Medical model and psychodynamic model of Abnormality
Abnormal literally means a deviation from the ‘norm’. Abnormality refers to maladaptive behaviours that cause distress and interfere with an individual’s ability to live a productive life. What can be considered normal or abnormal can vary between different cultures or societies and depends on situation or context, for example it is considered abnormal to cry continuously for a period of over 24 hours, but in the situation of mourning a loved one, it would be classed as normal. Abnormal behaviours constituting a mental disorder can be so common that it becomes statistically normal, such as anxiety and depression. A definition of abnormality stated by A.Colman, “A psychological abnormality is a manifestation of cognition, emotion or behaviour that deviates from an accepted norm or is a sign or symptom of a mental disorder”. (2006).
The medical model assumes abnormal behaviour is caused by malfunctions of the brain or the nervous system. The medical model believes there are four ways in which a mental illness develops; mental illnesses can be caused by a germ, for example general paresis is a neuropsychiatric disorder that affects the brain and nervous system which is caused by the infection Syphilis; Biochemistry, for example schizophrenia is caused by an excess of dopamine; genetic factors influence the development of a mental illness and the neuroanatomy of a patient for example Alzheimer which effects the patient’s cognitive functioning. They treat mental illnesses in the same way as physical illnesses, treating the organic cause of the illness with drugs or surgery. This is only suitable when the abnormal behaviour is caused by an organic source, however most abnormal behaviours develop from traumatic childhood experiences or problems with their living and not neurological causation.
Thomas Szasz (1961) believes that the concept of mental illness is a myth and that to be a true disease it must be...