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Pharmacotherapy in the Context of Family for Acute Mental Illness

  • By: Chamlong Disayavanish
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Pharmacotherapy, or the use of medications, for the treatment of mental illnesses is now advancing greatly and is rapidly expanding with the addition of new medications. In general, acute mental illness is defined as the disorder that lasts less than 6 months, while chronic mental illness is specified as the disturbance that lasts for 6 months or longer. The skillful practice of pharmacotherapy requires a broad knowledge of psychiatry, pharmacology, and medicine to prescribe these medications safely and effectively. Medications used to treat mental or psychiatric disorders are referred to as psychotropic drugs.

These drugs are commonly classified by their major clinical application, for example, anxiolytics or antianxiety drugs (a group of medications that is used widely to treat the symptoms of anxiety), antidepressants (a group ...

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