Psychological Disorder In Fight Club

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One of the most widely recognized depictions of a psychological disorder can be found in the 1999 film, Fight Club. The film, which follows the life of an unnamed protagonist and his displeasure with life, makes an attempt at portraying Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). This disorder is seen throughout the film in the main character, or should I say characters. The film centers on the narrator trapped in a material life, plagued by insomnia and the feelings that there is no escape. His condition worsens as he continues to try and defeat these feelings by seeing doctors and buying further into the materialistic culture that surrounds him. He eventually meets another man, introduced as Tyler, which is where the movie takes a turn. The two…show more content…
Most of the DID that we see in the movie stems from the narrator’s discontentment with his career and where he has ended up in life. The main cause of DID, however, is widely believed to stem from a severe or traumatic experience during childhood. The movie gives no pretext of this ever occurring, and instead makes it appear that the narrator’s other identity was created as a way for him to cope with his anxiety. This is far different from nearly every true-to-life account of DID, in which the individual diagnosed usually has experienced some form of childhood trauma. One of the most famous examples, that of Kim Noble, the woman with 100 personalities, involved repeated abuse as a child. This likely led to the formation of multiple personalities, with few of them having any memory of the abuse. This, to an extent, protected her from recalling the trauma ("Kim Noble: A Woman Divided"). There really is no definitive traumatic experience, though, that sets off the narrator’s DID in Fight Club, which makes the film inaccurate in portraying the suspected cause behind DID. The use of DID as a method of coping with anxiety, rather than a traumatic childhood, sets the film diagnosis apart from the real…show more content…
The presence of it in the main character of a popular film draws attention to the issue, and if anything, increases overall awareness of psychological disorders due to the staggering popularity of movies. The downside is that the way in which these disorders are portrayed in film often exaggerates them, and rarely shows any sort of treatment or resolve for the characters who have the disorders. This popular culture portrayal can make it seem as if there is no way to get help, when there are so many treatments that could benefit the individual. It should be more important to the film directors to include more references to treatment or to consequences should the disorder not go untreated. Additionally, the more realistic the portrayal of the disorder is, the more it can grab people’s attention. Just including a small note or statistic at the beginning or end of a film can help in making others aware of the realities of these disorders. It’s one small step that could make one large difference in the way the world understands this important and complex
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