Comparing The Biological And Psychodynamic Paradigms Of Psychopathology

2702 words - 11 pages

A paradigm is a form of framework of general perspective, which helps and guides the study and treatment of psychopathology The paradigm helps the scientists and psychologists to shape up what they want to investigate, and diagnose in the area of abnormal mental health, understanding paradigms helps them explore subjective influences that may affect their work. And Psychopathology is the study of mental illness or mental distress and the manifestation of behaviours of mental illness or psychological impairment. kring,Johnson,Davison,neale (2010)

There are currently four paradigms of psychopathology, they are genetic, neuroscience, psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural and ...view middle of the document...

Brain damage is where the structure of the brain has been permanently altered, resulting in mental deterioration. The damage may be due to trauma or disease, but once the deterioration has started it cannot be reversed or stopped. Stokes.(1998). A psychological disorder which is an example of this would be Alzheimer’s disease. Damage to the nervous system, especially the brain, is likely to lead to disruption of normal functioning. Studies of bipolar disorder within one particular family indicate a possible way in which genetic factors and chemical factors interact to affect mental illness Gershon (1990).
Secondly infections are a factor; many physical illnesses are caused by the invasion of the body by viruses and bacteria. The first such illness associated with infection was general paresis caused by the sexually transmitted disease syphilis. A person with this infection becomes increasingly forgetful and intellectually impaired, eventually becoming paralysed before dying.
Thirdly biochemical factors; an excess or deficiency in the chemical elements in the body, especially in the brain, has been shown to be a possible cause of some mental disorders. There are many neurotransmitters in the brain and a chemical imbalance in a few of the known ones is believed to be associated with abnormal behaviour, Recent studies have shown that patients suffering from Bipolar disorder or Anorexia Nervosa often have lower levels than normal of the neurotransmitter Serotonin, whereas patients suffering from Schizophrenia often have higher levels than normal of the neurotransmitter Dopamine. The previous research has found out that patients with depression have a higher level than normal of the hormone Cortisol.
The forth factor is genetics; some conditions such as depression, schizophrenia and alcoholism are believed to be caused in party by genetic factors. Mental illness can be inherited; research was conducted to prove that genetics are a major factor in the predisposition to mental illness. One such study was conducted by Kelly Vitousek and Frederic Manke. (1994)
In which 177 sets of twins completed diagnostic assessments. The sample consisted of 68 monozygotic and 109 dizygotic same-sex co-twins of which one (from each set) had been previously diagnosed with a major depressive disorder The results established that there is a considerable higher risk of developing mental illness in the monozygotic twins compared to the dizygotic twins. The experiment also concluded that there was no evidence that the sex or shared environments of the participants were factors Vitousek et al (1994)
As this is the biological paradigm the treatments also follow a medical approach. The main treatments of Physical illnesses are drug therapy, surgery or electro-convulsive therapy (although ECT is less likely to be found when treating an illness non-related to the brain). Drugs are prescribed by using DSM-IV or ICD-10 such as anti-depressants, anti-psychotics,...

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