Free Essay

Discuss How This Approach Differs from the Biomedical Approach to Mental Illness.

In: Science

Submitted By motherC
Words 1026
Pages 5
Scheff, Szasz and Goffman argue that mental illness is a social construction. Discuss how this approach differs from the biomedical approach to mental illness.

Mental illness has been well-defined severally by some sociologists, professionals in the medical field, politicians and other good academia. Mental illness can be define as ‘a state of one’s mind that affects the thinking, emotions and judgement to the extent that the individual need a medical attention for his/her personal safety and that of the society’. The definition of mental illness by other academia has been termed as behavioural and emotional disorder. They perceive this disorder as disease that affects the mind. In a particular society, mental illness is a behaviour which is classified as disturbed or abnormal and people found of that behaviour are branded deviant. Acceptable behaviour in one society can be unacceptable behaviour in other society.
From the biomedical approach point of view, mental illness deals with the state of mind and is the duty of the trained professionals to diagnose patients and by the use drugs and surgery treat them in medical way in order to improve the patient mental disorder, living condition and poor self-care. This model places more emphasis on the causes of mental illness as biological so it was criticized thereby making the social condition play a significant role. ‘’There is the need to recognize both the outer and inner worlds of a person as well as the society’’ (Duggan et al, 2002).
In other for the capitalist to continue their manipulation and also increase the sale in their pharmaceutical companies, most symptoms were branded as mental illness so that drugs can be prescribed. The means of production is own by most of these professionals in the biomedical approach so their motive as an entrepreneur is to maximise profit. As a result of this they prescribe drugs for even a common sadness. They practices for their own selfish interest and ignore the interest of those people with mental illness.
Moreover, the definition of mental illness was argued by researchers like Scheff, Szasz and Goffman as it is formed by society- social construction.
Scheff and Szasz argue that those in powers as politician, mass media, and bourgeois etc. labelled people especially to that behaviour they disapprove mostly when they are against such behaviour. Sometimes the individual go through stress, depression, or put on some behaviour which is bizarre in some stages of life. Since few holidays can deal with such situation, this should not be labelled as mental illness. If such transition will be labelled as intolerable then stereotype of mental illness will comes into play and this will make the individual starts to behave in that way. Treatment begins when the individual is been labelled by the psychiatrist as ‘insane’. Those people (labelled as mental illness) will have limited choice and their illness is confirm by any further behaviour of them.
In an attempt to control people, most influential people see those who try to challenge the present order ideas, as having mental illness. These influential people do that as a protection of their selfish interest (Szasz 1972). Szasz continues to argue that, the views and reactions of others does not lead to unacceptable behaviour but rather lead to mental illness label being applied. This makes ‘mental illness’ very difficult to treat because it is the attitude of the people, not with the behaviour itself.
Mental illness as a social construction was the view of Goffman (1961). He argues that, a person starts to act in accordance with the prevailing subculture when been labelled ‘mentally ill’ and turns to seek treatment at the psychiatric hospital. The personality of the person is then taken away at that stage and it is been replace by his/her new location (psychiatric hospital). The ‘mental ill’ patient accepts the prevailing subculture at the institution (psychiatric hospital) and learns and behaves according to the insanity role. The patients respond to the institution and the labelling is confirm whether he withdraws, rebels or play it cool. When the patient is discharged from the hospital, it makes it difficult to return to normal life.
Erving Goffman continues to argue that when one is branded as mental ill he/she goes around with a stigma which is been seen as a mark of inferiority and rejection even after treatment thereby making it very difficult to again fit into the society. They carry the stigma for life because the effect of stigmatization, labelling, stereotyping become very alarming.
In another development, factors such as acupuncture, counselling, food and healthy lifestyle, exercise to maintain but a few that could improve the well-being of the individual were focused by the social model. In other to promote the interest of all, they work with other organization in the society and ill practices that will put other people at a disadvantaged were discourage.
In conclusion, since their findings cannot be generalized because their research was on a small scale, the social construction approach work was criticized. This is because their research did not recognise the contribution immensely made by the medical approach and how it has help mankind. Moreover, Scheff, Szasz, and Goffman contribution raised mental illnesses definition by the society of and its labelling effects and stigmatization on people. It is very difficult to draw a line between what is abnormal and unacceptable behaviour from what is normal and acceptable behaviour so the medical and social approaches need to strike a balance between the ways they view mental illness. For example, it was ‘abnormal’ for single mother to be in a mental hospital in Britain but that behaviour will be seen as ‘normal’ in the formal Soviet Union.

