From the Motherhood to a Psychological Disorder

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From the motherhood to a psychological disorder
Truc Huynh
Houston Community College
Summer 2010

Credit to the story about family issues and Adele’s motherhood which goes over the unconscious psychological disorder in the movie “Anywhere but here” (1999), the paper is the first overview discussing the personality disorder- definition, diagnosis criteria, cause, classification and treatment. A closer sight is exhibited in details on three specific categorizes of personality disorder, which are the Adele’s mixed trait- histrionic, dependent and borderline personality disorder, including character’s description, suggestion of treatment and self-management. Through the knowledge of personality disorder, we have more access to identify the common analysis of disease, and the possibility to pass up personality disorder from the childhood and adulthood.

“Personality disorders are pervasive chronic psychological disorders, which can greatly affect a person's life. Having a personality disorder can negatively affect one's work, one's family, and one's social life…While most people can live pretty normal lives with mild personality disorders (or more simply, personality traits), during times of increased stress or external pressures (work, family, a new relationship, etc.), the symptoms of the personality disorder will gain strength and begin to seriously interfere with their emotional and psychological functioning.”

(Mark Dombeck, Ph.D., 2005)

From the motherhood to a psychological disorder
The movie “Anywhere but here” (1999) is a story around two characters: Adele August (Susan Sarandon)- a dramatic and erratic woman who takes her reluctant daughter Ann August (Natalie Portman) from a small Wisconsin town to Beverly Hills, and Ann- a realist, sometimes more the mother than the daughter. Adele remains on the outside looking in and deals with an anxiety that she can be left. Her dream is Ann become an actress, while Ann wants to go away to Brown University. After failing in many aspects, she lets Ann follow her decision. The director chose familiar topic- family issues. There would be nothing to discuss if Adele had a personality with character traits such as stinginess, generosity, arrogance or independence. But when some of these traits are rigid and self-defeating, they may interfere with function and even lead to psychiatric symptoms. In case of Adele, it is likely that she has a mixed picture of personality disorders (PD). PD is also called character disorders (ICD-10) is a class of personality types and behaviors that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) defines as "an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the culture of the individual who exhibits it"( Berrios, G E,1993 ). These personality disorders symptoms are typically maintain several areas of PD- as Adele. PD therefore usually leads to substantial personal and social disturbance. The first prospect of PD should be on PD diagnosis criteria. According to DSM (APA DSM-IV & DSM-IV-TR Axis II), individuals are considered having PD if they have the following abnormal evidences: remarkably distinct consciousness and enduring behavior from the expectance of culture and social accepted range. On the other hand, their pattern of disordered behavior and attitude enduringly persist rigidly and affect a broad range of personal and social activities. They probably suffer from personal distress, or adverse impact on the social environment, or both. Moreover, there are demonstrations of stable and long duration diversion of which the onset in late childhood or adolescence. Their deviation cannot be explained as a manifestation or consequence of other adult mental disorders. Also following the DSM classification (APA DSM-IV & DSM-IV-TR Axis II), PD is divided into three groups: Group A maintains odd or eccentric disorders such as paranoid PD, schizoid PD and schizotypal...
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