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Biological Causes Of Abnormality Essays

Though at one point in time clinical scientists believed in only one model of abnormality, we now have six very different models. The original model of abnormality was, unfortunately, the product of cultural beliefs. But because no one model can be deemed complete on its own, competing models have since developed to strive for the comprehensive means for treatment. For example, the biological model and the psychodynamic model take very different approaches on understanding thoughts and emotions. All models are unique and similar to each other, but the biological model and psychodynamic model seem to be the most extreme when compared to each other.

The biological model takes on more of a medical perspective, which is somewhat self-explanatory in its title. It takes its roots in human biological or genetic makeup. The main focus of the biological approach is the brain and how psychological abnormality stems from malfunctioning parts of the organism.

This is because biological theorists have found links between problems in cerebral anatomy and actual psychological disorders. When there is difficulty in transmitting messages between neurons, psychological disorders can occur. Also, researchers believe that these disorders can come from abnormal chemical activity in the endocrine system and from genetics. Inheritance can play an important role in the predisposition to certain mood disorders, like schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease.

The psychodynamic model, the oldest and most popular of the six, has a completely different approach than that of the biological model. The psychodynamic model states that a person's behavior is the result of underlying dynamic psychological forces, whether they are independent or interactive. A conflict between these dynamic forces is what causes abnormal behavior. Freud, the father of the psychodynamic model, proposed that it was an unconscious conflict between three forces: the id, ego, and superego. If one's developmental...

The Strengths and Limitations of the Biological Model of Abnormality

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The Strengths and Limitations of the Biological Model of Abnormality This model uses physical illness as a model for psychological disorder, suggesting that like physical illness, mental illness has an underlying bodily cause. It proposes that genetic, organic or chemical disorders cause metal illnesses which give rise to behavioural and psychological problems. Thus, abnormality has physical causes such as brain dysfunction (neurological), biochemical imbalances, infections or genetics and so can only be cured through medical treatments. Therefore it implies that abnormality results from properly…show more content…

However a negative ethical issue is that genetic explanations of mental illness may result in relatives becoming anxious and such explanations also raise questions and concerns about the use of sterilisation to prevent the continuation of such disorders. There are a number of other concerns about the unfavourable ethical consequences of this model of abnormality. For example, there is the assumption resulting from the model that the mentally ill aren’t responsible fro their actions which may lead to a loss of rights, such as the right to consent to treatment or institutionalisation. The assumption that there is always a biological underlying cause for mental disorder may be incorrect and therefore lead to the wrong diagnosis or treatment being given. Heather (1976) suggests that the basis of defining abnormality is often governed by social and moral considerations rather than biological – thus the inclusion of psychosexual disorders such as paedophilia. Lastly, the assumption that mentally ill people are distinctly different from mentally well people can lead to labelling and prejudice against those defined as abnormal under the biological model.

It also has practical implications such as institutionalisation

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