models - MODELS OF MENTAL ILLNESS Model a schematic...

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MODELS OF MENTAL ILLNESS Model – a schematic representation of how we think an event takes place; like a blueprint for a psychological event. True for all models… 1) they are based on assumptions; your model is only as good as the assumptions it is built on, so it is always important to be skeptical and question those assumptions!; 2) there is no ‘true’ or ‘correct’ model for any one phenomenon; all have strengths and weaknesses. In psychological research, we collect evidence for models so that we can rule out the least likely and focus on the most likely. BIOLOGICAL TRADITION: MEDICAL MODEL M.D.’s Based on the assumption that mental illness can be viewed as a disease brought about by a malfunctioning part of the individual (chemical or anatomical defect in the brain). Treatments = medication, surgery (in rare cases) Strengths – Medical Model 1) Some disorders can be almost completely alleviated with medications, which suggests a biological basis for the disorder (e.g., bipolar disorder a.k.a. manic depression treated with lithium). 2) We have evidence that a few disorders are caused entirely by physical illness (e.g., PANDAS in children). Weaknesses – Medical Model 1) Reductionist view - belief that all disorders can be reduced to simple biological problems, without giving any weight to environmental factors. 2) Symptoms viewed as causal factors and are treated; yet it is also possible that symptoms could be a result of the disorder rather than a cause.
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