This chapter discussed about mental illness. It goes through some anxiety and affective disorders, including panic and depression. It presents some treatments how the disorders can be won and how the brain works during the disorder and treatment process. The chapter also handled stress response and schizophrenia.
Before, we go deeper in the disorders let us present one interesting concept from the chapter. It is one cell type called induced pluripotent stem cells, iPSCs. It can be used to solve the possible medicines on psychiatry branch. By those cells we can find out neurons’ pathophysiology from one individual patients. The patients skin cell was scraped and then it will be treated with chemical mixture. Then it will be transformed to iPSCs. Those cells will be compared with healthy individuals’ neurons. However, this system has problems, for example the brain is complex, and it cannot be estimated by one neuron.
Different types of mental illnesses can be divided into different “categories”, such as anxiety disorders (panic disorder, afrophobia, OCD…) and affective disorders (major depression, bipolar disorder…). In anxiety disorders the different types of it have in common that the sufferer has the pathological expression of fear. The core subjects in anxiety disorders are hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus, HPA axis, adrenocorticotropic hormone and corticotropin-releasing hormone. Fortunately, there are several treatments for anxiety disorders: psychotherapy or counseling and medications, such as benzodiazepines and serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitors. Then, in affective disorders the emotional state of the person is no longer under his/her control. There are many different factors which cause the affective disorders, but it has been established that HPA system and related cortical systems are in an important role. Luckily, there are also treatments available for affective disorders. Psychotherapy and medicines are also alternatives in these disorders but there are also one more way, electroconvulsive therapy, ECT. In ECT the two electrodes are placed on the scalp and the currents are passing between them. The main healing effect of the treatment is not yet clear, but the device affect hippocampus.
The most unfamiliar disorder in the chapter was agoraphobia. It means that fear is an inappropriate expression and a person who suffers of agoraphobia will be anxiety in situations where he cannot escape, for example it can be elevator or airplane.