Medical Model Of Mental Disorders

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The medical model of mental disorders is a way of thinking in psychiatry that incorporates medical thinking and methods. The medical model states that psychiatry is a branch of medicine and because of this the use of medical diagnosis should be used in psychiatric diagnosis. This medical model is broken down in to two parts, the minimal claim and the strong claim. Each claim holds the belief of which is the better way to diagnose a mental illness. This essay will address what the medical model of mental disorders is, and the difference between the minimal and strong claim. I will argue that there is good reason to reject both the minimal and strong claim, and that there is an alternative version of the medical model that will balance out the…show more content…
Gauze proposed the medical model of a mental disorder, which as stated above, describes psychiatry as a branch of medicine. The medical model seeks to bring medical diagnostics to psychology and psychiatry. When applying the medical model to psychiatry there are three components. These components consist of (1) a wide range of specific mental illnesses, (2) each with a distinct reaction to treatment, and (3) improved psychiatric understanding through coordinated health care diagnostic testing. This shows that the medical model is less interested in the definitions of disease, and instead interested in how to treat and care for individuals that have been diagnosed with a mental illness. Information that can be drawn from the medical model is the type of medical treatment that should be produced, how to take on psychiatric research and training, and the classification and diagnosis of mental disorders. This medical model was derived from the DSM and is split into two parts, the minimal claim and the strong claim.
The minimal claim of the medical model states, “mental disorders are a collection of symptoms that occur together and unfold in characteristic ways, but makes no commitments about underlying causes of mental illnesses” (Murphy, 2010). The minimal claim is based solely on the symptoms that occur because of the illness, but not the cause of the illness. The minimal claim uses physical symptoms, such as pain in the abdomen, fatigue, fever, and decreased immune
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As expressed above, the problem is that just because there is a symptom does not necessarily mean that it will be diagnosed correctly. In this argument we reject statement 3, because symptoms can have different causes. In the medical field today there are so many things that need to be diagnosed and diagnosis has become more difficult because symptoms are so similar. Even more so, there have become subcategories in illnesses. For example, schizophrenia is divided into different types of schizophrenia and though each one is slightly different, they have similar symptoms. In many kinds the schizophrenic becomes withdrawn, and lacks trust in other people. The classification based solely on symptoms is not a practical or effective way to prescribe treatment. This form of classification can lead to improper prescribing of medications to patients. It puts a lot of pressure on the doctor to determine the problem of the patient when there are so many contributing factors that are so
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