As Good as It Gets

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As Good As It Gets

Before further investigation, I thought that As Good As It Gets was about a man, Melvin, with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. At first glance, this seemed like the obvious diagnosis; he portrayed both obsessions and compulsions. Melvin was very careful not to touch things that may have been germ ridden, such as door handles, borrowed jackets, and coughing children; he even brought his own dining utensils out to eat with him. He also engaged in some compulsions, such as when he was locking the door (several times in a row) and when putting on his slippers at night. However, it did not seem that the obsessions and compulsions were what the main problem was for Melvin. Throughout the film I noticed that he was rude to and inconsiderate of just about everyone he came in contact with. It was as though he had little affect for other people, something found in many personality disorders. I felt certain that it had to do with his disorder, but this type of behavior was not mentioned in any OCD literature. Then I looked further into Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder.

As with any Personality Disorder, OCPD involves an abnormal behavior pattern that can be maladaptive in many social situations. As shown in Melvin's case, this can include impulse control, a decreased ability to show warm emotions, and difficulty in doing things in ways other than their own way. Melvin's impulse control problem was shown very clearly in just about any social situation he was put in. He was constantly criticizing people and saying things impulsively that he didn't necessarily mean (think the restaurant scene with Carol- just before she took off in disgust). Another diagnostic of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, according to mentalhealth.com, is [a preoccupation] with details…organization or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost. This was clearly shown when Melvin, Simon, and Carol set out on their road trip....
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