Assignment 5 Psychological Disorders in Culture

Assignment #5

Due December 12 -- Worth 50 points


Psychological Disorders in Culture

After reading Chapter 14 in your textbook, watch one of the movies listed on the next page and discuss the main characters and/or plot line in terms of psychological disorders and/or treatment. (Some of the movies portray several characters struggling with a disorder; you need to focus only on the one that most interests you.)  

Address the following questions in a short (2-3 page) paper:


1.      What psychological disorder was illustrated in this film? Did the person meet the criteria for “abnormal” in this portrayal? (Also important - which character in the film is portraying the condition?)


2.      What symptoms of mental illness did you see in the movie? Do you think the condition was realistically portrayed? Why or why not?


3.      What impact did the person’s disorder have on others in his/her life?


4.      Did the character seek any treatment for their condition?

a)     If so: What kind of treatment, and how realistic do you feel that the portrayal in the movie reflected how a person suffering from that condition in reality would be treated?

b)     If not: What types of coping mechanisms does the character engage in (such as interpersonal relationships or self-medication)?


5.      What was your overall reaction to the movie? Include in your answer:

a)     Whether you felt this depiction helped you to understand the condition

b)     Your opinion of the movie, and of the character



Your sources for this paper will be the movie itself, and Chapter 14 of the textbook. I expect you to read the provided APA quick reference sheet, so your in-text citations should be accurate.


Also, I expect you to provide a “Works Cited” page, which has the textbook (Ch. 14) and the movie you watched as your sources. The proper format for citing the text is:


Myers, D. G. & DeWall, C. N. (2016). “Psychological Disorders,” in Exploring Psychology (pp. 527-568). New York: Worth Publishers.




How to earn all points for this paper

  • Make sure that you answer every question in the body of your paper.
  • Your citations must be in APA format.
  • Plagiarism is unacceptable. If I see that you are not attributing quotes, or not putting information into your own words, you will fail this assignment.
  • Avoid grammar and spelling errors. Use grammar and spell check, and if you are in doubt, take your paper to the writing center.
  • Make sure that your paper is double-spaced, typed, and stapled.
  • Make sure that your paper has one inch margins and you are using 12 point font.



Films (and conditions depicted):



As Good as it Gets – Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Only the Lonely – Narcissistic Personality Disorder (the mother character)

The Skeleton Twins – Depression

What about Bob? – Anxiety/Agoraphobia



A Beautiful Mind – Schizophrenia


The Aviator - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)


The Hours – Depression in women

Martha Marcy May Marlene – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in women

Nerve – Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – PTSD in men

Punch Drunk Love – Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Silver Linings Playbook – Bipolar Disorder

Vincent & Theo – Depression in men

We Need to Talk About Kevin – Antisocial Personality Disorder



You should be able to find these movies in one of the following places:


-Library – you can request through PCCC library, or Bergen or Passaic county libraries

Note: If you do this, you should do it as early as possible, since it sometimes takes time to request a DVD from another library.


-On-demand cable channels: HBO, Starz, etc.



-Online streaming websites


Field of study: 
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