Essay on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, By Nicolas Cage

Essay on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, By Nicolas Cage

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder is the most common anxiety disorder plaguing two to three percent of people (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013). Living with obsessive-compulsive disorder can affect an individual in many ways emotionally and physically. In the movie Matchstick Men the main character depicts the hardships of obsessive-compulsive disorder and how they can affect an individual’s life.
Roy, played by Nicolas Cage, is an average Caucasian, late middle-aged man, with the exception of one aspect of him, obsessive-compulsive disorder. He has few social connections and even fewer meaningful ones. He has not had a romantic relationship in almost 15 years. The only person he maintains contact with in the beginning of the film is his business partner, Frank. Being an obsessive-compulsive agoraphobe with tics gets in the way of his work and he seeks help with a psychoanalyst. He then finds his long lost 14-year-old daughter, Angela, and challenges his disorder while developing a close relationship with her.
According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is defined as recurrent obsessions or compulsions that are severe enough to be time consuming or cause anxiety or impairment (APA, 2013). After watching Matchstick Men, it is clear that Roy has obsessive-compulsive disorder. He agrees with all the diagnostic criteria including the obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are continual thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced as intrusive and inappropriate that produce anxiety. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that prevent or reduce the distress. If the individual attempts to resist a compulsion, they may have a...


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..., he loosens up and dances, and he eats various kinds of foods. In reality, this would not happen in this manner.
Ultimately, Matchstick Men depicts Roy’s condition of obsessive-compulsive disorder very accurately. The only exception to this conclusion is the treatment process. In the movie he seems fully cured, which is impossible in real life according to qualified articles. Regarding the obsessions and compulsions, Roy fits the characteristics of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Nicolas Cage does an excellent job of expressing that. Roy experiences contamination obsessions along with ordering, aggressive thoughts, and doubts. He is socially abnormal and is removed from friendships and prefers to not talk to strangers. He also recognizes his problems with the disorder. With Roy following all the criteria from the DSM-V, Matchstick Men sufficiently shows the disorder.

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