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PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-6

Psychiatry – From Biological Reductionism to a Bio-Psycho-Social Perspective


Department of Psychiatry, Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, Tiruvalla, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Roy Abraham Kallivayalil
Department of Psychiatry, Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, Tiruvalla - 689 101, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/WSP.WSP_4_20

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Understanding the social paradigm of health and especially mental health is important to the physician today. The approach in Ayurveda and in ancient Greek was person centred, focusing on quality of life and health rather than disease. Biological factors can be fully understood only when applied along with natural sciences and this is essential for progress in Medicine. Biological reductionism happens in psychiatry when we try to over-simplify human behaviour, neglecting the complexities of the mind. Our approach in psychiatry has traditionally been medical or biological. This approach continues, despite the evidence base for such reductionism not being inspiring. On the contrary, biopsychosocial model is concerned with the experience of not only illness but also health and the individuals with their health problems and environment are viewed holistically. In contrast to the biomedical approach which takes a reductionist view, the biopsychosocial model does not prescribe a unitary approach, but tries to understand different clinical scenarios at several levels in a continuum. The need tody is to study what happens between people rather than what is wrong with an individual wholly detached from a social context. This should happen without ignoring the existing neuro-biological and psychological dimensions. Mental illness does not become mere failure of an individual, rather it is product of the society to which he/ she belongs.


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