Have you ever needed to see a counselor but had to be referred by a doctor first? This may seem like an odd request at first, after all, a counselor deals with the mind and a doctor deals with the body. The biological model (or medical model of abnormality) may be able to help explain the connection.
The biological model was developed from a medical perspective. It assumes that mental illnesses are a result of a physical issue - most likely a chemical imbalance in the brain or a change to the nervous system – and can, therefore, be diagnosed and treated like a physical illness. An example of this type of illness would be a patient suffering from depression. The symptoms such as extreme tiredness, difficulty sleeping, loss of interest, suicidal thoughts, etc. would imply that the patient has a chemical imbalance and thus prescribed drugs to correct the problem.
As with all theories and models, the biological model has its strengths and its weaknesses. Psychological disorders can, at times, be hard to judge. Mentally illnesses, unlike physical illnesses, do not have an easily measured objective of symptoms such as broken bones, fever, or high blood sugar. They also differ in the fact that it is often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of a mental illness. Some other strengths and weaknesses of the biological model are as follows:
The model has scientific backup – medicine is a well established science
Some mental illnesses have shown biological and genetic factors – schizophrenia is one example
Medical science provides a straightforward system of diagnosis and treatments
It allows the patient a peace of mind that they are not responsible for their abnormal functioning – the mental illness has a physical cause
Mental illnesses have been treated by purely psychological means of treatment – this model has no explanation for that
Most mental illness do not present proof of a physical cause
Mental illnesses have been...