As demonstrated, analyst who have practiced
psychosomatic treatment have asserted strongly that it works, but it doesn’t
have scientific evidence to prove it works; as the philosopher of science Adolf Grünbaum says, “how does Sigmund Freud know that human behaviour is significantly
influenced by unconscious thought?” What about the treatments for depression? Freud using talking therapy is
a long process and may cause distress does it really work? Or is it all
imagination and falsification? ‘US
National Library of Medicine have tested on 9,087 patients and confirms Prozac
is safe and effective, is it as affective as they say due to the side effects
it involves as Kirsch, I. & Saperstein, G.
claims – “much of antidepressant benefits
are due to a placebo effect”.
Even though there has been a high rate of
success with this drug, it has had negative impact on patients, people have
encountered suicidal thoughts, either by taking more than the recommended dose
or suddenly stop using antidepressants. Antidepressants
have also been linked to akathisia, which is a movement disorder, and
that a patient has extreme relentless and inability to sit still. Due to a
feeling of agitation this has led patients to suicidal thoughts.
Antidepressants have many types of medication, and according to the National
Health Service (NHS), Selective
serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most widely prescribed
type of antidepressants, and fluoxetine (Prozac) which is probably the best
known Selective serotonin reuptake
inhibitors (SSRIs). According to
a ‘US National Library of Medicine’ that a group of 9,087 patients, who were
included in 87 randomised clinical trials, confirms that fluoxetine (Prozac) is
safe and effective. It has proven to be more effective than placebo within the
first week of therapy. However, according to Kirsch, I. & Saperstein, G. (1998) – “much of antidepressant benefits are due to a placebo effect”.
There are many different types of medical treatment such as, drugs (antidepressants,
antipsychotics, anxiolytics), which is said to be a quicker way of treating
depression. Electro convulsive therapy (ECT) can be used by applying electrodes
to a patient’s head and passing an electric current through their brain, which
is a very effective treatment if medical treatment fails to cure a patient. Psychosurgery
can be used to treat depression, but this is a last resort as it requires brain
surgery. It is the more invasive form of biological therapy because it involves
the removal of brain tissues, this is irreversible and sometimes be
It has been suggested that abnormal behaviour is genetically linked,
such as schizophrenia and bi-polar depression. It is also suggested that
infections in the brain which may explain why people develop
These issues may involve physical illness,
damage or lesions to the brain or chemical imbalances.
(Study.com No Date)
The argument is, how do we define
abnormal behaviour? From a biological point of view, gives a very good
example of how they define it. For example: a 16-year-old teenager decides to
dye their hair to a bright green or yellow colour would perhaps not be
abnormal; although agreeing it would be pushing the boundaries. However, if a 70-year-old
lady decides to act in this behaviour, she would be considered as abnormal.
Medical science indeed has its limitations. It doesn’t really solve the
underlying issue that is causing mental health problems, it focuses too much on
the nature/nurture side. For example: one theory is that schizophrenia is
genetic, however twin studies have shown that it is not completely genetic, and
the surroundings or conditions in which a person functions plays a part and
that they misclassify twin studies as monozygotic (MZ) and
dizygotic (DZ). Monozygotic which are twins derived from a single ovum and
they’re are identical, however, dizygotic derived from two separate ova, and
therefore they are not identical.
Imaging (MRI) scan, to look at how the how brain development, drugs,
disease, and brain damage impact behaviour and cognitive functioning.
Biological theories have grown considerably in recent years. Technology has
vastly improved; therefore, it allows scientists to study the functioning of
the brain and nervous system in a more advanced way. Today, scientists can use
tools such as the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan, and Positron Emission Tomography
(PET) which is similar to the Magnetic Resonance
Theories of the mind and the body goes back to an individual named Aristotle (384 bce – 322), who was a Greek philosopher and scientist,
and is regarded as one of the greatest intellectual figures of western history.
He suggested that the mind and the body are exist as aspect of the same entity.
There have been other individuals who have helped the
development of the biological approach. A man named Charles Darwin (1809 –
1882) who was a naturalist and biologist, first introduced the idea that
evolution and genetics play a role in human behaviour. He also believed that humans
were just another species of animal.
The origins of biological psychology also known as (biopsychology)
first began dating back to Avicenna (980 – 1037 C.E) who
was a medieval Persian physician. He identified
that psychological psychology, the treatment involving emotion, and he
developed a system connecting changes in the pulse rate with people’s feelings.
Its primary focus is the functioning of the brain and the rest of the nervous
system in activities, such as thinking, learning, feeling, sensing and
Secondly, it increases confidence in a person’s abilities and an understanding
of one-self and others. Thirdly, it allows the person to have a more satisfying
relationship. Nevertheless, there are disadvantages of this treatment. It is
greatly expensive and many who can’t afford this treatment never carry out the analysis
over a long period of time. Additionally, it can cause an individual even more
distress having to bring up traumatic issues and memories that has already
caused them to feel depressed. (Robinson, p. 1993)
The advantages of using psychoanalysis therapy in treating people who
suffer from depression is that firstly, it allows an individual to discuss
their problems more openly and solving their underlying issues without the need
“The past two decades have seen a rise in the number of high-quality
randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of psychoanalytic psychotherapy” (British
Psychoanalytic Council. No date)
Furthermore, there has been cases that after
a client had received their treatment have experienced psychological benefits
long after the therapy has ended.
