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Films often contain characters that exhibit psychological disorders and/or altered mental states. Your assignment is to:
Watch a popular film, from the list provided, that depicts a character with some form of psychological disorder covered in this course.
Analyze how the content of the movie relates to course material on psychological disorders (see specific questions below).
Your paper must:
Include an APA formatted title AND reference page.
Be formatted using an accessible font (see APA guidance here).
1-inch margins all around and double-spaced throughout.
The body of the paper should be at least five pages long (5 pages does not include title & reference page) with a maximum of 8 pages in length.
Use a minimum of six (6) citations (APA formatted) that you referenced to complete the assignment.
The overall organization of your paper should flow as follows:
Descriiption of character symptoms and assignment of disorder, per the DSM-V
Research and describe best practice in treatment
Specific Items to Address
After watching your movie, answer the following questions within your paper:
1. Write a synopsis of the movie plot (this should be no more than two paragraphs: preferably one). Please – do not plagiarize the many descriiptions of films available via iTunes, Fandango, IMDB, etc. If you do use some of the information provided from a website, then paraphrase and be sure to cite your source!
2. What mental/psychological disorder is portrayed in the movie? Provide the full details of your diagnosis of the character, including the signs and symptoms apparent in the film, and relate them to the criteria for the disorder in the DSM-V. This should be approximately two pages of content (remember to cite appropriately).
3. Research and discuss treatment for this character and prognosis. Even if medication is a part of a best practice treatment, please refrain from including lists of pharmaceuticals. Why would you recommend a particular form of effective treatment over others? This section should be at least one page.
4. Using a critical lens* and incorporating considerations of race, gender, sexuality, age, social class, religion and/or ability, did the film cover your character’s diagnosis with accuracy and/or depth? Do you have recommendations on how this can be done effectively? If so, share them within your paper. I don’t have to agree with your opinions, but you will be graded on showing an academic understanding of course material and the issues involved. Finally, please describe how watching the movie contributed to your understanding of psychological disorders and their treatment? This should be at least a full page.
*Although this paper is not technically a critical media analysis, a process of “thinking critically about the impact of the media on the distribution of power in society” (Stocchetti & Kukkonen, 2011, p. 13), I do want you to integrate a healthy dose of how mental health gets portrayed in popular film (the good, the bad, and the ugly, so to speak).
This assignment has several, intended outcomes. After completing this assignment, students should be able to:
Evaluate social, cultural, and psychological factors that influence mental health diagnostic and treatment decisions.
Differentiate between factual and fictional depictions of mental health diagnosis and treatment.
Use primary and secondary sources to construct a diagnosis of their chosen film character’s mental health.
Identify and apply their understanding of treatment applications, from a diverse range of perspectives, highlighting best practices.
These movies fall within a range of rating (from PG to R), theme (comedic to dramatic), and tone (some are Oscar winners, while others were made for TV). Be aware that some of these films contain violence, sexual themes and/or strong language, so please use discretion in selecting something that will not be offensive to you. Each movie does deal with some aspect of a psychological disorder that we have discussed or will discuss in class, and the point of the assignment is for you to recognize and relate what you see in the movie to what you have learned or will learn about disorders and their treatment in the course. While some of these movies may be/feel downright ridiculous, note that many of them are intense in terms of mental health concerns, such as drug use, trauma, depression, suicidality, self, and other harming behaviors. If you find yourself raw in your own mental health journey, you may want to choose something that is less emotionally charged. As we are introduced to the complexities of mental health disorders and treatment with an academic lens, still be sure to take personal care of your own health and well-being. Please connect with me if you need and also note that the many services here on campus, such as our Counseling Center, the Multicultural Center, the Queer Resource Center, the Women’s Resource Center, and the Veteran’s Center.
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