Blog Post #4- How Close are we to Finding a Cure for any Mental Illnesses?

For this round my question is What are the known treatments and recent developments for environmental (trauma induced, brain injury induced, and drug induced) and genetic illnesses?

Mental illness caused by the environment of a person have the most variables when it comes to treatment. Changing the environment that caused this illness or is contributing to this illness will treat it. This can be done by changing a sleep schedule, eating habits, changing communication patterns, changing sensory factors (lighting, smell, colour etc.) of living environment. (Lindberg, 2021). An example of an illness that is treated with these methods is depression. It is found that a change in behavior, brain stimulation therapy, and alternative medicine help with depression. (Smith et al., 2021). First, behavioural activation is a short-term treatment of depression. By identifying weekly goals and activities that could have a rewarding outcome, the feelings of loneliness and isolation can subside. (Tull, 2020). Another form of treating depression through behaviours is making sure the basic needs are met. If a person with depression is not sleeping eight hours, eating nutritious foods, and living in a clean environment, their depression might be worsened by the strain they are putting on their body. (Smith, 2021). Furthermore, diet can be very important relating to depression. So important that there is even a field of medicine called nutritional psychiatry. This branch of psychiatry focuses on the right foods to eat to treat and prevent depression. Eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grain, fish, olive oil, antioxidants, and less animal foods, proved to decrease the risk of depression. (Monique Tello, 2020). Next, sleep can also cause or worsen depression. 97% of people with depression have reported that they had disturbed, irregular, or lack of sleep. This shows that depression and sleep problems are directly linked. Even for people who have recovered from their depression, falling into unhealthy sleep patterns increases the risk of depressive relapse. (Nutt et al., 2008). In addition, it was found that mental health and physical health are dependent on each other. When physical health is better, negative thoughts such as day to day worries become mitigated. (Link et al., 2020). Moving on, antidepressants are the main medication prescribed to people with depression. They can balance chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. Their goal is to prevent depression and stop certain symptoms. There are side effects included in taking these medications like dizziness, weight gain, and liver damage. (Windeler, 2020). Moreover, brain stimulation therapy is used to measure brain activity and produce electrical impulses to target chronic depression. They use tiny implants in the brain to normalize the brain patterns and personalize the treatment plan for each patient since depression can affect different parts of the brain for different people. (Lozano et al., 2019). Alternative medicine is the last option I will explore. Herbal remedies like ginseng, chamomile, lavender, and Omega-3 fatty acids are recommended for depression. These will only help certain symptoms of depression. For example, lavender would help any feelings of anxiety that start from depression. There might also be side effects to some of these herbal remedies that would need to be checked over with a doctor. (Wilson, 2019). DBS is getting better imaging and integration. It was recently confirmed to have an impact on patients with depression. The results are considered promising. (Wu et al., 2021). There are some new medications that are being approved for depression and anxiety. For example, there was a drug approved in 2019 for depression called esketamine. (Gordon, 2019). Esketamine is made from ketamine; if various other medications for depression have not worked a patient could try the nasal spray of esketamine (Kaplin, 2021).

Trauma induced mental illnesses are all treated differently depending on what illness the trauma causes. There are preventive measures that can be taken though. Physical trauma could technically be avoided by not partaking in dangerous activities. An example would be a football player retiring from playing football. (Bartlet, 2019). An illness that can stem from physical trauma is PTSD. The suggested treatments for it are therapy, CPT (Cognitive Processing Therapy), PE (Prolonged Exposure Therapy), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and medications. Therapy can relieve patients of PTSD symptoms. Following, CPT is a type of therapy that focus on figuring out what in your trauma was out of your control and what was. Next, PE is another type of therapy, but it is more about confronting your trauma. Then, EMDR is where a patient will think about their trauma while their therapist performs a rapid repetitive action; For example, flashing a light. Lastly, medications are prescribed to patients with PTSD (Bhandari, 2020) These include Sertraline (Zoloft), Paroxetine (Paxil), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Venlafaxine (Effexor). A lot of PTSD medication is similar to medication that would be prescribed to people with depression and anxiety because parts of PTSD are depression and anxiety. (Pearlstein & Beebe, 2017). Advances in the subject have been made; In 2019, an injection was made that prevents swelling and inflammation of the brain after a brain injury. This was proven to help with long-term effects of brain injury; this could include mental illnesses. So, while this injection does not cure or treat illnesses, it can prevent them. (Budd, 2019)

