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Biological Model of Abnormality

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Biological Model of Abnormality The Biological model suggests there are four possible causes of mental illness, the subject's genes, biochemistry, infection and neuroanatomy. Neuroanatomy, or the nervous system, could be to blame for abnormality, because many Schchizophrenics have irregularly shaped brains comparison to normal people. Yet it is not clear if this is a cause or effect of the illness, all we know is that there is a correlation. There is also a correlation between schizophrenics and biological abnormalities, like high amounts of dopamine. Biochemical factors could be to blame for being mentally ill due to imbalances in their brain chemistry, such as too much or too little of a particular neurotransmitter. These are chemicals which transmit nerve impulses from one synapse to another. Infection could be to blame for abnormality, due to germs, bacteria and viruses. ...read more.


Secondly it is not known if symptoms of a mental illness are a cause or effect. For example high levels of dopamine may be the effect of schitophrenia not the effect. However many specialists argue that drugs are still appropriate as they relieve symptoms probably due to the comfort of someone trying to help them. Still this isn't the answer to curing the mental illness as it only treats the symptoms and not the causes, by adjusting the serotonin levels in a depressed person. Thirdly the concordance rates are never 100% suggesting that biological factors are not the only cause of the mental disorder. If the person is subject to stressful life events and the person inherits susceptibility for the disorder, then it will develop. Therefore there inconclusive evidence. The term mentally ill can lead to discrimination e.g. ...read more.


The biological model also bares the weakness of ignoring cultural influences, like there being a higher rate of schizophrenia in Afro-Caribbean males in the UK compared to white British males. This is a form of Ethnocentrism, because there is the thought that their culture worldview is central. However there are many positive aspects to this model. Firstly the treatments are cheap and effective which relieve distressing symptoms. Also the actual treatments are basted on scientifically-based research, of which our understanding has advanced to increase our understanding of the biological aspects of psychological disorder. Furthermore, adoption studies provide strong evidence for genetic causes, for example with the twins with the same genes there was a higher concordance rate compared with twins with 50% of the same genes. This method for solving mental illness is much more humane than in the past. Before the 19th century mental illness was thought to be caused by demons or the evil in the individual. Therefore the individuals are not as scared to seek help to therefore recover. ...read more.

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