2. The Medical Model: schizophrenia as a disease

The medical model is the way psychiatrists view the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia. It is the 'disease' angle for explaining why a person might hear voices in their head and develop 'weird' ideas about life. Psychiatrists are trained as medical practitioners and when they encounter people with psychological difficulties it is natural for them to apply their medical expertise and assume disease might be the cause. But this doesn't mean they are right. The medical concept for schizophrenia has two major deficiencies that undermine its scientific credibility. The first is an absence of scientific evidence supporting the assumption of an underlying disease. The second is that diagnoses are made subjectively without confirmation of laboratory tests or any other scientific evidence. Without any scientific confirmation it is entirely possible that the disease, supposedly underlying schizophrenic symptoms, only exists in the minds of psychiatrists as a collective act of faith.