Psychiatric Medication for Families

Over the past 50 years, psychiatry has broadened from an analytically oriented specialty, articulated by Sigmund Freud, to now include an understanding that biology underlies the illnesses as well. Since the late 1940s, scientists began serendipitously discovering medications for mental illnesses. The first antipsychotic, chlorpromazine, was initially used by Henri Laborit, a French surgeon, to help decrease preoperative anxiety and later showed effectiveness in treating psychosis. Additionally, iproniazid, a tuberculosis medication, was shown to have mood-elevating properties and later led to the development of the class of antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Presently, there is an array of psychiatric medications that physicians can choose from when treating mental illnesses. Information about these medications can be obtained from a patient's physician but are also accessible ...

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