Advanced Are We In The Treatment Of Mental Disease

I once asked a relative of mine what he believed to be the biggest advancement in the treatment of mental illness, and his succinct reply, the invention of the tranquillizer.
Unfortunately, as we have no doubt have come to realize, the tranquillizer is not exactly the cure all. Just look at the terrible side effects of such medication as Prozac.
Sheryl J. Stevens, who has first hand experience in dealing with the mentally ill, or as she prefers to call these individuals "lost souls," has written a wake up call in her book Operation Soul Recovery (From Default To Purpose).
The author strikes just the right tone: direct and passionate, in pointing out to her audience that the treatment of these lost souls is very low down on the health care totem pole. Furthermore, as the author asserts, we are lacking in sensitivity in our understanding that there is no physical pain comparable to that of a broken spirit.
As pointed out, we would hardly expect someone with a broken leg to run a race. Instead, we would promptly treat the fracture by a qualified medical doctor. Why then is it so difficult to understand the basic requirements needed to treat the mind and spirit? There seems to be a tendency to cop out and either ignore the gravity of the situation or rely solely on medication. Do we really believe, as Stevens asserts, that these illnesses are incurable?
The book is an engrossing and soul searching read that provides a window into the mistreatment of the mentally ill and in particular with society's obsession in looking for whom to blame, rather than trying to find a solution to the cure. As mentioned, "it is the cure that should be capturing our attention."
After lambasting the system, Stevens does present several constructive ideas for improving the system in her chapter entitled A Manor Of Eden. It is here where she emphasizes the principle that no human being is a hopeless case, and it is essential that we treat the body, mind and the soul simultaneously, and not giving more importance to one over the other.
Furthermore, the program of treatment is to be divided into a series of steps that considers the whole gamut from dealing in depth with the past, recovering the wisdom and value of the inner-child, developing knowledge of healthy living and formal education, job training, and job placement.
There is a great deal here to ponder about, and as Stevens mentioned in her interview with me, the book definitely presents ideas and suggestions that are outside of the box. However, the question that remains is, who will be listening?

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