W2: Comparing Explanatory Models

People of different cultures have many different beliefs, which also leads them to have different explanatory models. After reading the different articles in class this came to be quite clear. These different models lead to many different treatment options, and social, political, and health outcomes. Reading about the contrasting emotional styles of families of patients with schizophrenia in Zanzibar was truly an eye opener. I could really appreciate the fact that the families of Hemed and Kimwana and Khadija and Yusef incorporated both biological and and cultural influences into their treatment styles. Instead of just medicating, as we do in the US, the families also culturally treated their loved ones.  They were understanding of the illness and even related it to Allah, their God. Socially the patient will feel much more complete with the support of their families. On the other hand, the family of Shazrin and Abdulrida looked down upon the illness, viewing it as a burden. The lack of support from this family creates a stigma and negatively affected the patient socially. I believe it is so important to embrace the adversity like the two first families did (McGruder, 2015).

Although I do think that incorporating the cultural explanatory model is important, I do not believe it is efficient to incorporate the cultural model alone. Unfortunately, many people do view things solely cultural and refuse to incorporate the biological model. The biological model is very important in health outcome . I do believe that the United States overmedicates, but I also think that the people who actually do have a disorder and aren’t misdiagnosed, as we seen in Jon Metzl’s speech, do need to be medicated (Metzl, 2010). The DSM has come a long way to help us diagnose people correctly, focusing in on neurology and biochemistry (Lecture 2.2). With the proper diagnoses and the proper treatments health outcomes will be much more positive.

Unfortunately people battling mental disorders not only have to battle whats happening internally, but they have to battle whats going on externally as well. The social life of a mentally disabled person is honestly quite frightening. People battling a mental disorder have to overcome stereotypes and stigmas from an array of people. This all has to do with the misconceptions that lie within society regarding mental illness (Corrigan, 2002).

Corrigan, Patrick W., and Amy C. Watson. “Understanding the impact of stigma on people with mental illness.” World psychiatry 1, no. 1 (2002): 16-20.

One thought on “W2: Comparing Explanatory Models

  1. I really enjoyed reading your post, and found myself agreeing with a lot of the points that you made. I find it interesting that other countries are incorporating both biological and cultural models in order to help people become healthier and either overcome or successfully live with their illness. I also agree with your statement that the United States overmedicates people. I think this problem with overmedication can be seen especially when it seems more strange to doctors when you are not on any medications than when you are. However, I do agree that both the cultural and biological models are necessary to have. When they are incorporated together to help a person with an illness, I think that a greater amount of success will be seen than if just one or the other model is used on its own. Using both models I think treats the whole person instead of just a singular issue.
    The point you make about battling both what is going on internally while often simultaneously dealing with what is going on externally I found very interesting. Unfortunately, talking about mental health is still stigmatized, so those who have to live with a mental illness do not always get the support that they should.

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