Goffman E. (1990). Stigma: Notes on the Management of spoiled Identity, 1st edition. Penguin Publishers, London. Pages 18-22
Taylor, S. and Field, D. (2007). Sociology of health and health care. 2nd Subedi J and Gallagher B. (1996). Society, Health and Disease, 1st edition. Prentice Hall Publishers, New Jersey. Page 217 edition. Hartnolls Limited Publishers, Cornwall.
Subedi J and Gallagher B. (1996). Society, Health and Disease, 1st edition. Prentice Hall Publishers, New Jersey. Page 217

Similar Documents

Premium Essay


... | |and ways this can be promoted | | | |Kundan Iqbal | |Newcastle University | |“…every living person has his own peculiarities and always has his own peculiar, personal, novel, complicated disease…’TOLSTOY | The importance of holism The term ‘holism’ was coined by philosopher Jan Smuts in 1926, derived from the Greek hólos, meaning ‘whole’[1]. Aristotle captured the essence of holism in his Metaphysics when he stated ‘the whole is more than the sum of its parts’. Applied to healthcare, holism is the art and science of caring for a person in a way which considers all aspects of their body, mind, spirituality and emotional state in relation to “[other] individuals, the environment, or populations, either separately or in various combinations”[2]. In the traditional biomedical model, health is simply viewed as absence of pathology alongside normal function. Treatment or cure......

Words: 2272 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Registered Nurse

...prevention of ill health. The relationship between spirituality, religion, healing, and healers was very close. It is like a process of reconciliation led by popular demand rather than by either the religious or medical fields. This model discuss about the relationship between spirituality, religion and health that has grown enormously over the last several decades, and has gain more interest among health and mental health professionals. Religion and spirituality can play a role in how an individual child or adult copes with being sick, may influence medical decisions that are made, and may have an impact on the medical outcome. The bio-psycho-social model of medicine, is a way of looking at the mind and body of a patient as two important systems that are interlinked and it is like a mind-body connection. This is in contrast to the traditional biomedical model of medicine. This model treats the biological, psychological and social issues as systems of the body, similar to the traditional medical systems such as the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Also it draws a distinction between the actual pathological processes that cause disease, and the patient's perception of their health and the effects on it, called the illness. Every illness is a desperate search of the body-mind to again to be in relationship with its soul to regain the ability...

Words: 2361 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Health Rationing

...Organisation (2011) defines health as a commodity which encapsulates the physical, social and mental aspects of wellbeing, a holistic shift from the biomedical view of health being the mere absence of disease and infirmity. However, due to the rising demand of the merit good this has resulted in a rationalisation of health dependent on supply available, its distribution and consumers’ willingness to pay (Light & Hughs, 2001). With the growing demand for health care and government coverage compounded with the decline of doctors and health resources to meet such demand, governing agents and economists have had to use alternative methods to ration these goods to sustain health resources to maximise its benefit i.e., through implicit and explicit rationing. This essay therefore aims to describe both methods used in regards to booking systems of elective services in New Zealand, to portray how health resources are prioritised upon patients but furthermore aim to show how although implicit methods are desirable, explicit rationing adopted in New Zealand is a more practical option to not only sustaining health resources but provides consumers the ability to make rational choices regarding personal and familial health. For the scope of this essay we will discuss both elective and urgent conditions, because the blurred lines separating the two. An elective condition is a non-urgent illness that does not require immediate treatment, whereas an urgent condition is one where that if......

Words: 2749 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Healthy Relationship

...Education Spring 2012 Course Orientation This course is all about what YOU want and need to know about personal, family, and community health with an emphasis on epidemiology of disease, nutritional behavior, communicable disease, disease prevention, mental health, and substance abuse. It's really up to you to decide how much you want to get out of this course in terms of meeting your personal and professional goals. Learning Outcomes By the end of this course, students should be able to: Assess health behavior choices, apply that information to everyday life for the improvement of individual, family, and community well-being. Identify preconceived ideas about knowledge, values, and behavior that affect health and compare with established research and accepted scientific evidence. How to be Successful in this Course Plan to spend at least 9 hours per week on this course. Login and keep up with readings, discussions, and quizzes on a weekly basis. Click on Course Map and get familiar with it. First, introduce yourself in the Discussion Forum. Before you begin with the Module readings, take some time to get to know your classmates. Click on the Discussion and Private Messages link to the left of your screen. Click on Discussion Forum titled: Introductions Post a message to tell us a little bit about yourself such as your major, degree plans, career goals, hobbies/interests, and why you are taking this course. Read your classmates'......

