While there is no guaranteed cure for mental illness, a variety of treatment methods may lessen or totally eradicate symptoms. These treatment options include various types of drug therapy, counseling, and even in-patient hospitalization in some cases. Rather than finding a cure for mental illness, these treatment options generally focus on determining what is causing the illness and then focus on making corrections. Results from treatment may take some time, and be a matter of trial and error. In addition to these treatment options, mental health professionals may opt for other forms of therapy, perhaps involving electricity or magnets, or changes to a patient's environment.
Psychotherapy is among the most often used treatments for mental illness. This may substitute in place of a cure for mental illness in a highly effective way, without drugs ever needing to be used. In this therapy, often referred to as counseling, or talk therapy, those suffering from various types of mental illness, such as depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome, are encouraged to discuss their thoughts and feelings. Therapists may help the patient understand and cope with difficult feelings.
One of the most common types of drugs to treat mental illness is antidepressant medication. This medication may help treat a number of symptoms including sadness, insomnia, and lack of energy overall. The medicine works by attempting to balance chemicals in the brain that may be responsible for the depression. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine, sertraline, and fluvoxamine are common antidepressants. This is not a cure for mental illness, but the medications can be used until the brain brings itself back into balance naturally.
Another major class of drugs for mental illness is antipsychotic medication. Medications in this group includeclozapine and olanzapine. Psychiatrists may prescribe these drugs for those with conditions such as schizophrenia. These drugs may also be used in conjunction with antidepressants to treat depression in some individuals.
Anti-anxiety medications are another class of drugs used to help those cope with mental illness. Patients suffering from panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder may find these drugs useful. Alprazolam and lorazepam can help treat these conditions, and provide the patient with a relatively normal life. If the situation improves over time, it is often possible to wean off these drugs eventually.
Some mental health care providers focus on other types of treatment, including the use of electroconvulsive therapy and magnets. Theoretically, these treatments attempt to bring the brain back into a balance where mental illness is no longer an issue. These treatments may not be a cure for mental illness, but may help provide some relief in the interim until the brain corrects itself, if that is possible.