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Describe, evaluate and comment upon the appropriateness and effectiveness of the Biological/Semantic approach and related therapies

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Debbie Spicer Describe, evaluate and comment upon the appropriateness and effectiveness of the Biological/Semantic approach and related therapies Medical doctors have claimed that mental illness resembles physical illness. According to this medical model, the mental illness depends on some underlying organic problem, and the best form of treatment involves direct manipulation of the physiological system within the body. Psychosurgery is the use of brain surgery to reduce psychological or behavioural disorders. Antonio Egas Moniz (1930's) used a surgical method of prefrontal lobotomy, where fibres running from the frontal lobes to other parts were cut. He claimed that this operation made schizophrenics less violent and agitated and much easier to manage. The side effects were serious and included apathy, diminished intellectual powers, impaired judgements and even coma or death. Since lobotomies there have been a variety of more reformed techniques have been introduced. The prefrontal leucotomy involves drilling two holes in either side of the skull and inserting needles to sever nerve fibres, thus effecting a functional removal of areas of the brain. ...read more.


ECT has been successful for cases of severe depression it is effective in over 60% of psychotic-depressive patients. Sackheim found that there was a high relapse rate within a year which suggests that relief was tempary and not a cure. ECT reduces depression more rapidly than anti-depressant drugs. It is unsure why ECT is so effective so it may not be appropriate. ECT may be seen as a punishment. If maladaptive behaviours have been learned then the punishment will extinguish the S-R bond. It has also suggested that convulsions lead to memory loss and allow some restructuring of disordered thinking. Another explanation is that ECT lowers the level of noradrenalin and reduces serotonin re-uptake, which will reduce depression. Drug therapy is used to treat patients suffering from major depression and bipolar disorder. Depression has been said to be caused by a shortage of monoamine, a type of neurotransmitter, they include dopamine, serotonin and noradrenalin. Drugs used in this therapy increase the supply of the chemicals. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI's) work by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters such as noradrenalin and serotonin. ...read more.


They have little effect on the lack of emotion, motivation and social withdrawal that schizophrenics suffer from. They can also cause seditation, problems with concentrating, dry mouth and blurred vision. Another drug that is commonly used to treat schizophrenia is clozapine it has the same effect as neuroleptics but it has fewer side effects. Clozapine are expensive and 1-2% of patients taking the drug suffer from a blood disease which is fatal. There are many problems with chemotherapy. It tends to take the responsibility away from the patient and give it directly to the therapist or psychiatrist. Some people feel that they are used to keep people quiet and they benefit the society more than the patient. There is also a problem with compliance. Patients dislike taking the drugs because of their side effects and the therapists can not make sure that the drugs have been taken. Chemotherapy treats the symptoms rather than the cause so it does not eliminate the problem and the symptoms may reoccur when the drugs are stopped being taken. However chemotherapy has allowed lots of people to lead relatively normal lives, they may prevent suicide and it may also make the world a safer for other people. ...read more.

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