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Pharmacotherapeutics and Behavioral Interventions for Psychosocial Disorders

Psychosocial disorders are common occurrence in both children and adults. As such, effective treatment needs to be undertaken to combat the disorders. To achieve excellent results, review of pharmacotherapeutic, behavioral and a combination of the two needs to be undertaken. Minimizing the prevalence of psychosocial disorder requires thorough research on treatment options. The existing treatment and new treatment needs to be analyzed to determine whether the existing pharmacotherapeutic and behavioral treatment are effective in treating psychological disorders.

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The foremost step in treating any psychosocial problems is accepting the fact that the disorder exists and that when appropriate treatment is administered, significant improvement may be achieved. In most cases, people who have psychological problems deny the fact that they have the disorder and so they fail to seek appropriate remedy.

Regular medical care is essential because it offers healthcare professionals the opportunity of conducting screening tests to evaluate both the symptoms and risks of further complications. Once the problem is assessed and psychological disorder discovered, treatment may be conducted and may be of behavioral or pharmacotherapeutic nature, depending on the type of disorder, severity of the disorder, and the availability of health treatment options.

Often, treatment includes psychotherapy where behavioral and skill development is given a priority and initial hospitalization may be appropriate for serious complications, substance abuse, coexisting medical complications, and severe disorders. Medications may be helpful in some types of psychological disorders (Kozier, 2008).

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapeutic treatment of psychosocial disorder that addresses behavioral aspects of the patient, dysfunctional emotions, systematic processes, and goal oriented cognition.

Cognitive behavioral therapy offers a remedy for a number of psychosocial disorders like mood disorders, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse thus many treatment options and programs for the specified disorders have been assessed for efficacy and effectiveness based on the contemporary health care trend of evidence based treatment, which involves recommended treatment for diagnoses that are symptom based, and have favored cognitive behavioral therapy over other approaches.

Therapists use Cognitive behavioral therapy to assist patients in challenging their beliefs and behavioral patterns to develop effective and realistic thoughts and behaviors, thus minimizing the impact of self defeating behavioral patterns and emotional distress. Cognitive behavioral therapy includes a number of therapies such as cognitive processing therapy, relaxation training, commitment therapy, stress inoculation training, exposure therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy.

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Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective treatment of personality disorder because it assists individual in developing adaptive behaviors, cognition and coping skills thus replacing maladaptive ones by challenging the patient’s to adopt a positive habit (Vaillant, 2002).

Pharmacotherapeutic treatment of personality disorder involves use of drugs in managing personality disorders. There are two major types of medication involved in treating personality disorders and these are antidepressants used in treating clinical depressions and other related conditions and anxiolytics, which are used in managing anxiety.

In most cases, pharmacotherapeutic treatment is administered in severe disorders, serious complications, a combination of complications, and in cases where behavioral therapy has failed to offer a solution to the disorder. Although pharmacotherapeutic treatment may be administered in some cases, there may be problems related to administered drugs especially the problems of adverse effects and dependent problems where a drug may induce addictive effects on a patient.

The effectiveness of pharmacotherapeutic treatment is not fully known and has been marred by conflict of interest of professionals and marketing trends by pharmaceutical companies (Atkinson,2006).

In conclusion, personality disorders can be contained if appropriate medication is administered. Behavioral treatment has been proven as an effective way of managing personality disorder because it assists the patient in changing behavioral pattern from negative habits to positive behaviors. Pharmacotherapy, which involves administering of drugs, is effective in dealing with complicated nature of the disorders although its effectiveness has not been fully understood.

A combination of both behavioral and pharmacotherapeutic treatment offers an effective remedy in handling many cases of disorders especially those that involve a combination of complications. As such, when effective treatment is administered, the prevalence of personality disorder would be minimal.


Atkinson, J. (2006) Private and Public Protection: Civil Mental Health Legislation, Edinburgh, Dunedin Academic Press.

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Kozier B (2008). Fundamentals of nursing: concepts, process and practice.New York: Pearson Education.

Vaillant, G (2002). “The beginning of wisdom is never calling a patient Borderline”. Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and Research 1 (2): 117–34.

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