Psychology

Topics: Mental disorder, Psychiatry, Abnormal psychology Pages: 6 (1930 words) Published: October 13, 2013
Biological Model of Psychological disorders
A psychological disorder, also known as a mental disorder is a disorder of the mind involving thoughts, behaviours, and emotions that cause either self or others significant distress. Significant distress can mean the person is unable to function, meet personal needs on their own, or are a danger to themselves or others. Another popular definition of mental illness is a person's inability to work or to love.

The classification and diagnosis is an important concern for both mental health providers and mental health clients. While there is no single, definitive definition of mental disorders, a number of different classification and diagnostic criteria have emerged. Clinicians utilize the Diagnostic (DSM-IV TR), published by the American Psychiatric Association, to determine whether a set of symptoms or behaviours meets the criteria for diagnosis as a psychological disorder. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-16), published by the World Health Organization, is also frequently used.

While some people may avoid seeking a diagnosis out of fear of social stigma, getting a diagnosis is an essential part of finding an effective treatment plan. A diagnosis is not about applying a label to a problem, it is about discovering solutions, treatments and information related to the problem. Relatively recent research has revealed that psychological disorders are far more prevalent than previously believed. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 26 percent of American adults over the age of 18 suffer from some type of diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.1 The 1994 National Comorbidity Survey (NCS) indicated that 30 percent of respondents had experienced symptoms of at least one psychological disorder in the previous year. The survey also indicated that nearly half of all adults experience some form of mental disorder at some point in their life.2 The DSM-IV TR describes approximately 250 different psychological disorders, most of which fall under a category of similar or related disorders. Some of the prominent diagnostic categories include eating disorders, mood disorders, somatoform disorders, sleep disorders, anxiety disorders and personality disorders. ABNORMALITY

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, Cognitive, and Psychodynamic models. They all attempt to explain the causes and cures for all psychological illnesses, and all from a different approach. The Biological Model of Abnormality (the only model not based on psychological principles) is based on the assumptions that if the brain, neuroanatomy and related biochemicals are all physical entities and work together to mediate psychological processes, then treating any mental abnormality must be physical/biological. Part of this theory stems from much research into the major neurotransmitter, Serotonin, which seems to show that major psychological illnesses such as bipolar disorder and anorexia are caused by abnormally reduced levels of Serotonin in the brain.(1) The model also suggests that psychological illness could and should be treated like any physical illness (being caused by chemical imbalance, microbes or physical stress) and hence can be treated with surgery or drugs. Electroconvulsive therapy has also proved to be a successful short-term treatment for depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder and related illnesses, although the reasons for its success are almost completely unknown. There is also evidence for a genetic factor in causing psychological illness.(2)(3). The main cures for psychological illness under this model: electroconvulsive therapy, drugs and surgery at times can have very good results in restoring "normality" as biology has been shown to play some sort of role in psychological illness. However they can...
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