A Brief Note On The First Antipsychotic Medication Essay

A Brief Note On The First Antipsychotic Medication Essay

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For centuries, institutions for mentally ill people were the most common way to treat those with mental disabilities. However, they were not safe or sanitary. Critics argued that hospitals harmed their patients rather than helped them, and mental illness was unjust if a person had not proven dangerous to others. In 1955, the first antipsychotic medication was introduced and made it possible for people to be medicated for severe mental illnesses. Shortly after, John F. Kennedy made a law that declared people could not be hospitalized against their will unless they were a threat to others. After the implementation of this law, mental patients were “deinstitutionalized”, which, according to the Encyclopedia of Psychology, is the process of transferring patients with mental disorders or developmental disabilities from long-term institutions, which isolate the patient, to more integrated community-based mental health services. Today, more than 1.8 million of the 4.8 million people with severe mental disorders are living on the streets or incarcerated in jails and prisons because they were not provided appropriate treatment after being released from institutions. Deinstitutionalization was, and still continues to be an unsuccessful movement. Over the years, it has had a big impact on the mental and community health system and homelessness.
The introduction of the antipsychotic drug, Thorazine, shifted the primary care of the mentally ill to medical doctors; previously all care of the mentally ill had been with psychiatrists. This motivated the psychiatric community to reestablish their important role in treating mental illness. The onset of this movement started with World War II military psychiatrists. These psychiatrists attributed ...


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...ut that many patients that have been moved from psychiatric hospitals to nursing or residential homes are not always staffed or fully equipped to meet the needs of the mentally ill. Many mentally ill who were released from institutions were re-institutionalized in jails or prisons. Only one in three of these patient’s report receiving treatment while in jail. Another problem the mentally ill face is discrimination. The community at large is often afraid of people with mental illnesses and think that they are dangerous.
The deinstitutionalization process began in the 1950’s and the original plan was to put the mentally ill into the community so that that could have freedom and learn responsibility. However, this has been unsuccessful over the years because of the community’s failure to take care of the mentally ill. Thus, resulting in homelessness and incarceration.

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