Understanding the Biopsychosocial Model of Mental Disorder
Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s not just one thing”? When it comes to mental disorders, this is especially true. The Biopsychosocial Model of Mental Disorder is an approach that looks at a person’s physical health, psychological state, and social context as potential contributors to mental disorder. Let’s dive into what this model means and how it can help when understanding and treating mental health issues.
What is the Biopsychosocial Model?
The Biopsychosocial Model of Mental Disorder takes into account biological factors (genetics, physiology), psychological factors (personality, thoughts), and social factors (culture, family) that can contribute to the development or exacerbation of mental disorders. It was first proposed by George Engel in 1977 as a way to provide a more comprehensive approach to understanding and treating mental health issues than simply focusing on physiological causes alone.
The model emphasises that many different components within each of these three categories interact with one another to influence a person’s overall experience with a particular disorder or illness. For example, biological factors such as genetics may predispose someone to developing depression; however, their environment—including family dynamics and other social influences—may also play an important role in whether or not they actually develop depression. Similarly, their personality traits could make them more vulnerable to certain triggers than others who do not share those same traits.
How Can This Model Help?
The biopsychosocial model helps us understand why some people are more susceptible to developing certain mental disorders than others by looking at the many different influences on their wellbeing. It also provides insight into how we can better treat those affected by mental illnesses by taking into account all aspects of their life experience—not just physical ones—when creating treatment plans. Finally, it encourages us to look beyond our own experiences when trying to understand someone else’s struggle with a particular issue. We must consider how biology, psychology, and social circumstances may be contributing factors in order for us to develop empathy and compassion for those who are struggling with their mental health.
The biopsychosocial model of mental disorder emphasises that many different contributing factors—biological, psychological, and social—can lead to the development or exacerbation of symptoms associated with certain illnesses or disorders. By understanding this model we can gain insight into why some people struggle more than others with similar issues and create more effective treatment plans for those affected by them. Additionally, it encourages us to think beyond our own experiences when empathising with someone who may be struggling mentally so that we can provide them with compassionate support during difficult times in their life.
What do you think about this model? How would you compare it to the biomedical model of mental health disorders? Let us know in the comments below!