Case Study: Melvin Udall from "As Good as It Gets"

Topics: Compulsive behavior, Ritual, Anxiety Pages: 2 (718 words) Published: May 2, 2011
The Case of Melvin Udall:
Melvin Udall suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Melvin sticks to the same routine every day in order to not upset himself, if one thing goes wrong in that daily routine, Melvin’s entire day seems to be ruined to the point where he cannot function well. Melvin is afraid of the germs that are all around him. He does not enjoy being touched in any way, or by anyone, whether it is a stranger walking down the street or a friend, of which Melvin does not have many. Melvin always enters his house and turns around to lock the door, which he counts as he does, turning the lock five times before he is certain that he will avoid any danger that might come if he does not fulfill these rituals; he has the same ritual when turning on the lights in his home. Melvin is also a constant hand washer, only using a bar of soap one time before throwing it away. He washes his hands and showers with extremely hot water in order to kill these germs and avoid any type of sickness or ailment that they might bring along. Melvin eats breakfast in the same restaurant, at the same table, with the same waitress, every morning. Routine is a necessity for Melvin, if one thing in his normal routine is disrupted, whether it is people eating at “his table,” or the waitress that normally brings him his food is not at the restaurant he becomes quite irritable. Melvin gets very uncomfortable and almost panicked in these situations and often uses sharp-tongued insults in order to calm himself down, or to get his way. It is almost as if Melvin has no regard for those around him, he is only concerned with himself. This is linked to the disorder, the obsessive thoughts that he has can only be fixed by one thing, the daily compulsions that he has in order to avoid some serious disaster that would occur if these daily rituals are not completed. Melvin also will not walk on a crack or line in the sidewalk, again to avert from some serious disaster occurring....
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