Effective psychiatric drug treatment begins with making a proper diagnosis. Although this appears
to be straightforward and obvious, making the right psychiatric diagnosis can be tricky, as there are no laboratory tests, no x-rays, and no MRIs for most psychiatric illnesses.
Even more perplexing, sometimes psychiatric illnesses masquerade as other psychiatric illnesses. Treating the illness that is the masquerade then leads to a treatment failure, as the more serious, underlining, psychiatric condition has been erroneously ignored.
Considering the family psychiatric history is very important because psychiatric medications typically act on receptor sites in the brain, which are genetically transmitted. Unfortunately, when there are mediocre outcomes in psychotropic drug treatment, the family psychiatric history was often overlooked.
Sedatives--alcohol, tranquilizers, and sleeping medications--are too often viewed as harmless, "social", or routine. However, they typically interfere with psychiatric medications, leading to poor outcomes in pharmacotherapy.
Often the patient's damaging psychology, "negative thinking", guilt, and unresolved grief interfere with the outcome of psychiatric medication therapy. I strongly believe that proper psychiatric drug treatment must include concurrent psychotherapy.
I have found that the essence of psychotherapeutic improvement occurs when a psychotherapist creates with a patient over sufficient time a psychotherapeutic relationship that has the following characteristics:
Unconditional Positive Regard
In this kind of relationship when the psychotherapist shares his therapeutic thoughts with the patient, the "magic" of psychotherapeutic cure begins.
How do we change our nature? Most of us were taught that, basically, people do not change. However, the fascinating world of psychotherapy teaches otherwise. When psychotherapy goes well, change occurs by having us undergo a psychological metamorphosis. Undergoing a biological metamorphosis, some caterpillars go into a cocoon and emerge 21 days later as a butterfly. Similarly, in effective psychotherapy, we undergo a psychological metamorphosis. We change from being self-destructive, anxious, depressed, enraged, selfish, compulsive, despondent, and hurt, into becoming:
In touch with our feelings