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Questioning the Medical Model of 'Psychosis'

Madness Contested | 03.06.2013 20:33 | Anti-racism | Health

The article questions the dominant medical model used to understand experiences such as hearing voices, suspiciousness and unusual beliefs. The attached articles start to outline alternative ideas, which connect these experiences to what has happened and is occurring in a person's life.

How we understand ourselves and how distress arises is crucial to the form of society we live in and how people in distress are supported and helped. The current understanding of mental distress views it as an outcome of a genetic and biological abnormality, which requires fixing through the technologies of psychiatric drugs and cognitive interventions. This model sees the problem as residing within the person, either as a chemical imbalance or cognitive distortion; however this model has been disputed and contested for decades. Alternative models consider the person as connected to the world around them and therefore a person's experiences only understandable in relation to society.

The attached Clinical Psychology Bite-size articles share ways to make sense of unusual experiences, which are grounded in a person's life experiences, such as discrimination. Traditional models of mental distress ask: What is wrong with you? Instead we should be asking: What has happened to you? What are your hopes and goals?

PLEASE NOTE: The content of Bite-Size express the opinions of the authors and they do not necessarily reflect the views of the Trust. They have been previously made freely available through e-mail distribution, but hopefully can find wider distribution here.

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  1. demand progress! — k