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A Beautiful Mind Essay

Mental illness has been a part of society for as long as man has been in existence. The understanding of mental illness has grown form trephining in the Stone Age to a more modern approach. There are six major models used to describe, explain, predict, and control mental illness. First the Biological or organic model (Kraepelin, 1883/1923, p. 20) belief that mental disorders have a physical or physiological basis, how our genes, hormones, and nervous system interact with our environment.

The type of treatment recommend for this model is Biological interventions such as drugs, surgery, and diet. The key people who formulated these theories are: Wilhelm Griesinger (1817-1868) a German psychiatrist who believed that all mental disorders had physiological causes. In an 1883 publication, psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926) proposed that mental disorder could be directly linked to organic brain disorders and further proposed a diagnostic classification system for all disorders.

Kraepelin system was the original basis for the diagnostic categories in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) established the germ theory of disease which was the (invasion of the body by parasitic microorganisms). In 1897, Richard Von Krafft-Ebing (1840-1902) A German Neurologist, inoculated paretic patients with pus from syphilitic sores and when the patients failed to develop the secondary symptoms of syphilis, Krafft-Ebing concluded that the patient had been previously infected by syphilitic.

In 1905, a German zoologist, Fritz Schaudinn (1871-1906) isolated the microorganism that cause syphilis and thus paresis. These discoveries convinced many scientists that every mental disorder might eventually be linked to an organic cause (Sue, Sue, Sue, & Sue, 1976, p. 20). Therefore the Biological models states that mental illness is because by some abnormalities within the physical body such as bad genes, that may have been inherited from a parent or blood relative can increase your risks of becoming mentally ill.

In addition to the bad genes we have hormones which play a significant role such as hormonal imbalance which deals with the chemistry in the brain and body that can lead to mental illness, or an ill structure of the nervous system and the environment, being pre exposed to drugs before birth can also lead to mental illness. Second, the Psychological models belief that mental disorders are caused by psychological and emotional factors rather than organic or biological one.

The type of treatment recommend for this model is Dream analysis, free association, transference; locating unconscious conflict from childhood; resolving problem and reintegrating personality. The key people who formulated these theories are: Friedrich Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), an Austrian physician developed a highly controversial treatment that came to be called mesmerism which was the forerunner of modern practice of hypnotism. Mesmer techniques for curing illness involved inducing a sleeplike state, during which his patients became highly susceptible to suggestion. Mesmer was later declared a fraud.

Mesmer power of suggestion proved to be a strong therapeutic technique in the treatment of hysteria. Lean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893), a neurosurgeon at La Salpetriere Hospital in Paris and the leading neurologist of his time. Charcot abandon hypnosis in favor of more traditional methods of treating hysteria which he claimed was caused by organic damage to the nervous system. Charcot technique did much to legitimize the application of hypnosis in medicine. Ambroise-Auguste Liebeault (1823-1904) and Hippolyte-Marie Bernheim (1840-1919) hypothesized that hysteria was a form of self-hypnosis.

Their work demonstrated impressively that suggestion could cause certain forms of mental illness; that is, that symptoms of mental and physical disorders could have a psychological rather than an organic explanation. Viennese doctor Josef Breuer (1842-1925), who discovered that one of his female patients was cured of her symptoms after she spoke about her past traumatic experiences while in a trance. This latter technique became known as the Cathartic Method, a therapeutic use of verbal expression to release pent-up emotional conflicts.

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) Freud began his career as a neurologist. He became increasingly intrigued with the relationship between illness and mental processes and ultimately develop psychoanalysis, a therapy in which unconscious conflicts are aired so that the patient can become aware of and understand his or her problem. Freud’s theories have had a great and lasting influence in the field of abnormal psychology. The behavioristic perspective that stresses the importance of learning and behavior in explanations of normal and abnormal development (Sue et al. 1976, p. 48). Thus the psychoanalytic model states whatever bad encounters a person has experienced as a child or in their life time has a direct effect on how they will develop mentally whatever has happen to them must be talked about. In order to heal and move on with their lives. Third Behavioral model concerned with the role of learning in abnormal behavior. The type of treatment for this model is direct modification of problem behavior’ analysis of environmental factors controlling behavior and alteration of contingencies.

The three learning paradigms are classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and observational learning. The key people who formulated the theories are: Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936), a Russian physiologist, discovered this process in which a responses to new stimuli are learned through association, and led to his formulation classical conditioning he reason that food is a unconditioned stimulus which has a unlearned or unconditioned response. When Pavlov used a neutral stimulus such as a bell he learned that the bell was conditioned response which is a learned response. John B.

Watson (1878-1958) recognized the importance of associative learning in the explanation of abnormal behavior. (Watson & Rayner, 1920) using classical conditioning principles, was able to demonstrate the acquisition of phobia an exaggerated, seemingly illogical fear of a particular object or of objects. Classical conditioning has also provided explanations for certain unusual sexual attractions and other extreme emotional reactions. Edward Thorndike (1874-1949) first formulated the concept of operant conditioning which he called instrumental conditioning holds that behaviors are controlled by the consequences that follow them.

