Mental Health Treatment
As a psychiatrist, my approach is to understand an individuals strengths and goals, while evaluating for mental disorders. Treatment should take the form of using which intervention, if any, will best help the patient. This may include medication, therapy, or obtaining social services, such as housing. Basic human needs are the foundation upon which other interventions should be placed. The basic needs include safety, housing, and nourishment. Only after these are addresses can other treatment options logically follow.
Addiction involves a neurological changes in the brain, with elements of classical and operant conditioning involved in continued drug or alcohol use despite consequences.
Instead of “denial,” the cognitive processes of the addicted brain include a spectrum of ambivalence about drug and alcohol use. Denial is an unconscious process that may be involved in addiction, but more commonly an array of ambivalent thought processes underlie any reluctance to enter treatment.
Evidence-based treatments should be used whenever available.