The Medical Model Of Mental Illness

A medical model is called a direction in psychology that provides an explanation for mental illness through physical causes. The medical model connects emotional and mental problems with biological ones (Huda, 2021). In modern medicine, there are two models of mental illness – biomedical and biopsychosocial. In combination with medical treatment, the medical model of mental illness can have a beneficial effect on the recovery of patients (Huda, 2021). The medical model of mental illness has its weaknesses and its impact on people with mental disorders. Although the medical model of mental disorder is one of the modern ones, it has already taken a strong position in psychiatric practice.

Within the biomedical model, there is no place for social, psychological, and behavioral causes of the development of the disease. The responsibility for treatment here is entirely assigned only to the doctor and not the patient. The biopsychosocial model of the disease is based on a system theory, which focuses on the personality with its experiences and behavior (Hogan, 2019). The model has several weaknesses, which are that the model cannot entirely accurately describe what is happening in the psychotherapeutic field. This is because the model has a close connection with other fields of knowledge such as medicine, science, as well as the field of health insurance. As an example, Fritscher (2020) cites hallucinations as a symptom of mental illness, and this is what gives the psychiatrist the opportunity to make a diagnosis. In addition, the model does not consider the fact that many patients use psychotherapy as an improvement in their current self-feeling rather than to treat mental illnesses.

In conclusion, the medical model of mental illness plays a significant role in the treatment of various disorders. The model has its drawbacks, which include, for example, that it cannot describe what is happening in the medical field. The model is closely related to other areas of knowledge that help treat mental disorders. Although the model is new and modern, it is still actively used in psychotherapy.


Fritscher, L. (2020). Medical model use in psychology. VeryWell Mind. Web.

Hogan A. J. (2019). Social and medical models of disability and mental health: Evolution and renewal. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 191(1), E16–E18.

Huda, A. S. (2021). The medical model and its application in mental health. International Review of Psychiatry, 33(5), 463–470.