How Behavior Research has Changed Diagnosing and Treating Psychological Conditions

Throughout history, treatment for emotional issues was completely unguided and led to many obscure and downright inhumane practices. Doctors and psychologists would perform treatments that are today considered arcane and close to torture such as shock treatment and isolation. In recent years, much more time and effort have been put into behavior research to stop these practices.

While past doctors and psychologists can not necessarily be blamed for the archaic procedures they practiced, behavior research has led to exponential advances in diagnosing and treating behavior issues. Gone are guesses for diagnosis and treatment. As behavior research became more prevalent, researchers started to realize that many diagnoses were wrong and the treatments were actually making patients’ issues worse. Behavior research involves examining a patient to discern why they have the have the problem they have and how the problem affects their everyday life. This wealth of information is then used to help doctors and psychologists learn to differentiate between several similar conditions, modify existing treatments to better help the patient or to not cause further harm, and to develop new treatments to replace treatments that had very little success. Behavior research has allowed doctors and psychologists to get inside the patient’s mind and understand what outward and inward symptoms are caused by certain conditions. This has led to significantly shorter recovery times for nearly all psychological conditions and has all but eliminated treatments that were actually harmful to the patients.

Some of the greatest advances in medicine have come from throwing aside preconceived notions about a particular subject and rethinking why doctors and psychologists are pursuing current treatments. Behavior research was one of the advances and has been the root cause of more accurate diagnosis and more effective treatments.

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