Outline and Evaluate How Biological Treatments Are Used to Treat Psychological Disorders.

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Biological treatments act directly on the biological mechanisms that cause, or are involved in, mental illness. This can be, for example, by altering the function or availability of a neurotransmitter, changing the way certain cells in the nervous system function, or removing dysfunctional parts of the nervous system. The three main biological treatments for mental illness are drug therapy, electrocomplulsive therapy (ECT) and psychosurgery Drugs that have been found to usefully treat mental illnesses generally work by changing the amount of a neurotransmitter that is available at a synapse. If, for example, a neurotransmitter causes a certain behaviour then stopping the neurotransmitter working, by making less of it available, may reduce the behaviour it causes. Or it may be useful to increase the quantity of a certain neurotransmitter so the behaviour it affects may be increased. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has been found to be involved in depression. A class of drugs called SSRIs work by stopping nerve cells reabsorbing the serotonin they have released into the synapse, thereby increasing the amount of serotonin that is available. SSRIs are a very effective treatment for depression and include drugs such as Prozac. Benzodiazepine drugs are commonly used to treat stress, anxiety and high blood pressure. They work by blocking receptors that are usually activated by adrenaline and noradrenalin, meaning that the body is less able to produce extreme and unhealthy sympathetic nervous system responses. Antipsychotic drugs, which are often used to treat schizophrenia, work by reducing the amounts of dopamine at synapses in certain areas of the brain. Drug treatments have been found to be effective in treating many illnesses, and in many
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