Words: 26857 - Pages: 108

Premium Essay


... and the number of persons of Asian ancestry seen in primary care in the United States is increasing. Knowledge of how to provide optimal care despite language barriers, low socioeconomic status, different health beliefs and practices, and medical issues unique to this heterogeneous group is crucial to competent health care. with Asian patients include language barriers, low socioeconomic status, traditional health beliefs and practices, and epidemiologic issues. This article presents three case studies that illustrate how these problems can affect the health care of Asian patients, and describes ways to deal with them constructively. We also discuss what diseases are more common and what conditions have unique clinical aspects in this population. Asians: The fastest-growing minority Asians and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing ethnic minorities in the United States, and are predicted to number more than 17 million by 2010.1 This heterogeneous population is from many cultures and speaks many languages—the 1990 US Census identified 25 distinct Asian ethnic groups (TABLE 1).2 Due to space limits, this article focuses on cultures more populous in the United States: East Asian (China, Japan, Korea) and Southeast Asian (Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand), but recognizes that cultures differ widely within and among these countries. A caveat: The observations in this article about each ethnic group are generalizations, which may or may not apply to...

Words: 4372 - Pages: 18

Premium Essay


...II Forum, September 25, 2006 Alan Bernstein, Vern Hicks, Peggy Borbey, Terry Campbell Abstract This paper describes the approach taken by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to develop a framework and indicators to measure the impact of health research. The development process included national and international consultations. Key methodology challenges and measurement requirements were identified. The framework that has resulted from this process includes definitions of key concepts, methodology guidelines, identification of the different stakeholders for impact information and the individual concerns of each stakeholder group. Indicators are classified within five categories that encompass a broad range of impacts. Sources of information and issues in attributing research impacts are discussed. An analysis of issues suggests that impact measurement and performance measurement are complementary activities, with the former focused on broad impacts of the health research sector and the latter on the degree of success achieved by funding agencies in contributing to the process of knowledge development and uptake. Introduction Accountability and value received for the use of public funds have become high priorities for governments around the world. Quantifying the value of publicly funded health research is a challenge for many countries. This paper describes the approach taken by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canada’s national health......

Words: 5822 - Pages: 24

Premium Essay

Newly Qualified Nurses

...OUP UNCORRECTED PROOF-FPP, 10/22/2010, GLYPH 1 Becoming a qualified nurse Rob Burton and Graham Ormrod The aims of this chapter are: P To explore the expectations of a newly qualified nurse P To highlight the experiences of newly qualified nurses P To discuss the roles of the nurse in different fields of nursing P To provide an overview of the structure and rationale of the book Introduction: how this book can help you to become a qualified nurse Becoming a qualified nurse is quite an achievement. After three or four years of education involving academic and practice experiences, entering the nursing register of whichever field of nursing you qualify in is something to be proud of. The hard work pays off and you are able to become a professional in your own right. This does bring with it some challenges as well as rewards. You may now find that there are different expectations of you, and a set of roles and responsibilities that are different from those experienced as a student under supervision. The aim of this book is to explore and develop important aspects of the roles and responsibilities of the qualified nurse in order to develop your understanding and prepare you to successfully make the transition from student nurse to registered professional. It can also be used as a resource for those who may already be qualified and registered, but are looking for helpful advice and are wishing to continue their professional development. The roles and......

Words: 8494 - Pages: 34

Premium Essay

Hmong People

...Promoting Cultural Sensitivity A Practical Guide for Tuberculosis Programs That Provide Services to Hmong Persons from Laos U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Hla dej yuav hle khau; Tsiv teb tsaws chaw yuav hle hau. “When you cross a river, take off your sandals; when you emigrate from one country to another, take off your hat.” –Hmong Proverb Promoting Cultural Sensitivity A Practical Guide for Tuberculosis Programs That Provide Services to Hmong Persons from Laos Female elder. © Frank Carter. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2008 For Additional Information For more information or for a list of available guides, please contact: Division of Tuberculosis Elimination National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1600 Clifton Road, NE, Mailstop E-10 Atlanta, GA 30333 Phone: (404) 639-8120 Web site: Suggested Citation Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008). Promoting Cultural Sensitivity: A Practical Guide for Tuberculosis Programs That Provide Services to Hmong Persons from Laos. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2 Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Intended Audience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

