Medical Model

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Medical Model

Mental illness or mental disorder is a word used for any state that influences an individual’s feeling, performance or opinion in a method that is upsetting or functioning poorly. There are some sources which now also refer the mental illness in an aspect that hampers functioning and causes distress. Some researchers still refer the mental illness as the disease of mind and this stigma was accepted since ages. However, this attitude regarding the mental illness is gradually fading as new researches open an insight into the actual cause of the mental illness in a biological term. Even though the biological terms have paved the way to a better treatment but they have not established an exact link between the cause and the effect. The findings were often bazaar. Recent researches have established an insight and raised concerns into the treatment of mental illness. This paradigm could be explained and analyzed with the use of the medical model which is the base and key treatment pillar for every psychiatric condition these days and thus highlighting the critiques of the medical model with personal experience as evidences, concepts and theories. The most common and the dominant model used in the present day scenario in psychiatry is the medical model. The basic statement or the assumption of the medical model is that the psychological disorders are various forms of diseases. How the disease began or the symptoms, the variety of cases, the disease path and progress, its response to the treatment and the adjoining features observed in the psychological disorder are observed to be equivalent to what happens in physical disease. The medical model in psychiatry presumes that diseases of any origin or type could be fully examined and understood with respect to any abnormal biological variable. Therefore according to the medical an underlying physical mechanism would be the exact cause of psychological disorder and the treatment would focus on the alteration of the biological variable responsible for it. However, this model has been a point of criticism as being insufficient for perceptive.

“The crippling imperfection of the medical model is that, it can make provision neither for the person as a whole nor for data of physiological or social nature” ( Engel 1980). Biology itself cannot be considered the root cause of the psychological disorder. This model should also be related with other models too at a level that includes psychosomatic processes like social and cognitive levels. For the correct understanding of the psychological disorder, it is important to assimilate knowledge from various stages in the biological levels. It is important to understand that each level has got its own significance and strength but has got limitations too. The medical model provides a good explanation of “from”, that is, it also gives answer to “how” i.e. how a particular disease occurs and its mechanism. The medical model however does not provide a perfect explanation of the function of the disease process. That means the biology cannot answer to the why statement of the question: what is the main cause of the disorder why, what is its function, purpose or meaning? For the understanding of the phenomena both sets of the question are important. Assimilation of both the approaches should be there. In the year 1961,The Myth Of Mental Illness by Thomas Szaaz offered an insight into the graveness of the issues concerning medical model. In this Saaz offers a logical and conceptual critique on the medical model. Mind is compared as an object by the medical model. He describes that medical model aims to bond mind and body together and uses its assumption for defining, explaining, justification, thoughts and behavior as diseases medically. Szaaz criticizes the expression that mind is an object by bringing on the already documented epistemological, linguistic and ontological disparity...
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