Psychology Analysis of Fatal Attraction

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Krysta Stoddard Psychology 103
Fatal Attraction
1.Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a complex and dramatic mood disorder identified by a large range of negative behaviors. BPD is formally identified as a “Cluster B” personality disorder presenting with dramatic, highly emotional, or erratic behavior. (Article: Personality Disorders) Common features include attention seeking, manipulation, strong anger, loneliness, unstable relationship patterns, poor self-image, emotional extremes, and impulsivity. There are also often severe abandonment issues, fears of rejection, instances of self-mutilation, and suicidal behaviors. (4.4.13) There is not a decided cause for BPD, though there are many theories. Many health care professionals settle on a mix of many factors and conditions, calling it a biopsychosocial model of causation- meaning that, genetics, psychological predisposition, and ways that a person interacts with their social surroundings as a child can contribute to this disorder. (Article: Borderline personality Disorder) In the film “Fatal Attraction”, Alex Forrest is the poster child of BPD, she hits every neurotic note and screams a chorus of psychotic symptoms. When the viewer first encounters this soft-spoken, gentle-looking woman one may assume that she would be the victim in the film. The viewer is soon set straight about Alex’s intentions with the married-father, Dan Gallagher. After a mutually enjoyed one night stand, Alex calls Dan’s house although she was not given the phone number. She insists on seeing him again and this time when he tries to leave she has a huge outburst of emotion, screaming, slapping Dan and ripping his shirt. Moments later she is reasoning with him to stay, begging him to hear her out, but when he comforts her he discovers that she has cut both of her wrists. This is an example of attention seeking, self-mutilation brought on by a shift between idealizing Dan in one moment and devaluing him...
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