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Biomedical Explanations of Psychopathology and Their Implications for Attitudes and Beliefs About Mental Disorders.
Annual Review of Clinical Psychology  (IF18.561),  Pub Date : 2018-11-16, DOI: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-050718-095416
Matthew S Lebowitz,Paul S Appelbaum

Mental disorders are increasingly conceptualized as biomedical diseases, explained as manifestations of genetic and neurobiological abnormalities. Here, we discuss changes in the dominant explanatory accounts of psychopathology that have occurred over time and the driving forces behind these shifts, lay out some real-world evidence for the increasing ascendancy of biomedical explanations, and provide an overview of the types of attitudes and beliefs that may be affected by them. We examine theoretical and conceptual models that are relevant to understanding how biomedical conceptualizations might affect attitudes and beliefs about mental disorders, and we review some empirical evidence that bears on this question. Finally, we examine possible strategies for combatting potential negative effects of biomedical explanations and discuss important conclusions and directions for future research.