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The stress associated with everyday life is convincingly portrayed by Michael Douglas in Falling Down (1993), while the stress of the business world is apparent in films such as Jerry Maguire (1996), Glengarry Glen Rose (1992), and Death of a Salesman (1951/1985). In the emotionally intense Monster’s Ball (2001), Hank (Billy Bob Thornton) and Leticia (Academy Award winner Halle Berry) are two lost, self-hating people who become even more lonely and raw after each loses an only child Both parents had been physically and verbally abusive to their sons as they attempted to work through their inner turmoil and struggles. Bipolar disorder occurs less frequently than depressive disorders but affects approximately .5 to 1 percent of the population. Unlike depression, bipolar disorders occur equally often among males and females. Like most mental disorders, the prevalence is greater in the lower socioeconomic groups, in part because these illnesses interfere with a person’s ability to work and in part because the cost of the illnesses quickly depletes the economic resources of all but the very wealthy. Suicide is the eighth most frequent cause of death throughout the world, but suicide rates vary widely among different countries. Generally, the suicide rate is low in the less prosperous countries and highest in the more affluent ones, such as Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden. However, the suicide rate is also high in all the Eastern European nations. The suicide rates in the United States and Canada are in the middle range. Glenn Close’s character in Fatal Attraction (1987), offers one of the best available depiction of psychopathology. The performance by Close dramatically illustrates many characteristics of patients with a borderline personality disorder: anger, impulsivity, emotional lability, fear of rejection and abandonment, inappropriate behavior, vacillation between adulation and disgust, and self-mutilation. Although people with Borderline Personality can be dangerous to others as displayed dramatically in Fatal Attraction, this is not always the case as they are probably more likely to be dangerous to themselves. If the individual has some strong Antisocial Personality characteristics as well (which Close’s character does), the risk of danger to others rises. Some personality disorders are more common in men (e.g., antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders). Others are found more often in women (e.g., borderline, histrionic, and dependent personality disorders). Distrust and suspiciousness about the motives of others Humphrey Bogart in The Caine Mutiny and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Disregard for and violation of the rights of others. Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange Instability in emotions and interpersonal relationships, inadequate self-image, fear of abandonment, and marked impulsively Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction Grandiosity, a need for admiration, and lack of empathy for the problems and needs of others Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard Excessive emotionality and attention seeking Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire Submissive and clinging behavior and fears of separation Bill Murray in What About Bob? Humphrey Bogart’s role as Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny (1954) is a wonderful illustration of the paranoid personality. Queeg becomes preoccupied with trivial misdemeanors by sailors while he ignores the important parts of his job – such as maintaining the morale of his men. Billy Wilder’s classic film The Lost Weekend (1945) is a powerful portrayal of alcoholism “Ones too many and a hundred’s not enough.” - A bartender chides Don Birnam in Billy Wilder’s The Lost Weekend In clinical settings, the diagnosis often is based on the “Three Cs” of alcoholism: 1. Documentation of Compulsive use, 2. Loss of Control over alcohol consumption, and 3. Continued use in spite of adverse consequences. Is defined in terms of a pattern of use characterized by recurrent adverse consequences related to the use of the substance. The diagnosis requires evidence if impairment as evidenced by one of the four following criteria: Failure to meet role obligations Recurrent use in situations, such as driving, in which clear hazards are present Recurrent legal problems, and Continued use, despite social or interpersonal problems related to the substance A Beautiful Mind (2001) depicts the horrors, traumas, and suffering of schizophrenia. It goes beyond this to show the challenges associated with treatment and rehabilitation for a severe mental illness. Following the active phase of the illness, the following must be present in order to meet diagnostic criteria: marked social isolation or withdrawal, and marked impairment of role function. The Paranoid Type is characterized by systematized delusions or frequent hallucinations related to a single theme (e.g., hearing denigrating voices). These individuals are often extremely anxious, angry, or argumentative, and they may become violent. The Disorganized Type presents with a picture of incoherent speech and disorganized behavior. These patients rapidly shift from one idea to another The most salient symptom of the Catatonic Type is psychomotor disturbance. Schizophrenia of Residual Type is a category for persons who do not exhibit any of the symptoms of the active phase (hallucinations, delusions, etc.) but do have other symptoms such as social withdrawal or eccentric behavior (APA, 1994). The Undifferentiated Type is characterized by psychotic symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, etc.) but lacks the salient characteristics of the other types Often the person committing the violent act in movies is mentally ill; some estimates note as many as 70% of movie characters with mental illness are dangerous. Some movies with these dreary though memorable settings include The Snake Pit (1948), One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Sling Blade ( 1996), Twelve Monkeys (1995), Don Juan Demarco (1994), A Beautiful Mind (2001), and Analyze That (2002). One important difference between the Snake Pit is truly mentally ill, whereas Randle Patrick McMurphy is not. Chattahoochee (1998) also describes the plight of those who disagree with institutional authority and power, and Nuts (1987) portrays a woman’s struggle to avoid being committed to an institution.
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