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(Mental Disorders): any pattern of emotions, behaviors, or thoughts inapprpiate to the situation and leading to personal distress or the inability to achieve important goals. In everyday terms, this may mean unhappiness, anxiety, despair, worries, addiction, anger, or loss of contact with the surrounding world. Of course, occasional periods of worry, self-doubt, sadness, and escapism are all part of normal life. But taken to excess, these same experiences become symptoms of mental disorder. It is a matter of degree; it is a matterof judgement.
The Medical Models
held that mental disorders are diseases of the minds that, like ordinary physical diseases, have objective causes and require specific treatments
Gives equal footing to cognitive, environmental, and biological explanations. Thus, if you are depressed your problem is seen as a disorder of thought and cicumstances, as well as the brain. this view opens up the possibility of treatment on many fronts.