HUMANE OR INHUMANE? - The emergence of the medical model in the 18th century led to more humane treatment for mental patients. Until then mental illness was blamed on demons or on evil spirits in the individual. The medical model offered a different source to blame - the illness, which was potentially treatable. However, more recent critics have claimed that the medical model is inhumane. Thomas Szaz (1972) argued that mental illness did not have a physical basis, therefore should not be thought of in the same way. He suggested that the concept of mental illness was 'invented' as a form of social control.
CAUSE AND EFFECT? - The available evidence does not support a simple cause and effect link between mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and altered brain chemistry, For example, schizophrenia is commonly associated with an excess of the brain neurotransmitter dopamine. However, some studies of schizophrenic patients have…