When hereditary mental illnesses runs in a family, it does not mean that the child is bound to get the illness. The main treatment for hereditary mental illnesses is prevention. This means making sure the environment isn’t right to foster the illness. People could do this by starting counselling, keeping themselves active, and keeping their brains engaged. (Phillips, 2019). The known treatments for Schizophrenia are counselling and antipsychotic medications. Counselling can help a person with schizophrenia find ways to cope with the symptoms and medication can stop the delusions and hallucinations that are a symptom of the illness. (Legg, 2020) Some medications that could be prescribed Abilify (aripiprazole), Fanapt (iloperidone), Geodon(ziprasidone), Invega(papliperidone), or Seroquel (quetiapine). (Smith, 2020). Although, many antipsychotics have serious unavoidable side effects like the increased risk of serious ventricular arrhythmias and potentially fatal liver damage after long-term use. (Price, 2020). There are new antipsychotics being made; The most recent being lumateperone. It was FDA approved in 2019. It is effective against the positive symptoms of schizophrenia (Kubera, 2020), positive meaning the hallucinations and delusions, but not for the negative symptoms (lack of communication, social interaction, and motivation). (Pietrangelo, 2020). Lastly, like depression, the use of ketamine currently being explored as a treatment to schizophrenia. (Roland, 2021)

In my next round of research, I will be asking the question “Are any scientists working towards cures; if so how close are they?”. Because I mainly looked at treatments in this round of research and was successful it will be helpful to see if I can do it again and find any cures. If I am able to find scientists and doctors working towards a cure, I will have all the information I need to answer my question, “How Close are we to Finding a Cure for any Mental Illnesses?”. If I am not able to, I can still conclude that since not many people are looking for cures then any cures that could exist will not exist for a long time while answers the time frame part of my inquiry question.



 Bartlet, D. (2019, November 1). The link between physical trauma and mental health. NAMI Dane County. Retrieved November 5, 2021, from

Bhandari, S. (2020, January 21). 6 common treatments for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). WebMD. Retrieved November 5, 2021, from

Budd, K. (2019, October 24). Hope for patients with Traumatic Brain Injury. AAMC. Retrieved November 6, 2021, from

Gordon, J. (2019, August 13). New hope for treatment-resistant depression: Guessing right on ketamine. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved November 5, 2021, from,at%20least%20two%20antidepressant%20therapies.

Kaplin, A. (2021, October). Esketamine for treatment-resistant depression. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved November 5, 2021, from

Kubera, E. (2020, May 12). Research weekly: Promising new medications for schizophrenia . Treatment Advocacy Center. Retrieved November 6, 2021, from

Legg, T. J. (2020, April 23). Schizophrenia: Symptoms, causes, and treatments. Medical News Today. Retrieved November 6, 2021, from

Lindberg, S. (2021, January 25). How your environment affects your mental health. Verywell Mind. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from

Link, N. W., Ward, J. T., & Link, B. G. (2020). Getting people with serious mental illnesses on track: Insights from the health-based model of desistance. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 62(3), 71–95. Peer Reviewed

Lozano, A. M., Lipsman, N., Bergman, H., Brown, P., Chabardes, S., Chang, J. W., Matthews, K., McIntyre, C. C., Schlaepfer, T. E., Schulder, M., Temel, Y., Volkmann, J., & Krauss, J. K. (2019). Deep Brain Stimulation: Current challenges and Future Directions. Nature Reviews Neurology, 15(3), 148–160.