Those have practiced psychoanalytic
psychotherapy have asserted strongly that it works. There’ve been thousands
upon thousands of case histories since the time of Sigmund Freud that testify
its success. One of the main psychoanalytic therapy that has been there from
the starting point and remains the key feature, is that of a relationship
between the client and the psychoanalyst. Clients, by being completely honest
about their thoughts and feelings, learn to understand themselves and how they
relate to analyst, an immediate way that can go right to the core of their
Psychoanalysis could be extremely painful and
time-consuming, and patients had to be prepared to devote much time and effort
to the process, with the full knowledge that it isn’t always successful. (PSY
Firstly, “due to the nature of defense
mechanisms (repression, denial, projection, displacement, regression,
sublimation) and the inaccessibility of the deterministic forces operating in
the unconscious”, psychoanalysis in its classic form, is a lengthy process,
often involving 2 to 5 sessions per week, and lasting around 50 minutes. Secondly,
Freud would often listen for months and even years while trying to bring a
patient unconscious thoughts and memories to consciousness in psychoanalytic
treatment. The idea would be to root the cause of depression and address them, once
the patient problems were uncovered, it was up to Freud to guide the patient to
a healthier understanding of the issue and, hopefully, an emotional healing.
There is also a variety of different
techniques that can be used in psychoanalytic treatment such as, parapraxes,
free association, interpretation (including dream analysis), resistance
analysis and transference analysis. (Cardwell, M. 2010)
Freud who primarily treated women, would have
his clients comfortable and relaxed on a couch, and having the environment set
out like a female’s bedroom, this is to create trust between the client and
Freud. He would then sit behind his patients while taking notes, as they told
him about their dreams and childhood memories.
Psychoanalysis argument is that around 90% of
the human mind is unconscious and the remaining 10% is conscious. Individuals
cannot knowingly access and alter their unconscious mind, which holds our
traumatic memories, inappropriate desires and unsolved conflicts. A childhood’s
trauma may also lead to abnormal behaviour, for example: a child who has
suffered from physical or sexual abuse.
Freud argues that the human mind is like an
iceberg – “our conscious mind is only the
visible tip, with the unconscious mind below the surface, exerting a hidden
influence on our thoughts and actions” (Humanist Heritage. No Date)
Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) was
determined that there are several ways to define abnormality, and abnormal
behaviour is triggered by events during our childhood which later impact on our
adult lives and personalities. He also believed that there are 5 stages of
psychosexual; oral, anal, phallic, latent and genital which represents the
fixation of libido, and that if children do not progress through these stages
in what he considered a normal manner, it would likely lead to issues during
our adult life, including mental health issues and possibly even drug or
There is a counter argument that psychoanalysis
is based on imaginations, falsification, and that there is insufficient
evidence backing psychoanalysis treatment for it to be conclusive.
Another individual who criticises Freud goes
by the name of Adolf Grünbaum, a philosopher of science who once quoted “how does Sigmund Freud know that human behaviour is significantly
influenced by unconscious thoughts?” (Robinson, P. Freud and his Critics.1993) It is to an understanding that, Grünbaum is
questioning the evidence of psychoanalysis theory.
Furthermore, there are limitations and
critiques in psychoanalysis. Carl Jung (1875 – 1961) who worked closely with
Sigmund Freud for 6 years, and together they defined the world of psychology.
While Jung agreed with Freud’s theory that a person’s past and childhood
experiences determined future behaviour, however he publicly criticised Freud’s
theory of the Oedipus complex and his emphasis on infantile sexuality. Carl
Jung did not believe that the main drive in human life was driven by sexuality.
Today, psychoanalysis theory is widely
rejected, however some of Freud’s ideology is seen with an open mind.
In 1895, Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) and Joseph Breuer (1842 – 1925) published
“Studien über Hysterie”, this work provided the first detail of talking cure,
which in modern day is known as free association, and is regarded as the
starting point of psychoanalysis. Although Freud was the founder of
psychoanalysis, it was not his merit; Dr. Joseph Breuer who first used this
method on a hysterical girl in (1880-1882) who goes by the name of Anna. O
whose real name was Bertha Pappenheim, which also can be found in “Studien über
may say that an individual who has an IQ below or above the average level of IQ
in society is abnormal” (Simple Psychology. 2014)
“Behaviour is motivated by internal or psychological forces, and
abnormality is caused by an imbalance in the internal forces that motivate
behaviour” (Psych Teacher. No Date)
Firstly, there is no one right answer of what
abnormal behaviour is, secondly, many definitions of abnormality exist, but
none are perfect. For example: if most of the population smoked or drank
alcohol, and an individual did not, the individual who did not drink neither
smoked would be considered abnormal. (Ramsden. P No Date)
This essay will provide examples of abnormal
behaviour. It will also look at the provenance and the growth of both the
psychoanalysis and biological perspective. It will discuss the limitations and
named individuals who criticise their approach in psychology. Each perspective
will also describe how abnormal behaviour occurs. It will analyse different
types of treatment and explain how they go about treating an individual
suffering from depression. It will also demonstrate the positive and negative
impacts it has on a mentally depressed person.
Explain, evaluate and critically discuss how
the psychodynamic and one other perspective help our understanding of the
treatments of abnormal behaviour.