Movie Analysis: Girl Interrupted

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Girl, Interrupted is a film that portrays many different illnesses, but specifically the experiences of Susanna, the main character, who is a patient at a psychiatric hospital. The multipath model contains the different dimensions portrayed in the film: biological, psychological, social, and sociocultural. Susanna is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and some of the dimensions are applied to this disorder in the film. There is really no biological dimension shown in the film with any of the characters. There might be some genetic factors between Susanna and her parents with BPD, but it is not indicated so. In Susanna’s case, the psychological dimension indicates that she, along with others with BPD, experience feelings of…show more content…
I feel like this is because most of the movies or books I have seen about mental illness have not been focused on BPD. This disorder has not been learned in class yet, but after reading about BPD in the DSM-5, I believe that the portrayal of the disorder is accurate. Although, I feel like this film is more about mental illness in general and the experiences that come with it rather than just focusing on Susanna’s specific illness. The film had strengths and weaknesses on how it portrayed the different experiences of those with mental illness. Some strengths the movie had on mental illness portrayal include society’s view on mental illness, a good depiction of the thoughts, and the wide spectrum of mental health. Susanna’s parents did not want their friends to know she was in a psychiatric hospital, which is a common occurrence for many families who believe the stigma against those with mental health problems are too strong and that they would rather protect their image than the mentality of their loved ones. The thoughts of each character do well to depict what the thoughts may be of someone actually with their disorder, according to the DSM-5. In addition, the film shows how different each mental illness can be, showing how “normal” Susanna seems along with BPD, or how “crazy” (how some patients are referred to in the film) Lisa seems with her sociopathic tendencies. Each character is evidence to how large the…show more content…
Research shows it takes more time and practice to make a full recovery from a disorder and traumatic experiences than Susanna might have done. The movie shows its own example of this when patient Daisy is released because of her “healthy recovery,” but she continues to show self-destructive behavior and then eventually commits suicide soon after she is released. Secondly, some interactions with psychologists in the movie would not happen in a real facility. For example, a psychologist would never fall asleep during a session, or at least should not. Some patients, especially Lisa, are able to hide the medicine she is supposed to take, although, in real life it is common for psychiatric nurses to make sure to do tongue checks so they are still taking their medications. Furthermore, treatment in the movie is portrayed both in realistic and non-realistic ways. Before a retired psychologist sends Susanna to the hospital, he makes it seem like hospitalization is the only option for her. The psychologist claims that she “need[s] a rest” and that she is “hurting everyone around [her].” Not only are there plenty of options for treatment, this makes it seem like the treatment is not for Susanna, but for her loved ones. Treatment
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