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Quinn Hecker

PSY 205


Extra Credit Assignment

Video Assigned: Silver Linings Playbook (Mood Disorders)

1. What psychological disorder was illustrated in this film? Did the person meet the criteria

for “abnormal” in this portrayal? (Note: If the movie portrayed more than one disorder,

pick only one to evaluate.) (1 point)

Pat, the protagonist, suffers from bipolar disorder. Bradley Cooper met the criteria for

“abnormal” in this portrayal. The movie begins with his release from a mental

institution; Pat was hospitalized after he found his wife in the shower with the history

teacher from his school and beat the man nearly to death.

2. What symptoms of mental illness did you see in the movie? After considering typical

symptoms and behaviors for this disorder, determine the extent to which you believe

this was a realistic portrayal of this disorder. (1 point)

Pat, the protagonist, was recently discharged from the hospital and suffers from bipolar

disorder. Mood swings with bipolar disorder causes significant difficulty in your job,

school or relationships; manic episodes can be severe and dangerous. While Pat

experienced this traumatic event, his and his wife Nikki’s wedding song was playing in

the background. Pat’s trigger is hearing the song from their wedding as well as being

reminded about the restraining order from wife. Pat exhibits several (hypo)manic and
depressive swings during the movie. As treatment, Pat is on medication and in therapy as

a compromise with the courts. Pat also blames his instability on his childhood and

parents. Tiffany suffers from borderline personality disorder. Her husband recently got

killed by a car; she therefore blames her current personality issues on grief. Although she

presents symptoms of BPD, she’s undiagnosed. BPD is a pattern of instability of

interpersonal relationships, self image, and affects. Pat’s Mom and Dad have OCD; OCD

is the persistent, uncontrollable intrusions of unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and urges to

engage in senseless rituals (compulsions). He not only portrays the disorder accurately,

but we also see how this disorder effects the family of the individual with the disorder.

3. What types of treatment, if any, did the person in the film receive? Provide specific

examples. Based on what you’ve learned, is this form typical for individuals with this

disorder? Why or why not? (1 point)

Pat is currently on medication and in therapy as a compromise with the courts. In

Tiffany’s case, since those with BPD are more likely to seek help than other personality

disorders or anxiety disorders, treatment is plausible; some possible treatments are

cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectal behavioral therapy. Also, options for

managing symptoms are anti-psychotics and anti-convulsants.

4. What impact did the person’s disorder have on others in his/her life? Do you think the

impact was realistically portrayed? Why or why not? (1 point)

Bipolar disorder definitely has an impact on Pat’s life. Anytime he hears the song that played

during the incident, he goes into a manic state. He exhibits several hypomanic and
depressive swings during the movie. Tiffany’s life has been impacted by her borderline

personality disorder. She exhibits frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, as

well as a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships alternating between

extreme idealization or devaluation. I believe the film did a good job of portraying bipolar

disorder. I believe Pat has bipolar I, even thought it is never specified which type of the

disorder Pat has, as he has several hypomanic and depressive episodes. The film also did a

good job of portraying Tiffany’s BPD, even though it is undiagnosed; all of the symptoms

she had are accurate to what a person with BDP would have. The only thing that could be

changed to make the film more accurate is by specifying the type of disorder for Pat. Also,

the treatment should have been more consistent throughout the film.

5. What was your overall reaction to the movie and how mental illness was portrayed? (1


The movie seriously addresses the disorder while also maintaining the comic relief of ‘silver

linings’ throughout the film. Also, even though Pat considers Tiffany to be crazier than he is, her

illness is not taken seriously enough to be diagnosed - she is just seen as a crazy person

mourning. Silver Linings Playbook takes into account that mental illness is a part of society and

overall has a positive outlook on mental illnesses. Those suffering with mental illness should be

allowed to participate in society rather than be kept in a hospital with other mentally unstable