chapter  4
32 Pages

Mental Disorder: Concepts of Causes and Cures

The medical model views mental disorder as a disease or a disease-like entity that can be treated through medical means. That is, it attributes mental abnormalities to physiological, biochemical, or genetic causes and attempts to treat these abnormalities by way of medically grounded procedures such as psychopharmacology (drug therapy), electroshock therapy (EST), or psycho-surgery (brain surgery). In this particular context, a person who is mentally ill is regarded as sick in much the same manner as if that person were physically ill. The medical model holds that abnormal behavior is symptomatic of an underlying psychic disturbance; therefore, its approach is to discover and treat the cause of that disturbance with a strategy similar to that of finding and curing a bacteriological infection.