Compulsive Disorder In James Brooks 'As Good As It Gets'

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At one time or another, every person has sneezed over the course their lifetime. In these brief moments of air expulsion, people almost become slaves to their brain’s commands, losing control of their body in an instant. Despite vigorous attempts to refuse the order, the brain’s hardwired response to minor stimuli has been shown to snottily win out time and time again, whether a person is sitting on the bus, giving a presentation at school or sitting in a silent library. For people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), these suddenly triggered actions come in the form of anxiety-driven compulsions, which occur so frequently where these seemingly uncontrollable actions can potentially be a detriment to person’s quality of life and health.…show more content…
When Mr. Udall visited the doctor’s office, he complained about how the medications did’t make him feel better, asking the OCD doctor, “Is this as good as it gets?” (As Good as It Gets). An example of when the medications fail Mr. Udall is when he takes Carol out to dinner and makes an inappropriate and callous comment on her appearance. Despite taking the medications and hoping to have a perfect night with Carol, Mr. Udall still gives into the nerves and anxiety of his OCD and unintentionally offends his date. On the other hand, more emotional and personal relationships and experiences throughout the story helped ameliorate Melvin’s symptoms. Typically, Melvin had a very specific routine for his weeks and days, down to the very minute, but things changed when he started watching his neighbor Simon’s dog named Verdell. While forming a friendship with Verdell, Mr. Udall’s common compulsive behaviors, such as walking to breakfast and locking and relocking the door of his apartment, got altered or forgotten about without major panic attacks by him (As Good as It Gets). Another non-medicinal source that lessened the impact of his OCD was his relationship with Carol. Similar with Verdell, Melvin’s relationship and love for Carol caused him to do things and act ways way outside of his typical repetitive…show more content…
Like Melvin Udall in As Good as It Gets, its often the case that different treatment types work for different people in each individual case. Despite the fact that both treatments have demonstrated the ability to reduced the symptoms of OCD, there are still percentages of people who experience little to no relief and are not impacted greatly by either treatment method. With this truth, the question Melvin asked his OCD doctor during the film becomes extremely pertinent, “Is this as good as it gets?” (As Good as It Gets). In certain cases, it may seem like OCD symptoms are as inevitable as a sneeze, but with treatment success rates trending upwards, technology bettering and more research being done with different treatment methods, science has the potential of ridding the world of this manipulative disorder and finally expelling anxiety out of the nose of millions of

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