B. F. Skinner (1904-1990) fifty years later developed Thorndike’s work and made the concept of reinforcement central. Operant conditioning differs from classical conditioning in two primary ways. First, classical conditioning is linked to the development of involuntary behaviors, such as fear responses, where operant conditioning is related to voluntary behaviors. Second behaviors based on classical conditioning are controlled by stimuli, or even preceding the responses. (Sue et al. , 1976, p. 51).

According to the behavioral model if a person or animal is rewarded when they are good then they are most likely to be good, and if a person is punishment when they are bad then they are most likely not to be bad. Fourth, Cognitive model are based on the assumption that conscious thought mediates or modifies, an individual’s emotional state and or behavior in response to a stimulus. The type of treatment for this model is, understanding relationship between self-statements and problem behavior; modification of internal dialogue.

The key people who formulated the theories are: Aaron Beck (1921- ) and Albert Ellis (1913-2007) are cognitive psychologists who explain psychological problems as being produced by irrational thought patterns that stem from the individual’s belief system. Ellis (1997-2008) the A-B-C- Theory of Personality the development of emotional and behavioral problems is often linked to a dysfunctional thinking process. The cognitive psychologist is likely to attack these problematic beliefs using a rational intervention process resulting in a change in beliefs and feelings.

The irrational cognitive process; (A) Activating event; loss of job. (B) How awful to lose my job I must be worthless. (C) Emotional and behavioral consequence; depression and withdrawal Rational Intervention ;( D) Disputing intervention; losing a job has nothing to do with my self-worth. (E) New effective philosophy;” I’m okay I won’t give up”. (F) New feeling “it’s okay to feel frustrated I won’t give up. ” Criticisms has also been leveled at the therapeutic approach taken by cognitive therapists. The nature of the approach makes the therapist a teacher, expert, and authority figure.

Thus the therapist may misidentify the client’s disorder, and the client may be hesitant to challenge the therapist’s beliefs (Sue et al. , 1976, p. 55). In a word the cognitive model states we must try and find the positive in things and not all the time the negative in our lives and what the cognitive model say’s is that we must change our brains to think positive. Fifth, Humanistic model that people are born with the ability to fulfill their potential and that abnormal behavior results from disharmony between the person’s potential and his or her self-concept.

The type of treatment for this model is Nondirective reflection, no interpretation, providing unconditional positive regard, increasing congruence between self and experience. The key people who formulated the theories are: Carl Rogers (1902-1987) is perhaps the best known of the humanistic psychologists, Rogers’s theory of personality (1959; 1961) reflects his concern with human welfare and deep conviction that humanity is basically good, forward moving, and trustworthy. The Actualizing Tendency with less concentration on behavior disorders.

The self-actualization – a term popularized by Abraham Maslow (1954) which is an inherent tendency to strive toward the realization of one’s full potential. Development of Abnormal Behavior Rogers believed that if people were left unencumbered by societal restrictions and were allowed to grow and develop freely, the result would be fully functioning people. Society frequently imposes conditions of worth on its members. Person-Centered Therapy The therapist needs to have a strong positive regard for the client’s ability to deal constructively with all aspects of life.

The Existential Perspective it shares with humanistic psychology an emphasis on individual uniqueness, a quest for meaning in life and for freedom and responsibility, a phenomenological approach. Existentialism is less optimistic than humanism, both approaches stress phenomenology, the approaches differ in their views on responsibility (Sue et al. , 1976, p. 57). Generally speaking the humanistic states that if people were allowed to be totally free to do their thing and society buts out that people would do the right thing because people are good.

Sixth Sociocultural model emphasize the importance of considering race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious preference, socioeconomic status, physical disabilities, and other such factors in explaining mental disorders. The treatment recommended for this model is none. The key people who formulated the theories are (Keller & Calgay, 2010; Smith & Reddington, 2010; Sue, 2010) Research consistently reveals that belonging to specific sociodemographic groups influences the manifestation of behavior disorders and may subject members to unique stressors not experienced by other groups.

Smith, 2010; Spradlin &n Parsons, 2008). Women are consistently subjected to greater stressors than their male counterparts, they carry more of the domestic burden, more responsibility for social and interpersonal relationship. The National Academies & Institute of Medicine, 2006) states that women are predominantly employed in low-wages, subjected to sexual harassment, paid less, given less recognition, more likely to live in poverty, faced with more barriers and discrimination. Smith, 2010) Lower socioeconomic class is related to lower sense of self-control, poorer physical health, and higher incidence of depression. Considerable bias against the poor is well documented in the literature American psychological association task force socioeconomic Status, 2006; Smith, 210. As a group they are more likely to be oppressed and harmed. Low socioeconomic class is also associated with exposure to stressors, receive less desirable forms of therapeutic treatment, and clinician biases in assessment.

Race Ethnicity: Multicultural models of Psychopathology attempts to explain differences between various minority groups and their white counterparts have adopted two models the inferiority model, racial and ethnic minorities are inferior and the deficit model that minority groups licked the right culture (Sue et al. , 1976, p. 62). In brief the sociocultural states that if you are rich and a member of the majority population the world is yours for the asking, but if you are a minority, poor, and the wrong color you have to fight for every little thing. It’s the American way.


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