Category Archives: Mental Illness

The Past, Present and Future of Mental Illness

In today’s world, the field of psychiatry is growing by leaps and bounds. New research followed by clinical tries has helped thousands with a variety of mental disorders. Through new medications and therapy many people are now able to lead normal lives. This is a far cry from the past when most people with psychiatric problems were institutionalized. This area of medicine is not new; papyrus from ancient Egypt around 1500 BCE mentions clinical depression. It would be another 3,000 years until the first clinical trial for an antipsychotic medication – chlorpromazine – was performed.

One of the leaders in psychiatry and Nuclear Brain Imaging is Dr. Daniel Amen. Born in 1954, Dr. Amen is the founder of Amen Clinics. Located in California, Washington, New York, Georgia and Virginia the Dr. Daniel Amen strives to help people live healthier through brain health. His clinics boast largest database in the world of functional brain scans with almost 90,000. Besides being both a physician and psychiatrist, Dr. Amen is also a New York Times best-selling author with over 30 books and 60 professional papers. Considered as one of the most popular Psychiatrist in the world, Dr. Amen continues to make great strides in the discipline of Psychiatry.

These days there are six defined areas of psychiatric medication; Antidepressants, Stimulants, Antipsychotics, Mood stabilizers, Anxiolytics and Depressants. Each treats a variety of the many mental illnesses that have been identified. Although there is still no known cure for psychiatric disorders, most patients can live normal lives with the proper medication and treatment. It is believed that more than 26% of Americans over age 18 suffer from some mental illness. This translates to one in four adults, or about 60 million people. The problem is no less severe with minors. From ages 13 to 18 about 20% are afflicted and 13% for those 8 to 15 years of age.

In conclusion, there is still a long road ahead in the treatment of mental disorders. With advances in medication, research, emerging therapies and pioneers like Dr. Daniel Amen the future is bright for the millions of those suffering.