A01 biological therapies for phobic disorders

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  • Biological therapies for phobic disorders
    • Chemotherapy
      • Antidepressants
        • Have been found helpful for some people with social phobias
        • Seratonin is a neurotransmitter that links to mood and anxiety.
        • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI)
          • Increases seratonin and noradrenalinelevels by keeping it in the synapse for longer boosting the effect
          • It works by inhibiting the production of monoamine oxidase which breaks down seratonin and  noradrenaline
          • These drugs reduce panic symptoms but can also lead to a dangerous rise in blood pressure so are not commonly used today.
          • Seratonin is not directly linked to the development of phobias but have been affecting at treating the anxiety side of the disorder
          • By increasing the levels of these neurotransmitters the anxiety symptoms of phobic disorders will be alleviated
      • Drug therapy is not often used in specific phobia sufferers as they don't not normally experience anxiety, specific phobia is not regarded as serious and research has found that therapy works very well.
      • Palliative treatments are;
      • Curative treatments are;
      • Beta blockers
        • Used to reduce anxiety and can therefore diminish anxiety related to phobic disorders
        • They reduce heart rate and good pressure as they block the effect of adrenaline on the fight or flight response
        • Beta blockers work directly on the nervous system
        • They work on reducing the activity of adrenaline and noradrenaline which are part of the sympathomedullary response to stress
        • Beta blockers bind to beta adrenergic receptors on the heart, meaning these receptors cannot be stimulated and heart rate does not increase.
    • Psychosurgery
      • Surgery on the brain used to treat mental disorders
      • Capsulotomy
        • Procedure where lesions are made in the anterior part of the internal capsules
        • Involves functionally removing the capsules, by lesioning with heat or radiation, the organ is not removed but the connections are severed giving the sae effect.
        • The capsules are part of the lambic system and are thought to be associated with emotion
      • Involves drilling holes in the skull and burning a way pat of the brain tissue, it is dangerous irreversible and there is no garuntee it will work
      • Only used as a last resort and if anxiety is diagnosed does not respond to any other treatment and seriously disrupts a persons everyday life
    • A combined approach of pychotherapyis usually the best way to treat phobias, sometimes people are to afraid to attend therapy sessions and therefor drugs are used to relieve anxiety to allow them to become more open to other treatments.


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