Borderline Personality Disorder Essay

1208 Words Nov 8th, 2008 5 Pages
Mental illnesses can affect a wide range of people and they do not discriminate. This is shown in the movie, “Girl, Interrupted,” which was directed by James Mangold. The movie is based on the memoir by Susanna Kaysen. Susanna Kaysen was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and spent a period of eighteen months in a psychiatric facility. The movie is based in a mental hospital, in the east, during the 1960s. After the main character, Susanna, attempts suicide, she admits herself into a psychiatric hospital. It is here that she is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, close personal relationships,
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BPD is more common, affecting two percent of adults, mostly being young women. There is a significant rate of suicide attempts and completed suicide in severe cases. Patients often need extensive mental health services, and account for twenty percent of psychiatric hospitalizations. Yet, with help, many improve over time and are eventually able to lead productive lives (Medical College of Wisconsin, 2001).
After Susanna arrives at the facility, she meets a unique group of young women. These young women are all experiencing different types and degrees of mental illness. Some of these mental illnesses are sociopathy, pathological liar, and eating disorders. The movie offers insight into borderline personality disorder, as well as the other disorders that the young women are afflicted with. The movie’s definition of borderline personality disorder accurately demonstrates the current psychological definition, and much of the occurrences in the movie are very true to the disorder as a whole.
Susanna’s disorder is examined through her past experiences, such as sexual abuse by an older man, promiscuity, feelings that she did not fit in, and her relationships with friends. These are all significant symptoms of borderline personality disorder. According to The National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH] (2007), people with BPD exhibit other impulsive behaviors, such as

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