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Medications for the treatment of mental illnesses were discovered in the 1950's. This discovery suggested that mental illness might result from a biological imbalance of chemicals found in the brain. Since, clinical and lab research has completely changed the treatment of mental illness.
Researchers are examining:
Biological psychiatry encourages the public to think of psychiatric illnesses as having a physical cause. This helps dispel the myths surrounding mental illness and decreases the reluctance many people have to seek treatment.
However, this idea has also lent itself to a common misconception. If lab tests can be performed to establish imbalances of specific substances natural in the brain, can a lab test detect the chemical imbalance present in mental illness? The answer is, not yet. One reason is that chemicals in the brain cannot be easily obtained in a body fluid for the purpose of examination like another natural substance. There is no biological test to diagnose mental illness or predict response to a given treatment.
Despite the fact that we do not have all the answers to questions releted to mental illness, it is important to not lose sight of what we do know -mental illness is treatable. As with physical disease, effective treatments can begin even though the exact cause of the illness remains unknown.
If you or someone you know seems to suffer from a mental disorder, call for help.
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