This paper looks at the three theories of mental disorders. I will describe them briefly, talk about the causes of mental illness, explain how each theory approaches intervention, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each theory.
The Biological Theory of mental and psychiatric disorders revolves around the brain, and that these disorders are illnesses, or diseases that cause disruptions in the brain to produce the effects of the disorder. This theory says that the brain has specific physical, chemical, or structural problems that cause abnormal behavior. The increase of technological and pharmaceutical advancements, intervention has taken the course of chemical treatment of disorders. Biological theory focuses on the brains function and dysfunction, known as neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, and genetics. Psychiatrists focus on the role of neurotransmitters and how they affect human behavior, which leads to a very loose definition of a cure, psychiatric medications. These medications correct the dysfunctions in the brain by changing the amount of neurotransmitters. However, these medications lack in efficacy in diseases like schizophrenia, where the medication only suppresses the symptoms and not the disorder itself. (Schwartz and Corcoran, 64-88).
A weakness of the chemical treatment of disorders is figuring out the dosage, and if the patient responds to the treatment in a predictable way, and if there are other external factors that may affect the treatment. Sometimes a treatment will work for a while, and then cease to work. There are also other side effects of treatment that may cause other problems.
The strengths of this type of treatment is that there is some control over the disorder through balancing the chemical structure of the brain. Pills that reduce anxiety, or allow the individual to control their emotions help a person through temporary situations, or permanent disabilities, like fear, stress, anxiety and depression.
The Psychological Theory of mental disorders views people that have a mental illness as not ill, rather these individuals have abnormal behaviors because of irrational thinking and perceiving. There are four models in the psychological approaches to mental illness. They are, psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic-existential-phenomenological, and family systems. The psychoanalytic model explains abnormality as things that happen in an individual’s past or early life and how those experiences will affect how that person behaves and thinks in their adult life. The intervention idea of the psychoanalytic model is the “talking cure” thought of by Freud. Many people believe that talking about ones problems is a way to cure some disorders. This treatment releases some of the individual’s energy and freeing it from being used on unhealthy thoughts and behaviors and making it available for use on other things.
The cognitive-behavioral model focuses on three types of learning, or...