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Mental Disorder in Film and Reality
For this assignment, you will watch and review a film that portrays some sort of mental illness, then compare and contrast ideas from the film with ideas from scholarly sources. I’ve included a suggested film list, but you don’t have to use one of these films. If you want to use a film not on the list, check with me first! If you would like to see a film about a particular disorder but don’t know what film you could use, come ask me, and in most cases I should be able to help you find a good film! This project is due December 12th, by 11:59pm.
Answer the following questions about the film in your paper:
• What mental illness is represented in the film (if there are more than one, pick one of the major ones), and how accurate is the portrayal of symptoms, diagnosis, and prognosis? Include here information from the DSM-5 on symptoms, differential diagnosis, and prognosis information if given, being sure to include a citation for the DSM. Remember that if you use text directly from the DSM, you must use quotation marks and give the page numbers! Where do the DSM and the film differ and agree about the illness?
• What unspoken, implicit (implied, but not directly expressed) beliefs about mental illness are conveyed in this film? Does the film perpetuate any stereotypes about mental illness (mentally ill people are violent, for example)? If so, how?
• What would someone with no experience with mental illness come away with from this film? Find a reliable source (scholarly article, organization website, our textbook, etc.) that discusses some kind of stigma that may go along with this disorder. Describe the stigma, remembering to cite your source. Does the film incorporate this stigma?
• What cause does the film (implicitly or explicitly) suggest for mental illness (i.e., chemical imbalance, trauma, etc.)? Are the causal beliefs presented simplistic or complex? How might this contribute to stigmatization? Find a scholarly article that discusses possible causes for this disorder. Briefly summarize the main ideas about the causes from this article, being sure to include a citation for the article.
• Are characters in the film shown to be receiving any treatment, in recovery, or making progress with their mental health? Find a scholarly article that discusses possible treatments for the disorder. Briefly summarize the main ideas about the treatments from the article, being sure to include a citation.
• Overall, what grade would you give the film for its portrayal of mental illness? Explain your reasoning for your grade.
Your paper should have an introduction and conclusion, and should include a reference list with all sources you used included in the reference list. You should use APA format for the reference list. It should be typed and should be at least 1200 words, not including the reference list (this is a minimum for passing).