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1. Medical Model of Atypical Behaviour<br />Higher Psychology<br /> 2. The Medical Model<br />Health is the absence of illness and disease<br…
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  • 1. Medical Model of Atypical Behaviour<br />Higher Psychology<br />
  • 2. The Medical Model<br />Health is the absence of illness and disease<br />The medical model seeks to identify specific illnesses and to treat them as illnesses, e.g. hospitalisation, medication and/or surgical intervention<br />
  • 3. Medical Model and the DSM-IV<br />The medical model argues that the same definition applies to physical and mental health problems: health is the absence of illness or disease.<br />This approach defines mental illnesses using strict criteria laid down in the DSM-IV<br />Individuals must match the criteria in order to be diagnosed with an ‘illness’<br />How helpful is this model?<br />
  • 4. Medical Model and Biology<br />According to the medical model, psychological problems must have a physiological (biological) root.<br />Depression, for example, may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain<br />
  • 5. Depression and the brain <br />Watch the short animation here and answer the questions on the worksheet<br />Don’t worry if you don’t have sound – the text is written next to the animation<br />
  • 6. Medical approach to depression<br />The medical approach argues that psychological problems such as depression have a physiological cause.<br />In this case, depression can be caused by the failure of the brain’s neurotransmitters to absorb the chemical serotonin.<br />Medical practitioners attempt to treat this through medication such as anti-depressant drugs.<br />
  • 7. Depression and medical treatments<br />The treatments used by the medical model are known as ‘somatic’ treatments, meaning ‘of the body’<br />They aim to fix the part of the body which is ‘not working’<br />There are three main types of anti-depressant, all of which affect the chemical balance of the brain.<br />
  • 8. Anti-depressant drugs<br />MAO-Inhibitors<br />Effective in approximately 50% of cases, but with severe side effects. Used only when other treatments have failed.<br />Tricyclic antidepressants<br />Prevent the re-absorption of serotonin and adrenaline, increasing the level in our system. However, Sommers-Flanagan et al (1996) found they were no more effective than a placebo.<br />
  • 9. Anti Depressant drugs<br />Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)<br />These include widely-used brands such as Prozac, and work in a similar way to tricyclics.<br />However, they only block serotonin reabsorption – not all neurotransmitters.<br />Joffe et al (1996) found they were more effective than placebos.<br />
  • 10. Other medical treatments<br />What can be used when drug treatments are ineffective?<br />Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) is a controversial treatment mainly used as a ‘last resort’.<br />Comer (2002) found a 60-70% improvement rate, but Sackheim et al (2001) argued that many patients later relapsed.<br />
  • 11. Medical Model and Eating Disorders<br />The DSM groups eating disorders into three main categories:<br />Anorexia Nervosa<br />The individual strictly limits their calorie intake, often combining rigid dieting with excessive exercise. With a BMI of below 17.5, they are underweight, yet believe that they are ‘fat’ and often demonstrate body dysmorphia. <br />
  • 12. Eating Disorders continued<br />Bulimia<br />Individuals have episodes of ‘binge’ eating during which they feel ‘out of control’. This is followed by purging, e.g. vomiting or using laxatives to get rid of the food consumed during the binge. Individuals with binge eating disorder share similar symptoms but do not purge and are often obsese. <br />Atypical Eating Disorders (EDNOS)<br />Individuals may have a combination of symptoms of anorexia and bulimia, or have some symptoms but do not meet the DSM criteria for diagnosis.<br />
  • 13. Who suffers from eating disorders?<br />Both men and women can suffer from eating disorders, but they most commonly occur in women under 25.<br />Abraham and Llewellyn-Jones estimate that 1 in 10 young women are affected at any point in time.<br />Anorexia is least common (0.5 – 1% of women aged 15 – 30), while up to 12% experience atypical eating disorders.<br />
  • 14. Medical explanations for eating disorders<br />Could there be physiological explanations for eating disorders?<br />Neuropeptides (a brain chemical) control our appetite. When someone ‘binges’ on food, they are unable to respond appropriately.<br />As a result, the brain is unable to send the message that the stomach is ‘full’.<br />Serotonin can also influence appetite as well as mood, and is linked to tryptophan – a substance released when we eat carbohydrates.<br />
  • 15. Treatments of eating disorders<br />Most treatments focus on counselling therapies, which we will return to in the next class<br />Medical treatment is often required as well, particularly in the treatment of anorexia, in order to stabilise the individual’s weight and ensure their physical safety<br />This can include compulsory treatment if the individual’s physical health is at risk.<br />
  • 16. Strengths of the medical model<br />Provides a clear, measurable set of criteria for diagnosis<br />Practical, cost-efficient treatments which work in the majority of cases (e.g. SSRIs for depression)<br />Can be the only option in severe cases or emergencies<br />Many patients do not want an ‘insight’ into their problem – they simply want to feel better<br />
  • 17. Weaknesses of the medical model<br />Can be seen as too ‘rigid’, with a fixed idea of health/illness<br />Gender, ethnic and cultural biases in diagnosis of illnesses, and problems with the DSM system of diagnosis<br />May not take into account social and/or cultural factors contributing to mental ill health e.g. poverty, abusive relationships<br />Does not tackle the ‘root’ of the problem – it only treats the symptoms<br />
  • 18. Further Reading<br />DSM-IV<br />Women and mental health (WHO site)<br />MIND factsheet – the African and Caribbean community and mental health<br />Anorexia information<br />BBC mental health site<br />
  • Joseph Beuys

    Jul 23, 2017
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