Outline and Evaluate the Biological Approach

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Outline and evaluate the biological approaches to causes of abnormality (12marks) The biological approach to abnormality sees mental disorders as caused by abnormal physiological processes such as genetic and biochemical factors. The physical features of the causes of a mental disorder according to the biological approach suggest that abnormality could be affected by brain damage. Abnormal behaviour may occur if the brain’s structure is damaged in some way. Once the disease or brain damage has caused the mental deterioration there is nothing can really be done to stop the damage going any further. Extreme use of alcohol and other drugs can damage the brain and can sometimes cause hallucinations or other symptoms of a mental disorder but is only usually caused by excessive use of alcohol and drugs. Another cause for a mental disorder is infection. Infection can lead to the rise of mental illnesses and schizophrenia has been linked to flu. Another physical cause of a mental disorder is the biochemistry including neurotransmitters and hormones. Neurotransmitters are known to have an impact on behaviour such as high levels of nor adrenaline and dopamine are seen when a depressed mood is evident e.g. schizophrenia has been associated with an excess of activity in the neurotransmitter dopamine. Whereas serotonin is thought to cause high anxiety levels when there is too much available. Neurotransmitters in the right balance do not cause ill effects but the biological approach suggests it is when there is an imbalance that behaviour and mental health is affected. E.g. depression has been associated with decreased availability of serotonin. Genetics are another aspect to the physical features of the biological approach. Many psychological disorders occur more frequently in identical (monozygotic) twins than they do in non-identical (dizygotic) twins, and other disorders

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