Examples Of Mental Illness In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

1273 Words6 Pages

The Mental Illnesses of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest Mental illnesses such as PTSD and insanity are serious issues that we should try to understand and treat. The book One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest is full of mental illnesses like these. Characters like Bromden and McMurphy bring these disorders to life and help us realize the full extent of their sometimes disastrous effects. But these afflictions are not limited to characters in a novel, they are every bit as crippling in real life. Sadly, we are not able to treat every mental illness, but there are some treatments such as medication and therapy available at mental institutions. Chief Bromden is the narrator of One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest and although his problems are easy to spot, …show more content…

This was the case with the character R. P. McMurphy. At first we are led to believe that McMurphy was just trying to get out of work and even though he has a wild lifestyle he is hardly any different from your average roughneck. As the story develops we see a different side of him. He is rebellious and does whatever he likes, he also has a tendency to fight with others to show his opinion. He is prone to using force when uncontent and takes his violent behavior to the extreme when he tries to strangle Nurse Ratched after his friend’s suicide. A very possible diagnosis is APD or Antisocial Personality Disorder. “Antisocial personality disorder patients often worry about being considered weak or victimized. With an additional fear that others will "get the better of them," antisocial personality disorder patients will often push others around to get their way. A result of these fears is the heckling of authority.”(Diagnosis of McMurphy). Lees McRae College states that about 2.5 to 3.5 percent of people have ASPD. The condition is much more common in men than in women. McMurphy had undergone numerous sessions of Electroshock Therapy, but unlike Bromden, they did not seem to phase him. He was finally subdued by a lobotomy after his homicide attempt. The operation that removed part of his brain took away his spirit and left him in a vegetative state; and so a lobotomy was not the cure for …show more content…

Modern science has helped us come a long way from Electroshock therapy and lobotomies. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is not easily healed, but there is help for those suffering from it in the form of medication or therapy. Rather than taking medication Bromden might have used this method if he were diagnosed today. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy for PTSD and trauma involves carefully and gradually “exposing” yourself to thoughts, feelings, and situations that remind you of the trauma. Slowly the patient may become less afraid and learn to cope with their trauma. Although Antisocial Personality Disorder is less understood, there are still ways to help those diagnosed with it. Oftentimes the aid and discipline of a mental institution is needed for cases as severe as McMurphy’s. One method is when a person is admitted for APD, they have very few privileges. Then they must work their way up by following the rules, gaining more freedoms until they have worked up to the level of normal society, lessening the need for antisocial personality behavior. There has been much controversy as to whether mental institutions have treated their patients properly, with the overall goal to help the ill overcome or subdue their illness and eventually blend them into regular society, meeting its standards. But sometimes that is taken too far and the institutions focus more on the illness

Open Document