What Are Mental-Health Treatments?

Mental disease treatment has advanced greatly. Many mental diseases can now be treated as effectively as physical disorders.

Most mental health treatments are either:

  • Somatic
  • Psychotherapeutic

Somatic treatments include medications, ECT, and other brain-stimulating therapies (such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation).

Psychotherapeutic therapies include individual, group, family, and marriage psychotherapy, behavior therapy, and hypnosis.

Most research implies that combining medicines and psychotherapy is more beneficial than using either treatment strategy alone.

Not just psychiatrists treat mental illness. Psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and social workers are others. Only psychiatrists (and psychiatric nurse practitioners in some states) can prescribe medications. Others in mental health recovery centers practice psychotherapy. Much primary care and other providers prescribe mental health medicines.


Psychiatrists and other clinicians employ many psychotropic medications. These medications are often grouped by the disorder.

SSRIs like fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, fluvoxamine, vortioxetine, vilazodone, escitalopram, and citalopram

Other antidepressants:

  • SNRIs (venlafaxine, duloxetine, levomilnacipran, or desvenlafaxine)
  • Reuptake inhibitors like bupropion

These medicines may be used if chronic pain interferes with activities and work. Tricyclic antidepressants relieve pain.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors including phenelzine, tranylcypromine, and selegiline patch are rarely used.

Atypical or 2nd-generation antipsychotics are utilized as initial treatment. Aripiprazole, asenapine, brexpiprazole, cariprazine, iloperidone, lumateperone, lurasidone, olanzapine, paliperidone, quetiapine, risperidone, and ziprasidone are newer antipsychotics. Clozapine is used for those who don’t respond to other antipsychotics.

Anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder and phobias, are treated with SSRIs, antianxiety medications, and antidepressants.

Bipolar disorder is treated with mood stabilizers such lithium, carbamazepine, Divalproex, valproic acid, and lamotrigine. Bipolar disorder can be treated with antipsychotics. Aripiprazole, asenapine, cariprazine, lurasidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone, ziprasidone.


Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, has advanced in recent years. By fostering an accepting and compassionate environment, the therapist can help the person understand the source of their difficulties and propose solutions. Psychotherapy typically results in a change in attitude and conduct that leads to a fuller, more happy existence.

Psychotherapy is useful for many disorders. Psychotherapy can assist people without mental health disorders cope with career issues, grief, or family illness. Group, couple, and family therapy are also common.

Most therapists use one of six psychotherapies:

  • Psychotherapy
  • CBT
  • IPT
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Counseling


Behavioral therapy incorporates interventions to assist the client to unlearn maladaptive behaviors (such as reliance and frustration intolerance) and develop adaptive behaviors (openness to experience and conscientiousness). Behavioral therapies include phobia-treating exposure therapy. In exposure therapy, patients face their fears in a safe setting. Reduce fear and help people stop avoiding feared things.

Cognitive and behavioral therapy are connected. The cognitive-behavioral treatment combines the two. Learning theory suggests that abnormal actions are caused by faulty learning.


Cognitive therapy identifies thought distortions and how they cause issues. People learn to think differently about their experiences by identifying basic beliefs and assumptions, reducing symptoms, and improving behavior and feelings.


Interpersonal therapy is a brief psychologic treatment for depression that improves a depressed person’s connections. It emphasizes:

  • Guilt
  • Conflicts when people fill unexpected positions (such as when a woman enters a relationship expecting to be a stay-at-home mother and finds that she must also be the major provider for the family)
  • Trouble communicating

The therapist helps the person overcome social isolation and respond less habitually to others.


Sigmund Freud created psychoanalysis in the early 1900s. Free association is when a patient rests on a couch in the therapist’s office and says whatever comes to mind. Helping the client realize how prior relationship patterns reoccur in the present is a focus. The therapist-patient interaction is emphasized. Understanding how the past impacts the present helps people create more adaptive interpersonal and professional skills.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy, like psychoanalysis, identifies unconscious thought, feeling, and behavior patterns. The client is normally seated and attends 1 to 3 sessions each week. Also, the client-therapist interaction is downplayed.

Psychotherapy Support

Supportive psychotherapy focuses on the therapist’s empathy and support. It facilitates emotional expressiveness and problem-solving. Primary care doctors may utilize supportive problem-focused psychotherapy.

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