Movie Review: As Good As It Gets

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Movie Review: As Good As It Gets
Destinee Starcher
Psychology 281, Section 5

The movie as good as it gets tells the story of Melvin Udall, an elderly man suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Brooks, 1997). Mr. Udall meets the criteria for both an abnormal behavior and OCD. In lecture we discussed what constitutes abnormal behavior according to abnormal psychology. A behavior must both deviate from societal norms, and cause functional impairment to the individual (Beidel, Bulik, & Stanley, 2014). In order for the behavior to cause significant distress and impairment, it must inhibit their ability to function in daily life. According Beidel and other authors (2014) the criteria for OCD includes repetitive obsessions
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While an individual with OCD may engage in this behavior, the manner in which it is depicted in the film is inaccurate. Specifically the compulsion is so severe that he avoids walking on sidewalks made of bricks (Brooks, 1997). This depiction is inaccurate because while Mr. Udall’s infliction is impairing, he is still able to function independently. He holds down a job, maintains personal hygiene, lives alone and has contact with other people. In reality if Mr. Udall’s disorder was this severe, he would not be functioning at this level. Also another feature missing from the film, was the …show more content…
Udall going to a therapist office (Brooks, 1997). He was only at the therapist’s office for a few moments and did not receive any actual treatment (Brooks, 1997). However, I would recommend that Mr. Udall engage in cognitive-behavioral therapy. For example I would teach Mr. Udall relaxation techniques, do manage anxiety. The cognitive part of the therapy would involve restructuring some of his negative thought patterns. So that when Mr. Udall experiences intrusive thoughts, he will possess the skills to appropriately handle those thoughts. However, I would not recommend any type of medication for Mr. Udall, because medication has not been shown to be effective with CBT (Beidel et al., 2014). Thus since no treatment was utilized and the symptoms were exaggerated, the film was not representative of those suffering from obsessive compulsive

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