Words: 19162 - Pages: 77

Premium Essay

Kam Vi

...Harold Taitt, Student ID # A00293212 Program: Ph.D. Health Services Specialization: Health Management and Policy Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robert Hoye, Faculty Assessor: Dr. Jim Goes, Walden University May 10, 2013 Abstract Breadth Component In this age of rapidly evolving technological advances, many of the legal and ethical issues that are challenging the delivery of health care and the health care profession are new. As we confront the legal, moral, and ethical aspects of health care, we are seldom faced with decisions that require or are resolved by simple right or wrong answers (Edge & Kreiger, 1998). In the Breadth component of KAM VI, I focus on several ethical theories and how those theories influence the way ethical issues and concerns are addressed and managed in the allocation and delivery of health care services. I critically assess and evaluate those theories, concepts, and derivative principles as they impact important decisions and the implications of those decisions within the context of social change and with special emphasis on health care management and policy. In addition, I discuss the key assumptions on which the selected theories are constructed, compare and contrast the writers’ interpretations across theories, and conclude by providing a critical commentary on the merits of the selected theories. Abstract Depth Component In the Depth Component of KAM VI, I review and......

Words: 34918 - Pages: 140

Premium Essay

Managing Change

...Sutherland Contents Purpose and Acknowledgements Foreword 5 7 8 Introduction Part 1 The literature on change management Part 2 Tools, models and approaches: a selective review 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Where does the literature come from? What kind of evidence does it provide? What is meant by ‘change’? Organisational change in the NHS 12 13 14 18 2.1 How to access the models 2.2 How can we understand complexity, interdependence and fragmentation? Weisbord’s Six-Box Organisational Model 7S Model PESTELI Five Whys Content, Context and Process Model Soft Systems Methodology Process modelling Process flow Influence diagram Theory of Constraints (TOC) 22 25 25 27 29 30 32 34 36 37 38 39 40 40 42 43 45 46 47 48 48 50 54 54 55 56 56 58 2.3 Why do we need to change? SWOT analysis 2.4 Who and what can change? Force field analysis ‘Sources and potency of forces’ ‘Readiness and capability’ Commitment, enrolment and compliance Organisation-level change interventions Total Quality Management (TQM) Business Process Reengineering (BPR) Group-level change interventions Parallel learning structures Self-managed teams Individual-level change interventions Innovation research Securing individual behaviour change Managing Change in the NHS 2.5 How can we make change happen? Organisational development (OD) Organisational learning and the Learning Organisation Action research Project management 60 60 63 66 68 Part 3 Reflections on evidence 3.1 3.2 3.3......

Words: 33529 - Pages: 135

Premium Essay

The Case of Mike and Marty Scanlon

...RESEARCH PROJECT LESSON 4: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS LESSON 5: PSYCHOLOGY FOR TWO OR MORE CASE STUDIES SELF-CHECK ANSWERS 1 7 9 43 75 117 127 147 167 171 iii YOUR COURSE Instructions Instructions Welcome to your course, Essentials of Psychology. You’re entering a course of study designed to help you better understand yourself and others. For that reason, you can think of this course as practical. It should be of use to you in living your life and reaching the goals you set for yourself. You’ll use two main resources for your course work: this study guide and your textbook, Psychology and Your Life, by Robert S. Feldman. OBJECTIVES When you complete this course, you’ll be able to ■ Describe the science and methodologies of psychology in the context of its historical origins and major perspectives Outline the fundamental structure of the human nervous system and explain how it relates to the organization of human sensory perception Relate altered states of consciousness to sleep, hypnosis, meditation, sensory deprivation, and physiological responses to psychoactive drugs Discuss the basic concepts of behavioral psychology, including classical...

