Caring for adults
Caring for adults

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Caring for adults

4.2 Therapies

Today there is a wide range of medicines used specifically to treat mental illness, e.g. antipsychotics to treat schizophrenia and psychotic disorders, antidepressants for depression and anxiolytics to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety.

Talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are now commonly prescribed, either as an alternative to medication or in conjunction with tablets. These recognise that the individual should be involved in their own recovery. They take the form of a programme guided by a therapist and which the person follows, doing ‘homework’ to practise what they learn. Examples are psychological help to overcome fears or other constraints to leading a full and active life.

Talking therapies are often used to treat irrational worries such as a fear of open spaces or heights. The therapist might think the appropriate treatment is a course to desensitise the person to being outside their house. In this psychological therapy the person would be exposed gradually to the situation that the phobia is about while carrying out a relaxation activity.

Activity 5

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

You will now match a treatment with specific mental health problems. Read the four scenarios below. When you have finished, select what you think is an appropriate treatment from the list.

Scenario 1

Ray has money worries. He overspent at Christmas and now finds it hard to pay back loans he took out. Understandably, he is unhappy and now feels guilty that he cannot afford to take his family on a holiday as he promised. He has been to his GP who diagnosed depression.

What would you say would help him most?

a. 

Antipsychotic medication


b. 

CBT with antidepressant medication


c. 

Counselling for PTSD


d. 

Admission to a mental health unit


The correct answer is b.

Comment

As Ray has depression, the use of antidepressants at the same time as talking about his problems is probably the approach that would help him the most.

Scenario 2

Betty last went out of her house two weeks ago. She was accompanied by her daughter to the shops. Betty had to return home early because she felt frightened.

a. 

Sectioning under the Mental Health Act


b. 

Desensitisation for a phobia of open spaces (agoraphobia)


c. 

Antidepressant medication


d. 

A leaflet on self-help


The correct answer is b.

Comment

It is most likely that Betty has a phobia, for which the appropriate treatment is desensitisation.

Scenario 3

Carl heard voices, which he thought came from inside his head. He believed that they had been put there by work colleagues he didn’t get on with. He decides to stop going to work.

What would you say would help Carl most?

a. 

CBT with antidepressant medication


b. 

Sectioning under the Mental Health Act


c. 

Antipsychotic medication


d. 

A paper bag


The correct answer is c.

Comment

It sounds like Carl has psychosis, which might develop into schizophrenia. Antipsychotic medication would help him at this stage of his mental health problems.

Scenario 4

Maya was in a car accident a year ago. When she gets in her boyfriend’s car she feels anxious and keeps thinking about the car crash. She can almost hear the noise.

What would you say would help Maya most?

a. 

Counselling for PTSD


b. 

Sectioning under Mental Health Act


c. 

Antipsychotic medication


d. 

Desensitisation to car crashes


The correct answer is a.

Comment

As Maya has PTSD the best approach is to offer her counselling, a type of talking therapy.

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