This model has a medical perspective and it’s the mostly use one. Psychologists view abnormal behaviour as the result of physical problems and should be treated medically. It mainly points to problems in brain anatomy or brain chemistry. Symptoms are identified and assumed to be biochemical or physiological in origin. Once a diagnosis is made, then somatic treatment is given and through use of drugs therapy(which we will see in detail later on ) . Psychoses and Neuroses are still used in practice as they reflect important aspects of mental illness under the medical model.
It’s an abnormal condition of the mind which lead to difficulties determining what is real and what is not. Symptoms include :
? loss of touch with reality
? delusions and hallucinations
? dramatic mood swings
? abnormal emotional responses
? and lack of orientation of time, place and people.
Psychosis has many different causes. These include:
? mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder
? sleep deprivation
? some medical conditions
? and drugs such as alcohol or cannabis.
Neurosis is a class of functional mental disorders involving chronic distress but it is neither hallucinations nor delusions. Neurosis symptoms are:
? chronic anxiety
? personality disorder
? defence mechanisms which are exaggerated to escape a situation which is uncomfortable.
When we talk about psychodynamic model, it leads us to look at Freud believes. According to Freud (1925) behaviour is motivated by internal or psychological forces, and abnormality is caused by an imbalance in these forces. From his believes, mental illness arises from conscious conflicts that has not been resolved, and these usually occur in early childhood. Freud believed an adult’s personality consisted of three components that develop during childhood.
1. The id consist of sexual, aggressive instincts and is concerned with immediate gratification.
2. The ego is the rational part of the mind and is concerned socially accepted behaviour.
3. The superego is a person’s conscience and is concerned with moral judgements and feelings of guilt.
Like the medical model, this approach is heavily dependent of the ‘expert’ therapist for help and is prone to cultural and social bias.
The behavioural approach to abnormal psychology is about the behaviours that we can observe from the patient. Behavioural psychologists believe that we learn behaviours through a complex system of rewards and punishments. Behavioural treatments therefore focus on changing the behaviours of the mentally ill. Using this model, the therapist doesn’t need to know the medical background of a patient but simply to identify and treat the current symptoms.
Behaviorists assume that the only things someone can see and observe are real. For example, we cannot see mind, the id, or the unconscious, however we can definitely know how people act, react and behave. From behaviour we may be able to make inferences about the minds and the brain, but they are not the main focus of the investigation. The object of the study is what people do, not what they think or feel.