Psychopharmacology and Mental Health

Psychopharmacology and Mental Health

Psychosis and Psychotropic Drugs

Let’s face it. Many individuals want to avoid taking psychotropic drugs because of the adverse side effects that may ensue.  Nevertheless, there are individuals with severe mental health issues that need medications to help them function in everyday life.  There are many clinical syndromes that fall into serious mental illness categories, so this paper will focus on severe syndromes such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or dementia, that can develop into psychosis.  Only a small portion of the population with genetic, epigenetic, and developmental risk factors, along with exposure to social and environmental factors, may be prone to developing persistent psychotic symptoms (Arciniegas, 2015), but psychologists suspect this number might be on the rise since the novel COVID-19 pandemic attacked our population.  Developing a psychotic disorder, such as Schizophrenia, is persistently found to be around one percent of the population in any given culture and environment. However, since the COVID-19 crisis, our population as a whole has been exposed to considerable risk factors, along with social and environmental factors, so a larger portion may be affected, including individuals who are now suffering with PTSD.

The definition of psychosis is multifaceted. It is important, therefore, to define the condition and list how it is classified as a mental disorder so one can better understand how medication can help. Psychosis is defined by abnormalities in one or more of the following domains: positive symptoms (delusions, and hallucinations), disorganized thinking (speech), grossly disorganized or abnormal motor behavior (including catatonia), and negative symptoms (decreased ability to experience pleasure (anhedonia), diminished speech output (alogia), decreased social association (asociality), and diminished emotional expression) (Arciniegas, 2015, and Kupfer, 2013). All of these symptoms cause distress to the patient, along with major impairment in personal function, and extreme distress to the patient’s family and friends.


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Christy and Brigitte LewisChristy Lewis holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Professional School of Psychology.. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has counseled for a combined 17 years in several clinical and medical settings and has offered career/life coaching for an additional 10 years. Christy is also Board Certified in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback through BCIA, the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance organization.Brigitte graduated in August 2020 from Baylor University in Waco, Texas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience. She is currently working toward her BCN (Board Certification in Neurofeedback) certification. Brigitte currently works at the Biofeedback, Education, & Training Center in Plano, Texas as a Sleep/Health Coach and Clinical Intake Coordinator. Sleep/Health Coaching includes providing new clients with educational information regarding behavioral changes and sleep hygiene to help improve overall perceived sleep quality. In the future, Brigitte plans to attend graduate school to study Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on sleep quality and how it affects overall health.

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