We have come a long way from the inhumane treatments that were used prior to the Renaissance. Our society has made significant advances in science and technology and a better understanding of what causes certain disorders has helped doctors prescribe more effective treatment methods (Porter, Kaplan, & Homeier, 2009).
Despite advances in understanding and treating mental illnesses, the stigma associated with mentally ill individuals still continues to be an issue. Policy makers and insurance companies, for example, are often reluctant to pay for help and treatment on behalf of the individual because they may see mental illnesses as less of a burden than physical illnesses. Similarly, the public may view the mentally ill as less competent and as a result may avoid working, socializing, or interacting with such individuals (Porter, Kaplan, & Homeier, 2009).
Modern treatment methods are often categorized as somatic or psychptherapeutic treatments. Somatic treatments are treatments such as drug therapy and electroconvulsive therapy, while psychotherapy as a broad category includes individual, group, or family related psychotherapy, behavior therapy, and hypnotherapy (Porter, Kaplan, & Homeier, 2009).
Porter, R. S., Kaplan, J. L., & Homeier, B. P. (2009). The MERCK Manual Home Health Handbook. Whitehouse Station, NJ, US: MERCK Research Laboratories.
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