Over the past two decades there has been a remarkable explosion in the understanding of the biological basis of the brain and the impact of that on behaviour. Furthermore, developments in pharmacological therapeutic approaches continue at a tremendous rate. Yet, although there are many mental health nursing textbooks available, very few address this significant aspect of mental health in any depth. Clearly, in order to deliver informed holistic care, it is vital that practitioners appreciate the biological aspects of mental health problems and the associated implications for clients, families and the practitioner. This book aims to provide a broad overview of the neurobiological factors which may contribute to, and arise from, the development of mental health problems, and seeks to clearly identify issues relevant to mental health nursing practice.
Key issues addressed include: the important role of homeostasis in maintaining physical and emotional well-being; the important link between immunology and nutrition and mental health; the co-ordinated role of neuro-function and endocrine function in influencing behaviour; adaptive and maladaptive responses of the body to stress and stressors; ageing process as a continuum of life and its relation to mental health; and, restorative function of sleep.