The Biological Approach to Psychopathology

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  • Abnormality is caused by Physical Factors
  • All mental disorders are related to a change in the body.
  • Mental disorders are like physical disorders.
  • Genetic Inheritance
  • Genetic inheritance can be the cause of abnormalities; study twins to investigate (concordance rates)
  • For some disorders, there are low concordance rates (phobias) but high concordance rates for others (e.g. schizophrenia)
  • Genes in our ancestors from evolution which are no longer useful.
  • Certain Genes Lead to Abnormal Biochemistry and/or Abnormal Neroanatomy
  • Genes tell the body how to function... determining hormone levels etc.
  • High levels of seretonin - anxiety
  • Low levels of seretonin - depression
  • Genes also determine size of brain , schizophrenics have enlarged ventricles in brain indicating shrinkage of brain tissue around these spaces.
  • Viral Infection
  • Some disorders may be


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