Medical Models of Mental Illness
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This chapter has two aims. The first aim is to compare and contrast three different conceptual-explanatory models for thinking about mental illness with an eye towards identifying the assumptions upon which each model is based, and exploring the model’s advantages and limitations in clinical contexts. Major Depressive Disorder is used as an example to illustrate these points. The second aim is to address the question of what conceptual-theoretical framework for thinking about mental illness is most likely to facilitate the discovery of causes and treatments of mental illness in research contexts. To this end, the National Institute of Mental Health’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Project is briefly considered.