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Tiersch 1

Nolan J. Tiersch

Professor Jean Coco

English 1001

29 April 2018

Audience: My intended audience is focused to those studying or practicing medicine for

treatment of mental illness. The goal is to offer information and an overview of differences
among treatments across cultures while exploring some suggestions to possibly aid treatment.

Process Preface: The Inquiry Project has been a highly involved process for me. Through the
semester, my line of inquiry has changed significantly. I altered the LOI by narrowing the focus
towards my intended audience. Much aid came from the inquiry journal we wrote in regularly; it
provided an outlet for topic reflection, which in turn allowed me to effectively research academic
material. After receiving input from the teacher comment draft, I realized I need to work on the
overall organization of the paper and define some topics thoroughly. The final inquiry project
draft is supported by more statistical aid and clarified in many places. I feel it adequately
explores the stated final line of inquiry.

Treatment of Mental Illness

Psychology is a recently developed field of scientific study, which focuses on the analysis

of the human mind. It encompasses not only the physical attributes of the brain but the responses

of a client (Person of study) under controlled circumstances. The expansion of knowledge in the

field of psychology promotes capabilities for recognition of mental disabilities or abnormal

psychology. Psychologists and researchers collaboratively construct a universally accepted

diagnostic manual; the current edition is the DSM-5. The diagnostic manual aids psychologists

by standardizing the analysis of symptoms, to accurately diagnose patients with psychological

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The number of patients with a diagnosed disorder is increasing across the United States.

The National Institute of Mental Health surveyed to calculate the prevalence of mental illness,

“In 2016, there were an estimated 44.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States with a

mental illness. This number represented 18.3% of all U.S. adults.” (Merikangas). Mental

disorders are considered illnesses; the severity of these illnesses exists on a broad range while

having diverse effects on patients. Thus, emphasis should be directed toward developing a

practical and modernistic model to treat those suffering from mental illness.

In this paper, I would like to explore the different mental health methods practiced

internationally. I believe the methods for treatment models change throughout the world, based

on the culture’s scientific approach and societal acceptance. To grasp these concepts, one could

inquire, “How does the methodology for treatment of mental illness differ between Eastern and

Western cultures?”. In attempt to concisely address the broad nature of this inquiry topic, I

divide the paper into subtopic questions which are: 1) “What are the medicinal approaches for

mental health?”; 2) “What are the therapeutic approaches for mental health?” and 3) ”What are

advantages and disadvantages for mental health?”. By comparing the eastern and western

cultural techniques used for mental illness treatment, it should help construct a more universally

effective psychological health model.

I believe the integration of multiple perceptions methods should offer a fundamentally

universal model for treating mental illness. The idea of treatment integration has been

particularly difficult through prior case studies; however, I along with others believe the attempt

to do so should not be abandoned (Laska). Hypothetically, psychologists could use the proposed

concepts to broaden their knowledge of therapeutic practices. Thus, increasing the average

performance for therapists on an international scale; possibly creating versatile therapists, which
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offer optimized treatment for individual patients considering the factors which led to their mental

illness. This would be best introduced into the field through a phycology journal, explaining a

standardized method of patient interaction.

What are the medicinal approaches for mental health?

Western culture practices the placement of clients into classification systems; placement

is determined by the degree of symptoms expressed in clients. Once placed into a classification,

clients are typically prescribed similar medications. Medications are synthetic compounds, which

have passed clinical trials to promote the mental health of a client by diminishing troublesome

symptoms. “The safety of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for the treatment of

depression in children and adolescents has been a subject of much concern and debate”

(Bachmann). Bachmann shows the true nature of the Western culture’s medicinal approach to

mental health. Despite the disputes of prescription medicine for mental aid, health care provides

an overabundance to the children in many western countries.

In contrast, traditional medicines in Eastern culture use extraction of compounds found in

nature. Current Eastern medical models of that nature have a homeopathic effect. As stated in

Homeopathy and Integrative Medicine: Keeping An Open Mind, “Homeopathy enjoys growing

popularity with the lay population, but it is not acknowledged by academia or included in

medical guidelines” (Bellavite). Academics in western society rely on evidence that is based on

quantifiable responses; however, homeopathy medicine focuses on what can only be described

by theory rather than accurate documentation.

What are approaches to mental health therapy?

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Western theories of counseling and psychotherapy classify an individual by the

demonstration of traits shared throughout the population. Eastern practices stray away from the

generalization of clients as a whole; the therapists take an individualistic approach to

understanding each person. Mindfulness and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy discusses Eastern

methods of practicing psychoanalytic psychotherapy. For example, “The teaching or essence or

‘way’ of Buddhism, that is, a ‘non-dualistic wisdom’ or ‘non-self-referential awareness’ into the

Western mainstream” (Lin). Psychotherapy across modern western culture has started to show

some integration of techniques used in Eastern practices. This integration has yielded positive

effects for therapy thus far, and I feel should continue to be explored by psychologists and


What are cultural advantages and disadvantages for mental health?

The advantage of Western Culture is the primary ability to reach their populations

efficiently. With much technology development conduction through the recent years, dating to

the age of industrialism, we have been obsessed with rapid production. This allows for

advancements to quickly be made and pushed nationwide; however, with synthesized

compounds, it is hard to predict the outcome of exposure with any given human. As depicted by

the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,” prescribed medicine may be abused or lead

to worsening of symptoms; currently, we face the opioid epidemic across the US” (US

Department of Health and Human Services).

The advantage of Eastern Culture is the inherent objective of self-reflection found in their

culture. Unlike Western culture, Eastern mainly focuses on examining an individual’s mind and

utilizing natural ways to uproot the client’s disturbances. Thus, minimizing opportunities for

substance abuse or substance reliance for welfare. Eastern methodology has been practiced for
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centuries with similar tactics, with frequent success but on a small scale at a person to person

rate. The Eastern culture’s lack of adaption to technology and minimal collection of clinical

statistics diminishes standardization platforms.

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Works Cited

Bachmann, Christian J., et al. "Trends and patterns of antidepressant use in children and

adolescents from five western countries, 2005–2012." European

Neuropsychopharmacology 26.3 (2016): 411-419.

Bellavite, Paolo. "Homeopathy and integrative medicine: keeping an open mind." Journal of

Medicine and the Person 13.1 (2015): 1-6.

Laska, Kevin M., Alan S. Gurman, and Bruce E. Wampold. "Expanding the lens of evidence-

based practice in psychotherapy: A common factors perspective." Psychotherapy 51.4

(2014): 467.

Lin, Peter, and Henry M. Seiden. "Mindfulness and psychoanalytic psychotherapy: A clinical

convergence." Psychoanalytic Psychology 32.2 (2015): 321.

Merikangas, Kathleen Ries, et al. "Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in US adolescents:

results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication–Adolescent Supplement

(NCS-A)." Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 49.10

(2010): 980-989.

US Department of Health and Human Services. “About the U.S. Opioid Epidemic.” 6

Mar. 2018,