Words: 49230 - Pages: 197

Free Essay

Behaviorism Still Alive and Kicking

...universally known are Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Education at this time was concerned mainly with reason, logic and philosophy. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle differed in preferences of extremes. Socrates is infamous for pushing limits while Aristotle preached balance. Many historians consider Plato the most sophisticated of the three; Socrates taught on the streets of Athens. Sources, such as the American Psychological Association, credit Plato, with founding the first formal institution of education, “After returning to Athens, Plato set up his own school, which was called the Academy. Philosophy and other subjects were taught there, and the Academy continued to produce scholars for many centuries after Plato died.” (Downey, 2006, para. 6). Aristotle, according to legend, was the teacher of Alexander the Great. The most notable theory from this time the Socratic Method, which consists of posing probing questions to students rather than espousing a hierarchy of knowledge. Brief History of its Founding Modern theories such as behaviorism, founded in the early twentieth century, are associated with theorists including Watson, Skinner, Pavlov and Thorndike. Watson known as the father of behaviorism proposed an alternative to the views of Wilhelm Wundt the founder of the discipline of psychology in1879. (Moore, 2011, p. 1). According to Moore, “Wundt assumed that the study of consciousness or subjective mental life was the appropriate subject matter for psychology.”......

Words: 35907 - Pages: 144

Premium Essay

Data Collector Field Guide a nonprofit organization working to improve lives worldwide through research, education, and services in family health. This publication was made possible through support provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), under the terms of Cooperative Agreement No. CCP-A-00-95-00022-02. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID. ISBN: 0-939704-98-6 Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector’s Field Guide © 2005 by Family Health International Family Health International P.O. Box 13950 Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709 USA E-mail: Contents Acknowledgments Introduction Case Study Module 1 — Qualitative Research Methods Overview Introduction to Qualitative Research Comparing Quantitative and Qualitative Research Sampling in Qualitative Research Recruitment in Qualitative Research Ethical Guidelines in Qualitative Research Suggested Readings Module 2 — Participant Observation Overview of Participant Observation Ethical Guidelines Logistics of Participant Observation How to Be an Effective Participant Observer Tips for Taking Field Notes Suggested Readings Case Study Samples Participant Observation Steps Module 3 — In-Depth Interviews Overview of In-Depth Interviewing Ethical Guidelines Logistics of Interviewing How to Be an Effective Interviewer Tips for Taking Interview Notes Suggested Readings Case Study Samples...

Words: 47689 - Pages: 191

Free Essay

Parents Negligence

...Shaping Parental Authority over Children’s Bodies ALICIA OUELLETTE* INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................... 956 I. SCULPTING, SHAPING, AND SIZING CHILDREN: FOCUS CASES.............................. 959 A. WESTERNIZING ASIAN EYES..................................................................... 960 B. HORMONES FOR STATURE ........................................................................ 961 C. LIPOSUCTION ON A TWELVE YEAR OLD.................................................... 963 D. GROWTH STUNTING ................................................................................. 964 II. THE LAW, MEDICINE, PARENTAL RIGHTS, AND CHILDREN’S BODIES ................. 966 A. BACKGROUND LAW ................................................................................. 966 B. APPLICATION IN SHAPING CASES .............................................................. 969 C. ROOM FOR REGULATION .......................................................................... 971 III. WHAT IS REALLY WRONG WITH MEDICAL AND SURGICAL SHAPING OF CHILDREN? ............................................................................................................ 973 A. THE NONSUBORDINATION PRINCIPLE AS A LIMIT ON INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS 974 B. CHILDREN AS PERSONS, PARENTAL RIGHTS ............................................. 977 C. MEDICAL AND SURGICAL SHAPING OF CHILDREN IS DIFFERENT ............... 981 IV.......

Words: 28185 - Pages: 113

Premium Essay

Personal Statement

...simply believing in something that they scorn. Despite all the pressure, I never waive red from my belief, yet I became frustrated and began to lose the courage to publicly express my opinion on this controversial topic. To gain some insight and reassurance for myself, I attended the New Jersey Right to Life Convention in the spring of 1995. This experience uplifted me and offered great inspiration and enlightenment. At the convention I received an overwhelming amount of support and encouragement from wonderful people who advocate the very principles I believe in. This convention was so inspiring that the next day in school I was able to relate my experience to one of my biggest opponents on the subject. Also, the abundant information available at the convention enabled me to defend my position on abortion more effectively. Attending this convention accomplished two things. It proved my commitment to my belief, in that I took the initiative to strengthen and support my opinion, refusing to give up or lose heart. Unlike many others, I was eager and willing to gain new knowledge so I may successfully promote my belief to others. In addition, this convention invigorated my confidence to stand up for what I believe in and taught me to never lose the courage of my convictions ********************** Subject: Successful Cornell Applicant Tell us about opinion have you had to defend. How has this affected...

Words: 41203 - Pages: 165