Psychology 101 Biomedical Therapies

Essay by sosomiaw28College, UndergraduateA+, May 2005

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As long as mankind has had a conscience existence it has continued to ask why people do what they do. In this, people have sought to help those who may suffer from the "illness of the mind" in effective ways. Over the millennia man has come up with countless ways to treat people's illnesses. Some of these were pretty effective, others not so. However, today's psychologists use science and research to come up with state of the art therapies. Among these therapies is the Biomedical therapy, which looks to address the physiological part of the illness (Psychological Therapies and Biomedical Therapies).

One of the main parts of biomedical therapies is the administering of drugs. These drugs are commonly referred to as Psychoactive drugs (Psychopharmacology). These drugs imitate the effects of neurotransmitters, increase neurotransmitter amounts, or block receptor sites. The problem with these drugs is that they do not mimic the normal brain process perfectly.

This is because of the complexity of interacting neurotransmitters. There can also be side effects, which may cause undesired conditions liked Tardive Dykenesia, which is a result of taking Thorazine. This condition causes tremors and slowness (Psychopharmacology). However, much benefit has come from the use of drugs; for example in the 1950's scientists came up with a drug to treat schizophrenia. This drug alleviated many of the symptoms afflicting the schizophrenic patients, allowing them to live near normal lives.

Another aspect of biomedical therapies is Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). This is where electric shocks are induced into the brain to treat severe symptoms (HealthyPlace). Interestingly enough ECT dates back to the 16th century, where electric eels were used to treat those "insane." It should be noted that ECT is used only in severely depressed patients, where other options have proven ineffective. In ECT a patient is...