Silver Linings Playbook Analysis

Though a relationship between melancholy and mania can be traced back to as early as the first century AD, the classification of bipolar disorder was first seen in the 1952 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and was referred to as “manic depressive disorder.” It wasn’t until the third edition was published in 1980 that the manual approached mental illness with a biomedical etiology rather than a psychodynamic one, and that the name of the illness was changed to bipolar disorder (Healy, 2010). This mental illness has since been depicted in only a handful of films, contributing to the continued misunderstanding of the disorder by the general population. Silver Linings Playbook, directed in 2012 by David O. Russell, attempted to provide a more accurate depiction of bipolar disorder. In turn, the producers of the film were rewarded by being nominated for eight Academy Awards, four Golden Globes and four Screen Actors Guild awards, and by winning four Independent Spirit Awards and American Film Institute’s Movie of the Year (IMDb). Though the film made marked improvements on earlier portrayals of the subject, this writer believes that significant misconceptions about bipolar disorder remain scattered throughout the storyline. This paper will specifically focus on the failure of Silver Linings Playbook to incorporate the depressive aspect of the disease when portraying bipolar disorder. …show more content…
It is revealed early on that he has a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, has prescriptions for numerous medications (which he often doesn’t take), and regularly attends therapy sessions with a psychiatrist. He moves in with his parents following his discharge, and has two apparent obsessions— jogging and winning his wife

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