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The tranquilizer pills millions of Americans . are popping into their mouths may cover up symptoms that need the attention of a physician or psychiatrist A New Orleans psychiatrist and research specialist: in mental disturbance says tranquilizers—outside of hospitals or clinics— are only useful in temporary crises whose upsetting effects pass when the situation ends. If mental stress and anxiety arise from long-standing habit patterns, says Louisiana State university's Dr. Charles Watkins, the pill consumer should consider getting help to unravel his problems. Dr. Watkins is professor and head of the department of psychiatry at LSU medical school. Tranquilizer'Pointers • - ... ' • '.. .. . • He gives these pointers about tranquilizer drugs and the difficulties they are supposed to combat: 1, The current idea that everyone should feel tranquil is a fallacy, * 'The things most of us put up with every day/' comments Dr. Watkins, "are frequently as nervewracking as a broken leg—if it isn't too bad a break/' * t 2. Anxiety is just as useful a symptom as fever. It is an indication that something is wrong. "If anxiety continues, you should try to find out what is causing it. Self-medication is not v;ery wise." ,3. Tranquilizers can deal with many symptoms of mental upset, but they don't "cure'1 the disturbance. Only a Crutch ' .. ;v - ■ ' , 4. While tranquilizing drugs are of great value in psychiatric treatment—particularly in severe mental disturb- ' anee--they are only a crutch for neurotic individuals. Dr. Watkins says tranquilizers have put psychiatry,-in its simpler forms, into the general practitioner's office. They have also done yeomen service in erasing the stigma psychiatric treatment used to carry* , A general practicioner or member of any medical specialty now has a variety of tranquilizing drugs he can prescribe for anxiety symptoms, if he deems it wise. These drugs fall into three common categories: 1. Phenothiazines—-the most well known of which is chlorpromazine, Chlorpromazine is one of the original "wonder drugs'* for mental disturbance. It was first used to combat vomiting in pregnancy. - - - ,. 2. Rauwolfia derivatives—Pharmacological refinements of the millema-old "snake root," used for more than 2000 years in India. - These drugs were first employed in modern medicine for alleviating high blood pressure. Affects' Fewer Functions ; ; 3. The propanediols—Chiefly exemplified by meprobamate. Meprobamate is a milder drug than the other two types, affecting fewer func|ions of the brain. In the past few years, tranquilizers have become a household word. Their consumption has spread from nervous adults to family pets with frazzled dispositions or out* right neuroses. . No recent tally on the consumption of tranquilizers is available. . But a congressional subcommittee investigating the advertising and sales promotion of tranquilizers two years ago reported that in 1957 Americans spent $300 million on these drugs, and that, every third prescription sold in the country contained tranquilizers. Researchers, using the drugs, have boosted the store of information about the once mysterious workings of the brain. v Bundles of Tissue The brain is a single organ, but it is made up of bundles of tissue which activate, control or correlate aspects of consciousness, as well as dealing with "automatic" movements and body processes. Tranquilizers act on one or more of these centers. In general, they tend to inhibit disturbing response to emotional stimuli. - The area and range of activity of tranquilizers is scientifically determined by electroencephalograph, a |le-vice for measuring electrical waves in the brain. Tranquilizers differ in their effects ort brain centers, Chlorpromazine, for example, slows down a center which alerts the intellectual seat of consciousness, and stimulates another brain circuit correlating intellectual and emotional aspects of consciousness. Rauwolfia, acting differently but producing roughly similar results, stimulates the alerting center as well as the correlating: circult. Chlorpromazine and Rauwolfia act alike on one section of this correlation cir cult—they produce convulsions. Researchers think the seizures may interrupt pathologieaL thinking involving the circuit. No Stimulating Effect Meproborriate, on the other hand, has no stimulating effect on any major brain center. It' acts by depressing | botlr the alerting center of the brain and the center cor-; relating emotions and thoughts ......" You can't buy any of these tranquilizers without a prescription. Most of the, so-called tranquilizers sold over the counter contain methapyrilene—a mild sedative; LSU's Dr. Watkins has high praise for the more potent and clinically effective tranquilizers. They produced a real revolution in psychotherapy, he says, when they appeared in -the early 1950s as drugs that actually could reduce tension and anxiety, I But, he adds, "there's very little evidence that these ! drugs have much effect on patterns of behavior or chronic personality problems." "If an employe wrangles constantly with his boss,'' he
|Title||Tranquilizers often cover up real sickness|
|Contact Information||John P Isché Library - LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans - 433 Bolivar St. New Orleans, LA 70112 ~ Send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org|
Kelso, Robert N.
Watkins, Charles, Dr.
|Call Number||1960 p85-86|
New Orleans States-Item
|Identifier||See 'reference url' on the navigational bars.|
|Source||John P Isché Library - LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans ~ www.lsuhsc.edu/no/library|
New Orleans (La.)
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