Perceptions of Mental Illness in Girl Interrupted

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The portrayal of people being sickly creatures has been used in Hollywood film for a very long time. This has been in the endeavor of putting the viewing public in the shoes of the patient and entertain them with over the top portrayals of disease. For patients that are women in particular this has been achieved by defining them along the lines of vague terms such as them being over emotional and unstable. Despite the advancement experienced by the society, women have not yet fully seen the goal of equality realize fruition. With the expansion of the psychiatric and psychological terminologies, there now additional ways via which mental illness can be ascribed as a weakness for men and women portrayed in Hollywood film. This is best exemplified by the key character in the film Girl Interrupted. In this film, the key character, a woman, is given these labels sourced from psychiatric terminologies. As such, throughout life, she has the difficult task of endeavoring to shed off these forced identities and try to find her own identity. These life struggles are brought on when she was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. With this diagnosis, she earns a year-long stay in a prescribed mental institution. Her dream is to become a writer. With her new found diagnosis, however, the probability of her realizing her dream dims. In reality this would only magnified in a 1960 society, where someone suffering from such an ailment would as a woman have even fewer chances of success. The film Girl Interrupted focuses on a girl, Susanna, who is suffering from borderline personality disorder (Mangold et al., 1999). Soon after she is diagnosed, she is admitted into a mental hospital. During her stay in the institution, she becomes clos... ... middle of paper ... ... can and should be addressed by educating the public to the importance of proper mental health treatment and appreciating that mental illness is just as real as a physical illness. Works Cited Kernberg, O. F., & Michels, R. (2009). Borderline personality disorder. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 166, 5, 505-8. Mangold, J., Konrad, C., Wick, D., Ryder, W., Jolie, A., Goldberg, W., Redgrave, V., Columbia TriStar Home Video (Firm). (1999). Girl, interrupted. Culver City, Calif: Columbia Tristar Home Video. Oldham, J. (2009). Borderline Personality Disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 15, 3.) Paris, J. (2005). Borderline personality disorder. Cmaj: Canadian Medical Association Journal = Journal De L'association Medicale Canadienne, 172, 12, 1579-83. Talbott, J. A. (2013). Borderline personality disorder. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 201, 2.)
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