outline and evaluate the biological approach to abnormality?

Topics: Schizophrenia, Psychology, Mental disorder Pages: 2 (443 words) Published: October 1, 2013
Outline and evaluate the biological approach to abnormality? The biological or medical approach regards abnormality as illness or disease. Mental illness is thought to be related to the physical structure and functioning of the brain. There are four possible causal factors of abnormality: brain damage, infection, biochemistry and genes. The first factor is brain damage. Abnormal behaviour may occur if the structure of the brain is damaged in some way. Once disease or brain damage has caused mental deterioration there is little that can be done an example of this is Alzheimer’s disease which is caused by the malformation and a loss of cells in a number of areas in the nervous system. A second factor is infection we are familiar with the idea of bacteria or viruses causing physical illness such as flu. It seems though that infection can also give a rise to mental illness. Flu has been linked to schizophrenia. Recent research shows that schizophrenia cases have been linked with exposure to the flu virus in the womb during the first trimester. The third factor is biochemistry. Neurotransmitters are thought to be out of balance in the nervous system of individuals with certain psychological disorders. For example schizophrenia has been associated with an excess of activity in the neurotransmitter dopamine. Depression has been associated with decreased availability of serotonin. The fourth factor is genes. Important new genetic research has highlighted the possibility that some people may be genetically at risk of development a mental disorder but so far the strong evidence relates to conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar depression. It has been shown that a son or daughter of someone with schizophrenia have a 10% chance of receiving it them self. A strength of the biological approach is no blame a diagnosis of mental illness implies that the carer is not to blame for their abnormal behaviour. The concept of no blame is generally thought to be a humane and...
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