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Psychological and Drug Treatments

Unit 22

Цель – формирование представлений студентов о психологическом и медикаментозном лечении, использование знания иностранного языка в профессиональной деятельности и профессиональной коммуникации.

Social Skills Training:This helps to make people feel more relaxed and confident in company. It does this by teaching some of the simple social skills that we tend to take for granted, like how to start a conversation with a stranger. There is a lot of practice with other people and so-called 'feedback' - people watch themselves practicing on video to get an idea of what they are doing and how they appear to other people.

Exposure Therapy:This involves helping a person to relax while in the situation that they find frightening. It can be done in stages, each time making the situation a little more intense and frightening. Another way is called 'flooding'. The patient is first taught how to relax in a frightening situation and is then put into a situation that would normally worry them, such as a crowded room. They are then helped to relax and wait for their anxiety to disappear, which it does after a while.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: We can often make ourselves anxious by the way that we think about things. This treatment helps people change the way that they think about themselves and other people. Take the situation when a conversation dries up. Someone with a social phobia will tend to think that it is their fault, and so will start to feel anxious. In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, the therapist will remind them that it is just as likely that the other person has run out of things to say, a much more realistic and less worrying way of thinking about the situation.

Beta-Blockers:These drugs are usually used to treat high blood pressure. In low doses, they control the physical shaking of anxiety - which can be a symptom of the social phobia - and can be taken shortly before meeting people or before speaking in public.

Anti-depressants:A particular type, the so-called 'Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors' (MAOIs), have been found to help, and sometimes to stop the anxiety and panics, although it often takes a few weeks for the treatment to work. There are drawbacks though. They tend to lower the blood pressure, which can make people feel faint. Some foods, such as cheese and yeast extract, may produce dangerous reactions with these drugs, so people using MAOIs have to follow a special diet which leaves out these foods. Some cough medicines that can be bought at the chemist can produce similar reactions to these foods.

There are now some new MAOI drugs called RIMAs (Reversible Inhibitors of Monoamine oxidase - A). These don't seem to produce the above reactions and so the user can eat what he or she likes. Other types of traditional anti-depressants don't seem to work very well in social phobia.

More recently developed anti-depressants (known as SSRIs - Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors) have been found to be helpful in social phobia, but may sometimes cause headaches and dizziness in the first few weeks. You can eat what you like if you are taking these drugs.

Tranquillisers:Drugs like Valium were used in the past to treat all sorts of anxiety. We now know that they are addictive and that they do not help in the long run. They should usually not be used to treat people with a social phobia.

EXERCISES

I. Answer the following questions on the text:

1. What is social skills training?

2. What is exposure therapy?

3. What are Beta-Blockers usually used for?

4. What do Beta-Blockers control in low doses?

5. When can Beta-Blockers be taken?

6. What do you know about Anti-depressants?

7. What are the drawbacks of Anti-depressants?

8. Can tranquillizers be used to treat people with a social phobia?


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