ASSIGNMENT ON PSY 310
“FOUR MODELS OF ABNORMAL BEHAVOURS”
ODEH, JENNIFER OMARI
What Are Models?
Models are representations containing the essential structures of some object or event in the real world. There is a variety of things that are commonly referred to as models: physical objects, fictional objects, set-theoretic structures, descriptions, equations, or combinations of some of these. However, these categories are neither mutually exclusive nor jointly exhaustive. Where one draws the line between, say, fictional objects and set-theoretical structures may well depend on one's metaphysical convictions, and some models may fall into yet another class of things. Models of Abnormality are general hypotheses as to the nature of psychological abnormalities. The four main models to explain psychological abnormality are the Biological, Behavioural, Humanistic, and Psychodynamic models. They all attempt to explain the causes and cures for all psychological illnesses, and all from a different approach. 1.
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.g., extreme tiredness, difficulty in sleeping, lack of interest in life, possible suicidal tendencies) would be diagnosed as having a problem resulting from an imbalance of brain chemicals. This could be corrected by prescribing drugs to restore the balance, or in severe cases ECT (electro convulsive therapy).
The model is based on well established sciences such as medicine 2.
There is evidence that biochemical and genetic factors are associated with some mental illnesses: schizophrenia, for example 3.
It provides a structured and logical system of diagnosis and treatment 4.
If mental illness has a physical cause, patients cannot be blamed — the person is not responsible for the abnormal functioning Disadvantages:
The model does not explain the success of purely psychological treatments for mental illnesses 2.
For most mental illnesses, there is no definite proof of a physical cause 3.
The model does not include consideration of social and cultural factors which do seem to be statistically linked to mental illness, e.g., higher rates of mental illness amongst the poor 4.
Even if physical changes are associated with mental disorders, it is not clear whether they are the cause or the effect of the illness Treatment
This could be corrected by prescribing drugs to restore the balance, or in severe cases ECT (Electro Convulsive Therapy). 2.
The Psychodynamic Model
The psychodynamic model was first formulated by Sigmund Freud at the end of the 19th century and since that time has had an enormous influence on the entire area of abnormal psychology. 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). Example
A patient presenting with anxiety symptoms would be encouraged to explore...
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