti-anxiety drugs called benzodiazepines, including side effects.

Antipsychotic drugs are a group of drugs used to treat psychosis in patients. They are often used to treat disorders such as schizophrenia, mania, or delusional disorder, but the drugs can be used in many different psychotic applications. They can stabilize a patient's mood, and so are often used to treat mood disorders, especially bipolar disorder. The drugs have two classes, typical antipsychotics, and atypical antipsychotics. Typical antipsychotics are often called major tranquilizers because of their tranquilizing properties, and this is becoming an archaic term, because it implies they have ties to benzodiazepines, and this is not true. Atypical antipsychotics usually contain some form of dopamine. Side effects for both types of antipsychotics include seizures, tremors, tardive dyskinesia, tachycardia, hypotension, impotence, and sluggishness. Tardive dyskinesia is one of the most dangerous side effects, as it can cause permanent damage to the central nervous system and is irreversible in many cases. They can also cause weight gain and bring on diabetic symptoms in many patients.

Bensodiazepines (sometimes called "benzo") are classed as minor tranquilizers. They are usually used for short-term treatment of anxiety or even insomnia; because they tend to become habit forming and people grow dependent on them. They are used for depression as well, and some of the well-known drugs such as Xanax, Valium, and Librium fall into this class. Some are stronger than others are, but they all tend to act as sedatives, muscle relaxants, prevent seizures, and reduce anxiety. Typical side effects include vertigo, confusion or mild amnesia, drowsiness, the inability to drive or operate machinery, and reduced judgment. They can also cause severe depression if they are used in conjunction with alcohol. They tend to be long lasting, so these side effects can linger into the next day. All of these different drugs are effective in many types of treatments, but they are not the best choice for all patients, and long-term use can create more problems and side effects. The benzos are best used for short-term need, such as loss of sleep due to anxiety or problems, rather than long-term treatment of psychosis and other disorders. The antipsychotic drugs can create lasting side effects and should be used in severe cases.

2. List and explain the four basic techniques of Freudian psychoanalysis.

Freud developed modern psychoanalysis and therapy. He created a theory of personality based on the unconscious mind and repression. It includes four basic techniques or concepts, including infantile sexuality, resistance, transference, and division of the psyche into three areas: the id, ego, and superego. Freud believed the first, infantile memories were traumatic and sexual in nature, and included infant fantasies of pleasure (or sexuality) about the mother and father. He maintained these fantasies and memories remained with people throughout their lives, and influenced them sometimes negatively. Resistance includes the idea that many of these youthful fantasies or sensuality were repressed in the adult mind because they were too traumatic or shameful to remember. He called this act of repression resistance, and he found that it often manifested itself as an unwillingness to go through therapy. Transference is the link Freud discovered between the conscious and unconscious mind, and the final division of the psyche is probably what his therapy is most known for. The id, ego, and superego all have functions in the human mind, and they all can affect behavior and personality. The id is the deepest unconscious area, and the infant's fantasies reside here, with a need for instant gratification. The superego develops as a way to repress and censure the id, and the ego deals with the outside world and mediates social pressures with the immediate needs of the id.

Freud had great success with a number of patients using his techniques. He found he could help many patients control their hysteria, and that remembering some of the repressed memories of the past helped them move along in their lives and become healthier. He felt these unconscious memories had many influences on behavior and personality, and by remembering them, patients had more control over these areas. Freud's techniques have undergone some changes, and not all psychoanalysts believe in his techniques, but his studies helped create modern psychoanalysis and therapy, and gave much more understanding into the human mind and its effect on an individual's personality and behavior.

3. Briefly discuss the following types of behavior therapy: systematic desensitization and modeling.

Systematic Desensitization is a type of behavior or humanistic therapy, which actually reconditions the patient and their reaction to certain situations. Basically, the psychotherapist introduces increasingly stressful situations to the patient. These situations would usually cause stress, but as the patient learns relaxation techniques, they can deal with the stressors and experience less anxiety. This type of humanistic therapy is often combined with cognitive therapy to create a more complete treatment. This type of therapy would work well for a patient who was afraid of heights, for example, or afraid of going out in public. Gradually, the therapy helps them overcome their own fears, so they have a hand in creating their own solution to their anxiety problems.

Modeling, also known as observational learning is another form of behavior therapy where the patient learns from a role model, such as a doctor, teacher, analyst, etc. The role model creates and carries out the desired behavior, and then the patient learns by watching the role model and doing what they are doing. The goal is for the patient to remember the correct behavior in their long-term memory and then recreate the behavior when they need it. For example, this type of behavior therapy could be used on patients with behavioral problems in the classroom or in social situations. The therapist models the correct or appropriate behavior, (such as not interrupting in class), and the patient learns how to behave correctly in that situation. This therapy could be used in many situations where intense treatment is not necessary or even desirable.

4. What are universal interventions?

Universal interventions are used in cognitive behavior management, and they help people understand and create the skills they need to mange the problems in their lives. They can be used for substance abuse, but they are also used in the treatment of schizophrenia and other disorders by researchers and doctors. For example, doctors identify the items that can lead to schizophrenia, including family history, exposure to viruses and poor nutrition in the womb, birthplace and season, and other deciding factors, and then do a universal intervention of a population to determine who they think will contract the disease based on information and the overall percentage of schizophrenics in the population.

Universal intervention can help determine risk factors for individuals, and may one day help devise cures for the disease. Universal interventions also determine the best treatment to help prevent the disease, including the cost of treatment, availability, risk factors, etc. Ultimately, if scientists and researchers can develop enough universal interventions, many types of psychotic disorders could be controlled or eliminated as the risk factors are understood and those people who exhibit the most risk receive a universal intervention before they develop the disease or disorder.

5. Explain the concept of the mental hospital as a therapeutic community.

In many mental facilities, the patients take an active role in decision-making and operation of the hospital or section of the hospital. This is known as a therapeutic community, and it is becoming more common in many mental hospitals. This helps the patients play an active role in their own recovery, and it also gives them responsibilities they can continue to use in their lives after they leave the facility. This does not mean… [END OF PREVIEW]

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