“Data sourced from market research firm AIOCD-AWACS show a 13% year-on-year jump in sales of CNS (central nervous system) drugs for the June 2021 quarter — the sharpest increase since the beginning of the pandemic. The sales were 8.4% higher than the sales posted in the pre-pandemic quarter of January-March 2020.” — Economic Times, 15 July 2021
Is the use of drugs the only resort for mental health treatment? Is Pharmacological treatment enough to cure mental illnesses?
The pandemic has made people sensitized about taking care of their mental health. We constantly feel stressed, uncertain, fearful, and anxious around us and our loved one’s existence. The distorted thinking patterns lead to disturbed interpersonal, intrapersonal relationships, and self-doubt.
Although the pandemic has taught us that we need to take care of our mental health, the awareness has also led to an increase in the capacity to purchase CNS (Central Nervous System) drugs as a cure. We, at ManoShala, acknowledge that medicines are necessary to cure certain illnesses/disorders, but it depends on factors, such as the severity of the symptoms. Not every psychological issue requires pharmacological treatment.
Mental health issues like physical illnesses can begin mildly and if untreated or inefficiently coped leads to moderate and severe levels. At times when the symptoms are mild and manageable, primary treatment, i.e, psychotherapy and other alternative therapies are adequate to develop adaptive coping mechanisms and treat the symptoms. When the symptoms are unmanageable and severe then there could be a need for Pharmacological assistance alongside psychotherapy. Many research studies have proved the effectiveness of medication when paired with therapy. When there is any physical ailment we tend to consult different doctors, gain varied perspectives and consider various treatment options. Similarly, educating ourselves about the various methods available to treat mental illnesses can be empowering.
An inclusive but not exhaustive list of psychotherapies popularly used for the treatment of mental ailments.
Komal Mishra, Expressive Art Therapist and Muskan Gupta, Psychologist, ManoShala