Monique Tello, M. D. (2020, January 29). Diet and depression. Harvard Health. Retrieved November 3, 2021, from

Nutt, D., Wilson, S., & Patterson, L. (2008). Sleep disorders as core symptoms of depression. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 10(3), 329–336.

Pearlstein, B. K., & Beebe, M. R. D. (2017, July 31). Medications. American Psychological Association. Retrieved November 6, 2021, from

Phillips, L. (2019, August 29). Challenging the inevitability of inherited mental illness. Counseling Today. Retrieved November 6, 2021, from

Pietrangelo, A. (2020, March 30). Negative symptoms of schizophrenia and how they’re treated. Healthline. Retrieved November 6, 2021, from

Price, L. H. (2020). The conundrum of antipsychotics and mortality. The Brown University Psychopharmacology Update, 31(5), 7–7. Peer Reviewed

Roland, J. (2021, May 3). Can schizophrenia be cured? how to treat it and more. Healthline. Retrieved November 6, 2021, from

Smith, K. (2020, October 1). Schizophrenia medications. Psycom. Retrieved November 6, 2021, from

Smith, M. (2021, October 13). Coping with depression. Retrieved November 3, 2021, from

Smith, M., Robinson, L., & Segal, J. (2021, October 13). Depression treatment. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from

Tull, M. (2020, April 11). 8 tips for using behavioral activation to treat depression. Verywell Mind. Retrieved November 3, 2021, from

Wilson, D. R. (2019, February 26). 8 herbs and supplements to help treat depression. Medical News Today. Retrieved November 4, 2021, from

Windeler, J. (2020, June 18). Depression: How effective are antidepressants? [Internet]. Retrieved November 3, 2021, from

Wu, Y., Mo, J., Sui, L., Zhang, J., Hu, W., Zhang, C., Wang, Y., Liu, C., Zhao, B., Wang, X., Zhang, K., & Xie, X. (2021, January 1). Deep brain stimulation in treatment-resistant depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis on efficacy and safety. Frontiers. Retrieved November 5, 2021, from

Thanks for reading!


5 Replies to “Blog Post #4- How Close are we to Finding a Cure for any Mental Illnesses?”

  1. Hi Shieva! Wow I think this topic has such a huge impact on many people because I know many people who have different Mental Illnesses. This blog post is so clear and thought out. I really like how you went into detail so people reading would understand but not off track so people would get lost. I also loved how you mentioned many different Mental Illnesses (because there are lots) and you didn’t just stick with one. That way people don’t just think Mental Illnesses is just one thing. Good job, keep it up! I cant wait to see you continue this journey!

  2. Hey Shieva, your topic is very interesting, and this blog is so well researched! I really like the way you wrote your information; they were organized and easy to follow. A question I developed after reading your blog is: Do the treatments vary based on whether the mental illness is environmentally caused or genetic? Does environmental and genetic mental illnesses naturally differ in severeness, and would the treatment differ due to that?

    One suggestion I have is to separate your writing into smaller paragraphs, as when they are very long, readers can get lost between the lines.

    Overall, I really look forward to your future posts, keep it up and good luck!

  3. Hi Shiva,
    Your topic sounds so intriguing! Your posts have been so informative, and yet so easy to understand. I really want to see how your project turns out. Keep up the good work!
    – Alexia

  4. Hey Shieva,
    wow, your topic is so interesting! I have never thought about this question before because I was always taught that a mental illness was probably genetic. For example, depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in an individual’s brain. However, I don’t know why I never questioned if we could cure it. Why I never questioned if we could fix that chemical imbalance. I’ve always thought that we couldn’t because it was just how someone was born, or due to events in their life we can’t undo.

    A suggestion I have for you is to space out your paragraphs. Since you have so much information and quotes in your work, as I was reading it was quite difficult to follow along. The big paragraph could easily be split into two or three mini paragraphs. As I was reading I felt like my eyes kept reading the next line, or never knowing when a new part started.

    I’m excited to see more from you and good luck!

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