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Biomedical And Recovery Model Essay

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Mental illness is complex and its treatment even more so. I have lived and worked with individuals with mental illness for my entire life. This course is helping me take a deeper look at mental illness, its treatment and my place within it. The definition of mental illness varies widely, particularly when it is viewed through different frameworks and so does the treatment when different modalities are used. The coursework has helped identify diverse perspectives and definitions of mental illness such as those of the general population, the biomedical community and practices that utilize the recovery model. The biomedical and recovery model frameworks for treatment differ as well. I would like to reflect upon which of these fit what I have been doing within the social service field and if the course’s information changes how I would practice in the future.
I have lived, loved and worked with individuals with mental illness and mental health problems throughout my life. There are few diagnoses that I have not dealt with on either a personal or a professional level. Many of the individuals from both of these streams of my life have self-medicated with alcohol or drugs as well. The delineation between a mental illness and a mental health problem is difficult. Is there a difference? Not according to the biomedical model
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Carrey states “Often the polarizing differences of the two fields are emphasized at the expense of looking at how they might complement each other in a manner that is helpful to clients” (p. 77). I have always supported a more holistic approach to any of my work within the field of social work. Carrey speaks about medical narrative therapy which “draws on a blended epistemology … [that views that mental illness] are often both material or biological and embedded in a culturally based system of meaning” (p. 78). As such, the biomedical condition must be interpreted within a cultural
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