Abnormal Diagnosis - the Movie Back from Madness

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Glenda Ngo
Psyc 407
18 Apr 2011

Extra credit Reflection Paper related to the movie Back from Madness In the movie Back from Madness, you were introduced to four individuals diagnosed with serious forms of mental illness—Todd, a homeless man with Bipolar I disorder, Naomi, a college student with Schizophrenia, Eric, a young musician with Major depression, and Glen, a middle-aged photographer with severe Obsessive compulsive disorder. Answer the following questions related to your reactions to the movie. Please write in complete sentences with proper grammar, spelling, and language appropriate to an academic paper. You can use the first person “I”, as I am asking you about your opinions/reflections. Please type your responses. 1) Given the descriptions of mental illness in your text and lecture and what you have heard or seen before in the media about these illnesses, was there anything that surprised you about how the individuals came across? For example, did you have a specific idea of how a person with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder might look or act? How did these individuals eiterh confirm or disconfirm your earlier ideas? Well, given the descriptions of mental illness from various sources, and my exposure to what these mental illnesses are, I think that the individuals all portrayed their mental illnesses according to what I expected. When I actually saw how they behaved and thought, it did surprise me in the sense that I have never personally been exposed to people with mental disorders, so it was interesting seeing how their behaviors manifested and how their illnesses affected their life. For example, Naomi has schizophrenia. It’s one thing to know that people diagnosed with schizophrenia experience hallucinations and delusions, but to hear her describe them and hear her talk about them was a surprise. All of these individuals, except Todd I guess, confirmed my ideas about these mental illnesses, and they also made what I already knew more real. Seeing the symptoms listed on paper come to life in real live human beings made everything I’ve learned applicable and serve as evidence to symptoms of each disorder. For example, Glen who has OCD, had rituals he needed to perform and actions that he would have to do over and over again. He also had an extreme need for perfection, which are symptoms that I expected to see from a person who has OCD. Eric who suffered from severe depression had suicidal thoughts and just felt overwhelmingly sad. I didn’t understand where his depression came from; however, he still exemplified characteristics of a severely depressed person. Hollywood movies tend to portray mental disorders in an exaggerated way, especially all of the most common symptoms of a specific disorder, and so comparing what I know from Hollywood movies, to the one we watched in class, it made it seem like these people are less “crazy” and that how their lives are affected by their illness is in a more subtle than I thought. The one person who did disconfirm my ideas was Todd who has manic depression. Even though it’s manic, I think of depression as still being sad or apathetic about life, and not an extreme high on life. He thought being in jail was better than the hospital, and seeing his living conditions and how he would rather be homeless instead of taking his medications was interesting and a shock to me. To me, he literally was crazy, and you could clearly see how his mental illness was affecting his life.

2)Select one of the characters in the film and briefly describe the degree to which you feel that you can relate to that person. Are there parts of them that feel similar to parts of you? Which ones? Is their way of thinking or being completely foreign to you? I think I can relate the most to Eric, the musician with Major depression. I feel similar to him because I went through a period myself, where I feel like I suffered from depression. I wasn’t diagnosed by anyone, but I know it was...
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