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Models of causation of mental illness 

Models of causation of mental illness
Chapter:
Models of causation of mental illness
Author(s):

Kwame McKenzie

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198792994.003.0005
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date: 19 October 2020

Models of causation of mental illness are complex. But applying new knowledge from research may help us to better understand the mechanisms through which people develop problems. A prerequisite is to consider how diagnoses are made and what a mental illness actually is. After that, this chapter discusses the history of causation research before applying lessons learned to the tension between biological and social theories of mental illness. Using schizophrenia and other psychoses as a lens to think through aetiology, this chapter explores what is known about different mechanism through which mental illness may be caused. The four dimensions of causation—individual, ecological, interactions, and time—are offered as a simple framework for organizing complex aetiological theories.

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