Monday, October 27, 2008

The Effectiveness of Psychosomatic Drugs As Autism Treatment

Author: Nicole Harris
There is no one treatment or cure for Autistic disorders. Patients' treatments are highly individualized and it may take many trials before a line of treatment is decided upon. This is stressful and confusing for both the patient and their loved ones and caregivers.
What classifies a disorder/disease as "psychosomatic" is that it involves both mind and body, and Autism definitively fits into this description. Those who work in psychosomatic medicine, more recently referred to as psychophysiologic medicine, focus on mental processes and symptoms rather than physical Autism symptoms.
While Autism is rarely approached as a psychosomatic disorder, the psychosomatic drugs used are anti-anxiety and/or anti-depressants, which are common prescriptions for Autistic patients. The main difference when approaching Autism symptoms as psychosomatic is the psychotherapy or other type of therapy which is used to augment the medication.
Antidepressants are taken by about 32% of the approximately 58% of Autistic patients taking some form of pharmaceutical treatment. The main difference in a psychosomatic approach is the therapy, which is definitely worth a try, however, parents and/or caregivers must be aware of the potential side effects of anti-depressants, including nausea, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, dry mouth, and changes in sex drive/satisfaction. The last is obviously unimportant to the younger demographic of patients, however, taken long-term, may frustrate Autistic adults.
It is important that despite any frustration or side effects, parents, caregivers, or the patient should contact their doctor before stopping any psychosomatic drugs as the patient may need to gradually lower their dose in order to "wean" them off of the medication rather than stopping all at once.
There are many more resources and information about autism signs, symptoms, treatments, and cutting edge medical research.
Everything Parents And Caregivers Should Know About The Disorder

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