As AJN‘s June issue CE article on antipsychotic medications makes clear, the history of the treatment of mental illness provides many cautionary tales:
Theories about the causes of mental illness have included the belief that a person is possessed by spirits, demons, or the devil; that she or he has a weakness of character; or that the person had a “refrigerator” mother, someone whose coldness led to the child developing insanity. Those with mental health issues were treated with . . . therapies that are now considered to be questionable and inhumane: being chained . . . in institutions . . . and put into insulin-induced comas; having a lobotomy; being subjected to malarial therapy, exorcism, and prayer; being placed into ice water baths . . .
In the past century, as our understanding of various aspects of mental illness has increased (there’s still a long way to go), so has the range of available treatments, from psychotherapy to a constantly expanding arsenal of first- and later-generation drugs, many with substantial adverse effect profiles. The use of psychotropic medications continues to increase in the United States:
“It’s been […]