Outline and evaluate the biological therapies for phobic disorders (8+16)
One biological therapy for phobic disorders is chemotherapy. Drug therapies include Anti-Anxiety drugs, Beta blockers and Antidepressants. They aim to alter abnormal behaviour by intervening directly in bodily processes (helps with the symptoms).Those that experience psychological problems or show disturbed behaviour patterns go to their family doctors. The first line of treatment is medical. Drug therapies are most common for treatment for phobias.
An example is anti-anxiety drugs which treat phobias by reducing anxiety levels. Benzodiazeopines (BZs) slow down the activity of the central nervous system by enhancing the activity of GABA, a neurotransmitter that has a general quieting effect on many of the neurons in the brain. It does this by locking into GABA receptors on the outside receiving neurons, which opens a channel to increase the flow of chloride ions into the neuron. Chloride ions make it harder for the neuron to be stimulated by other neurotransmitters, thus slowing down its activity and making the person feel more relaxed.
BZs have been shown effective. For example Kahn et al (1986) found that BZs were better than just using a placebo treatment, which suggests they have some pharmacological value, and Hildago et al (2001) found that BZs had better results than SSRIs.
A second example is beta blockers (BBs) which are used to reduce the activity of adrenaline and noradrenaline which are part of the sympathomedullary response to stress. Beta Blockers bind to receptors on the cells of the heart and other parts of the body that are usually stimulated during arousal. By blocking these receptors, it is harder to stimulate cells in these parts of the body, so the heart beats slower and with less force, and the blood vessels do not contrast as easily. This results in a fall in blood pressure, and so less stress on the heart. The person taking the medication will feel...
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