Psychopharmacological Principles Psychopharmacology

Depression or unipolar depression is a mental condition whereby the patient is characterized by unusually low mood levels and a loss of interest in daily activities. The diagnosis is made when one has suffered a number of such depressive spells (Meleis, 2006). A majority of the reported cases have their onset at thirties and peak in the fifties (Meleis, 2006). The diagnosis is based on self reporting and observations made by third parties. The official test for this condition is non-existent and labs have resorted to testing for physical conditions that may cause similar symptoms (Meleis, 2006).

The causative factors of the condition are classified as either biological or psychological and treatment include the use of medicine, therapy or a combination of both (Meleis, 2006). Psychopharmacological Principles Psychopharmacology is the study of various aspects that relate to drug induced behavior change (Meleis, 2006). The changes that are as a result of the administration of certain drugs could affect thinking, sensation and behavior (Meleis, 2006).

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The management of people under the influence of psychoactive drugs is a key area of psychopharmacology and plays an important part in the determination of the success of any approach to medical health. Though drugs are administered for a specific reason, their effects are never specific. Moreover, the effect a drug will have on an individual is so dynamic and cannot be predicted with ease. Therefore, any good health management system should also focus on the implementation of psychopharmacological principles of critical thinking, patient education skills and caring in a clinical setting to help in the management of drug induced behavior.

Critical thinking must be developed by all mental health care practitioners if they are to actively help in shaping up the area of mental health (Meleis, 2006). Mental processes, especially analysis and evaluation, are important in dealing with the rather complex nature of mental illness. The unpredictability of the patients is a major concern in management of their health problems thus a health system should provide avenues for the nurses to develop skills and abilities based on professional knowledge and experience that help in identification of behavior patterns and thus determination of what is expected of the patient (Meleis, 2006).

Antipsychotic drugs are some of the drugs that are in use that act in the same manner that lobotomies act, and they are used in the management of psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions (Stone, 2001). The first of this drugs was clozapine which was discovered somewhere in the year 1950s and was put into use clinically in the years 1970s. They also tend to block the receptors that are present in the dopamine pathways in the brain, just as lobotomy involves the cutting off of the connectors that serve the same purpose (Stone, 2001).

There are numerous side effects that are associated with these drugs notably weight gain and the lowering of the life expectancy of the patients who tend to use it (Stone, 2001). Thus it is evident that in the present day, lobotomy is still in use, it is just that it is not surgical, as there are drugs that serve the same purpose that the surgical procedure does. Conclusion This shows that mental health has always been treated seriously and one of the main methods that have been used to treat mental disorders is the administration of drugs that aid in relieving the psychological discomfort and torture that the patients have been experiencing.

But is this so? There have been questions over the procedures that surgical psychology and clinical psychologists have been using, and if they uphold the ethical morals. Some of these methods have been viewed to be barbaric such as the lobotomies that are being discussed in this paper. There have also been drugs that have been prescribed to patients that have the same effect on the patients that these lobotomies would have on them, such as making them to be incoherent and damaging their brains even further leaving them in an infantile state. Works Cited Acharya, Hernish J. (2004). The Rise and Fall of Frontal Leucotomy.

In Whitelaw, W. A. The Proceedings of the 13th Annual History of Medicine Days. Calgary: pp. 32-41. Kotowicz, Zbigniew (2005). Gottlieb Burckhardt and Egas Moniz – Two Beginnings of Psychosugery. Gesnerus. 62 (1/2): pp. 77-101. Meleis, A. I. (2006). Theoretical nursing: development and progress. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Stone, James L. (2001). Gottlieb Burckhardt – The Pioneer of Psychosurgery. Journal of the History of the Neurosciences. 10 (1): pp. 79-92. El-Hai, J. (2004). The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness. New York: Wiley.


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