Health versus disease Before human disease can be discussed, the meanings of the terms health, physical fitness, illness, and disease must be considered. Health could be defined theoretically in terms of certain measured values; for example, a person having normal body temperature, pulse and breathing rates, blood pressureheight, weight, acuity of vision, sensitivity of hearing, and other normal measurable characteristics might be termed healthy. But what does normal mean, and how is it established? It is well known that if the temperatures are taken of a large number of active, presumably healthy, individuals the temperatures will all come close to
Biological and Psychological Models of Abnormality Introduction The many different models used to explain the nature and treatment of mental illness compound the problems of defining and classifying abnormal behaviour.
Five major schools of thought are summarised below.
The biological medical model The medical of abnormality model has dominated the psychiatric profession since the last century. The underlying assumption of this model is that mental illnesses resemble physical illnesses and can therefore be diagnosed and treated in a similar way.
Just as physical illnesses are caused by disease producing germs, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances or changes to the nervous system, it is assumed that this is also true of mental illnesses.
Because it assumes that mental disorders arise from such physical causes, the medical model is therefore a biological model. Example A patient presenting with symptoms of depression e. This could be corrected by prescribing drugs to restore the balance, or in severe cases ECT electro convulsive therapy.
Evaluation of the biological model Assuming that psychological disorders are the result of biological factors is not without its problems. For example, the classification of physical illnesses involves observation and measurement of objective symptoms such as broken bones, fever, blood pressure etc.
These cannot be easily measured, so the clinician must make a judgement based largely on experience. Also, the difference between physical and mental illness is that diagnosis of physical illness can normally relate to the causes of the problem known as aetiology.
For example, measuring blood sugar levels could check a diagnosis of diabetes. However as we will see, the causes of many mental illnesses are unknown.
This has an important consequence for treatments based on the biomedical model, as they can be criticised as focusing only on the symptoms of mental disorders and not the causes. In this way the individual is discouraged from taking control of his or her own life and as a consequence his or her problems will ultimately remain unresolved.
Against these negative criticisms could be set the undeniable progress that has been made in understanding the biological basis of many mental disorders especially schizophrenia and the successful development of bio-medical treatments.
In summary, the strengths of the biological model are: The model is based on well established sciences such as medicine There is evidence that biochemical and genetic factors are associated with some mental illnesses: The model does not explain the success of purely psychological treatments for mental illnesses For most mental illnesses, there is no definite proof of a physical cause The model does not include consideration of social and cultural factors which do seem to be statistically linked to mental illness, e.
It still offers for many therapists a preferred alternative to biological approaches to abnormality. The core assumption of this approach is that the roots of mental disorders are psychological.
They lie in the unconscious mind and are the result the failure of defence mechanisms to protect the self or ego from anxiety. Many of these intrapsychic conflicts involve basic biological instincts, especially sexual ones.
Many adult problems are reflections of these earlier conflicts, particularly those stemming from infancy and early childhood such as the Oedipus conflict.
Treatments based on the psychodynamic model focus on gaining access to the unconscious and exploring the conflicts with the patient so that they are able to confront them and resolve them in an adult way.
The emphasis is on the patient gaining insight into the origins of their problems. This technique is known as psychoanalysis. The method of psychoanalysis first developed by Freud is still practised, but perhaps more common today are the psychodynamic psychotherapies.
Assumptions. The biological approach to psychopathology believes that disorders have an organic or physical cause. The focus of this approach is on genetics, neurotransmitters, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy monstermanfilm.com: Saul Mcleod. Outline and evaluate the biological model of abnormality (12 marks) 6 AO1 marks. Explain and elaborate on the main assumptions of the biological model of abnormality. Make sure you refer to genes, neurotransmitters, hormones, brain damage, toxicity and disease. The Biological Model Possible cause of abnormal behaviour Genetics – inherited developmental abnormality Toxicity – chemical poisoning from e.g. drugs or environmental toxins Infection/disease – causing chemical or structural damage to the brain Stress – causing abnormal hormonal effects in the long term .
These share the fundamental principles of psychoanalysis, but are more eclectic and relaxed in their treatment of patients.The biopsychosocial model of health and illness is a framework developed by George L.
Engel that states that interactions between biological, psychological, and social factors determine the cause, manifestation, and outcome of wellness and disease. Biological and Psychological Models of Abnormality Introduction The many different models used to explain the nature and treatment of mental illness compound the problems of defining and classifying abnormal behaviour.
An Introduction to Abnormal Psychology. Updated on May 15, In ancient Greece, for example, the Greek philosopher Hippocrates took the biological approach by concluding that mental illness was due to an imbalance of bodily fluids (Hansell & Damour, ).
the nervous system, the role of genetics, disease, physical injury, and. Introduction. In this paper, I want to explore possible meanings of a cluster of words—disease, illness, sickness, health, healing and wholeness.
The booklet will also provide a brief analysis of two different approaches to the study of mental health and illness within society. According to the World Health Organisation “health is a complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”(The W.H.O).
The biological or medical approach regards abnormality as illness or disease. Mental illness is thought to be related to the physical structure and functioning of the brain.
Mental illness is thought to be related to the physical structure and functioning of the brain.